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When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, Thomas Cobb realized that the South had suffered a major loss in power. Since the Republican party controlled the executive, there was no way the South could have any say in the government. All their opinions could be easily disregarded by the North; their neglect of the Fugitive Slave Law was a perfect example of this. Cobb also understood that the Northernerıs sudden patriotism for the Union was quite out of place. Only fifty-four years earlier, the New England states had threatened to secede from the Union if powers limiting the control of the government were not added to the Constitution.
Sensing their loss of control in the government, Cobb felt the only option was to secede. Although this meant a loss of financial aid that comes with being part of a blossoming new nation, the economic repercussions of not seceding would be much worse. Slavery was an important industry in the South. Southerners used slaves to pick their cotton which was their main source of agricultural income. With the new Republican president, they became fearful that slavery would be abolished.
Cobb also believed that ³the right to decide [about secession] is one of the reserved rightsı of the states. He deemed that the sovereign states had the right to decide of federal laws were constitutional and that they had the right to secede from the Union. This, he felt, was implied in Amendments Ten and Twelve. This belief...