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states. There was confusion which must four political history must ever bei npressed soon have approached violence, for no with the fact that changes and reforms authority beyond the limits of the state ever moved slowly, and that those of slowwas respected, and Congress was notably est growth seem to abide the longest. powerless in its attempts to command aid from the states to meet the payment of the war debt, or the interest thereon. Instead of general respect for, there was al The Federal and Anti-Federal Partles. most general disregard of law on the part The Strong Government Whigs, on the of legislative bodies, and the people were submission of the constitution of 1787 to not slow in imitating their representatives. Congress and the legislatures, and indiCivil strife became imminent, and Shay's rectly through the latter to the people, who Rebellion in Massachusetts was the first elect the members on this issue, became twarlike manifestation of the spirit which the Federal party, and all of its power was was abroad in the land.
used to promote the ratification of the inAlive to the new dangers, the Assembly strument. Its ablest men, headed by of Virginia in 1786, appointed commis- Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, sioners to invite all the states to take part advocated adoption before the people, and in a convention for the consideration of their pens supplied much of the current questions of commerce, and the propriety political literature of that day. Eighty. of altering the Articles of Confederation. five essays, still noted and quoted for their This convention met at Annapolis, Sept. ability, under the nom de plume of “Pub. 11th, 1786. But five states sent representa- lius,” were published in "The Federalist.” tives, the others regarding the movement They were written by Hamilton, Madison with jealousy. This convention, however, and Jay, and with irresistible force advoadapted a report which urged the appoint- cated the Federal constitution, which was ment of commissioners by all the states, ratified by the nine needed states, and “to devise such other provisions as shall, Congress was officially informed of the fact to them seem necessary to render the con- July 20, 1788, and the first Wednesday, in dition of the Federal government adequate March, 1789, was fixed as the time" for to the exigencies of the Union; and to re- commencing proceedings under the conport such an act for that purpose to the stitution.”. United States in Congress assembled, as, This struggle for the first time gave the when agreed to by them and afterwards Federalists an admitted majority. The confirmed by the legislatures of every state, complexion of the State legislature prior will effectually provide for the same.
." Ito it showed them in fact to be in a miCongress approved this action, and passed nority, and the Particularist Whigs, or resolutions favoring a meeting in conven- Anti-Federals opposed every preliminary tion for the “sole and express purpose of step looking to the abandonment of the revising the Articles of Confederation, and Articles of Confederation and the adoption report to Congress and the State legisla- of a Federal constitution. They were tures.” The convention met in Philadel- called Anti-Federals because they opposed plia in May, 1787, and continued its ses- a federal government and constitution and sions until September 17th, of the same year. adhered to the rights of the States and The Strong Government Whigs had previ- those of local self-government. Doubtless ously made every possible effort for a full party rancor, then as row, led men to opand able representation, and the result did pose a system of government which it not disappoint them, for instead of simply seems they must have approved after fightrevising the Articles of Confederation, the ing for it, but the earlier jealousies of the convention framed a constitution, and sent States and the prevailing ideas of liberty it to Congress to be submitted to that body certainly gave the Anti-Federals a popuand through it to the several legislatures. | larity which only a test so sensible as that The act submitting it provided that, if it proposed could have shaken. They were should be ratified by nine of the thirteen not without popular orators and leaders, states, it should be binding upon those Patrick Henry, the earliest of the paratifying the same. Just here was started triots, and “the-old-man-eloquent,” Samuel the custom which has since passed into Adams, took special pride in espousing law, that amendments to the national con- their cause. The war questions between stitution shall be submitted after approval Whig an 1 Tory must have passed quickly by Congress, to the legislatures of the ser- away, as living issues, though the newseral states, and after approval by three papers and contemporaneous history show fourths thereof, it shall be binding upon all'ihat the old taunts and battle cries were
-a very proper exercise of constitutional applied to the new situation with a plain, authority, as it seems now, but which ness and virulence that must still be envied would not have won popular approval by the sensational and more bitterly parti, when Virginia proposed the Annapolis san journals of our own day. To read convention in 1786. Indeed, the reader of these now, and some of our facts are gath
ered from such sources, is to account for by the congressional caucus and appointed
As the new measures of the governmentv
promptness and forgave with generosity, of Congress were respected; its calls for
t many Anti-Federals must have accept- dent pro tem. of the Senate. Jefferson wa ed the views of the Federals, who under then on a mission to France, and not untii las circumstances must have presented the some years thereafter did he array himself better reason, and the result was as stated, with those opposed to centralized power in th: ratification of the Federal constitution the nation. He returned in November, of 1787 by three-fourths of the States of 1789, and was called to Washington's Vthe Union. After this the Anti-Federalists cabinet as Secretary of State in March, were given a new name, that of “ Close 1790. It was a great cabinet, with JefferConstructionists,” because they naturally son as its premier (if this term is suited to desired to interpret the new instrument in a time when English political nomenclature such a way as to bend it to their views. was anything but popular in the land ;) * The Federalists became “ Broad Construc- Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury; tionists,” because they interpreted the con- Knox, Secretary of War, and Edmund stitution in a way calculated to broaden Randolph, Attorney-General
