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The causes that have made it necessary to compile a separate history of the Southern States had their origin in differences of opinion reaching back to 1787. These differences seem to have ended in 1877. They were always political-relating to constructions of the Constitution as applied to different measures that have been proposed. They never resulted from natural causes, such as give rise to the quarrels of different nations or races of men, except so far as they related to African slavery. They only became sectional when the measures which excited the discussion happened to affect a particular section of the country. In 1812 to 1815 some of the States of the North strongly threatened to secede from the Union, which then implied a desire to return to their former allegiance to the British Crown. In 1830 to 1832 there was manifested an almost fatal purpose in some of the States to assert the right to remain in the Union and set at defiance some of the laws which, though constitutional in form, were alleged to be locally oppressive.

In 1861, the question of slavery furnished the occasion or provocation under which this ancient quarrel culminated in open war. While the question thus presented involved great political issues, it also included the dangerous element of race antagonism and race supremacy, and involved the accumulated wealth of two centuries invested by the South in slave property. It is scarcely conceivable that any free Government could have afforded a peaceful solution of such a question. Until the strife of contention over the powers and principles of our Federal Government connected itself with this question and threatened the extermination of slavery, there had been no occasion of sufficient magnitude to demand its solution with war. That question was local and sectional. It had hold of every sentiment and interest and prejudice, and involved every ground of former differences of opinion as to the construction of the Constitution that could excite, arouse, and make desperate the contending parties.

The absolute right of home rule as to slavery, in its ownership and control, was alleged by one party. The other party — the Abolitionists — denied this right, claiming that a law higher than the Constitution condemned slavery and everything that upheld it.

In the excitement of this controversy, and because of the political power this party embodied, others who denied the political propositions on which the Abolition party was based followed its lead, believing that it was safer to violate the Constitution than to lose power, and hoping that the expurgation of slavery from the country would condone their delinquency. They followed the lead of the Abolitionists, denying even their purpose to abolish slavery until after it was destroyed, and then they avowed it.

Their denials were merely protests against the doctrines of the “higher law” party. They really desired that slavery should be extirpated, but

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