States Rights and the Original Constitution

1. St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution of the United States: With Selected Writings

    The first comprehensive commentary on the Constitution from an exceptional legal scholar and staunch republican.

2. Brion McClanahan, The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution

    A one volume clause by clause commentary on the original Constitution as ratified by the States in 1787 and 1788 that destroys the nationalist arguments of Hamilton, Story, Webster, and Lincoln.

3. Kevin Gutzman, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution

    A Jeffersonian discussion of the Constitution from ratification through the 20th century. No nationalist judge or SCOTUS decision is safe.

4. John Taylor, New Views of the Constitution

    Written by a man considered to be more Jeffersonian than Jefferson himself, this is the best defense of the compact fact of the Constitution. Taylor was perhaps the greatest political thinker of the early antebellum period.

5. Clyde N. Wilson, ed., The Essential Calhoun (Library of Conservative Thought)

    Clyde Wilson spent three decades editing the John C. Calhoun Papers at the University of South Carolina. This is a collection of the best material Calhoun produced on government and society.

6. M.E. Bradford, Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution

    A series of essays on the Philadelphia Convention and the ratification of the Constitution from the great Southern scholar. Particularly interesting is his essay on Madison’s “comic” actions at the Convention.

7. M.E. Bradford, Founding Fathers: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution Second Edition, Revised

    A series of vignettes on the fifty-five men who attended the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. No study like it has ever been written.

8. Mike Church and Brion McClanahan, eds., Albert Taylor Bledsoe, Is Davis A Traitor

    Church and McClanahan provide a modern edited and updated edition of Bledsoe’s classic work on the Constitution and secession as a right of the States.

9. Russell Kirk, John Randolph of Roanoke

    Kirk’s biography of Randolph is considered by many to be a more important work than his famous Conservative Mind.

10. Alexander H. Stephens, A Constitutional View of the War Between the States

    A classic two volume study of the Constitution by the late Vice-President of the Confederate States. One of the important post-bellum commentaries on the Constitution.

11. Thomas E. Woods, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century

    An important review of the principle of nullification from the founding period to the present.

12. Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America

    In his first significant public statement, Jefferson stresses the constitutional, not the revolutionary, nature of the American case.

13. Forrest McDonald, States’ Rights and the Union: Imperium in Imperio, 1776-1876

    A thoroughly documented study on the issue of “State’s Rights” from one of the South’s great historians.


14. Forrest McDonald, Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution

    Typically called a “soft” interpretation of the origins of the Constitution, McDonald’s work examines the impact of political philosophy on the document.