[Reading] ➹ A Constitutional View Of The Late War Between The States (2 Vols) ➯ Alexander H. Stephens – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk


A Constitutional View Of The Late War Between The States (2 Vols) Stephens Was Vice President Of The Confederacy, And A Senator With A Brilliant Legal Mind, Skilled In Debate After The War, Stephens Took Up His Pen To Explain His View Of States Rights And The Right Of Secession In This Two Volume Set The Second Volume Is In The Form Of A Dialogue Taking Place At His Home, Liberty Hall, Between Himself And Various Opponents

  • Hardcover
  • 1493 pages
  • A Constitutional View Of The Late War Between The States (2 Vols)
  • Alexander H. Stephens
  • English
  • 19 June 2018
  • 159442067X Edition Language English Other Editions 34

About the Author: Alexander H. Stephens

Alexander Hamilton Stephens February 11, 1812 March 4, 1883 was an American politician from Georgia He was Vice President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War He also served as a U.S Representative from Georgia both before the Civil War and after Reconstruction and as the 50th Governor of Georgia from 1882 until his death in 1883.



10 thoughts on “A Constitutional View Of The Late War Between The States (2 Vols)

  1. says:

    Because causes are never truly lost, even when relinquished at the loss of treasure and blood, it is never vain to try to confront and understand the past This extends even to matters so thoroughly decided as the Civil War, or the war between the states, if you are one of those lost causers The causes and reasons behind the war are still fascinating to us or should be for the battle between human rights versus legalism, the conflict between empire and small republic, has never disappeared May Because causes are never truly lost, even when relinquished at the loss of treasure and blood, it is never vain to try to confront and understand the past This extends even to matters so thoroughly decided as the Civil War, or the war between the states, if you are one of those lost causers The causes and reasons behind the war are still fascinating to us or should be for the battle between human rights versus legalism, the conflict between empire and small republic, has never disappeared Maybe the cruelest summation of Northern war ends was provided by one of Sherman s letters, from which Lincoln is said to have spoken with approval Another great and important natural truth is still in contest, and can only be solved by war Can we whip the South If we can, our numerical majority has both the natural and constitutional right to govern them If we cannot whip them, they contend for the natural right to select their own government, and they have the argument Our armies must prevail over theirs our officers, marshals, and courts, must penetrate into the innermost recesses of their land, before we have the natural right to demand their submission This most brutal and severe proposition that might makes right is certainly not a fair summation of the Northern war cause we might bookend it with Nathan Bedford Forrest s quote If we ain t fighting to keep slavery, what the hell are we fighting for Between these two extremes fall the great moral representatives of both side Abraham Lincoln in the North, and Alexander Hamilton Stephens, the Vice President of and greatest apologist for the Confederate States of America Lincoln s own life must suffice as his masterwork A genius perfectly calibrated to the demands of the time, one which ushered in such a dramatic and utter defeat of the old zeitgeist that none but a few cranks can even recognize the complete decimation that he wrought He even had the fortune to die at the right time, before his legacy could be sullied by postwar administration Stephens survived, even after his cause lay mortally wounded, and produced his masterwork, A Late History of the War Between the States a few short years after the war Partly a memoir and apology of the most brilliant and principled purveyor of the Confederate cause, but evenan analysis of the Constitution, worthy to stand alongside the Federalist Papers and Justice Story s Commentaries on the Constitution as one of the best expositions of the antebellum republic The two volumes are framed as a dialogue between Stephens, a radical Republican, a modern Lincoln man, and a war Democrat in 1867 The dialogue format serves Stephens well he is able to alternate between friendly and didactic, all while maintaining a colloquial tone It is a shamedo not avail themselves of such a format.The first volume covers the central legal claim of secession That in 1861, as in 1787, the states were sovereign entities entered into a compact called the Union, and as sovereign entities, had the right to leave the compact for just cause The Articles of Confederation explicitly stated that sovereignty remained with the states, and though the 1787 Constitution was not so clear, the evidence Stephens provides clearly shows that the states still retained sovereignty To say that Stephens s argument carries the day is an understatement Stephens s trotting out the individual state ratifying conventions is probably overkill for most readers, as is his quoting Webster and Calhoun which takes up whole chapters of the book But the ultimate takeaway is irresistible The states, upon independence, were individual sovereigns who entered into a league, but did not relinquish their sovereignty the Articles of Confederation explicitly say as much Nothing in the Constitution of 1787 can be construed to remove that sovereignty, and enough states worried about the matter to ratify what is now the 10th Amendment The Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 1798 again affirmed the paramount authority of the states, and this principle was adhered to by every president between John Adams and Lincoln The nullification controversy, though in Stephens s opinion misguided, again affirmed the sovereignty of the states The second volume provides a broader defense of Southern conduct in years leading up to the war, and an apology for the Confederacy s wartime conduct Some of Stephens historical