"In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily to our view, that which appears to the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existance. This important consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each state in the Convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude, than might have been otherwise expected; and thus the Constitution we present is the result of a spirit of amity, and that mutual deference and concession which the peculularity of our political situation rendered indispensible....
-- George Washington, September 17, 1787.
You may know that this date is considered the birthday of the Constiution.
The intent of at least -one- founder was pretty plain, don't you think?
Frankly, I think that they could have worked with Lincoln--that he was not their enemy, and was not an abolitionist. But they over-reacted. In the actual conflict, however, they distinguished themselves as brave, honorable men. They deserve more respect than you give them.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site