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 leaving each man to enjoy the fruits of his own toil, would pool the earnings of society, upon which to fatten its favorite children in palaces of splendor, while it would starve its foundlings in hovels of squalor and misery. It was for local self-government as embodied in the doctrine of States' Rights, as we had learned it from our fathers, that the South fought. It had grown with our growth; strengthened with our strength, and become the very warp and woof of our natures. To us it was a principle, not a shadowy sentiment; but a principle whose foundations were deep down below the grasp of political earthquakes, and whose spires pierced the stars beyond the sweep of storms of fanaticism. The bitter feelings and sectional animosities to which I have referred became intensified as the years went by. The Constitution of our fathers, as we understood it, was set at naught, and its provisions, as we construed them, were disregarded, and that solemn compact which to us was sacred, was declared by many leading men of the North to be ‘a league with death and a covenant with hell.’
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