Sunday, February 3, 2013
There was a time in US history that nearly tore our nation apart. The War Between the States or the Civil War as we know it was based on differences of opinion. Those differences included slavery, yes. But it was much more than that. States rights was an even larger issue. That is something that seems to be played down in the history books.
Since the time of the Revolution, two sides emerged. Those arguing for greater states rights and those arguing that the federal government needed to have more control. The first organized government in the US after the American Revolution was under the Articles of Confederation. The thirteen states formed a loose confederation with a weak federal government. However, when problems arose, the weakness of this form of government caused the leaders of the time to come together at the Constitutional Convention and create, in secret, the US Constitution. Strong proponents of states rights like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were not present at this meeting. Many felt that the new constitution ignored the rights of states to continue to act independently. They felt that the states should still have the right to decide if they were willing to accept certain federal acts. This resulted in the idea of nullification, whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional. The federal government denied states this right. However, proponents such as John C. Calhoun fought vehemently for nullification. When nullification would not work and states felt that they were no longer respected, they moved towards secession. States rights are very much at play in todays national government. Our next Civil War will not be the North versus the South. It will not be about slavery per se. Unless you count Americans enslaved to the US Government. The next Civil War will be about states rights and the rights of the citizens to not obey our government as we know it now. The time is drawing nigh.