And that would be right. The ultimate decision was made on the battlefield. As it often is. The union literally fought for the principle that secession was illegal. And they won.
In contrast, the British lost their argument by losing the war and conceding the independence of their now former colonies. They would have happily reclaimed some semblance of sovereignty over the infant U.S. had they won the War of 1812, but Napolean kept them occupied elsewhere and they decided the fight with is was no longer worth the trouble. So that actually, finally, settled the sovereignty issue.
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