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The French Revolution was viewed at the outset with equal favor by both of the parties; but when the Republicans attempted to injure the administration with the people, on account of its measures of neutrality, and to excite the national antipathy to Great Britain; and, when farther, the disposition of the French to rush into wild excesses became apparent, the enthusiasm of the Federalists was very much cooled, and they soon found it necessary to resist the increase of the French influence in the United States, which seemed to them fast hurrying the Democratic party towards the same course on which the French were advancing. The opposition gained strength enough to carry a small majority of the House of Representatives on this question, but the majority of the people still were with the administration.
offices between the Federalists and anti- | ton, but supported George Clinton, of New Federalists, as its friends and opponents York, for Vice-President, in opposition to were respectively termed, on the question Mr. Adams. Of 132 votes cast by the of a more or less effective administration electors, Mr. Adams had 77, Mr. Clinton of its powers, had any other candidate than 50, and there were 5 scattered Democratic General Washington been brought forward votes. for the Presidency. It was not long after the first administration commenced, before an organization, composed nearly exclusively of anti-Federalists, was perceived as an opposition, laboring to defeat the measures of the friends of the President and cabinet, with whom they were nearly matched in strength. The President of the Senate and Speaker of the House (elected before the opposition appeared) were included in this party. Their professed principle was a close construction of the Constitution; all considerable powers not expressly delegated were reserved by the States, and the rights of the States were directly invaded by any attempt to derive large powers by implication. One of the earliest constitutioual debates was on the power of the President to remove the officers whose appointment was vested in him. The anti-Federalists strenuously denied the right of removal, but it was decided against them. Their alarm was again fully aroused by the measures of Mr. Hamilton. The Secretary's Funding scheme-the Internal Duties-the National Bank, appeared to them measures designed to swallow up State sovereignty in a consolidated nation.
In the second Congress, the Federalists, or Administration party, had a majority in each branch, and in the House elected Jonathan Trumbull, of Connecticut, Speaker, over Frederick A. Muhlenberg, of Pa., the Speaker of the former House. A high degree of irritation prevailed during the session, and extended to the cabinet; Messrs. Jefferson and Hamilton, the acknowledged leaders of the parties, became irreconcilably hostile to each other. The object of the anti-Federalists, it had now become apparent, was the election of Mr. Jefferson to the Presidency, when it should be vacated by Washington. At his instance, they dropped their name, and substituted that of Republicans, but were called by the Federalists Democrats, a name to which they were not then partial.
At the election of 1792, the Democrats did not venture to oppose Gen. Washing
In the third Congress, Mr. Muhlenberg was again elected Speaker by the Democratic majority. The debates were boisterous, and the Whisky Insurrection, and other affairs, added fuel to the flames. The President's Message, at the second session, attributed the insurrection to certain "selfcreated societies," (the Jacobin clubs ;) the House, in their answer, carefully avoided any allusion to the matter, or to the President's foreign policy, the Senate warmly commending his sentiments on both subjects. An attempt in the House to censure the "self-created societies" failed by the Speaker's casting vote.
When the British treaty was effected, in 1795, the rage of the opposition went beyond all bounds. The President, who, until now, had been treated with at least outward respect, was vehemently denounced, and charged by a portion of the party with the worst vices and crimes. A small Republican majority had been returned to the House of the fourth Congress, though Jonathan Dayton, a Federalist, was elected Speaker, and an address declaring the confidence of the House in the President to be undiminished, was refused, and the expression modified. In the debates in this Congress on the British treaty, the admin
istration finally triumphing, the principal | 100,000-50,000 of them having been speakers were, on the Federal side, Fisher subjects of Great Britain, and 30,000 of Ames, Theodore Sedgwick, Robert G. France. Harper, Roger Griswold, of Connecticut, and Wm. Smith. On the opposition side, Edward Livingston, James Madison, William B. Giles, and Albert Gallatin.
On the resignation by Mr. Jefferson of his seat in the cabinet, another Federalist was added to the President's advisers, and when Mr. Randolph followed, the cabinet was made undividedly Federal.
