perior position over their agent, Calhoun’srn”general Government,” thusrncompelling the latter to be the servant ofrnthe former. However, almost from thernbeginning of this bargain, men of bothrnfactions—Federalists and Republicans—rnrealized that in a federal system it wasrnlikely that either the states would drainrnall power from the general governmentrnor vice versa. Most of them feared thernlatter scenario much more than they didrnthe former, and good men from ThomasrnJefferson to Jefferson Davis understoodrnthe perils of consolidated government.rnIn its attempt to preserve the idea andrnpractice of local self-government, thernSouth in the 1850’s moved closer tornsecession as a last remedy against anrnincreasingly hostile North. The new RepublicanrnParty, a refuge for fanaticalrnAbolitionists bent on undermining arnConstitution that protected slavery andrnfor grasping plutocrats intent upon governmentrnsubsidies for a transcontinentalrnrailroad, picked the sores of BleedingrnKansas and provoked a savage confrontationrnin Kansas and Missouri that prefiguredrnthe general conflict to come. But itrnwas Lincoln’s election in Novemberrn1860 that resolved South Carolina andrnsix other Deep South states to leave thernUnion and form the Confederate Statesrnof America. And contrary to historicalrnorthodoxy, it was secession—and notrnslavery—that led to open warfare thernfollowing April.rnThough Lincoln had in the 1840’s defendedrnthe idea of states’ rights and secessionrnon the floor of the House of Representatives,rnhe now stood firmly againstrnthose founding principles. He was preparedrnto use violence to pervert a oncevoluntaryrnUnion into one in which thernstates would be held against theirrnwill. Lincoln’s primary concern turnedrnon the economic issue: he well understoodrnthat the North’s fledgling industrialrneconomy was dependent on revenuerngenerated from Southern agriculturalrnexports (three-quarters of all Americanrnexports in 1860 were made from Southernrnports). Indeed, Fort Sumter inrnCharleston harbor became the initialrnflashpoint exactly because of Lincoln’srninsistence on the continued collection ofrnthe tariff, even after South Carolina’s secession.rnHe is said to have asked ColonelrnWilliam Baldwin, a representative to thernWhite House from the Virginia staterngovernment, “What will become of myrntariff?”rnSince the inception of Henry Clay’srn”American System,” which advocatedrnthe central government’s promotion ofrneconomic growth through internal improvements,rnincreasingly high tariffs,rnand a national bank, the economic linesrnbetween an industrial North and anrnagrarian South had become more distinct.rnThe North favored protectionismrnand the South free trade, and the twornsystems could not coexist. The tariff becamernthe central issue in the debate simplyrnbecause it was a tax on importedrngoods that aided fledgling Northernrnindustry while making manufacturedrngoods more expensive for Southern consumers.rnThe transfer of wealth fromrnSouth to North after this fashion was toorntempting for special interests to ignore,rnand they saw in the Republican Rarty arnvehicle that could facilitate this transference.rnEven before he was elected Presidentrnin 1860, Lincoln was already firmlyrnin the pocket of Northern businessmenrnwho sought to use the general governmentrnas a means of circumventing thernConstitution in favor of a policy of protectionism.rnThree decades earlier, JohnrnC. Calhoun had wisely proposed a modestrnand reasonable tariff of 20 percent asrna means of raising revenue; however, asrnearly as 1816 there were those who sawrnthat the tariff might be used not only tornraise revenue but to protect industryrnagainst foreign competition. Indeed,rnSouth Carolina was forced to nullify thern1828 “Tariff of Abominations” thatrnraised rates to a harmful 61 percent. ThernCompromise of 1833 saw the tariff loweredrnto pre-1828 levels, and on the eve ofrnLincoln’s election the American economyrnhad enjoyed a lengthy period of decliningrntariff rates and a correspondingrnrise in manufacturing productivity.rnIn the late 1850’s, the Republican Partyrnplatform included the most significantrntariff increase since 1828. Electedrnover the complete opposition of the antitariffrnSouth, Lincoln in 1861 pushedrnthrough Congress (minus the votes ofrnthe seceded Southern states) the infamousrnMorrill Tariff Act, more than doublingrnthe rate to 47 percent. But afterrnthe Confederate government fired onrnFort Sumter in April as a means of showingrnLincoln that he was not going to collectrnany taxes in South Carolina, the idearnof a high tariff lost its appeal. Simplyrnput, because the North no longer hadrnthe Southern states from which to expropriaternwealth, the tariff meant in effectrnthat the North would be reduced tornplundering itself. To make up the projectedrnrevenue shortfall, Lincoln and thernRepublicans introduced the first incomerntax and a host of other constitutionallyrnquestionable financial measures (Legalrntender Act, National Banking Acts, etc.)rnand thus began looting those citizens unfortunaternenough to come under federalrnjurisdiction.rnNot only does Hummel go to greatrnlengths to point out Lincoln’s financialrnand economic shenanigans, butrnhe catalogues the Old Railsplitter’s otherrnviolations of the Constitution as well. Inrnopposition to Secretary of State Sewardrnand General Winfield Scott, Lincoln determinedrnto hold the Union together byrnforce if necessary, a position that clearlyrnviolated both the letter and spirit of thernoriginal compact. “The Union of thesernstates,” he wrongly proclaimed in his firstrnInaugural Address, “is perpetual . . . andrn. . . I shall take care, as the Constitutionrnitself expressly enjoins upon me, that thernlaws of the Union be faithfully executedrnin all the states.” In Lincoln’s mind thernSouth had fomented an unconstitutionalrn”rebellion.” Concluding his address,rnhe gave the new Southern Confederacyrnan ominous warning: “In your hands, myrndissatisfied fellow countrymen, and notrnin mine, is the momentous issue of civilrnwar. The Government will not assailrnyou. You can have no conflict withoutrnyourselves being the aggressors.” But nornsooner had Lincoln finished speakingrnthan he ordered a relief expedition to resupplyrnFort Sumter. He had instructedrnSeward to reassure Jefferson Davis thatrnfederal troops would soon be evacuated;rnthus the Confederate President hadrnbeen able to persuade the impatientrnSouth Carolinians to desist from firingrnon the fort. But once Lincoln’s duplicityrnbecame clear and the Yankee commanderrnat Sumter refused one last call to surrender,rnthe Confederate cannon openedrnfire. And we are all taught that the Confederacyrnwas responsible for starting thernwar.rnHad Lincoln determined to upholdrnhis oath of office in regard to the Constitution,rnthen he would have had nornchoice but to bid the seceded statesrnfarewell. Unfortunately, he was not arnconstitutionalist, but a politician whornplaced the interest of his party above thatrnof the Republic. The quest to save thernUnion and free the slaves was used tornmask the aggrandizement of the RepublicanrnParty and to create the centralizedrnstate that still burdens us today. ThatrnJUNE 1997/33rnrnrn