Home Page Forums U.S. Constitutional History Article IV Section 4

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  • #8363
    Lambowolf
    Participant

    Dr. Gutzman, (Professor McClanahan as well)

    I think someone asked you about this clause on Facebook recently.

    It had me wondering…

    The line of “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”

    In 18th Century political thinking, could a Republic exist and not be a sovereign state?

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Lambowolf.
    #8373
    KevinGutzman
    Participant

    No.

    #13562
    dlspence_58
    Participant

    Since this thread is on Article IV, Section 4, my question has to do with the “domestic violence” portion of the clause:
    “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

    What was the Founder’s intent on the domestic violence portion?

    Thank you

    #13739
    dlspence_58
    Participant

    No answer????

    #13761
    KevinGutzman
    Participant

    James Madison’s “Vices of the Political System of the United States” listed the inability of Congress to intervene in case of events such as Shays’ Rebellion within a state. This concern seems to have been the chief motivating factor here. During the ratification contest, the idea that it also meant the US Government could intervene to suppress slave insurrection was also mentioned by both sides, depending on the state.

    #13800
    dlspence_58
    Participant

    Thank you for your response!

    #13806
    KevinGutzman
    Participant

    No, a republic certainly was a sovereign state. I suppose one might call a province’s government “republican,” however, without its being sovereign–just as one might have a masculine attribute without being a man.

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