Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 32.djvu/25
Causes of the War. 13
[From the Sunday Neivs, Charleston, S. C. f November 28, 1897.]
THE CAUSES OF THE WAR
Traced Back to the Formation of the Constitution.
AN ABLE PAPER READ BY JULIAN L. WELLS BEFORE CAMP MOULTRIE, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS,
At its Recent Anniversary Celebration The Union all Along, from Its Very Foundation, had been an Alliance Between Two Peoples of Divergent Interests and of Dissimilar Characteristics.
Many volumes might profitably be filled with the discussion of this vast and intricate question, and necessarily only a very imper- fect outline can even be attempted here.
While in the throes of war and revolution the American colonies, having made common cause against the mother country, were obliged to combine for mutual defence against the common danger; and this combination finally took shape in the Articles of Confede- ration and Perpetual Union, ratified in March, 1781.
In January, 1783, Great Britain acknowledged the revolted col- onies, each separately and byname, as thirteen independent States, and agreed, on withdrawing her troops, not to carry of! "any negroes or other property."
In the collapse and exhaustion which must follow even successful revolution the States felt, almost as keenly as they had done under the stress of war, their individual impotence and their mutual inter- dependence. It was, therefore, natural that, as the impracticable character of the Articles of Confederation became apparent, they should "seek to establish a more perfect union."
A convention, composed of delegates from twelve States, met at Philadelphia and the contest raged between the advocates of unlim- ited State sovereignty and the supporters of a modified centraliza- tion. The Constitution was promulgated as a compromise measure and recommended to the States for adoption.
A provision authorizing the coercion of an obstructive State failed to meet even consideration, but was promptly thrown aside, thus showing undoubtedly the opinion of the convention that the Union