When describing the development of the Confederate political system, George C. Rable called the system "the revolution against politics." Rable's point was that both the political leaders and the electorate felt strongly that to pursue politics as usual would be unpatriotic in the newly formed Confederacy. Political parties, they believed, should not be allowed to function—or even to be formed—as they had before the war. In many states, and at the national level, this revolution against partisanship appeared to be successful. Parties were not formed in most parts of the new nation, and President Davis had no organized opposition in the sessions of the Confederate Congress. These developments did not mean that there was no opposition to the new government. Opposition was particularly strong among a small group of people who had opposed the secession movement. In a number of locations along the coast, in the central Piedmont, and among the southern mountains, small groups of men actively opposed the disruption of the Union. Throughout the Confederacy there were also rough lines drawn between those who had openly supported secession early in the process and those who had left the Union with reluctance.1
Rable noted that developments in North Carolina were an exception to his rule. More than any other Confederate state, North Carolina retained most of the features of its antebellum political system during the war despite the fact that many of its political leaders and its voters endorsed the call for an end to politics. Marc W. Kruman documented consistent calls for an end to party alignment in the usually partisan state press. There was general agreement that parties should be abandoned until after Confederate independence was assured.2 It is important to note, however, that there was a militant edge to this nonpartisanship. Those who adopted the new line of thinking were prepared to brand anyone who seemed to be pursuing personal or party advantage as traitors to the new nation. The result was a veneer of political unity that remained in place throughout the summer of 1861.