To succeed Washington, at the election of 1796, the Federalists brought forward John Adams, a small portion of them preferring Mr. Pinckney, who was on the ticket with him, intended for Vice-President. The then called "Republicans" rallied to Mr. Jefferson. The Federalists argued that in the Washingtonian policy was all the safety of the nation-French influence would destroy our liberties if the "Republicans" succeeded. The latter replied that the Federalists had proved themselves a monarchical party by their devotion to England, and would, at the first opportunity, attempt the establishment of regal power. Adams received 71 votes, Jefferson 67. So many votes were withheld from Mr. Pinckney, by the Federal electors in the Eastern States, that he fell below Mr. Jefferson, who consequently became Vice-President. Of the Republican" votes intended for VicePresident, 30 were given to Aaron Burr, and 15 to Samuel Adams.
In the first Congress under Mr. Adams, the Federalists were in a majority in each branch. The measures of this Congress, and of the administration, regarding France, were highly acceptable to the people, the French fever having now pretty much subsided, and been succeeded by indignation at the insults offered to the United States. The Alien and Sedition acts, however, proved very injurious to the party, and added materially to the strength of the opposition. The rancor of political opposition has never gone to such extremes in the United States as at this period. Of about 200 papers published in the United States at this time, the Federalists had the overwhelming proportion of 180, while to restore the balance, the Republicans had a body of foreigners in their ranks estimated a little short of
In the sixth Congress, the administration party was in a majority in each branch, as in the last. At the first session caucuses of the members of each party were held to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President, for the coming election. The Federalists nominated Mr. Adams for re-election, with C. C. Pinckney for Vice-President; the Republicans nominated Mr. Jefferson and Col. Burr. Before the session adjourned, the result of the New York State election was ascertained, the Republicans carrying the Legislature, (which was to choose the Presidential electors) and thus deciding a change of the vote of that State from the preceding election. The hopes of the Republicans were raised in a high degree, and those of the Federalists somewhat depressed, but they did not consider the election decided, and made preparations for a vigorous effort to repair the loss by gains in other States.
The quarrel between the President and a portion of his cabinet, which had been long fomenting, became an open rupture about this time. The President's course in one part of the French affair had been condemned by a portion of the party, including many of the influential leaders, and among them, Gen. Hamilton; as well as the Secretaries of State and War, Messrs. Pickering and M'Henry. The altercation had gone on between the President and Secretaries, increasing the excited feelings between them, until the President dismissed them both from the cabinet, replacing the Secretary of State by John Marshall, of Virginia, and the Secretary of War by Samuel Dexter, of Massachusetts. The dismissed Secretaries denounced the President's "ungovernable temper" and "incorrect maxims of administration," and a considerable portion of the party seconded their complaints. Gen. Hamilton wrote a letter highly censuring Mr. Adams's course, and exposing his faults of character. It is supposed Gen. Hamilton designed by this letter, intended for circulation at the South, to induce the Federal electors of that quarter to cast their votes so as to secure the election of Pinckney over Adams, in case the party succeeded. If
the State of South Carolina should vote for Jefferson and Pinckney, as in 1796, the object would be easily accomplished. In spite of all their disadvantages, the Federalists presented a good front, and nearly made up for the loss of New York by gains in other States. The little balance wanting to restore the footing of 1796 occasioned their defeat; Jefferson and Burr having 73 votes each, Adams 65, Pinckney 64. Now arose a new difficulty. Fearing the election of Mr. Pinckney as President or Vice-President, the Republican electors had withheld none of their votes from Mr. Burr, and he consequently became the equal competitor of Mr. Jefferson for the Presidency, the election between them devolving on the House of Representatives. The Federalists in that body were in a majority of members, but not of States, which was required for an election. They determined to support Burr, supposing that if elected by them he must of necessity lose the confidence of the Republicans, and be forced to adopt a Federal line of policy, or at least considerably modify his Republican principles. For 35 ballots, no choice could be effected, Jefferson receiving the votes of 8 States, Burr of 6, and 2 being evenly divided, and of the members 53 voting for Burr and 51 for Jefferson. It being now believed impossible to elect Burr, and the assurance being made by Mr. Jefferson's friends that he would pursue a liberal course regarding removals from office, while Burr had determined, if elected, to come in only as a Republican, and would be necessitated to give some striking proofs of his sincerity, and might, therefore, sweep all the Federalists from the offices. Accordingly, after an earnest consultation, it was agreed to allow Mr. Jefferson to be elected. The New England Federalists who had assented, with one exception, were bound by a previous agreement in consequence of that exception, and voted again for Mr. Burr, on the 36th ballot, when Jefferson received the votes of 10 States, Burr of 4, and two were divided.
