States’ Rights

Constitution Sunday: Robert Whitehill at the Pennsylvania Convention

Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention. November 30, 1787. At the Pennsylvania Convention, Robert Whitehill rose to speak about the proposed Constitution including—and perhaps especially—its biggest flaw. To Whitehill, despite the fact that the country’s learned people devised the Constitution, “the defect is in the system itself,—there lies the evil which. no argument can palliate, no sophistry can […]

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The North’s Attempt at Salvation

The Deep South’s animating of a Second American Revolution, by seceding from the Union and laying the foundation for an operational Confederate government, forced the North to either suppress the South’s uprising or craft a resolution. The likelihood of war would deter any widespread northern suppression, leaving the question: What compromise could the North propose that appeased […]

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Constitution Sunday: Answers to Mason’s “Objections”: “Marcus” [James Iredell] IV

Answers to Mason’s “Objections”: “Marcus” [James Iredell] IV Norfolk and Portsmouth Journal (Virginia), March 12, 1788 Following are excerpts from James Iredell’s responses to George Mason’s “Objections” to the Constitution: “VIIIth. Objection. ‘Under their own construction of the general clause at the end of the enumerated powers, the Congress may grant monopolies in trade and […]

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America in 1848

In 1848, when word spread to America that a revolution was breaking out in France, President James Polk wrote: “The great principles of popular sovereignty which were proclaimed in 1776 by the immortal author of our Declaration of Independence, seem now to be in the course of rapid development throughout the world.” James Knox Polk […]

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Challenging White Supremacy

In the midst of President Andrew Jackson’s presidency, white supremacy was becoming a prominent principle in American society, facilitating confrontation between whites and blacks but also between whites and Native Americans. Just months into Jackson’s first term, David Walker published a controversial and incendiary pamphlet: An Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, But in […]

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