Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 24, 1861For the Union and against Treason (Editorial)
It is a fact that the South not only abolished freedom of speech and freedom of the press long ago, but has also become guilty of high treason. It is not necessary to point out again that this situation is merely the result of a policy which has been consistently followed for eight years by the leaders of the slave states, who have made the National Government their tool. This policy consists of continually demanding new concessions from the North and attempting to force the North to accede to these demands by repeated threats to secede.
The South, as has been mentioned before, has abolished all liberties guaranteed in the Constitution, and has applied violent and treasonable measures against the Union. Hence, it cannot be denied that the Union has the right and the duty to oppose these rebellious violators of the 2Constitution, and to force them to do their duty toward the Union.
On this matter there can be but one opinion among all those who respect the Constitution and love the Union, and the Northern Democratic press, with a few exceptions, is working hand in hand with the Republican press. The Union must be preserved, and if this cannot be accomplished by peaceful means, force must be used.
The South claims that it was driven to secession by the election of Lincoln; but how can an act that is authorized by and is in conformance with the Constitution, be advanced as an excuse for high treason? And the election of Lincoln was a constitutional act. After the Democratic party had administered the affairs of the country in a most shameful manner for eight years, and had been guilty of corruption worse than any that our history has ever known, the people have applied the means of relief provided by the Constitution, and have cast their votes for a candidate whom they trust and whom they expect to put an end to thievery, corruption, 3and treason. The majority of the people have declared themselves in favor of a different system, and have thereby merely employed their constitutional rights. Who will dare to deny this?
The facts have thus been clearly established. The majority of the people disapproved of the corrupt Democratic administration and its hostile attitude toward liberty, and, in conformance with the Constitution, they have elected a president. But now the minority declares that it will not abide by the will of the majority, that it will not respect the Constitution, and that it will use forceful measures to enforce its will.
No citizen who is loyal to the Constitution and friendly to the Union can waver in his judgment in cases of this kind; he will have to side with the party which bases its rights upon the Constitution and upon the decision made by the majority in accordance with the Constitution, and which will not tolerate the destruction of the Constitution and the Union. We are happy to state that we have read this same opinion in many other Democratic 4newspapers, and we shall leave it to them to cast light on the disgraceful attitude which the local National-Demokrat assumes when it levels the charge of oppression against all who condemn the mob rule of the South and advise that stern measures be taken against the traitors in order to maintain the Union; and when it denounces as cowardly rascals those who, in agreement with Democratic newspapers like the Seebote, Cincinnati Volksfreund, etc., express themselves in favor of an energetic defense of the Union. Such language, by the way, condemns itself, and anyone who uses it against the Union, can be only a traitor or a maniac.
I G, I F 6, I J
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