Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 32.djvu/44
Southern Historical Society Papers.
power having been delegated to Congress it was expressly refused by the convention which formed the Constitution. Without descending to particulars, it may be safely asserted that the power to make war against a State is at variance with the whole spirit and intent of the Constitution."
Such were the words of the President of the United States on the very eve of the great Civil war. It is clear, then, that the war could not have been undertaken by the government and politicians of the North with any claim of moral or legal right. The politicians and abolition fanatics deluded the people into that belief, but the war was brought on by the desire for commercial supremacy on the part of the Northern people, and political power and spoils on the part of the politicians.
Probably the best short exposition of the causes and circumstances necessitating and justifying secession is to be found in the Ordinance of Secession of South Carolina.The continual cause of irritation which I have attempted to outline, or rather to allude to, at length reached their unavoidable culmination in the great struggle, with the results of which we are only too familiar. If this necessarily meagre sketch shall encourage anyone of candid mind to a personal investigation of the subject, the object of these lines will be attained.