. There was the power of the national government. no Secretary of the Navy until the adThe Confederacy once dissolved, the ministration of the elder A-lams, and no Federal party entered upon the enjoy- Secretary of the Interior. ment of full political power, but it was not The first session of Congress under the without its responsibilities. The govern- Federal constitution, held in New York, ment had to be organized upon the basis sat for nearly six months, the adjournment of the new constitution, as upon the suc- taking place September 29th, 1789. Nearly cess of that organization would depend not all the laws framed pointed to the organi. alone the stability of the government and zation of the government, and the discusthe happiness of its people, but the repu- sions were able and protracted. Indeed, tation of the party and the fame of its these discussions developed opposing views,
which could easily find separation on much Fortunately for all, party hostilities were the same old lines as those which separated not manifested in the Presidential election. the founders of constitutional government All bowed to the popularity of Washing; ton, and he was unanimously nominated • Edwin Williams in Statesman's Manual.
leaders as statesmen.
from those who favored the old confederate interested in distilleries, prepared for methods. The Federalists, on pivotal armed resistance to the excise, but at the questions, at this session, carried their same session a national militia law had measures only by small majorities. been passed, and Washington took ad
Much of the second session was devoted vantage of this to suppress the "Whisky to the diseussion of the able reports of Rebellion” in its incipiency. It was a Hamilton, and their final adoption did hasty, rash undertaking, yet was dealt with much to build up the credit of the nation so firmly that the action of the authorities and to promote its industries. He was strengthened the law, and the respect for the author of the protective system, and at order. The four counties which rebelled the first session gave definite shape to his did no further damage than to tar and theories. He recommended the funding feather a government tax collector and rob of the war debt, the assumption of the him of his horse, though many threats state war debts by the national government, were made and the agitation continued the providing of a system of revenue from until 1794, when Washington's threatened the collection of duties on imports, and an appearance at the head of fifteen thousand internal excise. His advocacy of a pro- militia settled the whole question. tective tariff was plain, for he declared it The first session of the Second Congress to be necessary for the support of the gov- also passed the first methodic apportionernment and the encouragement of manu- ment bill, which based the congressional factures that duties be laid on goods, wares, representation on the census taken in 1790, and merchandise imported.
the basis being 33,000 inhabitants for each The third session of the same Congress representative. The second session which was held at Philadelphia, though the seat sat from November, 1792, to March, 1793, of the national government had, at the was mainly occupied in a discussion of the previous one, been fixed on the Potomac foreign and domestic relations of the couninstead of the Susquehanna—this after a try. No important measures were adopted. coinpromise with Southern members, who refused to vote for the Assumption Bill until the location of the capital in the District of Columbia had been agreed The Republican and Federal Parties. upon; by the way, this was the first exhi The most serious objection to the conbition of log-rolling in Congress. To stitution before its ratification was the abcomplete Hamilton's financial system, a sence of a distinct bill of rights, which national bank was incorporated. On this should recognize the equality of all project both the members of Congress and men, and their rights to life, liberty and of the cabinet were divided, but it passed, the pursuit of happiness," and at the first
and was promptly approved by Washing- session of Congress a bill was framed con|
Jefferson and Hamilton held opposing afterwards ratified as amendments to the views on many questions of government, constitution. Yet state sovereignty, then and these found their way into and influ- imperfectly defined, was the prevailing lenced the action of Congress, and passed idea in the minds of the Anti-Federalists, paturally from thence to the people, who and they took every opportunity to oppose \rere thus early believed to be almost any extended delegation of authority.from equally divided on the more essential po- the states of the Union. They contended litical issues. Before the close of the ses- that the power of the state should be sion, Vermont and Kentucky were ad- supreme, and charged the Federalists with mitted to the Union. Vermont was the monarchical tendencies. They opposed first state admitted in addition to the Hamilton's national bank scheme, and original thirteen. True, North Carolina Jefferson and Randolph plainly expressed and Rhode Island had rejected the consti- the opinion that it was unconstitutional tution, but they reconsidered their action that a bank was pot authorized by the and came in the former in November, constitution, and that it would prevent the 1789, and the latter in May, 1790. states from maintaining banks. But when
The election for members of the Second the Bill of Rigirts had been incorporated Congress resulted in a majority in both in and attached to the constitution as branches favorable to the administration. amendments, Jefferson with rare political It met at Philadelphia in October, 1791. sagacity withdrew all opposition to the inThe exciting measure of the session was strument itself, and the Anti-Federalists the excise act, somewhat similar to that of gladly followed his lead, for they felt that the previous year, but the opposition they had labored under many partisan diswanted an issue on which to rally, they advantages. The constitution was from accepted this, and this agitation led to vio- the first too strong for successful resistance lent and in one instance warlike opposi- and when opposition was confessedly tion on the part of a portion of the people. abandoned the party name was changed, Those of western Pennsylvania, largely I also at the suggestion of Jefferson, to that
Yof Republican. The Anti-Federalists were | Mexico and some of the South American
first disposed to call their party the republics, there would be even a wider
. Each party had its taunts resolution to cut off intercourse with Great in use, the Federalists being denounced as Britain passed the House, and was de“monarchists
, the Anti-Federalists as Dem- feated in the Senate only by the casting cerats; the one presumed to be looking vote of the Vice-President. Many people frward to monarchy, the other to the rule favored France, and to such silly' heights of the mob.
