St. George Tucker’s arguments hinged on a modern view of natural right that builds on the premise that political power can only be legitimate if it rests on the consent of the governed. He believed that equally free and independent individuals constructed a voluntary union of equally free and independent states. His son Henry Tucker (1780–1848), and grandson, John Randolph Tucker (1823–1897) sought to defend this ideology of modern natural right against fellow professors, North and South, who tended to replace it with the ancient ideology of natural right: the view that wisdom gives one the title to command. Many southern intellectuals came to believe that individuals are not equally free and independent by nature; many northerners came to argue that the states had never been equally free and independent. These disagreements contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War.
And a blurb (cribbed from the book's amazon page):
“In The Legacy of St. George Tucker, Chad Vanderford provides a cogent longitudinal explication of how Virginia intellectuals constructed and defined proslavery ideology and state rights. He reminds twenty-first-century readers that in order to judge late-eighteenth-and early-nineteenth-century thinkers fairly, they must position basic political ideas within the context of their day, not ours. Vanderford’s book will prove valuable not only for students and researchers of political theory, but also of southern intellectual life and the political worlds of the Colonial, Early National, and Old South.”
--John David Smith