OPINIONSrnAntiquities of the Republicrnby Samuel Francisrn”The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Unionrna republican form ofgovemment.”rn— Constitution of the United States, Article IVrnStates’ Rights and the Union:rnImperium in Imperio, 1776-1876rnby Forrest McDonaldrnLawrence: University of Kansas Press;rn296 pp., $29.95rnUntil the triumph of the civil-rightsrnmovement at the end of the 1960’s,rnprobably the most disruphve and recurrentrnconflict in American politics camernfrom the struggle between central authorityrnin the federal government and localrnauthority at the level of the states. Sincernthe 1960’s, the issue seems almost to havernvanished, although states’ rights are periodicallyrntrotted out by one side or anotherrnto score a debahng point. While therndefense of local community and authorityrnhas historically been associated withrnthe political right, last year liberal columnistrnE.J. Dionne wrote a cohmm challengingrnthe Supreme Court’s ruling thatrnmade George W. Bush president by arguingrnthat the ruling violated states’rnrights.rnIt is not surprising, given the politicalrnSamuel Francis is Chronicles’rnWashington editor.rnfootball that the concept of states’ rightsrnhas often been in our history, that few historiansrnhave seemed to take it very seriouslyrn—especially since the civil-rightsrnmovement, when its invocation by segregationistsrnsupposedly “discredited” thernconcept, hi the 1950’s, journalist JamesrnJ. Kilpatrick published an explicidv segregationistrnbook, The Sovereign States, thatrnremains one of the best defenses of states’rnrights ever published, even though Kilpatrickrnlater repudiated the book and thernpositions he defended. Forrest McDonald’srnmost recent work of scholarship isrnlargely free of polemic and is certainlyrnnot a tract for segregation, although herndoes recapitulate much of what Kilpatrickrnwrote in his long-out-of-printrnbook.rnMcDonald’s book is a history of thernuse of the idea of states’ rights and its implicahonsrnin such doctrines as interposition,rnnullification, and secession, as wellrnas a compact and highly informative (ifrnsometimes rather dry) history of the UnitedrnStates in terms of states’ rights and thernlegal and political conflicts centered onrnthe concept. Since much of what reallyrnshaped our constitutional and politicalrnhistory is now being lost because of ideologicalrnteaching and deliberately inculcatedrnfalsehoods and illiteracy, what hernhas to tell us in this book is invaluable.rnThose who, for either political or scholarlyrnreasons, are seriously interested in thernconcept of states’ rights and the federalismrnit informed will find McDonald’s excellentrnlittle book irreplaceable.rnMcDonald rightly sides with the proponentsrnof the compact theory of the formationrnof the U.S. Constitution, holdingrnthat Lincoln was wrong to claim in hisrnmessage to Congress of July 4, 1861, thatrn”the Union is older than any of the States,rnand, in fact, it created them as States.”rnThis “‘nationalist* interpretation, as it hasrn22/CHRONICLESrnrnrn