Reconstruction Period Research Forum
In Response To: Re: Reconstruction ()
The balance between States' Rights and Federal responsibility was an issue that was argued by the framers of the constitution. THEY were not in agreement over when the Federal Governments' powers trump those of the individual states.
In the early years of the union, States' Rights appeared to be used mostly by southern states - from treatment of the Native Americans to the slavery issue.
In an attempt to avoid the 'interference' of a higher power in what they considered a 'local' issue, Southern States pulled an ace out of the deck. That was 'Succession' - a classic right argued by States' Rights advocates. The Union (federal government) did not fold. Instead, they upped the ante - the hand had to be played out, ultimately leading to Civil War.
Just over 40 years ago, it again became the mantra of Southerners opposing forced 'integration'.
While it sounds like a good mantra, we must be careful to watch HOW it is used. States Rights is also another word for 'less government'. With less government, comes less control and consistency across ALL states in the unnion; less control opens the pathway toward re-interpretation of the constitution, at the state level. If this power is abused, your rights could very well depend upon which state you call home and which local officials happen to be in office at any point in time.