When did the States lose their Sovereignty?

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OpnDownfall

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I have a little problem with the assumption that the states 'ever' had the sovereignty of a free and independent state(Nation).
The revolution was about a national gov't intruding upon the normal and accepted modes of governing of a colony within their own borders. The colonial leaders were much more exercised by the relationship of a national gov't with those of the individual colony/state, than they were about being part of a nation-state. That is why there was little arguments over the Continental Congress' exercising the powers of national sovereignty and readily accepted that they belonged to the United States gov't rather than the states in both the AoC and Constitution; even as they jealously guarded every scrap of the internal sovereignty of the state gov't to govern itself, within its own borders.
 

trice

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I have a little problem with the assumption that the states 'ever' had the sovereignty of a free and independent state(Nation).
The revolution was about a national gov't intruding upon the normal and accepted modes of governing of a colony within their own borders. The colonial leaders were much more exercised by the relationship of a national gov't with those of the individual colony/state, than they were about being part of a nation-state. That is why there was little arguments over the Continental Congress' exercising the powers of national sovereignty and readily accepted that they belonged to the United States gov't rather than the states in both the AoC and Constitution; even as they jealously guarded every scrap of the internal sovereignty of the state gov't to govern itself, within its own borders.
I think you are absolutely right about the original motivation for the struggle. If King George III and his ministers had been willing, they could easily have worked all this out in 1774-75 with the colonies, who wanted to have the same rights as people back in England. But they didn't, and things changed with the Declaration of Independence. From July 4, 1776 on the Revolution is about becoming independent of King George.

In the period from the Declaration of Independence to the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the actual status of the colonies is clouded. If they had lost, then they were never sovereign. Since they won, they became sovereign at some point in 1776-1783, and Americans choose July 4, 1776 as the starting point.

Since all 13 had given up parts of their sovereignty to the AoC from late 1777 to early 1781, they clearly weren't independently sovereign for long -- and the sovereignty they were giving up looked pretty doubtful at the time. Mid-1777 with the British in Philadelphia and Burgoyne coming down the lakes might have made it all seem like a charade.

Tim
 

unionblue

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To All,

Bumped this thread to the top in order to give @BigTex an opportunity to answer some of his questions concerning state sovereignty and to afford @American87 a platform more in line with his recent post on state sovereignty from the 'Is Texas v. White ironclad proof of secession's illegality?' thread.

Any and all who wish to participate in this reactivated thread are more than welcome to do so.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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unionblue

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@BigTex ,

More support for my views from a previous post of mine on this thread.

The Framers and the Sovereign, Debates on Sovereignty in the Constitutional Convention, by James Hogan.

http://americanhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/we_the_people

After reading the above, you may wish to contemplate the following:

One Nation

James Madison's NOTES on the Federal Convention of 1787: May 30:

[Mr. Morris presented a resolution that was postponed -] "Resolved that the articles of Confederation ought to be corrected & enlarged, as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution; namely, common defense, security of liberty & general welfare." [The following were presented:]

1. that a Union of the States merely federal will not accomplish the objects proposed by the articles of Confederation, namely common defence, security of liberty & genl. welfare.

2. that no treaty or treaties among the whole or part of the States, as individual Sovereignties, would be sufficient.

3. that a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive & Judiciary."

[The third proposition was considered.]

"Genl. PINKNEY expressed a doubt whether the act of Congs. recommending the Convention, or the Commissions of the Deputies to it, could authorise a discussion of a System founded on different principles from the federal Constitution.

"Mr. GERRY seemed to entertain the same doubt.

"Mr. GOVr. MORRIS explained the distinction between a federal and national, supreme, Govt.; the former being a mere compact resting on the good faith of the parties; the latter having a compleat and compulsive operation. he contended that in all Communities there must be one supreme power, and one only.

"Mr. MASON observed that the present confederation was not only deficient in not providing for coercion & punishment agst. delinquent States; but argued very cogently that punishment could not in nature of things be executed on the States collectively, and therefore that such a Govt. was necessary as could directly operate on individuals, and would punish those only whose guilt required it.

