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User Info CHRISTmas Musings.....; entered at 2010-12-26 16:42:52
Posts: 8956
Registered: 2008-07-30 Shorting the Phone Book
Centralization of power was a bone of contention between the Jeffersonians and the Hamiltonians from the beginning, but it only began to be implemented in earnest with...
The Union -- that is, the government created by the Constitution of 1789 -- was proposed by a convention that was called by the states, it was ratified by the states, and can only be amended by the states....

...U.S. Senators were elected by state legislatures from 1789 to 1914, during which time the legislatures took for granted their right to instruct their federal representatives how to vote on policy issues.

When Thomas Jefferson and James Madison authored the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1789, which declared the supremacy of the states in the federal system, they received little criticism. The Kentucky Resolution, for example, declared that "the several states composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that by a compact ... they ... delegated certain definite powers, reserving ... the residuary mass of right to their own self-government" These resolutions announced a policy of nullification, whereby the states could nullify acts of the federal government which they believed to be unconstitutional...

There can be no doubt that the states created the Constitution and delegated certain powers to the federal government as their agent, while reserving the right to withdraw from that compact... But this history always stood in the way of the grandiose plans of those who advocated centralized government power (with themselves in charge, of course), for such power could not be exercised to its fullest extent with such a limited and decentralized state. That, of course, was the way the founding fathers wanted it. So advocates of centralization, beginning with Lincoln's fellow Whig Daniel Webster, did what virtually all centralized governmental powers were to do in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries: they rewrote history to suit their political purposes.

...Webster and Joseph Story fabricated the notion that the federal government somehow created the states. Webster used his legendary rhetorical skills to wax eloquently about the mystical "blessings to mankind" derived from the Union, claiming it "strengthens the bonds that unite us" and began talking of a "perpetual" union.

This notion -- that the federal Union preceded the states -- is not only a lie, but a "spectacular lie," in the words of Emory University philosopher Donald W. Livingston. It was this spectacular lie that Lincoln embraced as his main rationale for denying the right of secession to the Southern states.

-excerpted from Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln (2002), pp 110-113.
The Seventeenth Amendment was the final nail in a coffin that was built during the run up to and the fighting of the War Between the States.

BTW, DiLorenzo can be seen on C-SPAN discussing this book and a later book on the subject:

in 2002:

in 2008:

Last modified: 2010-12-26 16:58:25 by jstanley01
Reason: add links

2010-12-26 16:42:52