American Civil war- The Upper South Left the Union Over State Sovereignty
My opponent has not stated the format so I will assume that, as is typical, the first round is for acceptance. I await my opponent's arguments.
Thank you Tokamak for accepting this my first debate on this forum, I am very excited. I believe the upper south left the union for many reasons, but will argue the main reason was state sovereignty.
"Upper south, which had cried equally against coercion as succession" -E merton Coulter the Confederate States of America Louisiana State University Press
In the antebellum civil war states were sovereign and self governing was a vital aspect of American government. When secession came each state left the union for its own reasons. The original deep south cotton states left the union and formed a confederacy. The upper south states chose to stay in the union instead of joining this new confederacy.
On February the 9th the same day that Mississippi left the union, Tennessee voters turned down secession by a 4-1 margin. However after Lincolns call to volunteers Governor Isham Harris wrote President Lincoln saying if the federal government was going to “coerce” the states into returning, Tennessee had no choice but to join its Southern neighbors. Harris recalled the Tennessee legislature for another vote on May 6 this time to join the confederacy. Than on June 8 voters approved the measure by a 2-1 margin.
Before Lincolns call for volunteers with slavery equally safe in the north or south, the slave state of Virginia on April 4th1861 voted by a 2-1 margin to stay in the union. After Lincolns call for volunteers Virginia gathered again and by a vote of 126,000 to 20,400 Virginia left the union. In the minds of Virginians, Lincolns call to volunteers and the violation of state sovereignty. Virginia did not give a lengthy declaration of why it left the union just a short ordinance of secession.
-North Carolina Governor John Ellis
Having previously turned down even voting on secession, North Carolina responded to Lincolns call for volunteers by than unanimously adopted a secession ordinance, showing the impact it had on the state.
Kentucky Declaration For Leaving The Union
“Whereas, the Federal Constitution, which created the Government of the United States, was declared by the framers thereof to be the supreme law of the land, and was intended to limit and did expressly limit the powers of said Government to certain general specified purposes, and did expressly reserve to the States and people all other powers whatever, and the President and Congress have treated this supreme law of the Union with contempt and usurped to themselves the power to interfere with the rights and liberties of the States and the people against the expressed provisions of the Constitution, and have thus substituted for the highest forms of national liberty and constitutional government a central despotism founded upon the ignorant prejudices of the masses of Northern society, and instead of giving protection with the Constitution to the people of fifteen States of this Union have turned loose upon them the unrestrained and raging passions of mobs and fanatics, and because we now seek to hold our liberties, our property, our homes, and our families under the protection of the reserved powers of the States, have blockaded our ports, invaded our soil, and waged war upon our people for the purpose of subjugating us to their will; and Whereas, our honor and our duty to posterity demand that we shall not relinquish our own liberty and shall not abandon the right of our descendants and the world to the inestimable blessings of constitutional government: Therefore, .... because we may choose to take part in a cause for civil liberty and constitutional government against a sectional majority waging war against the people and institutions of fifteen independent States of the old Federal Union, and have done all these things deliberately against the warnings and vetoes of the Governor and the solemn remonstrance of the minority in the Senate and House of Representatives: Therefore, .....have a right to establish any government which to them may seem best adapted to the preservation of their rights and liberties.” -Kentucky Declaration for Causes of Seccesion
“Your requisition is illegal, unconstitutional, revolutionary, inhuman, diabolical, and cannot be complied with”
-Missouri Governors Response to Lincolns call for Volunteers
The slave state of Missouri was almost universally pro union. When the south sent delegates to try and convince the state to join the south, they were booed and jeered so that the CSA delegate could not even be heard. On March 21 1861 the Missouri convention voted 98-1 against secession, but kept its neutrality. Many in the state became angry and felt their state sovereignty was violated during the “Camp Jackson Affair” with General Lyon capturing the arsenal in St Louis and when union soldiers opened fire on civilians and pro confederates killing dozens. Many felt the federal government was violating the states neutral position and support for secession grew rapid in the state. This led to a end to neutrality and both a pro confederate and pro union government in the state. Pro south Missouri reasons for secession, centered around constitutional violations of the Lincoln administration.
"All that the South has ever desired was the Union as established by our forefathers should be preserved and that the government as originally organized should be administered in purity and truth."
-Gen. Robert E. Lee Quoted in The enduring Relevance of Robert E Lee
-Secession Acts of the Thirteen Confederate States http://www.civilwar.org...; -Abraham -Lincoln First Inaugural Address Monday, March 4, 1861 -The Confederate States of America, 1861--1865: A History of the South by E.Merton Coulter
The generally attributed cause of the secession of the Confederate States of America is the issue of slavery and its place in the Union. The issue of state sovereignty is often cited as an alternative cause of secession. Why this is the case is beyond the scope of this debate, however I will be attempting to demonstrate that rather than seceding over state sovereignty, it was indeed the issue of slavery that incited the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Confederate sympathizers in Kentucky and Missouri to attempt to leave the Union.