insights were new and surprising to me The fact that the actual Missouri Compromise as proposed by Henry Clay did not contemplate the 36 30 slave demarcation is new to me The fact that by 1821, Northern congressmen were backtracking on that informal demarcation, is evenso The great hubbub raised over Justice Taney s dicta in Dred Scott v Sanford, stating that Congress had no authority to restrict slavery in the Louisiana territory, is transformed from the great bete noire of the just Republican cause into a manufactured outrage For all his dispassionate analysis, Stephens is the most idealist of men And unlike many Jeffersonians including perhaps Jefferson himself Stephens continued to act upon his ideals upon rising to power, and let them guide his statecraft In the midst of the war, Stephens spoke out against conscription and Jefferson Davis s suspension of habeas corpus, stating that these betrayals of principle didharm the Southern cause than their application could have in practice Along similar lines, he disapproved of Lee s invasion of Pennsylvania, hoping instead to win over Northern opinion through the Confederacy s war of resistance rather than the taking of DC Up until the last months of the war, he still hoped that the logic of States rights could win the support of his Northern brethren But this was not to be Fanaticism had won the day by then, and even Democratic allies in the North were being defeated through the ballot box The only thing left was to suffer the logical consequences Andrew Johnson, the Tennessee senator who stayed loyal to the Union while yet supporting the sovereignty of the states was swallowed up by the incoherence of his position, and is now maybe the most easily forgotten of all our presidents.The book is not all legalism Stephens s personal experiences provide some of the best parts of the narrative The Hampton Roads conference provides something like the climax of the work The ever rancid Seward is a toady next to the avuncular Lincoln Stephens had nursed hopes that French meddling in Mexico might give the two sides reasons to call off their aggression and turn it on the French His assessment of Grant is top rate All in all, he was one of the most remarkable men I had ever met with, and that his career in life, if his days should be prolonged, was hardly entered upon that his character was not yet fully developed that he himself was not aware of his own power, and that if he lived, he would, in the future, exert a controlling influence in shaping the destines of this country, either for good or evil Stephens confines his peculiar opinions about the peculiar institution to a few short segments and the appendix Slavery rests upon great truths, which can never be successfully assailed by reason or argument It has grown stronger in the minds of men theit has been discussed, and it will still grow stronger as the discussion proceeds and time rolls on If this statement was true, abolitionists must be all thethankful to Lincoln, who whose simple moral argument against slavery eventually brought down every legal barrier protecting it In conclusion, Stephens still retains hope that the cause of individual liberty and state sovereignty will prevail The centralizers were in power, but until the Progressive Era, the loaded gun which Northern victory had bought for them was not employed This seems as ill founded to us as hoping for the restoration of the Tudors But much of our inability to sympathize with the Southern cause is owing largely to our lost perspective After all, a legal fiction like states rights seems paltry next to the moral cataract of abolition The modern presumption that the antebellum Southerner was a Hitleresque monster haspower to us because we no longer to understand what his true cause was about And Stephens is rarelydeprecatory than when he hears the suggestion that the defense of slavery was the driving force of the war It was not the slave power that drove men to shed their blood from Manasses to Petersburg no merely economic power could have done this Compare this to what is going on in Europe today As Christopher Caldwell recently noted, the modern EU is as much a house divided as the United States were in the 1850s Again we are confronted with the limits of sovereignty in a confederacy, again we are confronted with the moral claims of reformers being used to condemn the other again we are left to wonder how many of these are specious cudgels, invoked only so the will of the bigger power can crush the economic and social programs of the smaller I suspect that the modern fight for independence of England registersdeeply with Americans than the independence of Virginia England still exists for us as a distinct place, whereas Virginia has been subsumed within America It seems strange to us that England could one day be relegated to such a marginal status And yet if the Remainers and the Davos Men of the continent have their way, the notion of sovereignty of Britain and Hungary may someday be as nugatory to us as Virginia s, a hollow legalism next to the benefits posed by judicial review and the protection of refugees The idea of England still has value to us It has a beauty and meaning that cannot be captured by the economizers and bureaucrats, or even understood by them But who is to say that God Save the Queen will not someday seem as antiquated and strange as Maryland O Maryland The conflict between small republic and empire has never ended And though the Confederates are now seen as the greatest proponent of a lost cause, but at most the cause traveled across the sea And for this reason alone, A Constitutional History should bewidely read, andwidely available More than this, it is simply one of the greatest pieces of constitutional history and analysis that I have ever read Edmund Wilson tells us that copies of the volumes once could be found on every mantle across the South Where are they now Why hasn t the Library of America published these seminal books Rather than accumulating the detritus of Philip Roth and Walt Whitman, our libraries would be much enriched by the greatest work by the last great statesman of our old republic

