States’ Rights and the Future of Our Democracy

America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, December 3, 2021

When we studied the fifteen years between the American revolution and the adoption of our Constitution, our teachers presented the debate over how the new republic’s government should look as a done deal. In the late 1780s, the chief antagonists arguing over the form of our government were Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton favored a strong federal government because he distrusted the motivations of individual states and the people who governed them. Jefferson wanted states to be able to legislate as they wished, without interference from the federal government, except in matters of national security.

The Constitution ratified in 1788, and modified by the Tenth Amendment, spelled out the roles of the federal and state governments. The power to raise revenue through various forms of taxation, to raise an army and navy, and to declare war were explicitly given to the Congress. Virtually everything…

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About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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