The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The Founders were very clear in their understanding of Rights. They did not want a powerful Federal Government. The Constitution clearly limits the government in nearly every Article. It spells out what the Government can and cannot do. Anything else is a State issue. Unfortunately the Constitution discussed Slavery. By allowing slavery, it made it a federal issue. The Slave States understood it was only a matter of time before the institution had to end. The Confederate States were considering such a move at War's end.
The North was also correct. The Unionist view that allowing the several states to withdraw from the union would destroy them all was valid. The British and French both saw the War as a chance to get back at the fabulous resources of America. I also believe there is ample evidence that the loose confederation the Jeffersonian had in mind would not have allowed the US to become the Superpower it is today.
The steps Lincoln took to preserve the Union were unprecedented. Suspending habeas corpus, income taxes and the draft were so onerous to citizens at the time we cannot understand today.
Jefferson Davis and every other Southerner who participated in discussions, conventions and meetings that discussed succession were TRAITORS. They actively pursued a course of rebellion against the sovereign United States. So while their intent was right, the course of action was wrong.
It was incumbent upon the President to do whatever was necessary to save the Union. Lincoln did the job. Many of the actions he took were duplicated by Roosevelt during WWII. Again, the country's survival was at stake. Does this indicate that ends justify the means? I am not sure. One thing is clear, by the end of the War, the South new their best friend was Abe Lincoln. There was true sadness on both sides when he was killed. The Radicals under Johnson inflicted suffering on the losers and caused hurt and humiliation that lasted for more than 50 years.
I once heard a comedian reply to the famous Charlie Daniels song "The South's Gonna Do It Again". He said "the South's gonna do it again -- what lose another major fuckin' war". Well, as the DigitalCowboy has pointed out the South has risen again. What he fails to note is that it is in conjunction with the Midwestern and Western states. The Blue States are the remnant of the old Yankee states that went to war for the wrong reasons. Those states that wanted to impose their world view upon the rest. That wanted the government to enforce morality, to decide what was best, to make the rest of us bend and pay for THEIR beliefs. Not much has changed, once they were called aboloshinists, now they are liberals. You cannot disagree with their moral position they take. We should have gotten rid of slavery. We should feed the poor and take care of the less fortunate. It is just that most Americans do not like to be forced to pay for these things. Taking money from one person to give to another is stealing. Robin Hood was a thief, no matter his pretenses. Taxing me to give to someone else is equally theft.
Lincoln was a scumbag politician. OK, as I stated before, show me a President who wasn't. He did hold the country together and for that I give him a pass. The South was correct in their interpretation of the 10th Amendment. The means they chose to prove their point did lasting harm. The act of rebellion incensed many Americans. That gave rise to the strong Federal Government of Lincoln. We are paying for it today. Thanks Jeff Davis, you asshole. I pissed on your monument in Kentucky twice before. I will do it every time I pass close. Because of you we have Swimmer Kennedy and KKK Byrd and Nancy Pissonme in office. I can only hope the South Isn't gonna do it again. Freedom and liberty and conservatism cannot take it.