business of New Hampshire: Her legislature would not submit laws made before the Constitution "to the adjudication of any power on earth, while the freedom of the Federal government shall afford any constitutional means of redress."
The declaration was in vain. A month later, the Supreme Court handed down a decision upholding the power of the new Federal courts to carry into effect decrees of the old Prize Court.15
It was a bitter dose for the States to swallow. The new Union was scarcely six years old. Yet already a pattern was taking shape along the lines that Patrick Henry had feared and Pendleton, Marshall, Madison, and Hamilton had discounted. In the debt assumption act, Congress had taken an action deemed unconstitutional by Virginia. Federal courts in two States had attempted to arrogate powers unto themselves in orders angrily resented by the States themselves. Worse still, the Supreme Court of the United States had acted in the Chisholm case in a manner so palpably unconstitutional that the States had been compelled to amend their fundamental law to preserve their sovereign power.
All this was part of the background that figured in events of 1798 and 1799, when the right of the States to interpose against Federal encroachment took eloquent and emphatic form.
The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions
THE EVENTS that were to lead to the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in the winter of 1798 had their genesis at least five years earlier, and in a sense, twenty years earlier. On the one hand were those patriots, among them some courageous officers in the Revolution, who maintained a warm affection for England even as they made war upon the tyranny of George III. On the