"Mr. SHERMAN who took his seat today, admitted that the Confederation had not given sufficient power to Congs. and that additional powers were necessary; particularly that of raising money which he said would involve many other powers. He admitted also that the General & particular jurisdictions ought in no case to be concurrent. He seemed however not to be disposed to make too great inroads on the existing system; intimating as one reason that it would be wrong to lose every amendment, by inserting such as would not be agreed to by the States.

"...On the question as moved by Mr. Butler, on the third proposition it was resolved in Committee of the whole that a national governt. ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative Executive & Judiciary."

(The above seems to answer your notion that the States were unaware of what they were trying to attempt. It shows they discussed, talked, debated, and voted on the idea, so no one was surprised or cheated, etc. The founders KNEW what was going to happen to state sovereignty and they WANTED it to happen as the concept of it was NOT working under the Articles of Confederation.)

(More evidence as follows.)

Federal Social Compact

From the minority report of the Pennsylvania ratification assembly (December 1787):

"In short, consolidation prevades the whole constitution. It begins with an annunciation that such was the intention. The main pillars of the fabric correspond with it, and the concluding paragraph is a confirmation of it. The preamble begins with the words, "We the people of the United States," which is the style of a compact between individuals entering into a state of society, and not that of a confederation of states..."

(Last, and not at all least, there is the following.)

The issue of State sovereignty and the integrity of the Union was answered by reference to the locus of sovereignty with the body of the people as stated by Chief Justice Marshall in M'Culloch v. Maryland (1819):

"...In discussing this question, the counsel for the State of Maryland have deemed it of some importance, in the construction of the Constitution, to consider that instrument not as emanating from the people but as the act of sovereign and independent states. The powers of the gneral government, it has been said, are delegated by the states, who alone are truly sovereign; and must be exercised in subordination to the states, who alone possess supreme domination.

"It would be difficult to sustain this proposition. ...The Convention which framed the Constitution was indeed elected by the state legislatures, but the instrument, when it came from their hands, was a mere proposal, without obligation or pretensions to it. It was reported to the then existing Congress of the United States with a request that it might "be submitted to a Convention of Delegates, chosen in each state by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification."

"This mode of proceeding was adopted; and by the Convention, by Congress, and by the state legislatures the instrument was submitted to the people. They acted upon it in the only manner in which they can act safely, effectively, and wisely, on such a subject-by assembling in convention.

"It is true, they assembled in their several states; and where else should they have assembled? No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the states, and of compounding the American people into one common mass. Of consequence, when they act, they act in their states. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the state governments.

"From these conventions the Constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people; is ordained and established in the name of the people; and is declared to be ordained in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and to their posterity. The assent of the states, in their sovereign capacity, is implied in calling a convention, and thus submitting that instrument to the people.

"But the people were at perfect liberty to accept or reject it; and their act was final. It required not the affirmance, and could not be negatived, by the state governments. The Constitution, when thus adopted, was of complete obligation, and bound the state sovereignties.

"It has been said that the people had already surrendered all their powers to the state sovereignties, and had nothing more to give. But, surely, the question whether they may resume and modify the powers granted to government does not remain to be settled in this country. Much more might the legitimacy of the general government be doubted had it been created by the states.

"The powers delegated to the state sovereignties were to be exercised by themselves, not by a distinct and independent sovereignty created by themselves. To the formation of a league, such as was the Confederation, the state sovereignties were certainly competent. But when, in order to form a more perfect union, it was deemed necessary to change this alliance into an effective government, possessing great and sovereign powers, and acting directly on the people, the necessity of referring it to the people, and of deriving its power directly from them, was felt and acknowledged by all.

"The government of the Union, then (whatever may be the influence of this fact on the case), is emphatically and truly, a government of the people. In form and in substance it emanates from them..."

Fact and sources provided by US history.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

unionblue

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To All,

As an answer to @BigTex , I thought I would repost a previous post of mine to help explain my views on state sovereignty.

