They chose secession. You'll have to prove that secession was an act of war or rebellion, rather than simply the sovereign domain of nation-states. It cannot be assumed that the Union was national; and Lincoln wasn't even correct in his claim of the following: The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. The Declaration of Independence, refers to the United Colonies, that were simply the 13 Colonies; meanwhile the Articles of Association simply formed a trade-group that was expressly loyal to Great Britain, so "the Union" of which he spoke was quite fictitious. On the contrary, the group formed by the Articles of Association, was not known as "The Union," but "The Continental Association--" or just "the Association."