A War of Aggression: In Perspective

“The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.
No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave.”

– Lysander Spooner

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“Can we whip the South? If we can, our numerical majority has the constitutional right to govern. If we cannot whip them, they contend for the natural right to select their own government. To keep that from happening – to insure that Southerners do not have the right to select their own government – we will remove and destroy every obstacle – if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper.”

– William Tecumseh Sherman