From Elliot's Debates, Volume I, Political Rights and Sovereignty, pp. 63-67:

"Respecting the political rights and sovereignty of the several colonies, and of the union which was thus spontaneously formed by the people of the United Colonies, by the declaration of independence, Judge [Joseph] Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution, remarks:--

In the first place, antecedent to the declaration of independence, none of the colonies were, or pretended to be, sovereign states, in the sense in which the term "sovereign" is sometimes applied to the states. The term "sovereign," or "sovereignty," is used in different senses, which often leads to a confusion of ideas, and sometimes to very mischievous and unfounded conclusions. By "sovereignty," in its largest sense, is meant supreme, absolute, uncontrollable power, the jus summi imperii, the absolute right to govern. A state or nation is a body politic, or society of men, united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by their combined strength. By the very act of civil and political association, each citizen subjects himself to the authority of the whole; and the authority of all over each member essentially belongs to the body politic. A state which possesses this absolute power, without any dependence upon any foreign power or state, is in the largest sense a sovereign state. And it is wholly immaterial what is the form of the government, or by whose hands this absolute authority is exercised. It may be exercised by the people at large, as in a pure democracy; or by a select few, as in an absolute aristocracy; or by a single person, as in an absolute monarchy. But "sovereignty" is often used, in a far more limited sense that that of which we have spoken, to designate such political powers as, in the actual organization of the particular state or nation, are to be exclusively exercised by certain public functionaries, without the control of any superior authority. It is in this sense that Blackstone employs it, when he says that it is of "the very essence of a law, that it is made by the supreme power. Sovereignty and legislature are, indeed, convertible terms; one cannot subsist without the other." Now, in every limited government, the power of legislation is, or at least may be, limited at the will of the nation; and therefore the legislature is not in an absolute sense sovereign. It is in the same sense Blackstone says, "the laws ascribes to the king of England the attribute of sovereignty or preeminence," because, in respect to the powers confided to him, he is dependent on no man, and accountable to no man, and subjected to no superior jurisdiction. Yet the king of England cannot make a law; and his acts, beyond the powers assigned to him by the constitution, are utterly void.

In like manner, the word "state" is used in various senses. In its most enlarged sense, it means the people composing a particular nation or community. In this sense, the "state" means the whole people, united into one body politic; and the state, and the people of the state, are equivalent expressions. Mr. Justice Wilson, in his Law Lectures, uses the word "state" in its broadest sense. "In free states," he says, "the people form an artificial person, or body politic, the highest and noblest that can be known. They form that moral person, which, in one of my former lecutres, I described as a complete body of free, natural persons, united together for their common benefit; as having an understanding and a will; as deliberating, and resolving, and acting; as possessed of interests which it ought to manage; as enjoying rights which it ought to maintain; and as lying under obligations which it ought to perform. To this moral person we assign, by way of eminence, the dignified appelation of STATE." But there is a more limited sense, in which the word is often used, where it expresses merely the positive or actual organization of legislative, executive, or judicial powers. Thus the actual government of a state is frequently designated by the name of the state. We say, the state has power to do this or that; the state has passed a law, or prohibited an act; meaning no more than that the proper functionaries, organized for that purpose , have power to do the act, or have passed the law, or prohibited the particular action. The sovereignty of a nation or state, considered with reference to its association, as a body politic, may be absolute and uncontrollable in all respects, except the limitations which it chooses to impose upon itself. But the sovereignty of the government, organized within the state, may be of a very limited nature. It may extend to a few, or to many objects. It may be unlimited, as to some; it may be restrained, as to others. To the extent of the power given, the government may be sovereign, and its acts may be deemed the sovereign acts of the state. Nay, the state, by which we mean the people composing the state, may divide its sovereign powers among various functionaries, and each, in the limited sense, would be sovereign in respect to the powers confided to each, and dependent in all other cases. Strictly speaking, in our republican forms of government, the absolute sovereignty of the nation is in the people of the nation; and the residuary sovereignty of each state.

There is another mode in which we speak of a state as sovereign, and that is in reference to foreign states. Whatever may be the internal organization of the government of any state, if it has the sole power of governing itself, and is not dependent upon any foreign state, it is called a sovereign state; that is, it is a state having the same rights, privileges, and powers, as other independent states. It is in this sense that the term is generally used in treatises and discussions on the law of nations.

