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HISTORY OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES
Colontal Partles-Whig and Tory. traded were compelled to do it with Eng. The parties peculiar to our Colonial land. In 1672 inter-colonial duties were times hardly have a place in American imposed, and when manufacturing sought politics
. They divided people in senti- to fank this policy, their establishment ment simply, as they did in the mother was forbidden by law. country, but here there was little or no The passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 power to act, and were to gather results caused high excitement, and for the first from party victories. Men were then time parties began to take definite shape Whigs or Tories because they had been and manifest open antagonisnis, and he prior to their emigration here, or because words Whig and Tory then had a plainer their parents had been, or because it has meaning in America than in England. ever been natural to show division in in- The Stamp Act was denounced by the dividual sentiment. Political contests, Whigs as direct taxation, since it provided, however
, were unknown, for none enjoyed that stamps previously paid for should be the pleasures and profits of power; the affixed to all legal papers. The colonies crown made and unmade rulers. The resented, and so general were the protests local self-government which our fore- that for a time it seemed that only those fathers enjoyed, were secured to them by who owed their livings to the Crown, or their charters, and these were held to be expected aid and comfort from it,' recontracts not to be changed without the mained with the Tories. The Whigs were consent of both parties
. All of the inhabi- the patriots. The war for the rights of tants of the colonies claimed and were the colonies began in 1775, and it was justly entitled to the rights guaranteed by supported by majorities in all of the Cothe Wagua Charta, and in addition to lonial Assemblies. These majorities were "these they insisted upon the supervision of as carefully organized then as now to proall internal interests and the power to levy mote a popular cause, and this in the face and collect taxes. These claims were con- of adverse action on the part of the sevcedal until their growing prosperity and eral Colonial Governors. Thus in Vir. England's need of additional revenues ginia, Lord Dunmore had from time to suggested schemes of indirect taxation. time, until 1773, prorogued the Virginia Against these the colony of Plymouth pro- Assembly, when it seized the opportunity tested as early as 1636, and spasmodic pro- to pass resolves instituting a committee of tests from all the colonies followed. These correspondence, and recommending joint increased in frequency and force with the action by the legislatures of the other growing demands of King George III. In colonies. In the next year, the same body, 165l the navigation laws imposed upon the under the lead of Henry, Randolph, Lee, colonies required both exports and imports Washington, Wythe and other patriots, to be carried in British ships, and all who officially deprecated the closing of the
port of Boston, and set apart a day to im- though some were sent by the popular plore Divine interposition in behalf of the branches of the colonial legislatures. In colonies. The Governor dissolved the July, and soon after the commencement House for this act, and the delegates, 89 in of hostilities, Georgia entered the Connumber, repaired to a tavern, organized federacy. themselves into a committee, signed arti
The Declaration of Independence, passed cles of association, and advised with other in 1776, drew yet plainer lines between the colonial committees the expediency of Whigs and Tories. A gulf of hatred sepa“appointing deputies to meet in a general rated the opposing parties, and the Tory correspondence”-really a suggestion for was far more despised than the open foe, a Congress. The idea of a Congress, how- when he was not such, and was the first ever, originated with Doctor Franklin the sought when he was. Men who contend year before, and it had then been approved for liberty ever regard those who are not by town meetings in Providence, Boston for them as against them—a feeling which and New York. The action of Virginia led to the expression of a political maxim lifted the proposal above individual advice of apparent undying force, for it has since and the action of town meetings, and found frequent repetition in every earnest called to it the attention of all the colo- campaign, After the adoption of the De-1 nial legislatures. It was indeed fortunate claration by the Continental Congress, the in the incipiency of these political move- Whigs favored the most direct and absoments, that the people were practically lute separation, while the Tories supported unanimous. Only the far-seeing realized the Crown. On the 7th of June, 1770, the drift and danger, while nearly all could Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, moved join their voices against oppressive taxes the Declaration in these words: and imposts.
“Resolved, That these united colonies are, The war went on for colonial rights, the and of right ought to be, free and indepen. Whigs wisely insisting that they were wil. dent states ; that they are absolved from vling to remain as colonists if their rights all allegiance to the British Crown, and
should be guaranteed by the mother coun- that all political connection between them vtry; the Tories, chiefly fed by the Crown, and the State of Great Britain is, and
were willing to remain without guarantee ought to be, totally dissolved.” -a negative position, and one which in Then followed preparations for the forthe high excitement of the times excited mal declaration, which was adopted on the little attention, save where the holders of 4th of July, 1776, in the precise language such views made themselves odious by the submitted by Thomas Jefferson. All of enjoyment of high official position, or by the state papers of the Continental Conharsh criticism upon, or treatment of the gress evince the highest talent, and the patriots.
