THE SOVEREIGN STATES – Notes of a Citizen of Virginia


Book Details






2005 reprint of 1957 edition

The Author

James Jackson Kilpatrick

“The great and leading principle is, that the General Government (and the power thereof) emanated from the people of the several States, forming distinct political communities, and acting in their separate and sovereign capacity, and not from all of the people forming one aggregate political community; that the Constitution of the United States is, in fact, a compact, to which each State is a party, in the character already described; and that the several States, or parties, have a right to judge of its infractions, and in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of power not delegated, they have the right, in the last resort, to use the language of the Virginia Resolutions, “to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them.”

This right of interposition, thus solemnly asserted by the State of Virginia, be it called what it may – State-right, veto, nullification, or by any other name – I conceive to be the fundamental principle of our (United States) system, resting on the facts historically as certain as our revolution itself, and deductions as simple and demonstrative as that of any political or moral truth whatever; and I firmly believe that on its recognition depend the stability and safety of our political institutions…”         John C. Calhoun, July 26, 1831

(Edit. Note: The Federal Government (as per the US Const) was never intended to exercise the power that it enjoys today; that right was reserved for each separate and sovereign State – this changed after the Civil War (1865) but few realize or even understand the importance of it).


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