What Lincoln Accomplished
“The world claims now, and rightly, that Lincoln made the United States of America a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Lincoln found the United States of America a government of the States, by the States and for the States. He changed it by force of a four-year war into a nation.
Up to 1861, the Federal government was a republic of sovereign States of such wisdom and power as to win the respect and love of all true lovers of political liberty, but too wise and not powerful enough to coerce sovereign States.
Now, since 1861, we are a nation with sovereign States reduced to provinces, State rights gone (for what rights have they who dare not strike for them?); a nation, admired still by the world, but feared and mistrusted as a nation boastful and overbearing, ready and willing to regulate, if not to rule, the world like old Rome. O what a fall was there, my countrymen!”
(What Lincoln Accomplished, Berkeley Minor, Charlottesville, VA, Confederate Veteran, September 1926, page 324)