Tag

State’s Rights

Review Posts

Chaining Down Leviathan

A review of Chaining Down Leviathan: The American Dream of Self-Government 1776-1865 (Abbeville Institute Press, 2021) by Marco Bassani How is it that America became a “strong but limited” government, and the world’s richest and most free country? That is the central question both considered and answered by Luigi Marco Bassani in his new work, Chaining Down Leviathan: The American…
Dave Benner
August 10, 2021
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Is it Time for America to Break Apart?

There is a question that increasingly arises, uncomfortably, in our conversations…from brief exchanges at work at the water cooler, at home with family, after church on Sunday, with our email messages to friends and associates. To watch any amount of television news these days, to switch back and forth between, say, CNN and Fox, and to listen to their interpretations…
Boyd Cathey
August 2, 2019
Blog

The Crisis of the Electoral College

A decisive moment is coming for the peoples of the States, especially for those who consider themselves conservatives yet belong to the cult of Lincoln:  Will the Electoral College system for selecting the federal president continue on, or will it be scrapped for a purely national vote?  At the State and federal level, attempts to change it are ongoing: Calls…
Walt Garlington
April 10, 2019
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The Latest 18th Century Fake News

The "fake news" pejorative has become commonplace in modern public discourse, so much so that social media outlets have taken it upon themselves to "police" so-called "fake news" stories and warn people about their dangers. This was largely due to the supposed impact "fake news" had on Trump supporters in 2016. To these self-appointed gatekeepers of truth, honesty, and the…
Brion McClanahan
April 27, 2017
Review Posts

A Question of Sovereignty

Although the nation recently recognized the 150th anniversary of the end of the War of Northern Aggression, we are still plagued with questions about the legality of secession, issues and inquiries that unfortunately may never end. In exchanges on social media over the years, I have argued our principles as passionately as anyone can, while kindly, but at times very…
Ryan Walters
April 4, 2017
Blog

A State of Mind

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia offered a resolution to the Second Continental Congress, then meeting in Philadelphia, which began with the epic demand, “ That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”   After a month of heated deliberation, the Congress finally adopted Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence which…
John Marquardt
January 5, 2017
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Why the Electoral College?

For the second time in the last 16 years it seems that we have a new President who did not win the national popular vote, although there are those who contend that once all the votes are counted, Trump could very well come out on top. But whether that’s the case or not the discussions have begun, especially by Democrats,…
Ryan Walters
November 18, 2016
Blog

The Compact Fact

Mainstream historians are both an incestuous and snarky bunch. They latch on to trends--fads really--and pull those trends like mules lugging a heavy cart to market (where they hope to sell books to their tens of fans). In time, the mules give out, but unlike the mule, these historians never realize they are whipped.  They hire more mules like them…
Brion McClanahan
August 4, 2016
Review Posts

The Confederacy’s Rule of Law

As Southern States seceded from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, the matter of transitioning the US Judiciary into the CSA Judiciary required both skill and determination. Issues of jurisdiction, personnel, legal codes, records, writs and ongoing processes had to be considered. Rather than starting de novo, the CSA Provisional Constitution mostly adopted the structure of…
Marshall DeRosa
April 19, 2016
Blog

The Sovereign States

This essay is the introduction to Mr. Kilpatrick's The Sovereign States (Regnery, 1957). AMONG the more melancholy aspects of the genteel world we live in is a slow decline in the enjoyment that men once found in the combat of ideas, free and unrestrained. Competition of any sort, indeed, seems to be regarded these days, in our schools and elsewhere,…
James J. Kilpatrick
April 8, 2016
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Jefferson Was Right

I am writing in response to the recently posted piece at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, entitled “History proves Thomas Jefferson was wrong (whew).” The author of this article drastically overstates Madison's role in the finalized Constitution. Madison desired a highly nationalistic government, with a national legislature that had general legislative authority, two houses of Congress both of which were apportioned…
Dave Benner
December 14, 2015
Blog

Catalonia and the Southern Tradition

  Catalonia has voted to secede from Spain. This is a remarkable development in modern Western civilization, particularly in the age of the modern bureaucratic unitary imperial State. It signals that not all Europeans agree with the borderless European Union pushed by the political class and that culture and true nationalism still mean something. The shocking Paris attacks this past…
Brion McClanahan
November 16, 2015
Review Posts

Sovereignty

The reader has perceived that the question concerning state powers, is condensed in the word sovereignty, and therefore any new ideas upon the subject, if to be found, would not be unedifying. A will to enact, and a power to execute, constitute its essence. Take away either, and it expires. The state governments and the federal government, are the monuments…
John Taylor of Caroline
November 10, 2015
Review Posts

