States Rights versus Federal Government
James W. King
Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV)
Camp 141 Albany Georgia
Domestic issues including marriage, gay rights, abortion, rest room designation, and education are States’ Rights’ Issues that the Federal Government has no Constitutional Authority to be involved in.
“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.” – James Madison–father of the U.S. Constitution
“The Constitution has admitted the jurisdiction of the United States (Federal Government) within the limits of the several States only so far as the delegated powers authorize; beyond that they are intruders, and may rightfully be expelled.”– John C. Calhoun—U.S. Senator and Vice President
Abe Lincoln taught Americans to fear the government and destroyed “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. He laid waste to the South as an object lesson: Washington’s authority is unassailable and eternal. “The United States (federal government) has the right, and the power, to penetrate to every part of the national domain. We will remove and destroy every obstacle – if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper.” — Union General William T. Sherman.
The Union, at bayonet-point, forever. Like a bad marriage from which there can be no escape except death. Prior to the unconstitutional, immoral, illegal, and criminal War of Northern Aggression of 1861-1865, most Americans still held to the notion that “government exists by the consent of the governed”. The federal government was their agent, charged with a few specific tasks and no more. When this representative exceeded its constitutional authority, it became immediately illegitimate –a tyranny.
The Southern states took this literally, attempting to withdraw on the principle that legitimate government exists by consent only – and what was being done to them by the rapidly growing Leviathan in Washington DC was being done manifestly without their consent and very much against their will. Hence, they exercised their right as sovereign states to withhold consent and to sever the relationship–to depart—to secede.
Abe educated them. The principle of unlimited federal supremacy was established at Appomattox Virginia on April 9, 1865. The formerly sovereign states (plural) became little more than glorified administrative districts submissive and answerable to a central imperial power in Washington DC. The formerly free people of the several states became citizen-subjects of the United States (singular) – subject to its universal authority. Millions of Americans, though beaten on the battlefield, still denied the right of Washington’s rule in their hearts – where they remained free in spirit, at least. They resented the new Massa in Washington – regarding him (rightly) as a usurper, a tyrant, a despot, and a dictator. It was understood that they were ruled by force – and very much without their consent.