The contest is not over, the strife is not ended. It has only entered upon a new and enlarged arena. The champions of constitutional liberty must spring to the struggle, like armed men from the seminated dragon’s teeth, until the government of the United States is brought back to its constitutional limits, and the tyrant’s plea of “necessity” is bound in chains strong as adamant:
For Freedom’s battle once begun,
Bequeathed by bleeding sire to son,
Though baffled oft, is ever won.
When the war closed, who were the victors? Perhaps it is too soon to answer that question. Nevertheless, every day, as time rolls on, we look with increasing pride upon the struggle our people made for constitutional liberty. The war was one in which fundamental principles were involved; as force decides no truth, the issue is still undetermined, as has been already shown. We have laid aside our swords; we have ceased our hostility; we have conceded the physical strength of the Northern states. But the question still lives, and all nations and peoples that adopt a confederated agent of government will become champions of our cause. While contemplating the Northern states—with their federal Constitution gone, ruthlessly destroyed under the tyrant’s plea of “necessity,” their state sovereignty made a byword, and their people absorbed in an aggregated mass, no longer, as their father’s left them, protected by reserved rights against usurpation—the question naturally arises: on which side was the victory? Let the verdict of mankind decide.