Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/56

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threatened. Lincoln, principally concerned by remaining within the law, proclaimed widely that he wanted to maintain the Union without liberating the slaves ; but he also declared as emphatically, that measures -- financial or others -- voted by Congress would be applied strictly.

Four[1] Southern states, soon followed by five others, then requested through their legislatures, the right to withdraw from the Union. They formed a new confederation called the Confederate States of America. Perhaps they thought that they were thus preventing a civil war ? On the contrary, their action precipitated it.

In problems that still have the power to arouse the passions of a great people, and in which it is so difficult to attribute the faults with equity -- in problems for which so many thousands of men have known how to fight with such an indomitable energy -- to fight and to die -- one must refrain from uttering a severe word that could be unfair and cruel. Yet, we have to say it -- in our opinion, the North had the right and the duty to maintain the Union. No state could exist if it were to allow the indefinite parceling out of its territory.

The revolution that bereaved the South from its

  1. Four Southern states, South Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida, seceded first ; followed a few weeks after by Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee.