Saturday, February 25, 2017

Southern Nullification and the Stamp Act

Every so often, a candid examination of current events makes famous incidents in American history altogether relevant again. In my mind no incident demonstrates this more than the Stamp Act Crisis of 1765. Few episodes in American history have so effectively proved how to confront and end the enactment of malignant and unconstitutional laws.

In 1765, the standard American position held that the Stamp Act violated the bounds of the British constitutional system. Objecting to the notion that Parliament was supreme, and could pass impose whatever binding legislation it wished upon the colonies, the colonies instead adopted the rigid stance that colonists could only be taxed by their local assemblies. This idea, they thought, stretched all the way back to 1215 and the Magna Carta.

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