The domestic institution Clay refers to is slavery, not the right to mint money, run a postal service, or issue bonds.
Clay claims that the North had in fact severed the bonds of Union well before the ordinances of secession. He lists of litany of offenses including the refusal to return fugitive slaves/criminals, refusal to allow expansion of slavery to the commonly acquired territories, murdering southern men who chased slaves in Northern states, poisoning wells, burning buildings, stealing property (slaves) ,and even denying slaveholders communion. Some of those may surprise the reader, but they clearly show the sectional embitterment that had allowed such misinformation to survive.
Clay was clear that the Northerners not only intended to impoverish the South through freeing the slaves but intended that the Southerners suffer the unendurable shame of "...demanding equality with us for our slaves..." He continues, "Thus, by our solemn verdict of the people of the North, the slaveholding communities of the South are 'outlawed, branded with ignominy, consigned to execration, and ultimate destruction.' "
It has been a common theme that Mr. Lincoln's War was about the issue of secession. That is a stretch as the South, as Mr. Clay aptly states left the Union for fear of what would happen to slavery. The Lost Cause is a wonderful fiction, but it is a fiction. Edward Pollard, the author of the Lost Cause in 1866, set the stage for essentially a romantic view of the conflict. I encourage all to read his book. Pollard essentially threw the South a lifeline to carry forth in a changing world. He attempted to enable the sacrifice of so many in a fruitless war. However, something Mr. Pollard for all the spinning his book attempts cannot avoid is that all of the states that seceded were slaveholding states and did so to protect their abilities to own other humans. There is no way to sugar coat the horrors of the institution of slavery and even with the cleverest of spinning it is impossible to ennoble its defense.