did the excitement run that these insisted Br 1793 partisan lines under the names on wearing a national cockade. Jefferson of Federalists and Republicans, were plain- had left the cabinet the December prelp drawn, and the schism in the cabinet vious, and had retired to his plantation in was more marked than ever. Personal Virginia, where he spent his leisure in ambition may have had much to do with writing political essays and organizing the it , for Washington had previously shown Republican party, of which he was the achis desire to retire to private life. While knowledged founder. Here he escaped the he remained at the head of affairs he was errors of his party in Congress, but it was unwilling to part with Jefferson and Ham- a potent fact that his friends in official ilton
, and did all in his power to bring station not only did not endorse the nonabout a reconciliation, but without suc- intervention policy of Washington, but cess. Before the close of the first consti- that they actively antagonized it in many tational Presidency, however, Washington ways. The Congressional Reader in these had become convinced that the people de movements was Mr. Madison. The policy sirad him to accept a re-election, and he of Britain fed this opposition. The forts was accordingly a candidate and unani- on Lake Erie were still occupied by the mously chosen. John Adams was re-elect- British soldiery in defiance of the treaty of end Vice-President, receiving 77 votes to 1783; American vessels were seized on 50 for Gheo. Clinton, (5 scattering) the Re- their way to French ports, and American publican candidate. Soon after the inau- citizens were impressed. To avoid a war, guation Citizen Genet
, an envoy from the Washington sent John Jay as special enFrench republic, arrived and sought to voy to England. He arrived in June, excite the sympathy of the United States 1794, and by November succeeded in mak' and involve it in a war with Great Britain. ing a treaty. It was ratified in June, 1795, by Jefferson and his Republican party warmly the Senate by the constitutional majority sympathized with France, and insisted of two-thirds, though there was much dethat gratitude for revolutionary favors clamatory opposition, and the feeling beCoramanded aid to France in her struggles. tween the Federal and Republican parties The Federalists, under Washington and ran higher than ever before. The RepubliHamilton, favored non-intervention, and cans denounced while the Federals coninsisted that wc should maintain friendly gratulated Washington. Under this treaty relations with Great Britain. Washington the British surrendered possession of all showed his usual firmness, and before the American ports, and as Gen'l Wayne durexpiration of the month in which Genet ing the previous summer had conquered arrived, had issued his celebrated procla- the war-tribes and completed a treaty with mation of neutrality. This has ever since them, the country was again on the road been the accepted foreign policy of the to prosperity. nation.
In Washington's message of 1794, ho Genet, chagrined at the issuance of this plainly censured all “self-created political" proclamation, threatened to appeal to the societies," meaning the democratic sopeople
, and made himself so obnoxious to cieties formed by Genet, but this part of Washington that the latter demanded his the message the House refused to endorse, recall
. The French government sent M. the speaker giving the casting vote in the Fauchet as his successor, but Genet con- negative. The Senate was in harmony tinued to reside in the United States, and with the political views of the President. under his inspiration a number of Demo- Party spirit had by this time measurably cratic Societies, in imitation of the French affected all classes of the people, and as "Tacobin clubs, were founded, but like all subjects for agitation here multiplied, the such organizations in this country, they opposition no longer regardled Washingwere short-lived. Secret political societies ton with that respect and decorum which tarive only under despotisms. In Repub- it had been the rule to manifest. His wislics like ours they can only live when the dom as President, his patriotism, and ingreat parties are in confusion and greatly deed his character as a man, were all divided
. They disappear with the union hotly questioned by political enemies. He of sentiment into two great parties. If was even charged with corruption in exthere were many parties and factions, as in pending more of the public moneys than
had been appropriated—charges which were courage, and prepared to win in the Presisoon shown to be groundless.
