Secession and Civil War

Start Free Trial

In "Letter to His Son" by Robert E. Lee, how does Lee describe secession? In your own words, explain Lee's argument against secession.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In his letter to his son, Robert E. Lee makes it clear that, although he's prepared to defend states's rights, he does not believe that the best way to do that is through secession. He says that he can imagine no greater calamity than the dissolution of the Union (which, ironically, is an opinion he shared with Abraham Lincoln). Lee shares the grievances of most of his fellow Southerners, but he believes that the best way to address them is through constitutional means.

Secession is to be avoided primarily because it represents an attack on the United States Constitution. Like most men of his time, Lee deeply revered the Constitution, which he regarded as a depository of great wisdom. That being the case, it was simply unacceptable for the Confederacy to undo the good work of the Founding Fathers through secession. Seceding from the Union...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 435 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on