State sovereignty was certainly in the conscious of the South in general in the decades leading up to the Civil War. However, the issues in question for the secession was the sovereignty necessary to preserve the institution of slavery. This fact can be demonstrated by illustrating points in time in which southern states valued the preservation of slavery over, and even to the detriment of, preserving state sovereignty.
Example One: Resistance to the Fugitive Slave Law
In 1850, the aging politician Henry Clay passed a compromise that he hoped would resolve the issue of slavery within the Union. The most important tenet was a fugitive slave law which required federal officials to work with citizens in recapturing and reappropriating any escaped slaves who had fled to the North. This law was highly regarded by most Southerners, as it gave value to the institution of slavery. Shortly after the passage of the act, Southern Democrats (in all parts of the South, not just the Deep South) adopted the Georgia Platform, which essentially contained a thinly veiled threat of secession occurring should the fugitive slave law not be enacted with full force.
"it is the deliberate opinion of this Convention, that upon the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Bill by the proper authorities depends the preservation of our much loved Union." 
Large amounts of Northerners would enact the process of Jury Nullification in an effort to enforce an abolitionist spirit, and many state legislatures in Northern states passed laws disabling the fugitive slave law as a form of defiance. This was a very clear example of state sovereignty being used as an agent against slavery. Therefore, if any of the states of the South had truly desired to increase state sovereignty more than they wanted to preserve slavery, there would have been no objections to these measures. However, what we instead saw was the opposite: Southerners threatened to secede because Northern states exercised their state sovereignties. For instance, in Senator Jefferson Davis' 1860 resolution, he stated that:
"the acts of State Legislatures to defeat the purpose, or nullify the requirements of that provision, and the laws made in pursuance of it, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, revolutionary in their effect, and if persisted in, must sooner or later lead the States injured by such breach of the compact to exercise their judgment as to the proper mode and measure of redress." 
Or this newspaper from Richmond, Virginia:
"When it becomes apparent that [the Fugitive Slave Law's] operation is practically nullified by the people of one or more States, differences of opinion may arise as to the proper remedy, but one thing is certain that some ample mode of redress will be chosen, in which the South with entire unanimity will concur." 
Therefore it is clear that in all Southern states, not just the Deep South, the preservation of slavery was obviously prioritized over state sovereignty.
Example Two: The Confederate Constitution
The Constitution of the Confederate States of America is nearly identical to the Consitution of the United States of America, changed only in a few key areas. However, those key areas are very telling about what was valued over what. Specifically, there are numerous instances of the Confederate Constitution not only protecting the instution of slavery, but doing so at the detriment of state sovereignty.
For instance, in Article I, Sec. 9(4):
"No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed." 
Or in Article 4, Sec. 2(1):
"The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; and shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired." 
And in Article 4, Sec. 3(3):
"The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several Sates [sic]; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States." 
There are three separate examples of the Confederate Constitution blatantly denying the right of the individual state legislatures to pass any legislation against the institution of slavery. This constitution was ratified in all of the Southern states, not just the Deep South.
Therefore, again, it is clear that in all Southern states, not just the Deep South, the preservation of slavery was obviously prioritized over state sovereignty.
Rebuttal of my opponent's argument
My opponent's argument is, in essence, that the Upper South did not secede until a call for troops which they saw as a violation of state sovereignty. There are several problems with this.
1) Although it is certainly true that in his conscription efforts Lincoln violated the War Powers clause of the Constitution, this is not a violation of state sovereignty, it is a violation of federal Separation of Powers. The power of conscription is explicitly granted to the Legislative Branch, i.e. congress, rather than the Executive Branch, i.e. the president. Lincoln acted in a way that sapped power from congress, not from the individual states.
2) This idea leans on the false idea that before the Civil War, individual states were effectively self-governing. This is an oft-cited but incorrect view. The Founding Fathers made it quite clear in the establishment of the United States that the individual states were not separate entities under a loose union. This is why a "perpetual union" is spoken of, and why for instance Alexander Hamilton states in the New York Ratification Convention that:
"a reservation of the right to withdraw [...] was inconsistent with the Constitution, and was no ratification." 
