War Between The States, Alexander H. Stephens
War Between The States
Alexander H. Stephens
24:37 h History Lvl 9.09
Alexander Hamilton Stephens was an American politician who served as the vice president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented the state of Georgia in the United States House of Representatives before and after the Civil War prior to becoming governor. A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States, Its Causes, Character, Conduct and Results Presented in a Series of Colloquies at Liberty Hall, was published in 1868. The purpose of the writer of this work is to present a Constitutional view of the late War between the States of “the Union,” known as the “United States of America.” The view is intended to embrace a consideration of the causes, the character, conduct and results of this War, in relation to the nature and character of the joint Government of these States; and of its effects upon the nature and character of this Government, as well as of its effects upon the separate Governments, Constitutions and general internal Institutions of the States themselves.

A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States

Its
Causes, Character, Conduct and Results
Presented in a
Series of Colloquies at Liberty Hall

by
Alexander H. Stephens

In Two Volumes
Vol. I


Times change and men often change with them, but principles never!


Dedication

To

All true friends of the Union under the Constitution of the United States, throughout their entire limits, without regard to present or past party associations; and to all true friends of Constitutional Liberty, the world over, now and forever, — especially to all, everywhere, who may, now or hereafter, look to the Federative System, between neighboring Free Democratic States, as the surest means of saving Mankind from ultimate universal Monarchical Rule, — this Work, with all the earnestness of his nature, which the great subject thoroughly awakens, is hereby, not formally, but most solemnly and sacredly, dedicated by the

AUTHOR.

Liberty Hall,
Crawfordville,
Ga.,
16 Dec’r, 1867.


Introduction

The purpose of the writer of this work is to present a Constitutional view of the late War between the States of “the Union,” known as the “United States of America.”

The view is intended to embrace a consideration of the causes, the character, conduct and results of this War, in relation to the nature and character of the joint Government of these States; and of its effects upon the nature and character of this Government, as well as of its effects upon the separate Governments, Constitutions and general internal Institutions of the States themselves. The subject is one that does not fall clearly within the domain of History, in the usual acceptation of that word. The design is rather to deal with the materials of History than to supply them. It is not so much to present any portion of American History, as it is, by Historical analysis, to show what are the principles embodied in those systems of Government established, by the Anglo-Saxons, on this Continent, and to illustrate their singularly happy adaptation, so long as adhered to, to the situation and character of the North American States.

The chief usefulness of all History consists in the lessons it teaches, in properly estimating the compound result of the action of the principles of any system of Government upon human conduct, and the counter-action of human conduct upon these principles, in effecting those moral and political changes which mark the type, as well as progress, of civilization, at all times, and in all countries. Mankind cannot live without Society or Association. Organized communities, with Governments of some sort, are no more universal than esscential to the existence of the Genus Homo, with all its Species and Varieties, in every age and clime. The organic laws, which enter into the Structure of any such Association, Society, Community, Commonwealth, State, or Nation, by whatever name it may be designated, form what may be styled the Constitution of that particular Organism. These are the elementary principles, from which spring the vital functions of the Political Being, thus brought into existence, and upon which depend, mainly, the future development of the Organism, and the character, as well as standard, of its civilization. But, while these Structural laws act upon Society, in its embryo state, as well as in shaping its subsequent development, Society is also constantly acting back upon them. As individual life, in all its forms and stages, is said to be the result of a war between opposing agencies, so it is with the political life or existence of every body politic.

Between the primary laws, from which Society first springs, and takes its first form and shape, and the internal movements of Society itself, in its progress, there are continued action and counter-action, producing endless changes, from slight innovations or alternations to entire Revolutions. With these come, either for better or worse, entire changes of the type, as well as standard, of civilization. History, for the most part, has confined itself, from the earliest times, to presenting but one side of this complex subject. It has devoted itself so exclusively to the consideration of human action only, that this has become, in general estimation, if not by common consent, its peculiar Province. Hence, it treats chiefly of men, their deeds, their achievements, their characters, their motives, their patriotism or ambition, and the impress their actions make upon Society.

The opposite workings and effects of principles, or the results of their neglect, upon the very actions of men, of which they treat so largely, receive but slight, if any attention, even in the most graphic descriptions of the most terrible convulsions, which, if traced to their origin, would often, and most frequently, perhaps, be found to arise, as effect follows cause, from these very principles or organic laws themselves. Those writings upon such subjects, whether considered as Historical or otherwise, are most to be prized as contributions to the general stock of knowledge, which treat of both of these elements of human destiny, together; and, in the progress of any political organism, trace, with Philosophic hand, the connection between them, and the reciprocal bearing they have upon each other.

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