Overview

John Taylor, author of "Tyranny Unmasked,"developed the idea that the division of the power of the people between the federal and state governments would be of little or no importance if either Congress or the Supreme Court could exclusively determine the boundaries of power between the states and the general government. His remedy for usurpation was the "state veto," which was to be "no mere didactic lecture," but involved the right of resisting unconstitutional laws. He met the difficulty that the people of one...
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TYRANNY UNMASKED

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Overview

John Taylor, author of "Tyranny Unmasked,"developed the idea that the division of the power of the people between the federal and state governments would be of little or no importance if either Congress or the Supreme Court could exclusively determine the boundaries of power between the states and the general government. His remedy for usurpation was the "state veto," which was to be "no mere didactic lecture," but involved the right of resisting unconstitutional laws. He met the difficulty that the people of one state would construe the Constitution for the people of all the states, by the answer that it was the lesser evil. Again in 1823, in his New Views of the Constitution, he expounded the same ideas, and dwelt upon the position of the states as the defenders of separate geographical interests against oppression by the majority of the nation. He saw a grave danger in the relinquishment to Congress of the power to deal with local and dissimilar geographical interests by loose-construction legislation upon such subjects as banks, roads, canals, and manufactures. It would tend to produce geographical combinations; sections by combining would exploit and oppress the minority; "Congress would become an assembly of geographical envoys from the North, the South, and the West." Against these evils, the Constitution, according to his view, had provided by confining geographical interests within state lines instead of "collecting them into one intriguing arena." The states, reposing on their sovereignty, would interpose a check to oppressive action and to the combination of sectional interests against the minority.

Not a theory of government, however, but a political exigency called out a working principle of state rights. When the industrial policy of the government fell under the complete control of the north, and the social system of the south seemed to be menaced, state sovereignty controlled the southern policy. The increase in popularity of Clay's American system of internal improvements and a protective tariff aroused the apprehensions of the whole planting section; the struggle over the admission of Missouri taught the south the power of an unfriendly national majority; and, in 1822, a threatened insurrection of the negroes at Charleston brought home to the whole section, and particularly to South Carolina, the dangers arising from an agitation of the question of slavery. In the irritated condition and depression of this section, the triumph of loose construction principles and the possible election of a northern president seemed to presage not only the sacrifice of their economic interests, but even the freeing of their slaves. The colonization society, which in its origin had been supported by southern men, became an object of denunciation by the lower south after the Missouri controversy and the insurrection of 1822. The opposition was intensified by the disposition of the society, towards the close of the period, to advocate emancipation.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940015704341
  • Publisher: OGB
  • Publication date: 9/15/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 780,999
  • File size: 442 KB

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