Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

Review Posts

The Principle of Secession Historically Traced

This essay is taken from The South in the Building of the Nation Series, Vol. 4 The Political History. THE political theory on which the Southern states in 1860 and 1861 based their right to withdraw from the Union was not the sudden creation of any one man, or of any one group of men. Like other ideas that have…
George Petrie
February 11, 2016

Franklin Pierce: Reviled Jeffersonian

Sometimes opponents of nullification base their opposition on the claim that Jefferson and Madison’s blueprint against federal overreach could only have applied to a unique situation present in 1798. The Alien and Sedition Acts, they say, represented an extreme situation for which there was an applicable remedy, but those ideas have died and can never be invoked again. They say…
Dave Benner
July 23, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Nullification Reconsidered

With the destructive evil of centralized power becoming every day more evident and 10th Amendment resolutions appearing in various State capitals, publication this month of the second volume of Professor W. Kirk Wood's magisterial three-volume "Nullification:A Constitutional History, 1776-1833" is serendipitous. For the first time in a half century and long past due, serious people are beginning to search for…
Clyde Wilson
June 2, 2014
Review Posts

A Compact Theory?

States’ rights are anathema to the historical profession, viewed as nothing more than a specious pretext for chattel slavery. A prominent, Pulitzer-winning court historian of the “Camelot” Administration dubbed states’ rights a “fetish.” Another Pulitizer-winning scholar of what he outrageously terms the “War of Southern Aggression” claims that to Southerners, “liberty” was just a code word for “slavery.” A past…

James Monroe and the Principles of ’76

James Monroe was born today (April 28) in 1757. He is one of the more misunderstood and maligned Presidents of the United States. Historians typically rank him as no better than "average." This is unjust and an indictment of the historical profession. Monroe, they suggest, lacked leadership and energy in the executive office. He should have been more like Lincoln…
Brion McClanahan
April 28, 2014

Illegal, Unconstitutional, and Unjust

The historian Andrew C. McLaughlin in 1932 wrote that the British imperial system was characterized “by diversification and not by centralization....The empire of the mid-eighteenth century was a diversified empire” with power “actually distributed and exercised by various governments.” British colonies, including Ireland, “had long existed” as “bodies, corporate, constituent members of the Empire,” each with its own constitution and…
Brion McClanahan
April 15, 2014