July 17, 1861.
They achieved their power, like all power, by claiming it. They made their statement that they owned the military, they create the money, they rule over the masses, and whoever didn't agree with them disappeared. That's how the counterfeiters came to power. They did as they damn well pleased because most people were more interested in their own opportunity at the time than what some goofball back in Washington was doing to the Constitution. Counterfeiters always do as they damn well please.
Power comes from brute force but it is limited by money. In other words, a poor brute only reigns over whoever he himself can intimidate; however, a rich brute can hire a team of thugs. A counterfeiter can rule his town if he doesn't get caught. He can rule his country if he doesn't get caught. A counterfeiting brute with an unlimited money supply (The Federal Reserve Act of 1913) can rule the world with brute force if they don't get caught. The Constitution limited their power (counterfeiting is illegal according to the Constitution). Usurping the Constitution grew their power.
This is why everyone, who believes in freedom, must work diligently for sound money, 100% redeemable. You are not ruled by the State so much as you are ruled by counterfeiters.