Now, it is apparent that none of the colonies, before the revolution, were, in the most large and general sense, independent or sovereign communities. They were all originally settled under, and subjected to, the British crown. Their powers and authorities were derived from, and limited by, their respective charters. All, or nearly all, of these charters controlled their legislation by prohibiting them from making laws repugnant, or contrary, to those of England. The crown, in many of them, possessed a negative upon their legislation, as well as the exclusive appointment of their superior officers, and a right of revision, by way of appeal, of the judgments of their courts. In their most solemn declarations of rights, they admitted themselves bound, as British subjects, to allegiance to the British crown; and, as such, they claimed to be entitled to all the rights, liberties, and immunities, of free-born British subjects. They denied all power of taxation, except by their own colonial legislatures; but at the same time they admitted themselves bound by acts of the British Parliament for the regulation of external commerce, so as to secure the commercial advantages of the whole empire to the mother country, and the commercial benefits of its respective members. So far as respects foreign states, the colonies were not, in the sense of the law of nations, sovereign states, but mere dependencies of Great Britain. They could make no treaty, declare no war, send no ambassadors, regulate no intercourse or commerce, nor, in any other shape, act as sovereigns, in the negotiations usual between independent states. In respect to each other, they stood in the common relation of British subjects; the legislation of neither could be controlled by any other; but there was a common subjection to the British crown. If in any sense they might claim the attributes of sovereignty, it was only in that subordinate sense to which we have alluded, as exercising within a limited extent certain usual powers of sovereignty. The did not even affect a claim a local allegiance.

In the next place, the colonies did not severally act for themselves, and proclaim their own independence. It is true that some of the states had previously formed incipient governments for themselves; but it was done in compliance with the recommendations of Congress.

(Continued on next post...)

@BigTex , hang on there's a bit more coming.

Unionblue
 

unionblue

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(Political Rights and Sovereignty, continued from above...)

"Virginia, on the 29th of June, 1776, by a convention of delegates, declared "the govenment of this country, as formerly exercised under the crown of Great Britain, totally dissolved," and proceeded to form a new constitutionof government. New Hampshire also formed a government, in December, 1775, which was manifestly intended to be temporary, "during (as they said) the unhappy and unnatural contest with Great Britain." New Jersey, too, established a frame of government, on the 2d of July, 1776; but it was expressly declared that it should be void upon a reconciliation with Great Britain. And South Carolian, in March, 1776, adopted a constitution of government; but this was, in like manner, "established until an accommodation between Great Britain and America could be obtained." But the declaration of the independence of all the colonies was the united act of all. It was "a declaration by the representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled;" "by the delegates appointed by the good people of the colonies," as in a prior declaration of rights they were called. It was not an act done by the state governments then organized; nor by persons chosen by them. It was emphatically the act of the whole people of the United Colonies, by the instrumentality of their representatives, chosen for that among other purposes. It was an act not competent to the state governments, or any of them, as organized under their charters, to adopt. Those charters neither contemplated the case, nor provided for it. It was an act of original, inherent sovereignty by the people themselves, resulting from their right to change the form of government, and to institute a new government, whenever necessary for their safety and happiness. So the Declaration of Independence treats it. No state had presumed of itself to form a new government, or to provide for the exigencies of the time, without consulting Congress on the subject; and when they acted, it was in pursuance of the recommendation of Congress. It was, therefore, the achievement of the whole for the benefit of the whole. The people of the United Colonies made the United Colonies free and independent states, and absolved them from allegiance to the British crown. The Declaration of Independence has accordingly always been treated as an act of paramount and sovereign authority, complete and perfect per se, and ipso facto working an entire dissolution of all political connection with, and allegiance to, Great Britain; and this, not merely as a practical fact, but in a legal and constitutional view of the matter by courts of justice.

In the debates in the South Carolina legislature, in January, 1788, respecting the propriety of calling a convention of the people to ratify or reject the Constitution, a distinguished statesman used the following language: "This admirable manifesto (i.e. the Declaration of Independence) sufficiently refutes the doctrine of the individual sovereignty and independence of the several states. In that Declaration the several states are not even enumerated; but after reciting, in nervous language, and with convincing arguments, our right to independence, and the tyranny which compelled us to assert it, the Declaration is made in the following words. 'We, therefore, the representatives of the United States &c., do, in the name, &c., of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish, &c., that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.' The separate independence and individual sovereignty of the several states were never thought of by the enlightened band of patriots who framed this Declaration. The several states are not even mentioned by name in any part, as if it was intended to impress the maxim on America, that our freedom and independence arose from our union, and that without it we could never be free or independent. Let us then consider all attempts to weaken this union, by maintaining that each state is separately and individually independent, as a species of political heresy, whcih can never benefit us, but may bring on us the most serious distresses."

This same section of Elliot's Debates may be found at:

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwed.html

When you come to the site, look to the left side of the page and find Volume I/Contents/Index. Click on Contents, and then go to the upper right and type in the number 63 into the Turn to image box and then click to turn to that page.

If you wish some background information on Justice Joseph Story, you can view the following website:


If you would like to read Justice Story's Commentaries on the Constitution, go to this website:

http://www.constitution.org/js/js_000.htm

So, in my view, the states seemed to have NEVER had true sovereignty, in all of their history, not to the extent they could be considered sovereign nations in their own right.

But did they have a degree, or as Justice Story puts it, a sense of sovereignty?

To me, yes. I base this on Akhil Reed Amar's book, America's Constitution, in where he states that under the Articles of Confederation, the States were bound by treaty such as a league, and exercised a type of state sovereignty under this agreement.

BUT, once the Articles were abandoned, and the Constitution ratified, the States gave up individual sovereignty and took upon themselves a consitution ratified by the people.

I invite replies.

There it is, @BigTex , my opinions and supporting documentation on sources on my views on state sovereignty.

Until our next post,
Unionblue
 
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Joshism

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I fervently believe that the 13 colonies surrendered whatever sovereignty they possessed, gained only after and entirely via successful revolution, upon their ratification of the Constitution.

Texas likewise gained sovereignty upon successful revolution from Mexico and surrendered that sovereignty upon being admitted as a state.

Hawaii had sovereignty while a kingdom, but lost it upon being annexed by the USA and never regained it.

No other state in the USA has ever had sovereignty.

The seceded states attempted to form a sovereign country, the CSA, but were defeated in the attempt thus never achieved sovereignty.

State Sovereignty does not exist. States Rights do not exist. Sovereignty only exists at the country level.
 

Greywolf

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I fervently believe that the 13 colonies surrendered whatever sovereignty they possessed, gained only after and entirely via successful revolution, upon their ratification of the Constitution.

Texas likewise gained sovereignty upon successful revolution from Mexico and surrendered that sovereignty upon being admitted as a state.

Hawaii had sovereignty while a kingdom, but lost it upon being annexed by the USA and never regained it.

No other state in the USA has ever had sovereignty.

The seceded states attempted to form a sovereign country, the CSA, but were defeated in the attempt thus never achieved sovereignty.

State Sovereignty does not exist. States Rights do not exist. Sovereignty only exists at the country level.
Ouch, certainly did at one time.

That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.
 
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BigTex

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(Political Rights and Sovereignty, continued from above...)

"Virginia, on the 29th of June, 1776, by a convention of delegates, declared "the govenment of this country, as formerly exercised under the crown of Great Britain, totally dissolved," and proceeded to form a new constitutionof government. New Hampshire also formed a government, in December, 1775, which was manifestly intended to be temporary, "during (as they said) the unhappy and unnatural contest with Great Britain." New Jersey, too, established a frame of government, on the 2d of July, 1776; but it was expressly declared that it should be void upon a reconciliation with Great Britain. And South Carolian, in March, 1776, adopted a constitution of government; but this was, in like manner, "established until an accommodation between Great Britain and America could be obtained." But the declaration of the independence of all the colonies was the united act of all. It was "a declaration by the representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled;" "by the delegates appointed by the good people of the colonies," as in a prior declaration of rights they were called. It was not an act done by the state governments then organized; nor by persons chosen by them. It was emphatically the act of the whole people of the United Colonies, by the instrumentality of their representatives, chosen for that among other purposes. It was an act not competent to the state governments, or any of them, as organized under their charters, to adopt. Those charters neither contemplated the case, nor provided for it. It was an act of original, inherent sovereignty by the people themselves, resulting from their right to change the form of government, and to institute a new government, whenever necessary for their safety and happiness. So the Declaration of Independence treats it. No state had presumed of itself to form a new government, or to provide for the exigencies of the time, without consulting Congress on the subject; and when they acted, it was in pursuance of the recommendation of Congress. It was, therefore, the achievement of the whole for the benefit of the whole. The people of the United Colonies made the United Colonies free and independent states, and absolved them from allegiance to the British crown. The Declaration of Independence has accordingly always been treated as an act of paramount and sovereign authority, complete and perfect per se, and ipso facto working an entire dissolution of all political connection with, and allegiance to, Great Britain; and this, not merely as a practical fact, but in a legal and constitutional view of the matter by courts of justice.