evils which led to its exhibition must have The first Continental Congress assembled been long but very impatiently endured to in Philadelphia in September, 1774, and impel the study of the questions involved. there laid the foundations of the Republic. Possibly only the best lives in our memory While its assemblage was first recom- invite our perusal, but certain it is that mended by home meetings, the cause, as higher capacity was never called to the already shown, was taken up by the as- performance of graver political duties in semblies of Massachusetts and Virginia. the history of the world. Georgia alone was not represented. The It has been said that the Declaration is members were called delegates, who de- in imitation of that published by the Uniclared in their official papers that they ted Netherlands, but whether this be true were “appointed by the good people of or false, the liberty-loving world has for these colonies.” It was called the revo- more than a century accepted it as the lutionary government,” because it derived best protest against oppression known to its power from the people, and not from 'political history. A great occasion con. the functionaries of any existing govern- 1 spired with a great author to make it ment. In it each colony was allowed but grandly great. a single vote, regardless of the number of Dr. Franklin, as early as July, 1775, first delegates, and here began not only the prepared a sketch of articles of confederaunit rule, but the practice which obtains tion between the colonies, to continue until in the election of a President when the their reconciliation with Great Britain, contest reaches, under the constitution and and in failure thereof to be perpetual. law, the National House of Representa- John Quincy Adams says this plan was tives. The original object was to give never discussed in Congress.
June 11, equality to the colonies as colonies. 1776, a committee was appointed to pre
In 1775, the second Continental Con- pare the force of a colonial confederation, gress assembled at Philadelphia, all the and the day following one member from colonies being again represented save each colony was appointed to perform the Georgia. The delegates were chosen prin- duty. The report was submitted. laid cipally by conventions of the people, aside August 20, 1776, taken up April 7,
1777, and debated from time to time until by the struggles for independence, the Norember 15th, of the same year, when Whigs, who of course greatly outnumbered the report was agreed to. It was then all others during the Revolution, naturally submitted to the legislatures of the several divided in sentiment, though their divi. states, these being advised to authorize sions were not sufficiently serious to excite their delegates in Congress to ratify the the establishment of rival parties--somesame. On the 26th of June, 1778, the rat- thing which the great majority of our foreification was ordered to be engrossed and fathers were too wise to think of in time of signed by the delegates. Those of New war. When the war closed, however, and Hampshire
, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode the question of establishing the Union was Island, Connecticut, New York, Penn- brought clear to the view of all, one class sylvania, Virginia and South Carolina of the Whigs believed that state governsigned July 9th, 1778; those of North Car- ment should be supreme, and that no cenolina July 21st ; Georgia July 24th ; Jersey tral power should have sufficient authority November 26th, same year; Delaware to coerce a state, or keep it to the com. February 22d and May 5th, 1779. Mary- pact against its will. All accepted the land refused to ratify until the question of idea of a central government; all realized the conflicting claims of the Union and the necessity of union, but the fear that of the separate States to the property of the states would lose their power, or sure the crown-lands should be adjusted. This render their independence was very great, #23 accomplished by the cession of the and this fear was more naturally shown by ands in dispute to the United States, and both the larger and the smaller states. This Maryland signed Víarch 1st, 1781. On class of thinkers were then called Partic. the 21 of March, Congress assembled un- ularists. Their views were opposed by der the new powers, and continued to act the for the Confederacy until the 4th of March, 1789, the date of the organization of the government under the Federal constitu
Strong Government Whigs 1 tion. Our political life has therefore three who argued that local self-government was periods
, "the revolutionary government," inadequate to the establishment and per. "cae confederation," and that of the “ fed- petuation of political freedom, and that it eral constitution," which still obtains.
afforded little or no power to successfully The federal constitution is the result of resist foreign invasion. Some of these the labors of a convention called at Phila- I went so far as to favor a government patdelphia in May, 1787, at a time when it terned after that of England, save that it was feared by many that the Union was should be republican in name and spirit. in the gteatest danger, from inability to The essential differences, if they can be repay soldiers who had, in 1783, been dis- duced to two sentences, were these: They banded on a declaration of peace and an Particularist Whigs desired a government acknowledgment of independence; from
in prostration of the public credit and faith spirit, with rights of local self-government if the nation ; from the neglect to provides and state rights ever uppermost. Thex for the payment of even the interest on Strong Government Whigs desired a gove the public debt ; and from the disappoint-ernment republican in form, with checko et hopes of many who thought freedom
the impulses or passions of the peo did not need to face responsibilities. A ple; liberty, sternly regulated by law, ani! • large portion of the convention of 1787 | that law strengthened and confirmed by
til clung to the confederacy of the states, central authoriiy-the authority of the naand advocated as a substitute for the con- tional government to be final in appeals stitution a revival of the old articles of
As we have stated, the weakness of the conferleration with additional powers to confederation was acknowledged by many Congress. A long discussion followed, men, and the majority, as it proved to be and a most able one, but a constitution for after much agitation and discussion the people embodying a division of legis- thought it too imperfect to amend. The lative
, judicial and executive powers pre power of the confederacy was not acknowFailed, and the result is now daily wit. edged by the states, its congress not reDessed in the federal constitution. While spected by the people. Its requisitions the revolutionary war lasted but seven were disregarded, foreign trade could not veears, the political revolution incident to be successfully regulated; foreign nations identified with and directing it, lasted refused to bind themselves by commercial thirteen years. This was completed on treaties, and there was a rapid growth of the 30th of April, 1789, the day on which
very dangerous business rivalries and was inaugurated as the first jealousies between the several states. President under the federal constitution.
Those which were fortunate enough, ina
dependent of congress, to possess or see The Partienlarists.
cure ports for domestic or foreign como As questions of government were evolved (merce, taxed the imports of their sister