Constitutional Development in Alabama, 1798-1901: A Study in Politics, the Negro, and Sectionalism

By Malcolm Cook McMillan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
JUDICIAL TENURE, BIENNIAL SESSIONS, AND REMOVAL
OF THE CAPITAL AMENDMENTS, 1819-1846

Agitation for amending the Constitution of 1819 began with the first session of the state legislature and centered around the conservative judiciary article of the constitution. Those who had failed to limit the tenure of judges in the convention were now determined to do so by amendment. In 1819, an amendment providing for four-year tenure was introduced, but failed to pass.1 From this time until the legislature submitted the question to the people in 1828, a proposed amendment for limited tenure for judges was before almost every legislature.

Limited tenure for judges was hastened by an unpopular decision of the Alabama Supreme Court in 1827. In 1818 the Alabama territorial legislature had passed a law removing all restrictions on interest rates in the state.2 After the removal of restrictions interest rates soared, and in 1819 the legislature repealed the law of 1818 and limited interest rates to eight per cent.3 In 1824, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that in contracts made under the law of 1818 any stated rate of interest might be collected to maturity, but that in case the note was not paid at maturity

____________________
1
' Senate Journal ( 1819- 1820), 44, 56. The vote in the Senate was 13 noes to 6 ayes.
2
Harry Toulmin, Digest of the Laws of the State of Alabama, 443. In 1818, John W. Walker wrote Charles Tait: "Our little legislature made one bold experiment at its last session: in the good or evil of which I am entitled to my full share. This was the total abrogation of the usury laws. Money is left like other things to find its level of value. Any rate of interest fairly stipulated by the parties to a bonafide contract, and expressed in writing, etc., is legal and recoverable. When interest is not fixed in the contract, the rate is fixed at 8 percent--what think you of our system?" John W. Walker to Charles Tait, September 22, 1818. The law was passed at the height of the land boom and of course favored the creditor class and especially the Huntsville Bank. The best discussion of the law and how it was tied in with the Huntsville Bank and "Royal Party" and became a bitter debtor-creditor issue in early Alabama politics is to be found in Ruth Ketring Nuermberger , "The 'Royal Party' in Early Alabama Politics", The Ala bama Review, VI ( April, 1953), 81-98; ibid., VI ( July, 1953), 198-212. She concludes that there was in reality no "Royal Party" but rather "a loose combination of capitalists who found the "Usury Law" and the Huntsville Bank useful aids in gaining fortunes through speculation. The fact that these men in the main identified themselves with the Georgia machine politically gave some real foundation for calling them the "Royal Party." Victims of the Usury Law and poor settlers who had struggled through the Panic of 1819 were equally ready to blame their troubles on banks and capitalists." Ibid., 212.
3
Harry Toulmin, Digest of the Laws of the State of Alabama, 444.

-47-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Constitutional Development in Alabama, 1798-1901: A Study in Politics, the Negro, and Sectionalism
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 412

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    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.