3) What the conscription and attack at Fort Sumter truly represented was a commitment of Lincoln to reinforce federal law within the seceding states. Since Lincoln had stated that he intented to leave slavery as it was where it existed, the Upper South states were perhaps skeptical that he would militarily intervene in the affairs of the seceding states for this reason. Afterwards, it was clear that he was intervening. The remaining states therefore believed him capable of intervening in not just secession, but the institution of slavery, as that is what the original seceding states and the Republican Party itself originally devoted their platforms and declarations to.
The actions taken by Southerners in all states before and after the secession clearly indicate that the preservation of slavery was a higher priority to them than any form of state sovereignty.
Thank you con for a great post and arguments. I must say I am very happy to have found this forum.
“Covenant with death and an agreement with hell”
-William Lloyd Garrison
The Confederate Constitution
2] “To coerce the states is one of the maddest projects that was ever devised... a complying state at war with a non complying state. Congress marching the troops of one state into the bosom of another? Here is a nation at war with itself. Can any reasonable man be well disposed toward a government which makes war and carnage the only means of supporting itself- a government that can exists only by the sword”.
-Alexander Hamilton Northern federalist
Con claims the founding fathers were clear the states were not sovereign. To support this he quotes the one of two founders that held this view. Hamilton also wanted to rid America of elections and have a king. Since this is not the topic of the thread I shall be brief.
“Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself...each party has equal right to judge for itself”
-Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison [The Father of the Constitution]
"The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the states; and these, in uniting together, have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the states chooses to withdraw from the compact, it would be difficult to disapprove its right of doing so, and
-Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America
3] I disagree strongly. I would ask you to support your claims. Slavery was in both the northern and southerner states for the entire civil war. It was constitutionally protected, Lincoln and the north supported the Corwin amendment that would have protected slavery forever in the the U.S constitution. The 1860 republican platform plank 4 said slavery was a state issue and they would not interfere with slavery. Lincoln also said the states had the right to chose on slavery and he would not interfere with slavery.
“I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere Untitled with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so”
-Abraham Lincoln Inaugural address
“Secessionists were well aware that slavery was under no immediate threat within the Union. Indeed, some anti-secessionists, especially those with the largest investment in slave property, argued that slavery was safer under the Union than in a new experiment in government.”
-Clyde Wilson Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina
Firstly, I will respond to my opponent's rebuttal of my own contentions.
Fugitive Slaw Law
My opponent states that:
"It is clear the nullification of the fugitive slave laws was not a issue to cause the upper south to leave the union. They chose to stay in the union even after northern states had done so."
However, neither upper nor deep South states left the union merely because of the nullification of the fugitive slave law. That's not why I mentioned it. My point was that this was an instance in which state sovereignty clashed with the preservation of slavery - and that in this instance, people from both the deep South and the upper South resisted in a way that showed they prioritized slavery over state sovereignty.
My opponent also states that:
"every single secession document talks of the states retaining and acting on their sovereignty."
However, examination of the specific times these terms are mentioned, such as in the Viriginia declaration of secession:
"that the Union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State." 
Demonstrates that these terms are used to show the rights of sovereignty Viriginia gains upon becoming an independent nation, not as the natural rights a state within the Union has.
My opponent also says:
"They did not object to northern states using sovereignty, but northern states defying federal constitutional law and their rights to property."
It was not constitutional law, since it was not in the Constitution. The fugitive slave law being violated was part of the Compromise of 1850. Later in their argument, my opponent cites the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves as valid and legal. These resolves support the right of a state to Nullification. If one belives this, one has to believe that the nullification of the fugitive slave law is perfectly legal. My opponent has shot themselves in the foot with this inconsistency.
My opponent accuses me of not including important parts of the CSA Constitution that reinforce state sovereignty. It is important to note that most Southern states did value a certain degree of autonomy, and I would not deny that. However, citing non-slavery related articles to support the contention that the Confederate Constitution valued state sovereignty above slavery is meaningless. My contention was that in the Confederate Constitution, several times the institution of slavery is granted priority over state sovereignty.
To point out that:
"The states of the CSA had the right to coin money."
Is a non sequitur.
Also, I should mention that the 10th Amendment as described is the same as in the United States Constitution.
My opponent states certain desires of Southern states and the implications of the certain cited bills, but with neither context nor citations to support this. The quote of the Virginia supreme court case has no citation and lacks context. Given that it does not state the word slavery or anything related, it could be about nearly anything.
My opponent states that the CSA Constitution copied the USA Constitution's clause on slaveholding being a state issue. This is not true, and was even decided in the US Supreme Court in the famous Dred Scott decision:
"The body which gives the supreme law of the land, has just acceded to their demands, and dared to declare that under the charter of the Nation, men of African descent are not citizens of the United States and can not be" 
That decision demonstrated that under the US Constitution (and by extension the CSA Constitution which kept the related clauses) the only way slavery could be abolished at all was by constitutional amendment. Which is, of course, how it eventually was ended.
