Preface: First of all, Mike, my statement about "pwning you" was in jest. Second of all, I think you might be surprised by how much you and I have in common, politically. And that's all I'm going to say about that. I think I can write out my arguments without really talking about politics because I'm an American and Americans have always been capable of doing anything if we truly put forth our best effort(s).
Third of all, the Union spent many years offering many compromises to keep the Union intact. Why? Because the South was always the region clamoring for the protection of their elitist and wrong institutions. The Union was never the aggressor and you should not let your status as a Texan sway you away from this sheer reality.
The Civil War came about because Lincoln refused to acknowledge the rights of southerners to govern themselves.
Let me fix that for you:
The Civil War came about because the South understood they had no legal basis to secede and thus decided to fight it out instead, thinking the North would overwhelm them with numbers and Western expansion if they waited. You don't seem to understand that the South didn't exhaust all possible peaceful means and you definitely don't understand that Lincoln didn't force them into this.
By the way, if Lincoln forced them into a fight, then why, long before his election, was the incompetent Buchanan's naval secretary (Along with several other ranking people) doing his utmost to wreck the warmaking capacity of the U.S. Navy and doing his utmost to send stuff down South?
He refused to surrender Ft. Sumter, which was on South Carolina soil overlooking the entrance to the port of Charleston, and he was working to reinforce it with union troops and supplies.
The Fort was "on South Carolina soil" but owned by the Federal Government. They bought the land from the state of South Carolina under the expressed purpose of protecting the port from foreign invasion. There was nothing in the contract that said, "You can't put more troops here under such and such circumstances." Lincoln was well within his rights to place more Federal troops in the port for the purpose of putting down any potential rebellion. Mike, Lincoln was also within his Constitutional rights to put down a rebellion within America, ala Washington and the whiskey boys of Western Pennsylvania.
The southerners demanded for months for it to be turned over. Lincoln refused. He wanted a fight.
Like most Southerners at that time, you seem to have disregarded the words of Lincoln's inaugural address, where he proclaimed that like all Americans, he did not want to fight. In fact, Lincoln flat out told the South that they would have to start the fight. Why do you ignore this, man? Just because it fits the narrative?
The Southerners demands were not acquiesced to because the fort belonged, plain and simple, to the government of the United States.
These are facts, they are all that really matters: Southern revisionists have spent decades trying to convince people that their ancestors had a Constitutional right to secede. They didn't, in any way, shape, or form! Many Southern statesmen admitted this at the time, but their words have been "forgotten" by some awful historians. The South, through their actions, essentially proved they had no right to secede when they refused to use the courts systems or a convention to try to change the law and allow their leaving the Union.
You know what, I think I see the problem here. You want Texas to be able to secede and that's ok. Whatever, I may actually join you guys in a certain scenario because I do think the Federal government has grossly gone beyond the Constitution. But rewriting history as Southerners have done - to make secession seem like it was used properly in 1861 - to make Lincoln look like a bad guy is a bridge too far for me. Lincoln's expansion of the government was reversed after the war (The Federal government did not begin its large scale pattern of expansion until the Progressive Era first under Teddy Roosevelt), he, like the majority of Yankees and Dixie men, did not want a war, and he did not try to start it.
The difference between the South and the North was simple: the statesmen who led the South into aggression, into killing American soldiers, did not feel the same way about union as did the North and the Founders. This is a great nation, one that belong together, because together we truly can work to form an exceptionally perfect union. The South did not put forth their best effort to preserve the nation. They did not use the legal means given to them by the Founding Fathers.
And now, less than 200 years later, many Americans think that Lincoln was the bad guy for starting the war, that he wanted to spill the blood of thousands. It's insanity! Frankly, Mike, under some of these standards I seem to be reading, it's as though some people think the very election of Lincoln was an act of war.
I'm going to leave this with a passage from U.S. Grant's memoirs:
In the case of the war between the States it would have been the exact truth if the South had said, - "We do not want to live with you Northern people any longer; we know our institution of slavery is obnoxious to you, and, as as you are growing numerically stronger than we, it may at some point in the future be endangered. So long as you permitted us to control the government, and with the aid of a few friends in the North to enact laws constitution your section a guard against the escape of our property, we were willing to live with you. You have been submissive to our rule heretofore; but it looks now as if you did not intend to continue so, and we will remain in the Union no longer."
Instead of this the seceding South cried lustily, - "Leave us alone; you have no constitutional power to interfere with us." Newspapers and people in the North reiterated the cry. Individuals might ignore the constitution; but the nation itself must not only obey it, but most enforce the strictest construction put upon it by the Southerners themselves. The fact is that the constitution did not apply to any such contingency as the one existing from 1861-1865. Its framers never dreamed of such a contingency occurring.
The fathers themselves would have been the first to declare that their prerogatives were not irrevocable. They would have surely resisted secession could they have lived to see the shape it assumed.
There is little doubt in my mind now that the prevailing sentiment of the South would have been opposed to secession in 1860 and 1861, if there had been a fair and calm expression of opinion, unbiased by threats, and if the ballot of one legal voters had counted for as much as that of any other. But there was no calm discussion of the question. Demagogues who were too old to enter the army if there should be a war, others who entertained so high an opinion of their own ability that they did not believe they could be spared from the directions of the affairs of state in such an event, declaimed vehemently and unceasingly against the North; against its aggressions upon the South; its interference with Southern rights, etc., etc.
Mr. Jefferson Davis, said in a speech, ... that he would drink all the blood spilled south of Mason and Dixon's line if there should be a war. The young men who would have the fighting to do in case of war, believed all these statements, both in regard to aggressiveness of the North and its cowardice. They, too, cried out for a separation from such people.
Under the old regime [In the South] they [Here Grant speaks of the "great bulk of the legal voters of the South", poor white non-slave holding farmers who were primarily of Scots-Irish descent] were looked down upon by those who controlled all the affairs in the interest of slave-owners, as poor white trash who were allowed the ballot so long as they cast it according to direction.
I am aware that this last statement may be disputed .... but I reassert the statement. The shot-gun was not resorted to. Masked men did not ride over the country at night intimidating voters; but there was a firm feeling that a class existed in every [Southern] State with a sort of divine right to control public affairs. If they could not get this control by one means they must by another. The end justified the means. The coercion, if mild, was complete.
I emphasize that one quote because it's the most important in regards to what we're discussing.
The wealthy elite did not care for the majority of their fellow man. They did not, of course, consider blacks men and they hardly considered Scots-Irish subsistence farmers to be their fellow man. This relatively small elite did not think that what they were doing was wrong, but, in my opinion, the ends do not always justify the means. Their goal, though they didn't recognize it as such, was to continue enslaving their fellow man for profit. They understood that this was utterly unacceptable to the North and, so, after a generation or two of forcing compromise on their terms, they threw their hands up in the air without even waiting for Lincoln to offer anything and immediately began trying to secede. Everything Lincoln did was in response to this, and everything Lincoln did in response during 1861 was legal and morally right.
If you want secession by Texas to be morally acceptable, then you should not continue believing that the South's immoral and violent secession was right on the basis of natural, human rights.