The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

03 January 2011

Charleston Mercury July 25, 1860 editorial "The Union"

Go to the Original Sources to understand the mindset of the time:

The Union

Charleston Mercury, July 25, 1860

The Union of the Constitution, we presume nearly all men in the South, desire to be perpetuated. It is the bond of our fathers, and as their children we will maintain it. But do the dangers and agitations which now shake the United States, arise from the Union of the Constitution? If it does, then the work of our fathers is most inadequate to our times. We maintain that these dangers and agitations are the result, not of the Constitution they transmitted to us, but of its overthrow. The Union it established does not exist. Usurpation and encroachment have drawn into the vortex of Federal power, interests which were never intended, by the Constitution, to be embraced in its operations. The General Government, under the sectional predominance and policy of the North, has become omnipotent in the laying and appropriation of the taxes; and now stretches its authority over slavery in the South. The Constitution, under such usurpations of power, is virtually abolished—and the Union it established is virtually dissolved. Hence the dissatisfaction in the South and the conflict between the North and the South, which must end either in the Union of the Constitution being restored, or in the South being destroyed by the sectional despotism of the North under the auspices of another Union, established by power on the one side and subjection on the other. Nor is the test of the true condition of the South very far off. The elections next fall must settle the question of Northern predominance—of a complete sectional despotism over the South, or of yet another chance for Southern deliverance. As things now are, the probability is that the Black Republicans will sweep the North, and command the Electoral College in the Presidential election. Now, in such a condition of things, is it truthful—is it politic in the South to deal in professions of devotion to the Union? Will they prepare the people of the South to resist the sectional despotism of the Black Republican party? With a full knowledge of the fatal effects to the South, of the possession and control of the Federal Government by the Black Republicans and Abolitionists of the North, do not such professions inevitably tend to a submission to their rule? Ought not the people of the South, rather, to be aroused to a full sense of the perils which hang over them, and be prepared to meet them, and to control their own destinies? What is now the Union?

It is a Union with the Northern States.

It is a Union with the Northern States, who have nullified the Constitution in the Fugitive Slave Laws.

It is a Union with the Northern States, who for twenty years, have kept up in Congress an agitation against Southern slavery.

It is a Union with the Northern States, who have determined to exclude the Southern people from settling, with their slaves, in any of the Territory of the United States.

It is a Union with the Northern States, who have organized their sectional power, to rule and govern the Southern States, as their interest, ambition or fanaticism shall require.

It is a Union with the Northern States, who have overthrown the Union of the Constitution, and have substituted in its stead a Union having their despotic power the sole criterion of its terms and limitations.

It is a Union with the Northern States, in which a party predominates whose vital principle is hostility to African slavery in the South and whose policy it is to extinguish it.

It is a Union with Tariff plunderers, who, by the Tariff Laws of the Federal Government, appropriate the property of the Southern people to their use, and make them their tributaries.

It is a Union with Treasury plunderers, who, by unconstitutional appropriations, drain the Treasury of the United States for their sectional enrichment and aggrandisement.

Briefly, it is a Union on the part of the South with her bitterest revilers, haters, oppressors and enemies.

Now, that any man in the South, who realizes the truth of the above positions, can love or reverence the Union, as it exists—is an utter impossibility. Lying lips may utter praise—and a cowardly heart may refrain its murmurs:—but the meanest political slave must hate a despotism which scourges and threatens to destroy him. Love and hate, are not under our control. God has so constituted the human heart that we can love only what is lovely—and we must hate what is morally wrong and detestable. We do not wish to judge others harshly, but it does appear to us that no one in the South can love or reverence the Union as it exists, but one who is at heart an Abolitionist. Many may tolerate it, under the hope of reforming it. Many may remember and love it, as it was in past days of usefulness and glory, when it was the Union of the Constitution. But now,—as it is now without the Constitution— with its furious sectionalism, and its anti-slavery fanaticism and policy at the North—the only feelings in the South which it can rationally inspire, are those of distrust, fear, contempt or hate. If you have still hopes of reforming it, and of again reinstating the Union of the Constitution—say so; but to accomplish your object, you must condemn the Union as it is. If it is worthy of your devotion—why reform it? What are all your opposition and complaints, but hypocritical ravings, for factious ends?

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