Proclamation of Gov. Robert Hayne of SC concerning State's Rights

Andersonh1

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I believe that threads on this subject only accentuate the fact that there was a fundamental disagreement on constitutional principles that existed between the different sections of the country. The argument over the rights of the states versus the power of the federal government was a source of controversy decades before the Civil War even began. Uncertainty as to what the federal government could and could not do began at the moment the Constitution was first adopted. This particular controversy was one of the reasons for the Civil War.

I agree, there were genuine philosophical differences that went back to the founders themselves. Hayne references Jefferson and Madison when he cites the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions.
 

Potomac Pride

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And did Madison have anything to say about Haynes using him as a reference?
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 laid the foundation for the original compact theory. They were drafted by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively. The Compact Theory states that the Constitution was a voluntary agreement among the states to create a federal government that is delegated certain powers as their agent. The states still retain their fundamental sovereignty and the federal government is limited to its delegated powers.
 

Georgia

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This thread was not about the debate per se, but I have no objection if you want to introduce quotations from their debate into the discussion. I was primarily looking for reporting on how South Carolina responded to Jackson's declaration on nullification when I found Hayne's resolution and thought it would make a good thread for the State's Rights forum, but I assume his debate with Webster contains similar thoughts. I plan to read more about it.
Thank you for sharing all of this information. This opens up and answers many questions I have had concerning the Secession and why SC was the first.
 

unionblue

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The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 laid the foundation for the original compact theory. They were drafted by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively. The Compact Theory states that the Constitution was a voluntary agreement among the states to create a federal government that is delegated certain powers as their agent. The states still retain their fundamental sovereignty and the federal government is limited to its delegated powers.
That's not what I asked.

Did Madison ever refer to Haynes comments about himself?
 

Andersonh1

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I know what Hayne wrote to Madison. Did you know the two men corresponded on this issue?


Robert Y. Hayne to James Madison, 22 July 1830​

Dear Sir​

I owe you many apologies for not having long since acknowledged my obligations for your friendly letter of the 4th. May last. The truth is that it reached me at a period, when I was overwhelmed with public business, and believing the subject to which it relates to be of too much importance to be treated lightly, I reserved for a period of greater leisure, a reexamination of the question, with the additional lights afforded by your interesting communication. Having now carefully considered the arguments you have adduced; with the highest possible respect for their author, it is due to candour, to say, that they have failed to satisfy my mind, that the doctrines advanced in my speech in the Senate are not the true doctrines of the Constitution, or that they are inconsistent with the true spirit and meaning of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of ’98. and ’99, or of your admirable Report in relation to the former. I trust that it is unnecessary for me to assure you, that though constrained to differ from you on this important question, I have received with the utmost deference the views which you have done me the favor to present,– and if they have failed to carry conviction to my mind this you may be assured, has arisen from any other cause, than a want of profound respect for the so[ur]ce from whence they have eminated. Knowing the liberality of your mind, and your constant devotion to free inquiry, I feel that the best return I can make for your kindness, will be to present frankly, and candidly the suggestions which have occurred to my own mind on the leading topics discussed in your letter. I shall therefore shortly forward you a letter containing my views at large on this interesting subject to which I shall invite your indulgent attention. In the mean time, you will suffer me to remark that in stating "the particular doctrine which you understand me, to have asserted and from which you are constrained to depart," you have inadvertently marked as a quotation, what I presume was intended merely as your summary of these doctrines, and that they are stated somewhat differently, and certainly more strongly than they have been laid down by any one who has publicly expressed them. I refrain from adding any thing further at present, than to say that though I have ventured to submit your letter to the perusal of a few of our mutual friends, that I have not felt myself at liberty to use it, or even to speak of it, in any way that might bring you before the public against your own consent. Mrs. H. joins me in desiring to be kindly remembered to Mrs. M. and I beg you Sir, to be assured of the high respect & esteem with which I subscribe myself your most obedient and obliged humble servant​
Rbt. Y. Hayne​
 

unionblue

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I know what Hayne wrote to Madison. Did you know the two men corresponded on this issue?


Robert Y. Hayne to James Madison, 22 July 1830​

Dear Sir​

I owe you many apologies for not having long since acknowledged my obligations for your friendly letter of the 4th. May last. The truth is that it reached me at a period, when I was overwhelmed with public business, and believing the subject to which it relates to be of too much importance to be treated lightly, I reserved for a period of greater leisure, a reexamination of the question, with the additional lights afforded by your interesting communication. Having now carefully considered the arguments you have adduced; with the highest possible respect for their author, it is due to candour, to say, that they have failed to satisfy my mind, that the doctrines advanced in my speech in the Senate are not the true doctrines of the Constitution, or that they are inconsistent with the true spirit and meaning of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of ’98. and ’99, or of your admirable Report in relation to the former. I trust that it is unnecessary for me to assure you, that though constrained to differ from you on this important question, I have received with the utmost deference the views which you have done me the favor to present,– and if they have failed to carry conviction to my mind this you may be assured, has arisen from any other cause, than a want of profound respect for the so[ur]ce from whence they have eminated. Knowing the liberality of your mind, and your constant devotion to free inquiry, I feel that the best return I can make for your kindness, will be to present frankly, and candidly the suggestions which have occurred to my own mind on the leading topics discussed in your letter. I shall therefore shortly forward you a letter containing my views at large on this interesting subject to which I shall invite your indulgent attention. In the mean time, you will suffer me to remark that in stating "the particular doctrine which you understand me, to have asserted and from which you are constrained to depart," you have inadvertently marked as a quotation, what I presume was intended merely as your summary of these doctrines, and that they are stated somewhat differently, and certainly more strongly than they have been laid down by any one who has publicly expressed them. I refrain from adding any thing further at present, than to say that though I have ventured to submit your letter to the perusal of a few of our mutual friends, that I have not felt myself at liberty to use it, or even to speak of it, in any way that might bring you before the public against your own consent. Mrs. H. joins me in desiring to be kindly remembered to Mrs. M. and I beg you Sir, to be assured of the high respect & esteem with which I subscribe myself your most obedient and obliged humble servant​
Rbt. Y. Hayne​

What did Madison say in reply to Hayne?
 

unionblue

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GwilymT

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Potomac Pride

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Unforgiven

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“Hayne questions whether the Federal Government can either be the final judge of the extent of its own powers, or the final judge of the Constitutionality of its own acts, and if either is true, is it not a government of unlimited power, contrary to the limited powers spelled out in the Constitution?”

