This is not about the American Dream or a Horatio Alger story. (Does anybody remember him?) Nor is it mythmaking. It's made of sterner stuff than that....
You're right about 1913; you're wrong about Lincoln. The right to leave was given up by every state upon its ratification of the Constitution, which contains a provision that the Constitution and laws of the United States shall be supreme over the laws of any state and another that every official of every state shall be sworn to uphold the constitution and laws of the United States. An oath that can be revoked at will isn't much of an oath, and a vote to leave the United States is not a vote to uphold its constitution and laws. Jeff Davis and Judah P. Benjamin both wrote books attempting to justify the Confederacy, but they were both wrong.
Every schoolchild with enough smarts and curiosity to get beyond the latest video game of "Call of Duty" ought to go see "Lincoln," the movie, and check out the references and his own attention span. It requires patience, but it shows through dramatic action how a self-taught rustic from the deep backwoods had the emotional and intellectual discipline to overcome poverty and grow up to be a president to rank among the greatest.
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