State Rights Actually Protected People
If it wasn't clear already through our discussions here, the founding fathers were really big on the rights of individuals and the rights of local and state governments, rather than the rights of a central federal government. In fact, Thomas Jefferson was convinced that Federalization would be the end of the checks and balances that were framed in our Constitution. He wrote, “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.”
Most of the time, we look back at History and view State Rights as an issue that lead to the Civil War and assume that States only used State Rights as a way to keep Slavery Legal and oppress their citizens. But that's not the reality.
In fact, if you'll take a look at this article from the Tenth Amendment Center, you'll see that State Rights were often used to PROTECT their citizens and residents from intrusions from the Federal Government that weren't authorized under the Constitution- intrusions that would have put them in danger or taken their rights away. Read more about that here: http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/03/04/the-states-rights-tradition-nobody-knows/
One brilliant example in this article is how State Rights were used to counteract Fugitive Slave Laws. These laws would extradite runaway slaves to their original owner without trial or jury. It gave the Federal Government the right to uphold Slavery and police escapees. States rebelled and resisted by claiming their own rights under the Constitution and were able to repeal and counteract some of the inhumane treatment of other people by our own government.
What a radical variance from the traditional State Rights were only used to uphold the evils of slavery. Make sure you read the full article and get informed about local movements to restore the tenth amendment!
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Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.