Warfield, Ethelbert Dudley. The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798: An Historical Study. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1887. ix, 203 pp. Reprinted 2004 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 978-1584774372; ISBN-10: 1584774371. Cloth. $75. * The Kentucky Resolutions anonymously authored by Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826] were adopted by the Kentucky legislature in 1798. Written to oppose the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts, they initiated a debate about the respective powers of the federal government and states. The most remarkable claim advanced by the resolutions was that states had the right to nullify federal legislation. A key text for advocates of states' rights, the resolutions had a profound effect on the debates that led to the Civil War. Dudley, a Kentucky attorney, provides a lively account of their history. In contrast to other authors, which tend to focus of Jefferson, Dudley emphasizes the central role played by John Breckinridge, the leading member of the Kentucky House of Representatives. Indeed, this book, which draws extensively on his papers, remains the principal study of Breckinridge's influence on the resolutions.
Book number 38742