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Texas having joined it meanwhile. The constitution was based, like the provisional one, closely on that of the United States, with important differences, however. The first difference was the recognition of the doctrine of State sovereignty, as declared in the preamble—“We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity—invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God
-do ordain and establish this constitution for the Confederate States of America."
It forbade the Congress to pass any law "denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves."
It limited the slave trade to the Confederacy and the United States.
It forbade duties or taxes on imports "to promote or foster any branch of industry.”
In all new territory "the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.”
It denied the right of secession by forbidding the States to enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation.
It made the term of president and vice-president six years without the privilege of re-election.
The Confederate Congress might "by law, grant to the principal officer in each of the Executive Departments a seat upon the floor of either House, with the privilege of discussing any measures appertaining to his department."
These were the differences between the Permanent Constitution of the Confederacy and the Constitution of the United States.
Officers of original monitor on its deck in Hampton Roads. It may easily be seen that in forming this Confederacy, the South incorporated clauses and provisions which had been for years matters of dispute and contention between South and North. It is also clear that these provisions—recognizing State sovereignty; slavery, and the slave trade; and forbidding protective tariffs—were the very provisions which for many years the North had associated with slavery: they were not associated with the idea of nationality. They pointed clearly, as the South Carolina Address of 1860 declares, to a people “having different pursuits and institutions” from those of the North.
That the South had been drifting for years toward the formation of a Slaveholding Confederacy is now plain from the records, and it is equally plain that at the North public sentiment, during the same time, had been developing into the conception and conviction that the United States is a Nation. The actual formation of a Slaveholding Confederacy merely confirms the earlier tendency, and in confirmation of the tendency and development of opinion at the North, it is sufficient to cite, out of a mass of evidence, Lincoln's first inaugural.
Speaking of the fugitive slave clause of the Constitution, he says: “There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by National or by State authority.” An earlier president would have said, "Federal authority.”
"It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our National Constitution.” An earlier president would have said “Federal Constitution.”
“I hold that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Government, and the Union will endure forever—it being impossible to destroy it, except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.
“Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of a contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it-break it, so to speak; but does it not require all lawfully to rescind it?
“Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition, that, in legal contemplation, the Union is perpetual, confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And, finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was 'to form a more perfect union.'
“It follows, from these views, that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.
“I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it, so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or, in some authoritative manner, direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself. In doing this there need be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon