Madison and Jefferson Resolutuons Essay

737 Words May 5th, 2012 3 Pages
As a result of the backlash the federal Sedition Act and Alien Act created, two resolutions were created in 1798-1799 for the purpose of awareness and nullifying such above laws and future laws that were deemed unconstitutional, because they were created by the federal government without consent of the states; therefore these laws would be void and not in effect (p. 158). These two resolutions, The Virginia Resolution and the Kentucky Resolution, were created by two of the four Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. These two key documents helped reform the United States Government by enforcing states rights.
In the Virginia Resolution, Jefferson and Madison use the term “compact” to describe the relationship and
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Furthermore, he states in his resolutions that laws protected by the first amendment like the freedom of the press, cannot be restrained and it is the states duty to guard such attacks.
In the third paragraph of the Virginia Resolutions Madison states “that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact; to which said states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact;…?”, he conveys that the powers the federal government is limited as a result of the power that the states have pursuant to the compact which the two parties share pursuant to the Constitution.
In the Kentucky Resolution Jefferson proposes the right of nullification, meaning that states are independent and have the authority to void such laws which are unauthorized, unconstitutional and are placed without consent of the states or the rightful authority of the federal government to pass such laws. Therefore, laws that portray the aforementioned, will be nullified and do not have to be enforced by states who refute such laws like the Alien Act and Sedition Act which as Jefferson states are not conducive to “liberty and happiness”.
The arguments Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions defended the constitution but challenged the power that the Federal

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