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Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacyby William J., Jr. Watkins
Synopses & Reviews
Reclaiming the American Revolution examines the struggles for political ascendancy between Federalists and the Republicans in the early days of the American Republic viewed through the lens of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions authored by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Jefferson and Madison saw the Alien and Sedition Acts as a threat to states' rights, as well as indicative of a national government that sought unlimited power. The Resolutions sought to return the nation to the tenets of the Constitution, in which rights for all were protected by checking the power of the national government. Watkins examines the two sides of this important controversy in early American history and demonstrates the Resolutions' relevance to current politics.
Book News Annotation:
Watkins (The Independent Institute) describes the reactions of Jefferson and Madison to the Alien Sedition Act of 1798, a piece of legislation that made it a crime to criticize the federalist government then in power. He asks whether the future presidents, both republicans, sensed that the fledgling nation was heading toward monarchism when they wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in protest. He examines the issue of sovereignty, and whether it resides in a legislature or in the people of each state. He compares this controversy to that surrounding the recent Patriot Act.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This book examines the struggles for political ascendancy between Federalists and the Republicans in the early days of the American republic viewed through the lens of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions authored by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and demonstrates the Resolutions' relevance to current politics.
About the Author
William J. Watkins, Jr. is an attorney who specializes in constitutional law. He has written several articles on legal history, and is a research fellow at the Independent Institute.
Table of Contents
Forward * Introduction * Monocrats and Jacobins * Legislation and Persecution * The Principles of 1798 * Influence and Resolutions * Consolidation * Lessons for Today
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