again, had the negroes made citizens, disfranchised every man that had previously held office under the Confederate States
or had in any way participated in the Confederate
war, and required the Southern States
to consent to the new amendments of the constitution which changed the Federal
government fundamentally, as a condition precedent to their full admission to the Union
What was, on the other hand, the significance of the actions of the people of the Southern States
, in seceding from the Union
, establishing a Confederate government and fighting the Northern
armies as long as they were able?
To answer these questions it is only necessary to state the objects attained.
The negroes set free and given full equality as citizens, in obedience to the demand of one wing of the party that elected President Lincoln
, the Abolitionists; the freedom of the negroes, preventing the extension of slavery, as demanded by another wing, the Free Soilers
; and the conversion of the central government from a federal to a national government, so shaped as to contribute to the pecuniary interests and build up the wealth of the commercial and manufacturing pursuits of the Northern
people, as demanded by the Federalists—such, in short, is the government of this country whenever the distinctively sectional and federalistic principle is enforced.
The patriotic purpose of the Southern
people in secession was to prevent such a government from being established over them to the forcible destruction of their domestic institutions, in which their social affairs had been long involved, and the depression of their agricultural interest and the breaking down of constitutional safeguards—all of which was plainly foreshadowed to their view by the expressed sentiments of the leading statesmen of the North
who had gained control of the government.
That national government, with its centralizing power and its vast expenditure of much more than a