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 that time uncommon in the North. The relations of the States under the United States Constitution were more generally regarded as Federal, than National; the words “Nation” and “National” were then not of general use, for the political ideas implied in the use of these terms were not generally current. In fact, from time to time, nearly every Northern State had shown its teeth, and growled about “reserved rights,” when the shoe of Federal legislation threatened to pinch. Less than fifty years before this time the Hartford Convention had declared the right and intention of the New England States to secede from the Union, if the war of 1812, deemed by them detrimental to their commercial interests, was not terminated. The ink was not then long dry in the declaration penned by Horace Greeley, that the Southern States had the legal right to secede, and that the Northern States had no right to resist forcibly their secession. When, at present, such ridiculously inapplicable misnomers, as “disloyalty” and “treason,” “rebels” and “traitors” are so freely applied by the popular voice to the adherents of the Confederate States, it is very difficult to realize that a few years ago States-Rights views were largely entertained throughout the Northern States. To understand this apparent contradiction it is only necessary to remember, that people are generally influenced in their opinions by what they believe at the time to be their interests, and that they now hold that their material interests are centered in the Union, whereas formerly they attached great importance to local government. Ergo, States-Rights doctrines are now at a discount, but that does not prove that they were not correct, or that one was wrong in entertaining them in 1861-1865, If, however, it be a true saying that “nothing is more successful than success,” it is equally true that nothing is more unsuccessful than failure. The French have a proverb in which there is much pithy truth, which says “les abseus ont tonjours tart;” from the result of the war we might learn to paraphrase this by saying “the unsuccessful are always in the wrong.” The war had been raging for about two years, a time of suffering and of carnage for the participants on both sides, but also a period replete with wretchedness for the Peace-party at the North. Their political world had entered upon a new and violent geological period; the earthquake of war, and the volcano of revolution were daily effecting sudden, vast, and startling changes. This Peace-party was essentially conservative in its nature, and comprised many of the best and purest men, as well as of the highest, intellectually and socially, in the country. These people believed that the South had a legal right to sustain their secession by force of arms against the aggression of the central Government
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