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NULLIFICATION REVIVED

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

back to the doctrine of nullification advanced by Calhoun and his supporters in pre-civil-war days, and speciously reasons that since that doctrine precipitated one civil war its reappearance must necessarily result in another.

Without entering into any pro or condiscussion of the Prohibition controversy it is possible to point out the fallacy underlying so disturbing a premise. In the first place, what Representative Williamson is pleased to term the "nullification doctrine" of the present day bears slight similarity to the nullification doctrine which precipitated the Civil War. The former rests simply on the assumed right of Congress to refuse to enact subsidiary legislation to the Eighteenth Amendment since it is not directly obligated to do so. The latter assumes the right of an individual state to annul legislation distasteful to it.

Furthermore, Calhoun's doctrine was able to cause civil war only because the controversy involved was of such a nature thatit divided the nation along clearly-defined regional lines, presenting in this way two violently opposed geographical entities. The present controversy, while sentiment may prevail one way or the other in different regions, is not fundamentally sectional in origin, and scarcely can operate to cause any well defined rift in the union. Civil war under these conditions then must necessarily be nothing more, than anarchy and chaos, rather than any conflict between two well organized factions. It is absurd to assume that citizens of the United States are capable of going to such extreme lengths merely to prevent brother citizens from taking a drink. There is every reason to believe, on the contrary, that a solution to prohibition difficulties will eventually be reached through legislative means. That this will take some time is apparent, but the assumption that civil war can result is in any case extravagant.

Without entering into any pro or condiscussion of the Prohibition controversy it is possible to point out the fallacy underlying so disturbing a premise. In the first place, what Representative Williamson is pleased to term the "nullification doctrine" of the present day bears slight similarity to the nullification doctrine which precipitated the Civil War. The former rests simply on the assumed right of Congress to refuse to enact subsidiary legislation to the Eighteenth Amendment since it is not directly obligated to do so. The latter assumes the right of an individual state to annul legislation distasteful to it.

Furthermore, Calhoun's doctrine was able to cause civil war only because the controversy involved was of such a nature thatit divided the nation along clearly-defined regional lines, presenting in this way two violently opposed geographical entities. The present controversy, while sentiment may prevail one way or the other in different regions, is not fundamentally sectional in origin, and scarcely can operate to cause any well defined rift in the union. Civil war under these conditions then must necessarily be nothing more, than anarchy and chaos, rather than any conflict between two well organized factions. It is absurd to assume that citizens of the United States are capable of going to such extreme lengths merely to prevent brother citizens from taking a drink. There is every reason to believe, on the contrary, that a solution to prohibition difficulties will eventually be reached through legislative means. That this will take some time is apparent, but the assumption that civil war can result is in any case extravagant.

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