Did the South Invent “State’s Rights”?

One common narrative from establishment hacks, I mean historians, involves the term “State’s rights.” You see, to these dopes, the South invented State’s rights as a convenient way to enforce “white supremacy.” They insist no one was talking about it before slavery became an issue in American political life.

That would mean that the term was never uttered by anyone except proslavery and segregationist Southerners in the 1850s and 1950s.

In other words, the “compact theory” of the Constitution was just that, a theory, that not even Jefferson really believed.

Except we know this isn’t true. The Constitution would not have been ratified without an express protection of “State’s rights.” See my Originalist Papers course at McClanahan Academy–discount below.

And long before slavery became “the issue” according to the narrow minded fools who run university history departments, men like John Taylor of Caroline were actually using the term–in the 1820s.

Now the establishment would insist that slavery was “the issue” back then as well, as the tariff squabbles were simply a cover for Southern defense of the institution.

That argument has more holes than Swiss cheese, but William Freehling’s book on the subject is often used as the definitive study. It shouldn’t be.

Either way, it’s important review Taylor’s use of the term and why he emphasized “State’s rights” in 1822. It begins with a “t” and ends with an “f”.

If you’ve never heard this before, I discuss Taylor, State’s rights, and the tariff on episode 604 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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