1)My opponent states that:
"the use of the volunteers to suppress the cotton states was the major violation of state sovereignty."
How so? Secession was not a legal right of a state government, and therefore the territories of the South were in rebellion. As Commander in Chief, Lincoln had a responsiblity to bring the rebellious states back in the Union. An objection to this would be to state that before the Civil War, states were sovereign to the degree that they could declare a secession legally, but that brings us to the second point:
2)In order to prove that the states were separate sovereign entities, my opponent cites two things - the Viriginia and Kentucky Resolves and Democracy in America. My opponent acts as though these have equal authority to the source I have cited, the New York Ratification Convention.
However, it is important to note that firstly, the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves were written as an objection to the Alien and Sedition Acts, and argued that states had the right to declare pieces of legislation unconstitutional. They were later cited during the 1830 Nullification Crisis as an argument against the Tariff of Abominations. But in neither of these cases was the application of the resolves successful or legally binding. The Alien and Sedition Acts were repealed under the Jefferson administration upon his election in 1800, and the Tariff of Abominations was removed through a federal compromise. To imply that the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves had any legal power is ludicrous.
Further, citing Jefferson as an authority on the Constitution is dubious considering he was not present at the Constitutional Convention.
As for James Madison, note that in a letter to Hamilton he wrote:
"the Constitution requires an adoption in toto, and for ever" 
Secondly, while Democracy in America was a politically significant work, it is also not legally binding.
On the contrary, the New York Ratification Convention was an event that actually set the constitution in place, and therefore is very legally binding.
Lastly, George Washington, president of the Constitutional convention, had this to say about it:
"In all our deliberations on this subject [the perpetuity of the government] we kept constantly in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence" 
States could not slip out of the Union at will at any point in history. Plain and simple.
3) My opponent cites here the positions of the Republican Party on slavery. To be clear: it is completely true that before and at the beginning of the Civil War, the Republicans had no intentions of imposing abolition. However, it is not true that Southerners believed them. After all, the Deep South certainly seceded over slavery, and why would they if they believed the Republican's promise not to end slavery.
The reason is context. In 1856 the Republican Party put forward the radical John C. Fremont as their candidate, and he did intend to abolish slavery (this was before the Dred Scott decision). This alienated most moderates, including the smaller American Party which would have been more sympathetic to the Republican cause otherwise. In order to attract more voters in the next election, the Republicans chose a the comparatively moderate Lincoln as their candidate.
Of course, Southerners remembered Fremont and knew this was just a ploy to gain moderate votes. If they'd believed Lincoln's promises not to end slavery, why would they have refused to put him on the ballots? Why would they have then seceded when he won? The answer is that even if Lincoln himself did not want to immediately end slavery, he did want to prevent its expansion. And every new free state was another two senators and member of the house who were against slavery to them, which only signalled that at some point, an amendment would be passed. That is why they saw Lincoln as the beginning of the end.
Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson
I would first like to thank Tokamak for presenting the con in this argument and doing it so well. Your attitude, debating skills and arguments are a vast improvement over the forums I have been on. If this is the norm, I look forward to future debates on this thread. I also want to apologize for my struggle with the font and spacing. This is my first debate and I believe I have it down know. I also regret not going last so I must base this post and conclusion on what has already been said.
I agree that the republicans running against the expansion of slavery was a cause for the deep south to leave the union. I would disagree that slavery was the only cause for the deep south to or even the major cause. Perhaps you would like to debate that issue in time.
“Your requisition is illegal, unconstitutional, revolutionary, inhuman, diabolical, and cannot be complied with”
-Missouri Governor Jackson Response to Lincolns call for Volunteers
Thank you as well, you have made a professional and challenging debate.
Fugitive Slave Law
First let me point out a few things.
"The debate is what caused the upper south to leave the union, the fugitive slave law is not it."
I'm not saying that it is, I'm trying to point out what the Southern states prioritized. Also, as mentioned before, people from the upper South did threaten to secede if Northern states continued to nullify the fugitive slave law. See the Richmond newspaper for an example.
"the south's priority was their own states [not northern states] sovereignty. "
The problem with this is that it's inconsistent. You state that Southern states did care about sovereignty for other states when Lincoln made his troop call, but that they don't care about having state sovereignty when Northern states nullify the fugitive slave law. Obviously there must be some reason for this divide. And in the end, it's obvious - slavery. Southern states were in favor of state sovereignty when it wasn't opposed to the institution of slavery but against it when it interfered. My opponent is merely revealing this discrepency more, and therefore again revealing that slavery was prioritized over anything else. As James McPherson puts it:
"On all issues but one, antebellum southerners stood for state's rights and a weak federal government. The exception was the fugitive slave law of 1850, which gave the national government more power than any other law yet passed by Congress." 
