Predicting a Second Violent Struggle
Reminiscent of Jefferson Davis, the author below predicts another rise of State authority to resist a centralizing imperial government. At the end of the war a fellow traveler remarked that the cause of the Confederates was lost. He replied: “It appears so. But the principle for which we contended is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form.” Commenting on the end of the Founders’ republic, Davis stated in 1881 “Of what value then are paper constitutions and oaths binding officers to their preservation, if there is not intelligence enough in the people to discern the violations; and virtue enough to resist the violators?”
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
Predicting a Second Violent Struggle:
“The theory that the late Civil War was a mere insurrectionary movement can deceive no one now. The fact that the secession of the Southern States divided the American Union into two separate Federal Republics, cannot be destroyed by the counter-fact that the Union has been restored. The judgment of every foreign power declared that for four years a de facto Government at Richmond, which was wholly independent of the power and control of the Congress at Washington, and every department of the United States Government confirmed that judgment by practical acts of recognition.
The Union founded by Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, and the other “Fathers,” was a Federal Republic, that is to say, it was a Government constituted of several Constituent Republics, which were united by agreement or compact between themselves as distinct and separate States. That Union proved to be inadequate to the exigencies of the conflicting forces to which it was exposed. It resisted several severe strains, and was maintained by one or more compromises, which served to demonstrate its imperfection and inherent weakness.
In 1861 the disintegrating forces prevailed, and eleven of the Constituent Republics withdrew from the Union on the plea that the original conditions of the Union had been broken by the others, and they formed a fresh confederation among themselves.
The remaining States or Republics resisted that act of separation and affirmed that the people of the whole United States were, or should be fused into, one nation, and that the division of the Union into States had, or should hereafter be, no greater political significance than the division of the several States into counties.
The States which remained in the original Union…proved to be stronger than those which clung to the opinions of the “Fathers,” and they succeeded, after a long and bloody war, in compelling the latter to admit that “the people of the United States” meant the aggregate population of all the States, and that the majority, as represented in the Congress at Washington, was the true and only Sovereign of the whole country, irrespective of geographical State lines or separate State Constitutions. I am broaching no theory, but am simply stating facts.
The Union of 1787 was dissolved in 1861 by the acts of ten of the constituent republics. A new Union was formed in 1865 by the military power of the majority of the States, compelling the minority to accept their view of the national compact. The former Union was a confederation of States, and was of course a Federal Republic; the latter Union is founded upon a fusion of the people into one nation, with a supreme centralized executive and administrative Government at Washington…it has become an Imperial Republic.
(The Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe, Volume I, James D. Bulloch, Sagamore Press, 1959, pp. 14-16)