previous next

[369] owe the constitution which enables us to sit in this house to a rebellion.

The future historian will note with astonishment that the Southern struggle for independence began, not with committees of public safety, with declarations of the rights of men, or enunciation of the mighty doctrine, that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, but it began with public statutes, general elections, and constitutional conventions. Mr. Davis himself rested, in his inaugural, the case of the new nation at the bar of the public opinion of the world, not upon revolution, but upon legal right. He said: ‘The rights soelmnly proclaimed at the birth of the States, which have been affirmed and reaffirmed, in the bills of rights of States subsequently admitted into the Union of 1789, invariably recognise in the people, the power to resume the authority delegated for the purposes of government. Thus the sovereign States here represented, proceeded to form this Confederacy, and it is by abuse of language that their act has been denominated a revolution.’ He might also have said that the very Constitution of the United States was adopted by acts of secession, violating the Articles of Confederation.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Jefferson Davis (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1789 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: