Constitutional Development in the South Atlantic States. 1776-1860

Constitutional Development in the South Atlantic States. 1776-1860

Constitutional Development in the South Atlantic States. 1776-1860

Constitutional Development in the South Atlantic States. 1776-1860

Excerpt

Two conflicting theories of the governments and the constitutions of the Southern slave-holding states have long obtained. According to one view they were largely aristocratic, and were so dominated and controlled by the planter aristocracy that few if any of the characteristics of democracy were introduced until the Civil War had overthrown the dominion of that group. Opposed to this view is one which would have us believe that the South, though controlled to a large degree by the planter aristocracy, was none the less a representative democracy, since the planter class ruled by the consent and in the interest of the masses of the people. I first became interested in these conflicting views while investigating the VirginiaConstitutional Convention of 1829-1830, and determined to make a study of the constitutional development of the Southern States.

I first planned to study the formation and growth of the constitutions of the eleven states which seceded from the Union in 1860-1861, but found, upon preliminary research, that the source materials necessary for such a study were so voluminous and so widely scattered that it would entail years of research even partially to complete the task. Preliminary research also revealed that factors entered into the constitutional development of the newer states of the far South and Southwest which did not materially influence the five original Southern States. The study was, therefore, limited to Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The constitutions of these states were formed about the same time, grew out of the charters and the common colonial . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.