War Power of the President

2 And in its territorial jurisdiction, this government is co-extensive with the thirty-four states of the Union, and all other territory thereunto belonging. And it was established in perpetuity; all its powers w&xq given, granted, a,nd conveyed forever, save so far as they may, from time to time, be amended in the way prescribed in the Constitution. Constitutionally, then, this government is perpetual. It has a right to live in the plenitude of its power, and the integrity of its territorial sovereignty. And this right of life and perpetuity is necessarily a primary and fundamental constitutional principle—paramount to everything else. Every specific provision of the Constitution is as obviously subordinate to it as if a clause to that effect were plainly written down, for the continued life of the government is the indispensable basis upon which the entire Constitution rests. Assuming, then, the controlling principle of the Constitution to be, that the government and the Constitution itself shall live, it is self- evident, that this same controlling principle carries with it all the ne.edful power to protect and defend the government in all its political and territorial sovereignty; so that there is somewhere in the government a constitutional power to resist and suppress a rebellion, limited only by the necessity of the case; power unlimited to use any and all means necessary or expedient to suppress it; power to put everything out of the way that in any manner, or in any degree, endangers tLe life of the government. We say this principle flows naturally from the right of the government to live ; and we may go a step farther, and trace it to a still deeper source in the constitutional fountain; to the constitutional fact that we have a government. For without this principle, it cannot be said that the government has really a right to live; without it, any portion of the people could destroy the government at will; and without the right to live, what we have been in the habit of calling a government, is really no government at all. If we have a rightful government, that government has a right to live ; if it has a right to live, it has a right to defend itself against rebellion ; and if it has a right to defend itself, it has a right to use all needful means for that purpose. If it has not the right thus to defend itself, the rebels have the right to destroy it; for it cannot be wrong to destroy it, and also wrong to defend it. I cannot comprehend the Buchanan doctrine, that the rebels have not the right to destroy the government, and that the government has not the right to resist them. It makes the Constitution a jumble. It makes it mean neither one thing nor the other,