100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Douglas Clyde Macintosh

Douglas Clyde Macintosh

Selective Conscientious Objection

“I do not Undertake to Support ‘My Country, Right or Wrong’”

United States v. Macintosh 238 U.S. 605 (1931)

Douglas Clyde Macintosh (1877–1948), a Canadian professor of theology at Yale University, was denied U.S. citizenship because he was a selective conscientious objector.

His mother descended from John Cotton, the Puritan divine of colonial Boston, and his father came from a long line of Congregationalists and Baptists. As he was raised in a conservative Baptist home in Canada, it was not surprising that Macintosh became a Baptist (then called “Northern Baptist”) minister. He graduated from Toronto's McMaster University in 1903, was ordained two years later, and received a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Chicago in 1909. The same year Yale ...

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