After hearing so many people say Southerners were traitors because of seceding from the Union, I began searching for more ways to explain why we had the right to secede, and found a very good bit of information which helps explain this. In the second edition of Government By The People, a book printed in 1954. I found the following:

"In a democracy, the source of governmental power is the people. What are the limits of governmental power? Here we run into the concept of constitutionalism, the concept of limited government.

Constitutional governments are not necessarily democratic, but all representative democracies are constitutional. There are recognized and generally accepted limits to the power of those who govern as well as to the authority of the electorate itself. In the first place, officials have only the authority that the people delegate to them either directly or through their elected representatives. Any official who exceeds the scope of his authority ceases to have a claim to obedience.

Secondly, a democratic government is limited by the purposes for which it is established. It is a fundamental tenet of democracy that government is but an instrument created by the people in order to enlarge freedom and promote the welfare of the people. And as the Declaration of Independence proclaims: ‘whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive’ of the ends for which it was established, ‘it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.’ "

It burns me up to hear biased and uneducated people say Southerners were traitors. The South in no way tried to overthrow the Federal Government, but rather, used their constitutional rights to secede to form their own government. There is absolutely no difference in what the seceding Southern States did than what the Colonies did when they wanted to break away from British rule.

Due to the Federal Government becoming what it did and the problems it caused the South, Southerners did what was written in the Declaration of Independence and abolished that Federal Government in their States and formed a new one.

Edward Harding