Lies are being spewed in editorials, op-eds and letters saying Confederate leaders were traitors. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee never betrayed anyone.
Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers took the right of secession for granted. It was inherent in the Declaration’s proposition that the original colonies “are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States.”
Abraham Lincoln denied this fact when he said that no state could leave the Union. Davis wasn’t even a lawyer; yet his knowledge of law and history was much stronger than Lincoln’s.
Davis was arrested after the Civil War on a charge of treason. The government dropped the charge and released him. The government’s own lawyers stated that Davis could win acquittal by making a powerful case for secession. This would have demolished the Union war propaganda.
The Federalist Papers call our U.S. “the Confederacy” and “a confederate republic,” and not a single “consolidated” or monolithic state. Members of a “confederacy” are by definition free to withdraw from it. In the view of America’s Founders, a tyrannical government would be rebelling against the states and the people. And by defending themselves, the people would merely be exercising the ultimate political “principle of self-preservation.”