The Sovereign States: Notes of a Citizen of Virginia

By James Jackson Kilpatrick | Go to book overview

the United States House of Representatives adopted the same view, and the bank's days came to an end.


8
Internal Improvements

IT HAS been suggested earlier in these notes that interposition by the States against Federal encroachments may take a wide variety of forms, ranging from the mildest remonstrance at one extreme to resolute nullification at the other. In the militant postures taken by Pennsylvania in the Olmstead case, by New England during the War of 1812, and by Ohio in its resistance to the Bank of the United States, one may find examples of relatively strong efforts by the States to invoke their sovereign powers against what they regarded as unwarranted and unconstitutional actions of Federal authority.

Yet these notes would be less complete than they are if reference were not made to some of the more modest protests offered from time to time by the States. Among these, the objections voiced in the 1820's against the growth of "internal improvements" offer a fair example.

Let Governor Wilson of South Carolina be recognized. He is speaking to the General Assembly in December, 1824:

There is one subject of deep and vital importance to the stability of general and State governments, to which I beg leave to invite your attention. Every friend of our present Constitution, in its original purity, cannot but have witnessed the alarming extent to which the Federal judiciary and Congress have gone toward establishing a great and consolidated government, subversive of the rights of the States and contravening the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the Union.

The act of the last session of Congress appropriating money to make surveys [act of April 30, 1824] is but an entering wedge which will be followed, no doubt, by the expenditure of millions.

-158-

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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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