been called, is untenable,” McDonaldrnwrites, and he treats sympathetically thernvarious conflicts in American history thatrninvolved the rights of the states that followrnfrom the compact theory. This positionrnplaces him—with respect to states’rnrights, if not to other issues—on the sidernof the Confederacy as opposed to Lincoln,rnCalhoun and Hayne as opposed tornWebster and Jackson, and Jefferson andrnMadison as opposed to Hamilton andrnJohn Adams. McDonald seems to harborrnan intense dislike of Jackson, blamingrnhis crusade against the Bank of the UnitedrnStates for the economic collapse ofrn1837 and the destruction of the Americanrnfinancial system and finding him responsiblernas well for the weakness of thernpresidency during most of the 19th century.rnJackson failed to “embody the spiritrnof the nation” and “brought such disreputernto his office that that vital functionrnof the presidency could scarcely be performedrnagain for the remainder of therncentur)’.” McDonald allows that Jacksonrn”believed in states’ rights,” as hisrnSupreme Court appointments show,rneven though he boldly asserted the “nationalist”rntheory in his proclamationrnagainst nullification in South Carolina,rnand “his eight years in office saw the triumphrnof the states’ rights doctrine.”rnBut McDonald’s account of King Andrewrnpales beside his portrayal of FatherrnAbraham. His summar)’ of the constitutionalrndepredations of Abraham Lincolnrnis the most concise and comprehensive Irnhave seen in a mainstream work of scholarship,rnalthough McDonald rather incongruouslyrnclaims that Lincoln “tookrnseriously” his oath of office to uphold thernConstitution while writing that, “If itrnproved necessary, in his judgment, tornbreak a host of minor laws or constitutionalrnprovisions and to trample on thernrights of loyal citizens in the doing, so bernit.” By 1862, Lincoln’s administrationrnhad imprisoned some 14,000 citizens inrnmilitary prisons under martial law andrnheld them without trial and withoutrnhabeas corpus, which the President hadrnsummarily suspended. (Jefferson Davis,rnMcDonald notes, suspended habeas corpusrnin the Confederacy; he did so, however,rnwith the consent of the ConfederaternCongress, while Lincoln acted withoutrncongressional approval.) By 1863, Lincolnrnalso controlled most of the governorsrnof the unionist states. “The governorsrncould no longer claim that Lincolnrnwas their creature; now it was Lincolnrnwho had elected the governors. Theyrncould offer only token resistance duringrnthe remainder of the war.” Had it notrnbeen for the sheer corruption of the RepublicanrnParty under Grant and hisrncronies and their indifference to radicalismrn—probably also for the death of Lincolnrnhimself—the Lincoln era wouldrnhave seen the permanent destruction ofrnrepublican government in the UnitedrnStates. As it was, although the congressionalrnand executive branches ceased exercisingrnthe enhanced powers they hadrnseized during the war, the SupremernCourt revived states’ rights in the postwarrnperiod and enabled constitutional governmentrnto survive.rnAlthough McDonald’s book is arnmuch ireeded account of both therntheory (political and legal) of states’ rightsrnand its histor)’, it has two shortcomings.rnhi the first place, it fails to bring the historyrnup through the 20th century; instead,rnit stops at 1876, when an increasinglyrnconservative court used states’ rights theoriesrnto gut Radical Republican legislationrnenacted during Reconstruction.rnMcDonald does offer a thumbnail sketchrnof the revival of the Tenth Amendmentrnin recent years, but a closer discussion ofrnwho has used states’ rights and who hasrnrejected them in the 20th centur)’ wouldrnhave given his book a completion that itrnseems to lack.rnThe other shortcoming is McDonald’srnrefusal to examine the larger forces that,rnat various times in our history, havernpushed or resisted states’ rights. Thernmost obvious such force, of course, hasrnbeen the South, but McDonald doesrnshow that, in the 1850’s, when the federalrngovernment was mainly friendly tornSouthern interests, “the attitudes of manyrnsoutherners came more nearly to approximaternthe constitutional views of JohnrnMarshall than those of Jefferson and Jackson,rneven as Yankees were adopting a Jeffersonianrnand Jacksonian suspicion of thernfederal government and the SupremernCourt.” Earlier, of course. New England’srndislike of the War of 1812 led tornthe secessionism of the Hartford Convention.rnWhile McDonald does show thatrndifferent political forces have used states’rnrights as they proved convenient for theirrninterests and abandoned or muted theirrnuse of them as they proved inconvenient,rnan account of the eventual demise ofrnstates’ rights as the result of the triumphrnof a centralizing economy and technologyrnand the demand of those who controlrnthem for political uniformity and centralizationrnwould have been instructive.rnWriting that history, of course, wouldrnhave carried McDonald well beyondrn1876 into the Progressive Era and thern20th century.rnMcDonald ends his book on a cautiouslyrnoptimistic note, concluding that,rn”in the 1990’s, as in the 1870’s, states’rnrights had found a powerful friend, but,rngiven the five-to-four majority, a ficklernone.” He is more optimistic than L It isrnreasonable to expect from the SupremernCourt occasional invocations of defunctrnconstitutional doctrines like states’ rights,rnjust as we can occasionally expect similarrnreflexes from political forces that dislikernor see themselves threatened by centralizationrnand national unity. But the bruternfact is that the concept of states’ rights isrnas dead as the Old Republic it animated,rnslain by the conjuncture of the centralizingrneconomic and technological imperativesrnof the last century and their politicalrnexpression in the architects of thernleviathan state in both political parties.rnThe real origins of the Constitution, therntruth of the compact theory, and the naturernof “federalism” itself are today merelyrnarcana suitable to antiquarians; theyrnare virtually imknown in law schools andrnpublic discussion, and even conservativernofficeholders in Washington usually harborrnonly an inchoate idea of them, whenrnthey entertain any sympathy at all. Moreover,rnstates’ rights and the localism theyrnare supposed to protect cannot thrive in arnpolitical order in which the local has becomernsimply an appendage of the centralrnand looks to the central government forrnthe fodder it devours, and when even thernchampions of the states’ rights legacyrnprove too ignorant to know the difference.rnLast year, the Southern Party,rnwhich advocates the secession of thernSouth from the United States, fielded itsrnfirst candidate and won its first politicalrnvictory. The candidate’s name wasrnWayne Willingham, and he was electedrnmayor of West Point, Alabama, by thernwhopping margin of one vote. Shouldrnthe reader conclude the Willinghamrnlandslide is evidence of the coming resurrectionrnof states’ rights, at least in thernSouth, and the rejection of the federalrnleviathan that smothers them, he oughtrnto be disabused. As the Florence, Alabama,rnTimes Daily reported in September,rn”Willingham said he campaigned not onrnSouthern nationalism but on gettingrnmore state and federal grant money tornhelp West P o i n t . . . “rnAPRIL 2001/23rnrnrn