The clash of the two philosophies states' right's VS the union (South of USA vs the North), was one of the main contributing factors to the out break of the civil war in 1861. The North wanted a union of states lead by a federal government, and this clashed with the south's desire for each individual state to have its own individual rights. Abraham Lincoln, the president of the Union believed strongly in keeping the union together and would stop at nothing to have it so. Whilst Jefferson Davis, the president of the confederacy saw that if they were to be part of the union, then they would not get treated fairly as there would be bias to the Northern states. So to put it in simple terms, the South wanted to secede (break away from the union), and the North wanted to continue as a Union.
Most of the southern states of the USA believed in 'states sovereignty', which basically means that they thought that the ultimate source of power lied in each separate state.
Confederate president Jefferson Davis once said that if power should cloud the view of the union, then they "must prepare to meet the emergency to maintain... the position which we have assumed among the nations."
Union President Abraham Lincoln had one single main goal, this was to keep the USA in a union, and because of this he strongly refused to let any single state to secede from it. In his inaugural address he referred back to the year 1787 when the constitution made a declaration to: 'form a more perfect union'. So when Lincoln was sworn in he made a oath to "preserve, protect and defend it", and so wanted to do this at all costs.
Jefferson Davis confronted the situation between the...