The Sovereign States: Notes of a Citizen of Virginia

By James Jackson Kilpatrick | Go to book overview

of people; we alone who are possessed of the power to create or to abandon.

God knows it was a great, a priceless, power these people-as- States claimed for themselves. True, not everyone saw it that way. Mr. Justice Story, for one, never grasped the concept of States. Nor did Jackson. Albert J. Beveridge, in his biography of Marshall, refers sneeringly to the States as "these pompous sovereignties," but in a way, Beveridge's is perhaps a high acknowledgment of the simple truth: These infant States were sovereignties, and the people within them were proudly jealous of the fact. They saw themselves, in Blackstone's phrase, "a supreme, irresistible, absolute, uncontrolled authority."14 This, among other things, was the aim they had fought for. It cannot be imagined that they ever would have relinquished this high power of sovereignty except in the most explicit terms.


3
The Articles of Confederation

IN TIME, the Continental Congress gave way to the Articles of Confederation. The Articles merit examination with the utmost care; they are too little studied, and there is much to be learned from them.

First proposed in 1778, the Articles became binding upon all the States with Maryland's ratification in 1781. Throughout this period, as the war ran on, each of the States was individually sovereign, each wholly autonomous. Mr. Justice Iredell was to observe, in 1795, that had the individual States decided not to unite together, each would have gone its own way, because each "possessed all the powers of sovereignty, internal and external . . . as completely as any of the ancient kingdoms or republics of the

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The Sovereign States: Notes of a Citizen of Virginia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Part 1 - The Sovereign States 1
  • 3 - The Articles of Confederation 8
  • 4 - "We the People" 10
  • 5 - The States in the Constitution 13
  • 6 - The Prophetic Mr. Henry 18
  • 7 - The States Ratify 28
  • Part 2 - The Right to Interpose 49
  • 3 - Debt Assumption 53
  • 4 - The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions 58
  • 5 - Mr. Madison's Report of 1799 62
  • Part 3 - The States Fight Back * 99
  • 1 - The Olmstead Case 101
  • 3 - The Embargo Crisis 118
  • 4 - Matters of the Militia 132
  • 6 - The Hartford Convention 136
  • 7 - The Bank of the United States 139
  • 8 - Internal Improvements 144
  • 9 - Kentucky Vs. the Court 158
  • 10 - Georgia Vs. the Court 161
  • 11 - Calhoun and Nullification 174
  • 12 - The Case for Nullification 186
  • 14 - The Obligation of Contracts 199
  • 15 - After the War 216
  • 16- The Reconstruction Cases 222
  • 17 - The Commerce Clause (commenced) 231
  • 18 - Interlude in a Speakeasy 242
  • Part 4 - The States Today 253
  • 1 - The Southern States 255
  • 3 - Some Notes on Police Power 258
  • 4 - The Transcendent Issue 277
  • Notes 309
  • Table of Cases and Index 331
  • Table of Cases 333
  • Index 337
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