From the tenor of Mr. Jefferson's inaugural, the Federalists hoped that no removals would be made from the public offices, and perhaps as a measure of conciliation he retained two members of Mr.
dams's cabinet in his own-Mr. Dexter
in the Treasury, and Stoddart in the Navy Department, besides the Attorney-General, Habersham. This was, however, probably not intended, at the time, for a permanent arrangement.
The President was soon obliged, by the demands of his party, to commence the work of removal, and in answer to the complaints of the Federalists, he declared it necessary to remove some of their party, to give his own a fair share in the offices. He did not find the places monopolized, however, by that party, and to effect this equal distribution, is said to have made but 39 changes during his 8 years.
Mr. Jefferson was an excellent judge of human nature, and no man was better calculated than he to build up a party. His policy, from the outset, was to conciliate the moderate portion of the opposition, without offending his own party. He was more of a politician than statesman, and adapted his measures rather according to their effect upon the public mind than upon ideas laid down in theories. Such was, at least, the course of his first term.
Mr. Jefferson commenced with active projects of "Reform." The internal taxes were to be at once removed, the newspaper postage abolished, the number of offices to be reduced, which had been "unnecessarily multiplied," the army and navy to be cut down, the naturalization laws revised, and the importance of the national government lessened. Several of these recommendations were at once carried out; among others, the internal duties were repealed, while the expenditures exceeded the revenue; and to carry appearances farther, $7,300,000 were appropriated to be added to the sinking fund for the payment of the national debt, an appropriation which, under the circumstances of the treasury, was entirely nominal. Care was taken that the appearance should exceed the reality of reform, what was effected being chiefly in amendment of, instead of supplanting, Federal measures. The general system of finance adopted by the Federalists was retained, even the Bank was cherished and extended, and the neutral policy, so much abused, was adhered to still.
In the true spirit which should actuate considerate rulers, the fate of the various "reforms" introduced were decided ac
cording to their merits in practice. Mr. | idea of a subserviency to, or intimate union Jefferson was in no wise disinclined, when with, France. The French Revolution had a measure of his introduction had failed, caused in them a horror of that nation, to turn about and make his way back to and they now regarded the conquering the successful Federal policy which it had progress of Napoleon as but another and displaced. Various retrograde steps were more alarming phase of that strange peomade, accordingly, all serving to enhance ple's terrible madness. They were wonthe public weal, and the popularity of the der-struck at such a spectacle of ambition. administration, and at length the idea of a They believed Mr. Jefferson was about to feeble national government went by the throw the weight of his country into the board. An empire was purchased, to be scale of Napoleon, and assist him to prosadded with its people to the Union, and trate the British nation, and establish unififteen millions paid for the title-deed. Mr. versal monarchy. In the excess of their Jefferson recommended the legalization of fear of the result of such a course, some the act by an ex post facto amendment to of them pronounced the experiment of the the Constitution; but the party, in Con- government "a failure," and the Revolution gress contented themselves with an effort "a mistake." So rapidly did the administo cover the act by a reach of construction tration party decline in the New England so broad as to alarm the Federalists, pre- States, all of which, except Connecticut, viously regarded by them so dangerous had supported Mr. Jefferson at his re-elecfor their constructive theory. Soon after, tion, that when the period for the choice the salaries of the principal public officers of his successor approached, in Vermont were increased 20 per cent., and additional only was there any chance of a successful duties imposed on the imports. effort for the electors.
The policy of Mr. Jefferson had so far disarmed the opposition, that in 1804, the Federalists made active opposition to his re-election in but few States, and only two States, Connecticut and Delaware, voted for the Federal candidates, Pinckney and King George Clinton superseded Burr, who had lost the confidence of the party by allowing himself to be used as a means to defeat Jefferson in 1800. Burr became a candidate for Governor of New York, relying on the Federalists for his election, but was openly opposed by Hamilton, and suffered a defeat.
To succeed Mr. Jefferson, the administration party was divided between the Secretary of State and Gov. Monroe. Madison was supposed to be the favorite of Mr. Jefferson, from whom Mr. Monroe was somewhat alienated by his course in rejecting the British Treaty negotiated by Monroe, in connection with Mr. Pinckney, and from a belief that the President's influence had been exerted to effect Madison's nomination. The Virginia Legislature decided the contest between them by nominating Madison, by 134 votes to 47 for his rival, and the friends of Monroe yielding in that State, where his support was strongest, no farther opposition was made to Madison's nomination by the Con
The course of the administration was less cautious after Mr. Jefferson's re-election than during the first term. In consequence of the commercial restrictive poli-gressional caucus. Mr. Madison, though cy, the Federalists became decidedly strengthened, and other causes induced a schism among Mr. Jefferson's friends, a small portion of whom, under the lead of John Randolph, drew off, and co-operated partially with the Federalists, though avoiding a close alliance with them. The embargo act disaffected a considerable portion of the party in New York; among them was De Witt Clinton, who, however, shortly after returned to the support of the administration.
