How powerful is a state? How powerful should it be? These questions have been debated since the American Revolution. Under the Articles of Confederation, we saw states with significantly higher power than the national government; there was an attempt at more balance in the Constitution. Yet the debate over the power of each level of government continued, and this debate formed some of the reasoning behind having a Bill of Rights, led to the formation of our two political parties, and formed the basis of many of our conflicts in American history. In the Federalist Era, we saw James Madison and Thomas Jefferson write the “Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions,” in reaction to the Alien and Sedition Acts; the resolutions outlined their beliefs of where national law overreached and states should be able to counter that law. And in the Age of Jackson, we see the issue arise again in relation to the tariffs.
In your essay, you should:
Write an introductory paragraph outlining the basic argument of state powers versus national powers. You may want to turn to the Constitution itself to find material (especially Article I, Section 8 and the Tenth Amendment).
Write a brief summary of why each document was written. What is the historical context of the documents? You will probably want a paragraph for each document.
Write a paragraph on what the two documents have in common.
Write a paragraph on what the difference in the two documents is. How does the “South Carolina Exposition and Protest” differ in its argument from the “Kentucky Resolution”?
Write a concluding paragraph that answers whether or not a state should have the ability to nullify a national law, and if so, under what circumstances? If not, why not? You are stating your opinion in this paragraph, but as always, you should avoid using the first person. DO NOT use Wikipedia or other online encyclopedias as a source. Be sure to keep track of where you find your information so you can provide in-text citations in your final essay as well as a works cited page at the end of your essay. Quotations should make up no more than 10 to 15 percent of the body of your essay. The best quotations come from primary sources not secondary sources. The content of your quoted passages should be so unique that paraphrasing the ideas would take away from their meaning or impact.READ: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/South_Carolina_Exposition_and_Protest