Now there's a sentence that resonates! I'd recommend Decision in Philadelphia, by the Colliers, a father-and-son team of historians. There were some at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 who were strongly inclined to favor the power of Congress over the states, particularly Alexander Hamilton. Most of Hamilton's ideas from his 5 hour "grand design" speech failed to make the grade, but some variations survived.
I would also recommend States' Rights and the Union, by Forrest McDonald, a professor of history at the University of Alabama and one of our best historians. (I envy his prose style.) McDonald, who is a Hamiltonian conservative, documents how the Supreme Court under John Marshall changed this focus to favor the federal government. Later the so-called "loose constructionists" pushed in the same direction, as did Henry Clay and Daniel Webster with their understanding of the Union that was significantly different from many, if not most, of the attendees in Philadelphia in 1787.
During the Civil War, Sen. Edward Baker of Oregon told Lincoln that once the rebellion was crushed, the states should be abolished. (Lincoln referred to Baker and some of the other firebrands as "Jacobins".) Fortunately for us all, Gen. Ned Baker was killed in a botched retreat at the Battle of Ball's Bluff, or else he would have been one of the most radical of Radical Republicans in the post-Civil War era.
Some would say that nanny was conceived sub rosa after Lincoln was killed (perhaps before, as you suggest), sufficiently nurtured during Wilson's term and brought to full term under FDR.