John C. Calhoun and “State’s Rights”

  The following is an abridged version of a chapter which will appear in the forthcoming, From Founding Fathers to Fire-Eaters: The Constitutional Doctrine of States’ Rights in the Old South  “Union among ourselves is not only necessary for our safety, but for the preservation of the common liberties and institutions of the whole confederacy. We constitute the balance wheel…
James Rutledge Roesch
August 25, 2015
Review Posts

The Danger to Governments, Founded on Written Constitutions, of Being Gradually Revolutionized by the Construction Placed on the Provisions of the Constitution by Those Who Administer the Governments

This may be done by enlarging and extending the powers conferred by a liberal construction, based upon the supposed reason and spirit of its provisions, so as to meet emergencies not anticipated and specifically provided for; by using the powers granted in such a manner as to accomplish objects incidentally, which were not embraced in the Constitution, and could not,…
Oran Milo Roberts
July 14, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

What This Country Needs

In one of Henry James’s less unreadable novels, The Bostonians, the hero is Basil Ransom, an impoverished ex-Confederate from Mississippi who is trying to make his way professionally in the urban North. The author wants us to see the tough, realistic, earthy Ransom as a healthy contrast to the decayed idealism of the wealthy, reformist, insular, enervated society of Boston.…
Clyde Wilson
July 8, 2015
Review Posts

Abel P. Upshur

This essay is published in honor of Abel P. Upshur's birthday, June 17, 1790. Today, States’ rights are remembered as a legalistic excuse for the preservation of slavery – a part of the past best forgotten. One historian scoffs at the notion of “loyalty to the South, Southern self-government, Southern culture, or states’ rights,” declaring that “slavery’s preservation was central…
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“Hang the Usurpers”

On November 21, 1793, the Georgia House of Representatives passed a bill titled “An Act declaratory of certain parts of the retained sovereignty of the State of Georgia.” It’s unclear as to whether or not the Georgia Senate concurred. The bill was in response to the Chisholm v. Georgia , the case resulting in the ratification of the 11th Amendment.…
Marshall DeRosa
June 15, 2015
Review Posts

The Old and the New South

Delivered as the commencement address for South Carolina College, 1887. What theme is most fitting for me present to the young men of the South, at this celebration of the South Carolina Col­lege ? What shall one, whose course is nearly run, say to those whose career is hardly begun ? In my retrospect I deeply sym­pathize with you in…
Blog

The Tuckers of Virginia

If any American today were to listen to the nationalists in charge of either the political class or American education at large, they would get the sense that it is settled science that the American Union is comprised of one people held together by a national government with uncontested sovereignty over all matters foreign and domestic.  Certainly, States and local…
Brion McClanahan
June 8, 2015
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“United States ‘History’ as the Yankee Makes and Takes It”

John Cussons had enough.  It was 1897, and for thirty-two years he had watched as "Northern friends of ours have been diligent in a systematic distortion of the leading facts of American history— inventing, suppressing, perverting, without scruple or shame—until our Southland stands to-day pilloried to the scorn of all the world and bearing on her front the brand of…
Brion McClanahan
March 13, 2015
Review Posts

John Taylor and Construction

States’ rights may have been the defining force in Antebellum America, but modern, mainstream historians would have you believe that they were nothing more than a wicked creed cooked up by a few corrupt slaveowners. A review of a recent biography of John Taylor of Caroline referred to his “opprobrium” as the “premier states’ rights philosopher.” It would have been…
James Rutledge Roesch
December 19, 2014
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The Political Wisdom of John Taylor of Caroline

In honor of John Taylor's birthday, December 19. From Tyranny Unmasked: “The rival remedy for our troubles, so insignificant in the eyes of the Committee as to be wholly suppressed, although it has been often enforced by a multitude of able writers, and some patriotick statesmen; and although it was the basis of two federal administrations, which diffused more happiness and…
W. Kirk Wood
December 19, 2014
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Nathaniel Macon and the Origin of States’ Rights Conservatism

This essay was first published at Unz Review on November 23, 2014. Back in 1975 the Warren County Historical Association initiated a comprehensive project to study the life and legacy of Nathaniel Macon. As a part of this project, both archaeological and architectural studies of his old Buck Spring plantation, near the Roanoke River, were commissioned. Working with the professional…
Boyd Cathey
December 17, 2014
Review Posts

An Upper South Perspective on the Christian Sabbath and Civil Liberty, 1825-1837

Among the various moral reform and benevolence movements in the Jacksonian Era such as temperance, antislavery, prison reform, and the peace movement, one of the lesser known efforts sought to improve the observance of the Christian Sabbath, or the Lord’s Day. Both terms were used in the nineteenth century, the former preferred by Presbyterians and the latter by Baptists, and…
Forrest L. Marion
November 27, 2014
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We Need No Declaration of Independence

Many current Americans, indeed perhaps most, regard the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861 as a premeditated act of violence by South Carolina against the United States Government. They further assume that violence was both intended and desired by Southern leaders in the months leading to the War Between the States. After all, the South should have known that…
Brion McClanahan
October 8, 2014
Review Posts

“The Sun, of the Southern States Would Set, Never to Rise Again.”