In the debates in the South Carolina legislature, in January, 1788, respecting the propriety of calling a convention of the people to ratify or reject the Constitution, a distinguished statesman used the following language: "This admirable manifesto (i.e. the Declaration of Independence) sufficiently refutes the doctrine of the individual sovereignty and independence of the several states. In that Declaration the several states are not even enumerated; but after reciting, in nervous language, and with convincing arguments, our right to independence, and the tyranny which compelled us to assert it, the Declaration is made in the following words. 'We, therefore, the representatives of the United States &c., do, in the name, &c., of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish, &c., that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.' The separate independence and individual sovereignty of the several states were never thought of by the enlightened band of patriots who framed this Declaration. The several states are not even mentioned by name in any part, as if it was intended to impress the maxim on America, that our freedom and independence arose from our union, and that without it we could never be free or independent. Let us then consider all attempts to weaken this union, by maintaining that each state is separately and individually independent, as a species of political heresy, whcih can never benefit us, but may bring on us the most serious distresses."

This same section of Elliot's Debates may be found at:

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwed.html

When you come to the site, look to the left side of the page and find Volume I/Contents/Index. Click on Contents, and then go to the upper right and type in the number 63 into the Turn to image box and then click to turn to that page.

If you wish some background information on Justice Joseph Story, you can view the following website:


If you would like to read Justice Story's Commentaries on the Constitution, go to this website:

http://www.constitution.org/js/js_000.htm

So, in my view, the states seemed to have NEVER had true sovereignty, in all of their history, not to the extent they could be considered sovereign nations in their own right.

But did they have a degree, or as Justice Story puts it, a sense of sovereignty?

To me, yes. I base this on Akhil Reed Amar's book, America's Constitution, in where he states that under the Articles of Confederation, the States were bound by treaty such as a league, and exercised a type of state sovereignty under this agreement.

BUT, once the Articles were abandoned, and the Constitution ratified, the States gave up individual sovereignty and took upon themselves a consitution ratified by the people.

I invite replies.

There it is, @BigTex , my opinions and supporting documentation on sources on my views on state sovereignty.

Until our next post,
Unionblue
My thanks to you for your selfless assistance toward my quest. I retract my questions and assertions until I have absorbed this volume of information you have provided. Until then my friend.
 
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unionblue

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My thanks to you for your selfless assistance toward my quest. I retract my questions and assertions until I have absorbed this volume of information you have provided. Until then my friend.
@BigTex ,

What a thoughtful and reasonable approach to getting answers to your questions! Further study and research can only add to your knowledge and assist you in finding the answers you seek.

Good luck and I will expect your return.

Until our next post,
Unionblue
 

OpnCoronet

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To the extent that state sovereignty, was lost, over time and events of American and World History, it is not clear that the states themselves, through their representatives in the Congress and Federal Gov't, did not give them up from disuse or bargaining them away for political and/or economic favors from the National Government.
 

Jimbo_Poke

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I would like to offer the following view. In the U.S. Federal system of government no government body is truly sovereign in so far as having truly absolute power and free from other bodies of government. Power was designed to be divided, checked, and balanced both within the different levels of government and between the different levels of government. Even the will of the people has checks and balances to prevent mob rule. So on certain policies or areas of governing a state may be sovereign while in other areas the national/central government may be sovereign.

I scratch my head a little at the argument of
each of the States retained their sovereignty in the Articles of Confederation. The AoC established a perpetual union, that right there shows some surrender of power of the state's government bodies. While the States may have held more power under the AofC rather than under the Constitution, they still surrendered power and therefore some levels of sovereignty under the AoC.
 
