there is one issue before you, and to all sensible men but one issue, and but two sides to that issue. The slavery question is but one of the symbols of that issue; the commercial question is but one of the symbols of that issue; the Union question is but one of those symbols; the only issue before this country in the canvass is the integrity and safety of the Constitution […] The South has aggressed upon no section. She asks no section to yield anything that is for her safety or for her protection. All that the South has ever asked of the Government is to keep its hands off us and let the Constitution work its own way.
The South has been aggressed upon; the South has been trenched upon; four-fifths of her territory, in which she has equal rights, has been torn from her; and by the acts of Government she has been excluded from it. Revenues have been raised at the rate of two or three dollars in the South to one from any other section for the support of this great Government, but the South makes no complaint of mere dollars and cents. Touch not the honor of my section of the country, and she will not complain of almost anything else you may do; but touch her honor and equality and she will stand up in their defence, if necessary in arms.’
– Alabama Fire-Eater William L. Yancey, ‘Equal Rights in a Common Government’
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