The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 24
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
accordance with its ideas of what that government should be, and
then recognize it as legal and established. And there was no
power under the Constitution which could gainsay the act. This
elaborate argument was made in order to provide a means for the
Congressional abolition of slavery, and, later, for an assurance of
the civil rights of the freedmen. While it was admitted that this
was a power which could be called in activity only by a dereliction
of the States, it was claimed that, when once invoked, there was
no legal limitation upon it.32
The Texas v. White case was the first instance in which the
Supreme Court was called upon to construe the guaranty clause
since the introduction of the new and unhistorical interpretation
of that clause. The opinion in this regard,-obiter dictum though
it was,-reflected the revoluntionary spirit of the time, and went
far toward endorsing the radical view. By implication, the opin-
ion would make it obligatory upon the United States to institute
the change when the State government does not conform with the
ideal entertained by the federal government. This necessitated a
violent shifting of the center of political gravity from the States
to the federal government, and a consequent centralization of
power in the latter. In requiring admission of the freedmen to
the electorate as a sine qua non, to the possession of a republican
form of government, the reasoning of 'the court reminds one of
that of Sumner, who solemnly assured the Senate that prior to
the ratification of the Thirteenth amendment, there had been, with
the possible exception of Massachusetts, no republican governments
in our States, that slavery and such a form were incompatible.33
He argued, moreover, that to debar the negro from the suffrage
would be tantamount to a loss of republican form to any govern-
ment so excluding him.
In applying these general views, the court, to some extent, passed
opinion on the legal propriety of both the Presidential and the
":This was the famous Wade-Davis bill, which, after a long discussion,
passed the House by a vote of 73 to 59. In the Senate, it was championed
by Wade, of Ohio. There it was adopted first by a vote of 26 to 3, and
later by 18 to 14. The measure was enacted on the last day of the session,
and was carried to Lincoln only a short while before adjournment. It
received the pocket veto of the President. His proclamation, defending his
action, and reaffirming his determination to adhere to his own plan,
caused the issuance of the Wade-Davis manifesto.
"33Dunning, Essays, 134; McCarthy, Lincoln's Plan of Reconstruction, 209.
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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/m1/32/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.