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Greywolf

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Abel Upshur:
The great vice of the Federalists consisted in desiring to clothe the Federal Government with almost monarchical powers; whereas the States had carefully and resolutely reserved the great mass of political power to themselves. The powers which they delegated to the Federal Government were few, and were general in their character. Those which they reserved embraced their original and inalienable sovereignty, which no State imagined it was surrendering when it, adopted the Constitution. Mr. Madison dwelt with great force upon the fact that "a delegated is not a surrendered power." The States surrendered no powers to the Federal Government. They only delegated them. The powers of the States are original. Those of the Federal Government are only derived and secondary; and they were delegated, not for the purpose of aggrandizing the Federal Government, but for the sole purpose of protecting the rights and sovereignty of "the several States." The Federal Government was formed by the States for their own benefit. The Federal Government is simply an agency, commissioned by the "several States".....
https://www.constitution.org/ups/upshur.htm
 

Greywolf

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Joined
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Messages
825
Patrick Henry
June, 1788 from a speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention
" That this is a consolidated Government is demonstrably clear, and the danger of
such a Government, is, to my mind, very striking."

George Mason
Sept., 1781 in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
“You have, no Doubt, been informed of the illegal, and dangerous Schemes now
in Contemplation in Congress. (The Constitution), if not immediately arrested in
it’s progress, will be productive of every Evil; and the Revolution, instead of
securing, as was intended, our Rights and Libertys, will only change the Name
and place of Residence of our Tyrants.’
http://memory.loc.gov/mss/mcc/03
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Messages
30,354
Location
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Abel Upshur:
The great vice of the Federalists consisted in desiring to clothe the Federal Government with almost monarchical powers; whereas the States had carefully and resolutely reserved the great mass of political power to themselves. The powers which they delegated to the Federal Government were few, and were general in their character. Those which they reserved embraced their original and inalienable sovereignty, which no State imagined it was surrendering when it, adopted the Constitution. Mr. Madison dwelt with great force upon the fact that "a delegated is not a surrendered power." The States surrendered no powers to the Federal Government. They only delegated them. The powers of the States are original. Those of the Federal Government are only derived and secondary; and they were delegated, not for the purpose of aggrandizing the Federal Government, but for the sole purpose of protecting the rights and sovereignty of "the several States." The Federal Government was formed by the States for their own benefit. The Federal Government is simply an agency, commissioned by the "several States".....
https://www.constitution.org/ups/upshur.htm
@Greywolf ,

Thanks for the above post and source.

May I ask, who is Abel Upshur and why should I give his view any consideration?

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
30,354
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Patrick Henry
June, 1788 from a speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention
" That this is a consolidated Government is demonstrably clear, and the danger of
such a Government, is, to my mind, very striking."

George Mason
Sept., 1781 in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
“You have, no Doubt, been informed of the illegal, and dangerous Schemes now
in Contemplation in Congress. (The Constitution), if not immediately arrested in
it’s progress, will be productive of every Evil; and the Revolution, instead of
securing, as was intended, our Rights and Libertys, will only change the Name
and place of Residence of our Tyrants.’
http://memory.loc.gov/mss/mcc/03
@Greywolf ,

I am aware of Patrick Henry's objections to the constitution, but was not aware of George Mason's letter to Jefferson.

Did Jefferson reply and give his thoughts on the matter?

I ask because the link you provide above does not work for me.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
30,354
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Secretary of State under John Tyler.
@Greywolf ,

Thank you for taking the time and effort to post more about Abel Upshur and his varied and colorful life and career.

I particulally am interested in his work in rebuttal to Joseph Story's commentaries, which your source above lists that work online.

Appreciate your time and effort in answering my post.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Greywolf

Sergeant
Joined
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Messages
825
@Greywolf ,

Thank you for taking the time and effort to post more about Abel Upshur and his varied and colorful life and career.

I particulally am interested in his work in rebuttal to Joseph Story's commentaries, which your source above lists that work online.

Appreciate your time and effort in answering my post.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Thanks UB, and you are welcome. His response to judge Story is not as well known as Story's work yet it is interesting to see the other point of view so to speak and it it is full of thought provoking information.
In my limited but growing study of early America it is quite clear there were two schools of thought. Interestingly, many but not all of the (states rights, compact) early leaders were southern, but not all. It's also interesting that you can find quotes, spee hes, etc, where some of them sound like Nationalists some of the time and states righter with other things they said, a good example is Madison.
 
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