In response to a recent letter, slavery was extended in the U.S. longer than in other nations because of the Fugitive Slave Act, which Abraham Lincoln supported.
South Carolina expected tolerance for the principle of self-determination, as colonists did in the previous century. Lincoln himself in 1848 called secession "a most sacred right" when northern states considered it. Even the Soviet constitution included Article 17, "The right freely to secede from the USSR is reserved to each Union Republic." Gorbachev enacted this principle. But Lincoln was no Gorbachev.
Lincoln chose war, resulting in the death of more than 600,000 American citizen soldiers. He was unquestionably the most destructive president in America's history, both for the immediacy of his actions and its historic, long-term effects.
Rather than waging war, reason would permit voluntary separation. If granted then, reunification might have been negotiated long ago. But if not, through free trade, both independent nations could be competing, finding ways for greater liberty and prosperity, as ideal proving grounds for rival policies, with wisdom to let all states run their own affairs without subsidy or federal interference. If today, Greece or another country seceded from the European Union, a suggestion of war to reverse it would be laughable.
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Those who blindly honor Lincoln and his methodology help to ensure that this country will ultimately suffer economic ruin by compulsive militarism and its unwelcome interventions into the affairs of others, both here and throughout the world.