Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy / Edition 1

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Overview

Reclaiming the American Revolution examines the struggles for political ascendancy between Federalists and the Republicans in the early days of the American Republic viewed through the lens of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions authored by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Jefferson and Madison saw the Alien and Sedition Acts as a threat to states' rights, as well as indicative of a national government that sought unlimited power. The Resolutions sought to returban the nation to the tenets of the Constitution, in which rights for all were protected by checking the power of the national government. Watkins examines the two sides of this important controversy in early American history and demonstrates the Resolutions' relevance to current politics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With historical knowledge that one can only wish more could possess, Watkins has brought our attention back to Jefferson's and Madison's constitutional commentary in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798-1800 and their illuminating relation to American history."—Clyde N. Wilson, Professor of History, University of South Carolina
"With Reclaiming the American Revolution, we have a thorough, thoughtful, and important study of a significant subject that has been too long neglected."—Joyce O. Appleby, Professor of History, UCLA; past president of Organization of American Historians and American Historical Association
"William Watkins' important book, Reclaiming the American Revolution, is intriguing and controversial: it is based on much research, and it is full of interest for the questions it raises about federal-state relations."—Robert L. Middlekauf, Preston Hotchkiss Professor of American History, University of California, Berkeley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403963031
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/17/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

William J. Watkins, Jr. is an attorney who specializes in constitutional law. He has written several articles on legal history, and is a research fellow at the Independent Institute.

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Table of Contents

Forward
• Introduction
• Monocrats and Jacobins
• Legislation and Persecution
• The Principles of 1798
• Influence and Resolutions
• Consolidation
• Lessons for Today

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Recipe


"With historical knowledge that one can only wish more could possess, Watkins has brought our attention back to Jefferson's and Madison's constitutional commentary in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798-1800 and their illuminating relation to American history.
--Clyde N. Wilson, Professor of History, University of South Carolina

"With Reclaiming the American Revolution, we have a thorough, thoughtful, and important study of a significant subject that has been too long neglected."
--Joyce O. Appleby, Professor of History, UCLA; past president of Organization of American Historians and American Historical Association

"William Watkins' important book, Reclaiming the American Revolution, is intriguing and controversial: it is based on much research, and it is full of interest for the questions it raises about federal-state relations."
--Robert L. Middlekauf, Preston Hotchkiss Professor of American History, University of California, Berkeley

"Reclaiming the American Revolution is a provocative invitation to rethink the nature of contemporary American government in the light of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. William Watkins' brisk and panoramic account of American constitutionalism reminds us of the political possibilities open to courageous and spirited citizens who are dedicated to responsible liberty under the rule of law."
--Herman Belz, Professor of History, University of Maryland

"Those of us who are alarmed by the recent incursions into personal freedom are indebted to William Watkins for Reclaiming the American Revolution, his penetrating and insightful account of how Jefferson and Madison reacted to a situation ofequal peril to liberty. We could not do better than to remind ourselves of how they responded when faced with a crisis no less grievous."
--Ronald Hamowy, Professor of History, University of Alberta; editor, Cato's Letters: Essays on Liberty by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2004

    A libertarian defense of free speech and liberty

    William Watkins ' Reclaiming the American Revolution' is a brilliant study on Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. These documents were born in the bitter strife of the early republic pitting defenders of 'order',the Federalists, and 'liberty', the Jeffersonians. Watkins points out that these resolutions were a direct hit on the new centralizing going on in the federal government. Both resolutions stood for individual liberty and states rights. The States, it was argued could 'nullify' unconstitutional federal laws to protect the rights of the powers of the state governments under the 10th amendment, and the rights of indivduals. The future of the republic, the First Amendment, and the entire American experiment was at stake. Jefferson and Madison are clearly true champions of liberty. A great read, and very informative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2004

    I loved this book

    To combat the attacks on individual liberty and limited government, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison crafted the doctrines nullification and interposition. And although the doctrine of the Resolutions was once accepted by a majority of Americans, today the national government has become more centralized than ever before. This book reminds us that though much has changed in 200 years, the federalism remains relevant in the policy making of today. Watkins has written an extraordinary book rife with detailed analysis and research. I highly recommend it.

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