Secession is a progressive, not a reactionary force. It is civilized. Jefferson Davis argued that because secession is not mentioned in the Constitution it is retained by the states under the Tenth Amendment. Thomas Jefferson said that the time for separation had not yet come.
Garrison had long called for the secession of the Northern states in order to bring about a peaceful abolition of the slave question. Alexis de Tocqueville said the individual states have not given up their sovereignties. The thirteen colonies separated from Britain. Any colony can separate from the thirteen. Several New England states threatened to secede several times over policies with which they disagreed.
Serious points are made in Lincoln Unmasked by Tom DiLorenzo. Lincoln and Hitler both were totally opposed to states rights. The Lincoln mythos today serves the purpose to mask wickedness and the violation of civil liberties behind party and nationalistic zeal.
What would have happened if the South had peacefully seceded? Perhaps, there would not have been WWI.
Lecture 6 of 14 from Tom Woods' The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History lecture series.