Twentieth Centurions often credit modern conservatism with being the brainchild of Russell Kirk, Barry Goldwater or some other recent conservative, but John Taylor of Caroline clearly demonstrates in this classic work that conservatism has had long established roots in American society. First published in 1823, we find that government usurpation of the rights of states and individuals is not exactly a twentieth century revelation.
The language of 180 years ago, coupled with Taylor’s agonizing repetitiveness, make this a somewhat tedious and difficult read, but one that is certainly worth the effort. The basic theme of the book is how nationalism was proposed and defeated in favor of federalism at our Constitutional Convention, however, there has been, from the beginning, a behind the scenes push to propagate a system of nationalism by what would be considered today, a liberal governmental faction. Taylor meticulously explains how this objective was set into motion and its consequences of the deterioration of states rights and personal freedoms. It doesn’t take much effort for the knowledgeable reader to see how that battle has been furthered in the years since Taylor first exposed the nationalism game plan.
Americans today tend to look upon the misdeeds of government and ask, “How can they get away with doing that?” Taylor clearly illustrates how it all began and that there is nothing new under the sun. But he also goes further in explaining various ways of “righting the ship” so to speak, and discusses the consequences of each differing course of action.
Oh, if we could only find a congressman today who possessed the clear headed tenacity of John Taylor of Caroline. A person who would fear not the consequences of unpopularity and stand tall to examine the true principles upon which our founding promoted.
If you are conservative, this book is a must read and will arm you with ammunition to clearly discuss states’ rights and original intent. If you are a liberal, this outstanding book will help cure your mental condition and lead you down a path of understanding.
As an end note, I don’t normally comment on the quality of the book itself, but this one warrants comment. The book is printed on quality acid free paper and comes with a cloth bookmark. A nice touch.