The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 22
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
fore, is empowered to decide whether the conditions call for inter-
ference; and, since he must act on the demand of the state au-
thorities, he must decide which is the legal government of the
State. Thus both branches of the political power have a part in
the recognition of State governments and in guaranteeing to them
a republican form. Such a recognition by the political power
made the government legal in the eyes of the judicial department.
Such was the accepted interpretation of the guaranty clause be-
fore the war period.28 The first indication of the use to which
the clause was afterwards put was furnished by the famous Sum-
ner resolutions of February 11, 1862, in which he claimed for the
national government the power to set up within the territory of
the recreant States new governments, in the organization of which
should be included those ideas of political science of which he was
so conspicuous a protagonist. In that case Congress, in accord-
ance with the injunction of the Constitution, should assume juris-
diction of the territory which was formerly occupied by the States
now in rebellion against the Union, and should proceed to estab-
lish republican governments.
At the time of its announcement, this idea, in connection with
others equally revolutionary, so shocked the conservatives that the
resolutions were never debated. In January of 1864, however, a
bill was introduced by Representative Henry Winter Davis to
guarantee to certain States a republican form of government, when
the ideas of Sumner were made use of. This bill was immedi-
"There had, indeed, been intimations of a different conception of its
meaning, but they had not received any very general approval. Of this
nature were the comments of Senator John Forsyth, of Georgia, in 1833,
when the bill for the enforcement of the collection of revenue duties, a
measure to deal with the South Carolina difficulty, was being debated. At
the same time, Calhoun's resolutions defining the nature of the Union
were being considered. Forsyth, one of the most distinguished of the
Jackson administration leaders in the Senate, declared that the United
States had the power to enter a State and change its government so as
to make it conform to the accepted idea of a republican form of govern-
ment. This daring utterance aroused the immediate and vehement oppo-
sition of Calhoun, who said that he was amazed to hear such a doctrine
announced by a Southerner in whose State there existed a peculiar insti-
tution which might be declared incompatible with a republican form of
government by its enemies. (Crall (editor), Calhoun's Works, II, 308;
Annals of Congress, 1833, Vol. 9, Part 1, p. 774.) Although it seems
from the meager reports of this debate that the declaration of Forsyth
did not attract great attention, it nevertheless stands as a precedent for
the radical interpretations given to the clause during the war period.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/30/: accessed June 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.