After replacing the word Federal with State in the above, Mr. Hayne will change his answers accordingly.

“…not having a single feature of nationality in its foundation…

Heh, not a single feature, multiple features. “We, the people of the United States,…” are the very first words written. The phrase “…citizen of the United States…” is used three separate times. There's the Congress, the President, the Judiciary, and the tale goes on and on and on.
 

Andersonh1

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“Hayne questions whether the Federal Government can either be the final judge of the extent of its own powers, or the final judge of the Constitutionality of its own acts, and if either is true, is it not a government of unlimited power, contrary to the limited powers spelled out in the Constitution?”

After replacing the word Federal with State in the above, Mr. Hayne will change his answers accordingly.

“…not having a single feature of nationality in its foundation…

Heh, not a single feature, multiple features. “We, the people of the United States,…” are the very first words written. The phrase “…citizen of the United States…” is used three separate times. There's the Congress, the President, the Judiciary, and the tale goes on and on and on.

Partially. From Federalist No. 39:

On examining the first relation, it appears, on one hand, that the Constitution is to be founded on the assent and ratification of the people of America, given by deputies elected for the special purpose; but, on the other, that this assent and ratification is to be given by the people, not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong. It is to be the assent and ratification of the several States, derived from the supreme authority in each State, the authority of the people themselves. The act, therefore, establishing the Constitution, will not be a NATIONAL, but a FEDERAL act.​
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If we try the Constitution by its last relation to the authority by which amendments are to be made, we find it neither wholly NATIONAL nor wholly FEDERAL. Were it wholly national, the supreme and ultimate authority would reside in the MAJORITY of the people of the Union; and this authority would be competent at all times, like that of a majority of every national society, to alter or abolish its established government. Were it wholly federal, on the other hand, the concurrence of each State in the Union would be essential to every alteration that would be binding on all. The mode provided by the plan of the convention is not founded on either of these principles. In requiring more than a majority, and principles. In requiring more than a majority, and particularly in computing the proportion by STATES, not by CITIZENS, it departs from the NATIONAL and advances towards the FEDERAL character; in rendering the concurrence of less than the whole number of States sufficient, it loses again the FEDERAL and partakes of the NATIONAL character.​
The proposed Constitution, therefore, is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both. In its foundation it is federal, not national; in the sources from which the ordinary powers of the government are drawn, it is partly federal and partly national; in the operation of these powers, it is national, not federal; in the extent of them, again, it is federal, not national; and, finally, in the authoritative mode of introducing amendments, it is neither wholly federal nor wholly national.​
 

unionblue

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Partially. From Federalist No. 39:

On examining the first relation, it appears, on one hand, that the Constitution is to be founded on the assent and ratification of the people of America, given by deputies elected for the special purpose; but, on the other, that this assent and ratification is to be given by the people, not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong. It is to be the assent and ratification of the several States, derived from the supreme authority in each State, the authority of the people themselves. The act, therefore, establishing the Constitution, will not be a NATIONAL, but a FEDERAL act.​
-----------------​
If we try the Constitution by its last relation to the authority by which amendments are to be made, we find it neither wholly NATIONAL nor wholly FEDERAL. Were it wholly national, the supreme and ultimate authority would reside in the MAJORITY of the people of the Union; and this authority would be competent at all times, like that of a majority of every national society, to alter or abolish its established government. Were it wholly federal, on the other hand, the concurrence of each State in the Union would be essential to every alteration that would be binding on all. The mode provided by the plan of the convention is not founded on either of these principles. In requiring more than a majority, and principles. In requiring more than a majority, and particularly in computing the proportion by STATES, not by CITIZENS, it departs from the NATIONAL and advances towards the FEDERAL character; in rendering the concurrence of less than the whole number of States sufficient, it loses again the FEDERAL and partakes of the NATIONAL character.​
The proposed Constitution, therefore, is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both. In its foundation it is federal, not national; in the sources from which the ordinary powers of the government are drawn, it is partly federal and partly national; in the operation of these powers, it is national, not federal; in the extent of them, again, it is federal, not national; and, finally, in the authoritative mode of introducing amendments, it is neither wholly federal nor wholly national.​

Which affects the idea of unilateral secession from the Union, how?
 

Andersonh1

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Wholly. The Constitution provides multiple features of nationality in its foundation. It, alone, has refuted Hayne’s claim.

Of course, the phrase “…partly national…” found in Federalist No. 39 certainly provides another example refuting same. It is merely an unnecessary blow to the already dead horse.

Partially. To say otherwise is to ignore too many facts. A fully national government was proposed and rejected at the Constitutional Convention.
 

Unforgiven

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Partially. To say otherwise is to ignore too many facts. A fully national government was proposed and rejected at the Constitutional Convention.

Hayne’s claim doesn’t include the word partially. Neither does the Constitution. Notwithstanding that, “…having multiple features of nationality in its foundation..." partially, would also refute Hayne’s claim.

Hayne’s horse is still dead, wholly.
 
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