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 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.
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