My opponent argues that the states delegate power to the federal government. While this is true in a sense, it is only true in that the Constitutional Convention had representatives from individual states, as those were the governmental powers under the previous system, the Articles of Confederation. The power is truly delegated to a government by its people, without a middleman. Further, as I showed before with my quotes from Hamilton, Madison, and Washington, the founding fathers were under no delusions that this government could be reversed on a whim by the states.
My opponent supports the state delegation assertion with three quotes. The first is again from the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves, which, as I discussed before, do not have any legal sway and were firmly rejected both times they were used. The second quote states that the powers are delegated by the Constitution, not the states. The third states that the power comes from the people, and not the states themselves.
As for the constitutionality of the fugitive slave law, my opponent is confusing two separate legal entities. Perhaps it's a bit disingenuous to say "the fugitive slave law" when there are two - one established in the Constitution, and a far stricter one established in the Compromise of 1850. It is the latter to which I have been referring, not the former.
And lastly, on the topic of the "shooting yourself in the foot." I do not buy into the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves, and have stated why already. What I was saying was that if you believe them - which you seem to - then you must believe that what Northern states was doing was perfectly legal. However, Southerners did not think this, as I have shown before. Therefore, you cannot use the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves. Also, it is again evidence that Southerners only supported state sovereignty when it did not interfere with slavery.
My opponent states that
"To abolish or allow slavery in both the CSA and US constitution, was to be decided by the states, not the federal government. "
No, not at all. As I stated before, the Dred Scott decision explicitly proved that slavery could only be abolished by constitutional amendment, i.e. it required federal governmental action as well. Had the CSA truly valued state sovereignty over slavery they would have rewritten this clause. They did not.
1) As I stated earlier, there is an inconsistency in saying that the upper South did care about other state's rights when Lincoln called for troops against the Deep south but that they didn't care about state's rights when the North nullified the fugitive slave law. And that this inconsistency vanishes if the upper South only cared about state's rights when it didn't interfere with slavery. Regardless of whether the secession was legal.
2) I also do not think Northerners were legal in their nullification of the fugitive slave law. I'm just using it as an example.
3) No, the deep South definitely seceded over slavery. Of that there is no question. Just look at their own words:
Mississippi declaration of secession:
"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth." 
Texas declaration of secession:
"Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time." 
South Carolina declaration of secession:
"an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution." 
But I digress. As you said, this is about the upper South. As for them, they had an economic livelihood coming not directly through crops harvested from slavery (though that was still a large industry), but rather through the selling of existing slaves to plantations in the Deep South, where slavery was growing more and being relocated to.
Before Fort Sumter and the following declaration of war, it seemed possible that Lincoln might leave the seceding states either by letting them go or allowing slavery to exist through plans like the Crittenden Compromise. If this was the case, then Upper South states need not worry, as their economic livelihood through slave selling wouldn't be threatened. However, following the declaration of war, slavery seemed to be under attack - and thus the upper South had to secede.
What Was Lost
My opponent then insinuates again the popular, but wrong, view that the federal government was somehow strengthened in a way unheard of before the Civil War by Lincoln. Firstyl, the state sovereignty ideal hoisted immediately before the Civil War was not an extension of the Constitution, it was a move away from it.
"Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was "to form a more perfect Union."
-Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861
Southern states had rallied against national consolidation of power over the decades leading up to the Civil War, beginning with the Nullification Crisis of 1830. To wit:
"The strengthening of national power in the 1860s reflected, in part, the restoration of the political situation that had existed before the South began to impose its deadening hand on the Union in the thirty years before the war." 
Nullification was not a common tool used by states. It was asserted few times, and when it was it was always highly contested, and rarely successful.
As for the first two quotes that follow, while it is impossible to know without context, I would venture to guess that those quotes are not referring to a post-Civil War increase in national power, but rather the increase in federal influence through programs like the Progressive Era, New Deal, and Great Society.
As for the last quote, it's individual points have been addressed, but I would like to point out that it is confederate apologia.
I believe that it is certainly true that the South valued state sovereignty. However, there are times when they did not - those times were when it was in conflict with the institution of slavery. I have expressed multiple examples in this debate of when this occurred.
My opponent has presented a distorted view of national government's power through early US history, and one which is mainly touted by confederate apologia. I have done my best to point out why it is not true.
Please vote Con.