dential battle which followed. Both parties At the first session of Congress in De were plainly arrayed and confident, and cember, 1795, the Senate's administration so close was the result that the leaders ofv majority had' increased, but in the House both were elected—John Adams, the nomthe opposing Republicans had also in- inee of the Federalists, to the Presidency, creased their numbers. The Senate by 14 and Thomas Jefferson, the nominee of the to 8 endorsed the message; the House at Republicans, to the Vice-Presidency. The first refused but finally qualified its an- | law which then obtained was that the
candidate who received the highest num In March, 1796, a new political issue ber of electoral votes, took the first place, was sprung in the House by Mr. Living- the next highest, the second. Thomas stone of New York, who offered a resolu- Pinckney of South Carolina was the Fedtion requesting of the President a copy of eral nominee for Vice-President, and Aaron the instructions to Mr. Jay, the envoy who Burr of the Republicans. Adams received made the treaty with Great Britain. After 71 electoral votes, Jefferson 68, Pinckney a debate of several days, more bitter than 59, Burr 30, scattering 48. Pinckney had any which had preceded it, the House lost 12 votes, while Burr lost 38—a loss of passed the resolution by 57 to 35, the Re- popularity which the latter regained four publicans voting aye, the Federals no. years later. The first impressions which v Washington in answer, took the position our forefathers had of this man were the that the House of Representatives was not best. part of the treaty-making power of the John Adams was inaugurated as Pres. government, and could not therefore be ident in Philadelphia, at Congress Hall, entitled to any papers relating to such March 4th, 1797, and in his inaugural was treaties. The constitution had placed this careful to deny the charge that the Fedtreaty making and ratifying power in the eral party had any sympathy for England, hands of the Senate, the Cabinet and the but reaffirmed his endorsement of the President.
policy of Washington as to strict neutral. This answer, now universally accepted ity. To this extent he sought to soften the as the proper one, yet excited the House asperities of the parties, and measurably and increased political animosities. The succeeded, though the times were still Republicans charged the Federals with stormy. The French revolution had being the British party,” and in some reached its highest point, and our people instances hinted that they had been pur- still took sides. Adams found he would chased with British gold. Indignation have to arm to preserve neutrality and at meetings were called, but after much the same time punish the aggression of sound and fury, it was ascertained that the either of the combatants. This was our people really favored abiding by the treaty first exhibition of “armed neutrality.” in good faith, and finally the House, after An American navy was quickly raised, and more calm and able debates, passed the every preparation made for defending the needed legislation to carry out the treaty rights of Americars. An alliance with by a vote of 51 to 48.
France was refused, after which the In August, 1796, prior to the meeting American Minister was dismissed and the of the Congressional caucus which then French navy began to cripple our trade. placed candidates for the Presidency in In May, 1797, President Adams felt it his nomination, Washington issued his cele- duty to call an extra session of Congress, brated Farewell Address, in which he gave which closed in July. The Senate apnotice that he would retire from public proved of negotiations for reconciliation life at the expiration of his term. He had with France. They were attempted but, been solicited to be a candidate for re- proved fruitless; in May, 1798, a full naval election (a third term) and told that all armament was authorized, and soon several the people could unite upon him—a state- French vessels were captured before there ment which, without abating one jot, our was any declaration of war. Indeed, neithadmiration for the man, would doubtless er power declared war, and as soon as have been called in question by the Re- France discovered how earnest the Ameripublicans, who had become implacably cans were she made overtures for an adhostile to his political views, and who were justment of difficulties, and these i esulted i encouraged to believe they could win con- in the treaty of 1800. trol of the Presidency, by their rapidly in The Republicans, though warmly favorcreasing power in the House. Yet the ad-ing a contest, did not heartily support that dress was everywhere received with marks inaugurated' by Adams, and contended of admiration. Legislatures commended after this that the militia and a small naval it by resolution and ordered it to be en- force were sufficient for internal defense. grossed upon their records; journals They denounced the position of the Fedpraised it, and upon the strength of its erals, who favored the enlargement of the. plain doctrines the Federalists took new l army and navy, as measures calculated to