Here you’ll find documents of historical note that relate to the 10th Amendment in both theory and practice. We hope to continue expanding the selection. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any comments or recommendations.
United States Constitution
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Kentucky Resolutions of 1798
The following resolutions were adopted by the Kentucky Legislature on November 10, 1798, as a protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress. They were authored by Thomas Jefferson, but he did not make public the fact until years later.
Virginia Resolution of 1798
The following resolution was adopted by the Virginia Senate on December 24, 1798, as a protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress. It was authored by James Madison, in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson.
South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification
An ordinance to nullify certain acts of the Congress of the United States, purporting to be laws laying duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities. November 24, 1832
A Disquisition on Government
In order to have a clear and just conception of the nature and object of government, it is indispensable to understand correctly what that constitution or law of our nature is, in which government originates; or, to express it more fully and accurately, “that law, without which government would not, and with which, it must necessarily exist.”
James Madison, during the Constitutional ratification process, drafted the Virginia Plan to give Congress general legislative authority and to empower the national judiciary to hear any case that might cause friction among the states, to give the congress a veto over state laws, to empower the national government to use the military against the states, and to eliminate the states’ accustomed role in selecting members of Congress. Each one of these proposals was soundly defeated.
Report of the Hartford Convention
The 1814 convention ended with a report and resolutions, signed by the delegates present, and adopted on the day before final adjournment. The report said that New England had a “duty” to assert its authority over unconstitutional infringements on its sovereignty, “a doctrine that echoed the policy of Jefferson and Madison in 1798 (in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions), and which would later reappear in a different context as “nullification.”