chapter  12
38 Pages

The Right of Secession

Secession will take place, unless Congress shall recognize the great principle of justice, of right, and of equality. That is the doctrine upon which this Union rests; and it must be maintained, or the connection will severed. The right of secession would strike a fatal blow at the integrity of the empire, which could be maintained only by enforcing the perfect obedience of each and every part. We have, in the recent struggle of the Italian States, an instructive commentary on the now mooted questions of secession and coercion. But the Senator does not avoid the difficulties he refers to by denying the right of secession, for they would all result, and with tenfold aggravation, from his principle of the right of revolution. For, as that is a right involving force, each party would, of course, seek foreign alliances, and that would bring the armies and navies of Europe to our shores.