OPINIONSrnThe Lincoln Legacyrnby Michael Hillrn”If the general government should persist in the measures now threatened, therernmust be war. It is painful to discover with what unconcern they speak of war, andrnthreaten it. They seem not to know what its horrors are.”rn—Stonewall JacksonrnEmancipating Slaves, Enslaving FreernMen: A History of thernAmerican Civil Warrnby ]effrey Rogers HummelrnChicago: Open Court Press;rn421 pp., $39.95rnOn balance, Jeffrey Rogers Hummelrnhas written a provocative andrnmuch-needed book on what Southernersrnprefer to call the War for SouthernrnIndependence or simply Mr. Lincoln’srnWar. Hummel, a libertarian history professorrnat Golden Gate University in SanrnFrancisco, postulates that “ultimate responsibilityrnfor the enormous bloodshedrn[from 1861-65] rests squarely on thernPresident’s shoulders.” And of course hernis correct, for Abraham Lincoln, actingrnas an agent for Northeastern plutocrats,rnmade war on the South in order to forcernthe seceded states back into the Union sornthey could be exploited by what JohnrnTaylor of Caroline called “the Aristocracyrnof Paper and Patronage.”rnIt goes without saying that in regard tornthe war the victors, especially New Englanders,rnhave written its history, and thernSouth has quite naturally been blamedrnfor starting the whole affair because of itsrninsistence on preserving its “peculiar institution.”rnWhile Hummel denouncesrnslavery and the entire nation’s role in itsrnperpetuation, he is quick to point outrnthat the institution could probably havernbeen ended by means short of war, hadrnMichael Hill is a historian and presidentrnof the Southern League.rnLincoln and the Republicans desired it.rnAfter all, in the Western Hemisphere onlyrnHaiti (1803-04) and the United Statesrn(1861-65) resorted to widespread armedrnconflict to destroy slavery. But a morernsalient point is raised by historian EugenernGenovese, who notes that Southernrnslaveholders “mounted the first andrnonly serious critique of the totalitarianrntendencies that have run wild in our century.”rnSuch a historical inconvenience asrnthis, largely ignored by scholars, must bernaddressed if we are ever to get close tornthe truth about the complex issue ofrnslavery in American history. In not tacklingrnthis problem. Hummel commitsrnone of his few errors.rnBut slavery was not the paramount issuernthat led the North to invade thernConfederacy; rather, it was the restorationrnof a perpetual and indivisible Union.rnLincoln had absorbed the cockeyed theoryrnof a consolidated nation offered up inrnthe 1830’s by Daniel Webster and JusticernJoseph Story, and his extreme nationalismrnput him at odds with the Southernrnstates’ rights school of thought. The latterrntheory of the Constitution holds thatrnsovereign states acceded to a voluntaryrnunion by the will of the citizens of thernseparate states. Nowhere can it be foundrnthat the people in the aggregate (asrnclaimed by Webster and Story) were thernlocus of sovereignty in the American system.rnJohn C. Calhoun, America’s greatestrnstatesman, understood that “Therngeneral Government emanated from thernpeople of the several States, forming distinctrnpolitical communities, and actingrnin their separate and sovereign capacity,rnand not from all of the people formingrnone aggregate political community.”rnThat the association of states underrnboth the Articles of Confederation andrnthe subsequent Constitution was voluntaryrnwas well understood by the FoundingrnFathers. The several states agreed tornenter the union on the understanding,rnsometimes explicitly enunciated, thatrnthey would be able to depart on theirrnown volition if conditions became detrimentalrnto their specific interests; in otherrnwords, that to which they accededrnthey could at any time secede from. Byrnvirtue of their position as principals inrnthe federal compact, the states held a su-rn32/CHRONICLESrnrnrn