The Sovereign States: Notes of a Citizen of Virginia

By James Jackson Kilpatrick | Go to book overview

1
The Olmstead Case

THE UNION scarcely had been formed, we have noted, by the ratification of New Hampshire in June of 1788, before conflicts began between State and Federal authority. Such conflicts have continued, from that day to this, as the States have struggled to maintain the role promised them under the Constitution, and the centralists of passing generations have endeavored to wrest it from them.

The titans of American history have participated in this continuing combat. More often than not, it must be confessed, the centralists have won and the States' righters have lost. Over the whole span, the record unquestionably has been one of expanding power for the Federal authority and declining influence for the States.

Yet there is much to be learned, even in mid- twentieth century, from the conflict between State and Federal power over the years. Many of the questions propounded by a Spencer Roane, a John C. Calhoun, a Thomas McKean, cannot be answered satisfactorily by Federalist sympathisers to this day. These great conservatives of the American Constitutional union captured the essence of our fundamental law; they saw, with great prescience, the absolute necessity of preserving strong State and local governments if a despotism from Washington were not to replace the despotism of George III. They recognized, in a way that has escaped us now,

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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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