When the Southern States seceded in 1860-61 the US Federal Government refused to recognise the right of their peoples to self-determination (even though the US itself had been born out of a secession from a United Kingdom) despite the fact that the States seceded through the same legal process by which they had joined the Union. They were treated as if their people were in rebellion against the United States even after the Southern States had voted to form a new government – the Confederate States of America. Throughout the war, Lincoln insisted that Southerners had no right to be independent, and yet once the war was over and the South was militarily defeated, the Southern States were required to meet certain Federally-imposed conditions in order to be readmitted to a Union which Lincoln had insisted they had never left. This was a clear case of utter hypocrisy on the part of the United States and an obvious contradiction. Yet historians today merely brush over this contradiction as if it were of no importance. Author Frank Conner explains a bit about this on pages 120-21 of his book The South Under Siege 1830-2000:
Lincoln ignored Congress and the Constitution, and called up an army and began the war himself. He did this by distorting the English language to the point of arbitrarily declaring the lawfully-organized Confederate States of America an “insurrection” against the U.S. government, and applying an obscure 1795 law which allowed the president to deal directly with insurrections on a temporary basis. On 15 April he called upon the remaining states to provide him with 75,000 men from the state militias to invade the C.S.A. and put down this “insurrection.” At the same time, he announced a special session of Congress which he scheduled to convent on 4 July – more than two and a half months away. By then he would have his war well under way.
Then Lincoln turned right around and (in effect) declared the C.S.A. a foreign nation [sic] by ordering a naval blockade of that country in his proclamations of 19 and 27 April. Lincoln would shift back and forth constantly between dealing with the C.S.A. as an “insurrection” and as a foreign nation [sic], as suited his needs of the moment in pretending to observe the forms while working his arbitrary will upon the United States government.