to organic law, in any case, can always, upon the pretenses made in this case, or on any other pretenses, or arbitrarily, without any pretense, break up their government, and thus practically put an end to free government upon the earth.
It forces us to ask: “Is there in all republics this inherent and fatal weakness?”
“Must a government, of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?”
So viewing the issue, no choice was left but to call out the war power of the Government; and so, to resist force employed for its destruction by force employed for its preservation.
After a brief exposure of the deceit and violence which governed the issue of the pretended submission, in Virginia
and other States, of the question of Secession to a vote of the people, after they had been bound hand and foot to the car of the Confederacy
, Mr. Lincoln
The people of Virginia have thus allowed this giant insurrection to make its nest within her borders; and this Government has no choice left but to deal with it where it finds it. And it has the less regret, as the loyal citizens have, in due form, claimed its protection.
Those loyal citizens this Government is bound to recognize and protect, as being Virginia.
With regard to the self-styled neutrality of Kentucky
, as of other States which had, by this time, passed out of that chrysalis condition into open rebellion, the President
In the Border States, so called — in fact, the Middle States--there are those who favor a policy which they call “armed neutrality;” that is, an arming of these States to prevent the Union forces passing one way, or the Disunion the other, over their soil.
This would be disunion completed.
Figuratively speaking, it would be building an impassable wall along the line of separation — and yet, not quite an impassable one; for, under the guise of neutrality, it would tie the hands of the Union men, and freely pass supplies from among them to the insurrectionists, which it could not do as an open enemy.
At a stroke, it would take all the trouble off the hands of Secession, except only what proceeds from the external blockade.
It would do for the Disunionists that which, of all things, they most desire — feed them well, and give them disunion without a struggle of their own. It recognizes no fidelity to the Constitution, no obligation to maintain the Union; and, while very many who favored it are, doubtless, loyal citizens, it is, nevertheless, very injurious in effect.
As to the work directly in hand, the President
thus briefly proclaims:
It is now recommended that you give the legal means for making this contest a short and decisive one; that you place at the control of the Government, for the work, at least four hundred thousand men and $400,000,000. That number of men is about one-tenth of those of proper ages within the regions where, apparently, all are willing to engage; and the sum is less than a twenty-third part of the money value owned by the men who seem ready to devote the whole.
A debt of $600,000,000 now is a less sum per head than was the debt of our Revolution when we came out of that struggle; and the money value in the country now bears even a greater proportion to what it was then than does the population.
Surely, each man has as strong a motive now to preserve our liberties as each had then to establish them.
A right result, at this time, will be worth more to the world than ten times the mien and ten times the money.
The cool assumptions and fluent sophistries of the Confederates
, with regard to State Rights, are very frankly and thoroughly handled by the President
; but those who are familiar with the teachings of Webster
on this subject can need no further argument.
thus deals with the fiction of “State Sovereignty:”
The States have their status in the Union; and they have no other legal status. If they break from this, they can only do so against law and by revolution.
The Union, and not themselves separately, procured their independence and their liberty.
By conquest or purchase, the Union gave each of them whatever of independence and liberty it has. The Union is older than any of the States, and, in fact, it created them as States.
Originally, some independent colonies made the Union; and, in turn, the Union threw off their old dependence for them and made them States, such as they are. Not one of them ever had a State constitution independent of the Union.