The Founding Fathers of the United States, by writing and ratifying the Constitution, created a federal republic, made up of smaller republics (i.e. states). The federal republic, granted to Americans in the U.S. Constitution, was destroyed by Abe Lincoln and his war of aggression against Southern states, which had lawfully seceded from the federation created by the Constitution.
At the end of the "Civil War" the Southern states were grafted back into the United States, but the United States they returned to was not the one they had left. They seceded from a federation of sovereign states, but were forced back into a nation state that had not existed before. The War Between the States ended with the death of the Constitutionally created federation, and from its ashes arose the centralised national government that we know today.
I am not a fan of Abe. He was an enemy to the Constitution and thought nothing of trampling it under foot. He thought nothing of trampling on the constitutional rights of his political opponents in the North, and he sent massive armies into the sovereign states of the South, to slaughter the South's defenders and many of whom were the Constitution's defenders as well.
My wife and I have four children. We're Cajuns and Live in SW Louisiana. We're conservative Christians and hold to the Reformed Faith. -- I'm a first generation Protestant, and my wife is second generation protestant.