Mississippi’s official Declaration of Causes explains why Mississippi seceded from the United States:
“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. . . .
It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst. . . .
Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.”
The Union was hostile to slavery and promotes the noxious doctrine of negro equality, socially and politically, with the White race. Staying within the Union is dishonorable and requires submission to degradation.
Note: I’ve already covered a lot of this material in previous months. Texas made the most emphatic statement of why it seceded from the Union:
“We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.”
Mississippi and Texas hit all the core themes of Confederate nationalism: defense of slavery, states’ rights/voluntary union, white supremacy, conservatism, economic self interest, and the culture of honor. This matrix of ideas violently clashed with the threat posed by “Black Republicanism” and brought about the dissolution of the Union after Lincoln’s election.