Nothing could have been more appalling to the Federalists, in general, than the
not possessing any marked popularity, was held in very general esteem, and was probably more acceptable to the Federalists than any other leading man attached to the administration, his views being regarded as in many particulars coincident with theirs. Madison received 122 votes (6 Republican electors in New York voting for Clinton); Clinton had 113 for VicePresident, and Pinckney and King 47 votes each. Three whole States, besides several votes in other States-33 in allhad changed from the previous election to the Federal side, reducing the electoral
majority of the Republicans from 148 | House, with Wm. H. Crawford in the Sen
Near the close of Mr. Jefferson's administration, the embargo was repealed, in conformity to Mr. Jefferson's recommendation, made on the strength of representations made by John Q. Adams to the President that the Federal leaders in Massachusetts had determined on resistance to the act, and that they would prefer civil war to a longer endurance of the restriction. This we have from Mr. Jefferson's own pen, at a later period. The Federalists had often been charged by their opponents with an intention to dissolve the Union, or overthrow the government-but none of these charges were ever substantiated or rendered plausible by any offer of proof. Mr. Adams's conviction was doubtless sincere, but in a subsequent correspondence with Mr. Otis, Mr. Prescott, and other leading Federalists, who requested proofs of his charge, he admits he could offer no direct proof, but intimates that he may publish the evidence which established the belief to a moral certainty in his own mind. He died without having redeemed the promise. The "Henry plot," in 1812, failed even to justify suspicion.
A new part of the policy introduced by the Republican administrations, arising out of the foreign difficulties, was the encouragement of Home Manufactures. Mr. Madison (Message of 1810) considered the growth of manufactures "as of itself more than a recompense for the privations and losses resulting from foreign injustice, which furnished the general impulse required for its accomplishment." Thenceforward a system of encouragement was pursued for the diversion of labor and capital from other pursuits to that of manufacturing, efforts being made to keep up the protection afforded during non-intercourse and war, by frequent revisions of the commercial tariff.
In the twelfth Congress, a number of new, young, but talented men came into the leadership of the party, in the House of Representatives, and resolved to substitute a more vigorous policy in the place of that hitherto pursued by Mr. Madison. Henry Clay (for the first time elected Speaker), John C. Calhoun, William Lowndes, and Langdon Cheves, in the
ate, infused a new spirit into their party associates, and even quickened the slow energies of Mr. Madison himself. Navy was resuscitated, not as a temporary defence, but enlarged beyond the ideas even of the Federal administrations, to be relied on as a permanent protection of our commerce and our coasts.
After the election of Mr. Madison, the Republicans had regained their ground in New England, having control of the government in each State of that section, except Connecticut. As the war policy, however, became more apparent, the opposition were again aroused throughout the North, and were soon in possession of all the New England States and New York. The administration party was alarmed by these successes, and more by the determined opposition to their policy of the New York Republicans, who had already resolved on the support of De Witt Clinton against Mr. Madison, at the approaching election. However, under the lead of Clay and Calhoun, they were brought to the war point, and a caucus of the administration members having resolved on the extreme measure, a committee, of which those gentlemen were at the head, was sent to make known the determination of the party to the President. They found him, in his anxiety for peace, engaged in a fruitless negotiation with the British Minister. They informed him that the party was resolved, and would not retrace their steps; that the people would no longer tolerate a hesitating policy; that if the act was postoned until after the Presidential election, he would probably be defeated of a re-election; and that, in fact, unless he yielded to the sentiment of his friends, his nomination, even, was not to be relied on. In this dilemma, Mr. Madison reluctantly assented. The war bill passed the House 79 to 49, and the Senate 19 to 13.
Immediately on the passage of the act, an address, signed by 32 of the Federal members, and written by Hon. Harmanus Bleecker, of New York, was put in circulation.
It was a mild, well-written, dignified document, arguing the inexpediency of the war, either to satisfy our honor, or compensate our losses.
(To be continued.)