Moments in Kentucky
Legislative History

Presented by the Kentucky Historical Society

Kentucky Resolutions

On November 8, 1798, John Breckinridge introduced into the House the Kentucky Resolutions, which were a protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts that had been passed by the Federalist-dominated Congress the previous summer. Authored principally by Vice President Thomas Jefferson, the Resolutions received approval in the House with only one dissenting vote and unanimously in the Senate. Governor James Garrard signed the Resolutions on November 13. The Kentucky Resolutions asserted the right of a state to “nullify” an act of the federal government that it considered unconstitutional. Only Virginia supported this philosophy by passing a similar statement.

Cover of Niles’ Weekly Register

Cover of Niles’ Weekly Register, supplement to volume 43, published by the Franklin Press in 1833. KHS Collections.

Kentucky Historical Society logo

Kentucky Historical Society, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601
502-564-1792 •