  2. says:

    This is a thorough book on States rights The doctrine of staes Rights is often misunderstood It is based on the 10th amendment Stepehns is very qualified to write on the subject If any one would read this work it would be easy to see how many men have been misqouted or half qouted such as Daniel Webster and Andrew Jackson on the nature of the Federal Union Daniel Webster gave a speeh on the nature of the Union on which 10 years later he retracted The latter part is left out of our history This is a thorough book on States rights The doctrine of staes Rights is often misunderstood It is based on the 10th amendment Stepehns is very qualified to write on the subject If any one would read this work it would be easy to see how many men have been misqouted or half qouted such as Daniel Webster and Andrew Jackson on the nature of the Federal Union Daniel Webster gave a speeh on the nature of the Union on which 10 years later he retracted The latter part is left out of our history books He retracted because through study and debate he was proven wrong The 10th amendment confirms that we the people means the states The state formed the Federal compact Few modern conservatives understand states rights The Bill of Rights originally only applied to the Federal Congress this is confirmed by Supreme Court case baron vs balti Letters between the Danbury Baptist and Thomas Jefferson The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 Virgina aceeded to the Constitution with the understanding she could seceed if Congress abused powers delegated or exercised power not delegated which Congress does every day today When people foght and dided for States Rights they died for all their rights. freedom of religion, press etc early americans and th Southern Confederacy did not trust a Federal Congress as protector af any rights The doctrine of nullification was confirmed by T Jefferson in Virginia resolution My God help us to recover what has been lost The NRA who I endorse does not believe this doctrine They do not believe like the founding fathers I believe in right to bare arms but power not delegated to Congress is not thier power I hear people say a lot of things that reveals they have no understanding of our form of Government our forfathers desired for us to have

  3. says:

    Alexander H Stephen s analysis of the relationship between the individual states and the Federal government is essential reading for any student of history or civics He expertly traces the origins of the American Constitution and the intentions of its framers through an involved and thorough examination of all pertinent original material.This volume, Part I of the duology, treats with American political development relevant to the diametric between the state and federal governments prior to th Alexander H Stephen s analysis of the relationship between the individual states and the Federal government is essential reading for any student of history or civics He expertly traces the origins of the American Constitution and the intentions of its framers through an involved and thorough examination of all pertinent original material.This volume, Part I of the duology, treats with American political development relevant to the diametric between the state and federal governments prior to the Great Compromise of 1850 it covers the drafting of the Articles of Confederation, the Philadelphia Convention, the Crisis of 1800, the Jackson Administration, the Nullification Crisis, and certain exploits of the Immortal Trio This book is less an apology for secession than it is a history of the American Constitution and a paean to its excellence, and as such this text will be edifying for anyone interested in early American history and political development, and not just American Civil War buffs

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