THE EVOLUTION OF REVOLUTION
By Timothy N. Baldwin, JD.
August 22, 2010
In recent years throughout the States of America, there has been what is referred to as the State Nullification Movement. This movement is based upon the concepts expressed in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and 1799, drafted and advocated by founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Nullification’s idea is this: the United States Constitution (“USC”) is a union of sovereign States, as confirmed by the Declaration of Independence and Treaty of Paris of 1783 and as reflected in the Constitution of (for) the United States of America (USC, tenth amendment); the federal government is a creation of the sovereign will of the States and has limited power and function based upon the USC creating the union; any powers exercised by the federal government beyond that delegation are a nullity; and the States, as having their own powers delegated to them by the people of those States, have the power and duty to resist federal encroachments. This concept has picked up momentum as of late, particularly because people throughout the States are fed up and see no other effective method of preserving their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, but what many in this movement may not realize is that the Nullification Movement is merely a step in the process to a greater movement: the State Independence Movement.
The natural evolution of the political and societal experience is for government to encroach upon individual and societal rights and to assume a role contrary to what is good for those people, which is normally caused by a breakdown of individual, familial, religious and moral character and integrity. A (normally small) portion of society eventually realizes that the government reflects this larger problem and that merely voting for change in government administration cannot produce the necessities to protect freedom. The response becomes that of self-preservation. At first, any resistance is theoretical and benign and is conducted in the least disruptive manner possible. It has no force behind it but is a sort of warning statement to the opposing party. In reality, it is much than that. It is an evolutionary step towards the ultimate end of separation from the nullity. America’s own history holds the example of this truth.
Before 1776, the colonies were not without their problems with Great Britain throughout their existence. However, no serious controversy would have been identified as so catalytic as the Stamp Act of 1765. Without a doubt, the passage of that law by Parliament to directly tax the colonists alarmed them to such an extent that no law passed prior could compare in its political effect. Even most of the men who became infamous statesmen of the 1770s paid little attention to political actions made by Great Britain until 1765. Before then, “politics were apparently ignored…except so far as concerned their legal business.” As soon as a law was passed that became collectively opposed, the first line of defense was the “State Nullification Movement.” This movement is reflected in Virginia’s nullification declaration of the Stamp Act, which Resolved in part:
“That the General Assembly of this Colony have the only and sole exclusive right and power to lay taxes and impositions upon the inhabitants of this Colony, and THAT EVERY ATTEMPT TO VEST SUCH POWER in any person or persons whatsoever other than the General Assembly aforesaid HAS A MANIFEST TENDENCY TO DESTROY…AMERICAN FREEDOM.
“That…the inhabitants of this Colony ARE NOT BOUND TO YIELD OBEDIENCE.”