States' Rights and American Federalism: A Documentary History

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - 232 pages
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The debate over states' rights versus federalism in America is one that has raged since our country's founding. Arguments over the interpretation of the Constitution and the meaning of power and its distribution among the states' governments echoes in governmental chambers even today. Students can trace the history and development of issues surrounding this debate, as well as the reactions to them, through this unique and comprehensive collection of over 65 primary documents. Court cases, opinion pieces, speeches and many other documents bring to life the controversies surrounding the debate. Explanatory introductions to documents aid users in understanding the various arguments put forth in deliberations over different governmental matters, while illuminating the significance of each document.

Drake and Nelson trace the origins and changes in the nature of states' rights and American federalism using carefully chosen documents to reflect the fact that the tension and interaction between the states' governments and the national government define the ideals and provide the means for realistic achievement of these ideals. Documents can be easily accessed through five different sections, each section exploring a specific period in history and contributing to the understanding of the debate. The introductory and explanatory text help readers understand the nature of the conflicts, the issues being contested, the social and cultural pressures that shaped each debate, and the manner in which the passions of individual government officials, justices, and our presidents affected the development of policies concerning states' rights and federalism.

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States Rights and American Federalism in the American Founding Era 16201789
The Mayflower Compact 1620
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut 1639
Organization of the Government of Rhode Island March 1619 1642
On Liberty 1645
Penns Plan of Union 1697
Albany Plan of Union 1754
Declarations of the Stamp Act Congress October 2 1765
James Buchanans Fourth Annual Message States and Withdrawal from the Union December 3 1860
Resolutions of Secession Mississippi January 11 1861 South Carolina December 20 1860 and Virginia April 17 1861
Abraham Lincolns First Inaugural Address March 4 1861
The Emancipation Proclamation January 1 1863
Changes Involving States Rights and Federalism from the Civil War to the New Deal 18651940
Womens Suffrage Petition to Congress December 1871
Booker T Washington Atlanta Exposition Address 1895
An Episcopal Priest Challenges Enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment 1905

From a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies Letter II 1767
Thoughts on Government Letter of John Adams January 1776
Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America July 1776
In Defense of State Sovereignty Thomas Burke 1777
James Madisons Vices of the Political System April 1787
The Virginia Plan Presented to the Federal Convention May 29 1787
John Dickinson of Delaware on Federalism at the Constitutional Convention June 7 1787
The New Jersey Plan Presented to the Federal Convention June 15 1787
James Madison of Virginia Compares the Virginia and New Jersey Plans at the Constitutional Convention June 19 1787
James Wilson of Pennsylvania on Federalism at the Constitutional Convention June 25 1787
The Northwest Ordinance July 13 1787
Federalist Number 10 Publius and the Extended Republic November 22 1787
Agrippa Writes a Letter to the People in Opposition to an Extended Republic and the Constitution of the United States December 3 1787
Federalism and the Meaning of the Tenth Amendment 17891835
George Masons Objections to the Proposed Constitution October 1 1787
James Madisons Proposal to Congress for a Bill of Rights June 8 1789
The Sedition Act July 14 1798
The Kentucky Resolutions November 16 1798
United States v Peters 1809
Report and Resolutions of the Hartford Convention January 1815
Barron v Baltimore 1833
States Rights in the Antebellum Period and the Civil War 18281865
Liberty and Union Now and Forever One and Inseparable January 1830
John C Calhouns Fort Hill Address 1831
John C Calhoun against the Force Bill February 15 1833
Andrew Jacksons Second Inaugural Address March 4 1833
Abraham Lincolns Address before the Young Mens Lyceum of Springfield Illinois January 27 1838
The Seventh of March Speech Daniel Webster and the Compromise of 1850
John C Calhoun the Compromise of 1850 and State Autonomy First Session of Congress 1850
William H Seward the Compromise of 1850 and an Appeal to a Higher Law First Session of Congress 1850
William H Seward and the Declaration of Independence An Appeal to Higher Law 1856
Dred Scott v Sandford 1857 Roger B Taney and States Rights
Theodore Roosevelt on Lincoln and the Race Problem February 13 1905
Elihu Root Calls for the Preservation of Local SelfGovernment of the States December 12 1906
Wilson Rejects the Old Ideal of Limited Government October 30 1909
Woodrow Wilsons New Freedom Changes the Old Order 1913
Kate Gordons Letter to the Governors of the Southern States 1913
Petition from Women Voters AntiSuffrage Party of New York 1917
State of Tennessee Approves Nineteenth Amendment August 1920
President Calvin Coolidge on the Responsibilities of the States May 30 1925
President Calvin Coolidges Fourth Annual State of the Union Message December 7 1926
Herbert C Hoovers Fourth Annual State of the Union Message December 6 1932
FDRs First Inaugural Address March 4 1933
States Rights and American Federalism from the New Deal to the Present 19401999
Governor Fielding Wright of Mississippi Statement to Democratic Party Leaders January 1948
The Civil Rights Message of Harry S Truman to the US Congress February 2 1948
Governor J Strom Thurmond of South Carolina Speaks to Southern Governors February 7 1948
States Rights Platform of 1948 Southern Democratic Convention Birmingham Alabama July 17 1948
Eisenhowers First Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union February 2 1953
President Eisenhower Writes South Carolina Governor James F Byrnes August 14 1953
Brown v Board of Education of Topeka 1954
The Southern Manifesto 1956
President Johnson Urges Enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
US Commissioner of Education Harold Howe II on the Relationship of the Federal Government to State and Local Education December 17 1966
A Journalist Reports on the Effects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act January 12 1967
Press Interview with George Wallace 1968
Reagan Resurrects States Rights January 1981
Contract with America 1994
The Devolution Tortoise and the Centralization Hare The Slow Process in DownSizing Big Government 1998
US Supreme Court Expands States Rights
Minority Opinion Challenges State Immunity from Law Suit

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 56 - ... hereafter shall be formed in the said territory; to provide also for the establishment of states, and permanent government therein, and for their admission to a share in the federal councils on an equal footing with the original states, at as early periods as may be consistent with the general interest...
Page 34 - He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
Page 133 - I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.
Page 34 - He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
Page 58 - There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted; Provided, always, That any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid.
Page 105 - ... in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them.
Page 63 - ... of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength and to act in unison with each other. Besides other impediments, it may be remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust in proportion to the number whose concurrence...
Page 61 - To secure the public good, and private rights, against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of a popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed.
Page 55 - For the prevention of crimes and injuries, the laws to be adopted or made shall have force in all parts of the district, and for the execution of process, criminal and civil, the governor shall make proper divisions thereof; and he shall proceed, from time to time, as circumstances may require, to lay out the parts of the district in which the Indian title shall have been extinguished, into counties and townships, subject, however, to such alterations as may thereafter be made by the legislature.

About the author (1999)

FREDERICK D. DRAKE is Assistant Professor of History and Director of Undergraduate Programs in History and Social Science Education at Illinois State University.

LYNN R. NELSON is Associate Professor of Social Studies Education and Director of the James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship at Purdue University.

Bibliographic information