It is a strange fact of modern American culture that when looking at famous people in the political realm of American history, far more often than not the more statist a historical figure is, the more likely he will be to receive the most attention and celebrity. Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and, of course, Abraham Lincoln, for instance-…
Carl Jones
October 6, 2014
Review Posts

A National or Federal Government

Part IV of a four part series. Part I, Part II, Part III. I come now to urge my objection to the jurisdiction of the court. It goes on the ground, that it is not competent to the general government, to usurp rights reserved to the States, nor for its courts to adjudicate them away. It is bottomed upon the…
Spencer Roane
September 15, 2014
Review Posts

On Implied Powers and the Bank of the United States

Part III of a Four Part Series by the Legal Scholar Spencer Roane written in 1819. Part I and Part II. I trust I have shown by the preceding detail, that the words "necessary and proper," contained in the Constitution, were tautologous and redundant, and carried nothing more to the general government than was conveyed by the general grant of…
Spencer Roane
September 8, 2014
Blog

State’s Rights Did Not Cause the War

“The Civil War was fought over slavery.” If you want verification of this “known” fact, this politically correct “given” all you have to do is ask a typical Southern politician, educator, media personality, minister or just about anyone you meet on the street. That such an opinion would be held by the children of the invader and occupier of the…
James Ronald Kennedy
September 2, 2014
Review Posts

On Granted Powers

To the Editor of the Enquirer: According to the regular course of legal proceedings I ought, in the first place, to urge my plea in abatement to the jurisdiction of the court. As, however, we are not now in a court of justice, and such a course might imply some want of confidence in the merits of my cause, I…
Spencer Roane
September 1, 2014
Review Posts

Rights of the States and of the People

This is Part I of four letters that originally appeared in the Richmond Enquirer in 1819 under the nom de plume Hampden. They could have been written yesterday. To the Editor of the Enquirer: By means of a letter to you, sir, I beg leave to address my fellow citizens. I address them on a momentous subject. I address them…
Spencer Roane
August 21, 2014
Blog

The Dix Note and Southern Freedom

While cleaning my study the other day I ran across my copy of a $10.00 “Dix” note. This paper money was issued by the Bank of New Orleans up to 1860. Looking at my copy of the “Dix” note cause me to reflect on the disastrous changes that have occurred in the Southern economy since the days of that quaint…
James Ronald Kennedy
August 18, 2014
Review Posts

Slavery and State’s Rights

Speech of Hon. Joseph Wheeler, of Alabama. From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, July 31, 1894 Causes Of The War. Opposition of the Southern Colonists to Slavery, and Their Devotion to the Union--Advocates of Secession. On Friday, July 13th, 1894, the House of Representatives being in Committee of the Whole, on appropriations and expenditures, and having under consideration the bill to…
Joseph Wheeler
June 27, 2014
Review Posts

The Doctrine of State’s Rights

This piece originally appeared in the North American Review, February 1890. To DO justice to the motives which actuated the soldiers of the Confederacy, it is needful that the cause for which they fought should be fairly understood; for no degree of skill, valor, and devotion can sanctify service in an unrighteous cause. We revere the memory of Washington, not…
Jefferson Davis
June 6, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part III

Part III from a section of Dr. Scott Trask's work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Part I. Part II. Warnings of the Wrath to Come Southerners were by no means alone in deprecating the antislavery agitation. The northern anti-abolition movement was far stronger than the movement it opposed. Many northern leaders accurately forecast the consequences of agitation. In his annual…
H. A. Scott Trask
May 13, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part II

Part II from a section of Dr. Scott Trask's work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Part I. Historical Survey Lunt believed that the celebrated Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which prohibited slavery in the territories north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi, had been a mistake. It was not because he believed slavery could have been profitably introduced…
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part I

Part I from a section of Dr. Scott Trask's work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Academic historians continue to regard their work as one of scientific objectivity, one of the corollaries being that the more removed the historian is from the events he or she describes the more reliable the finished work. John Lukacs has argued against such dogma. He…