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[644] government, deep-seated, reaching to the foundations, and sending the poisonous waters of despotism throughout all the branches fed from this fountain. The Confederate States resisted it from the beginning. They drew their swords for the sovereignty of the people, and they fought for the maintenance of their state governments in all their reserved rights and powers, as the only true and natural guardians of the unalienable rights of their citizens, among which the most sacred is, that only the consent of the governed can give vitality and existence to any civil or political institution.

This overthrow of the rights of freemen and the establishment of such new relations required a complete revolution in the principle of the government of the United States, the subversion of the state governments, the subjugation of the people, and the destruction of the fraternal Union. The work has been done. Will it stand? Have the eternal principles of the Declaration of Independence been hid from our sight forever? Or will they again come forth, ‘redeemed, disenthralled, regenerated,’ and rally the reunited people to shout in thunder-tones for sovereignty of the people and the unalienable rights of man?

It has been shown in previous pages that the state governments were instituted to be the special guardians of these unalienable rights of man; henceforth, however, they must be the sworn defenders of the government of the United States, not of the Constitution and laws enacted in pursuance thereof, but of such interpolations and perversions of them as, in case of necessity, that government should find it convenient to make. Whenever it pleases, it can set them aside; whenever it wills, it can destroy them. Unalienable rights are unknown to this warbegotten theory of the Constitution. The day has come in which mankind beholds this government founding its highest claims to greatness and glory upon deeds done in utter violation of those rights which belonged to its own citizens in every state, North and South. The palladium of the freeman, the bills of rights, the limitations of power, the written constitutions, have all lost their sacred authority, and not a man or a state dare, single-handed, gainsay the will of the agency which, feeling power, has forgotten right. It has put its hand on the ballot box, and the declaration is made that it is not safe to trust the people to vote, except under the inspection of its authority, after the example set by the Roman emperors. When the cause was lost, what cause was it? Not that of the South only, but the cause of constitutional government, of the supremacy of law, of the natural rights of man.

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