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Title: Union and Democracy
Author: Johnson, Allen, 1870-1931
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Professor of American History
Yale University

[Illustration: From the original portrait by Stuart, at Bowdoin College.

Th. Jefferson [Handwritten]]


Houghton Mifflin Company
Boston New York Chicago

The Riverside Press Cambridge

Copyright, 1915, by Allen Johnson
All Rights Reserved

The Riverside Press
Cambridge, Massachusetts
U. S. A.


The title of this volume must be regarded as suggestive rather than as
strictly accurate, for the beginnings of union are to be found farther
back than 1783, and democracy in its largest sense has even yet been
only imperfectly realized. At the close of the Revolution, union was but
a name. What Metternich said of the Italy of his day might have been
said of the United States in 1783: it was only a geographical
expression. The formation of the new federal union under the
Constitution is properly the main, though not the sole, theme of this
volume. Behind the thirteen Atlantic communities lay a vast region which
almost at once invited the colonizing activities of the people. The rise
of this western world is a movement of immense significance. Out of the
bosom of the West emerged the new democracy which transformed the face
of society in the old States. Whether viewed economically or
politically, this forms the second theme in any history of the times.
Around these two movements, therefore, I have endeavored to group the
events of forty-five years.

Within the last few years special studies have added much to the common
stock of historical information, and in many ways effected changes in
the historian's point of view. The time seemed proper to restate the
salient factors in the history of this formative period. I have frankly
appropriated the labors of others. Had the plan of the series permitted
the use of footnotes, I would gladly have made particular acknowledgment
of my indebtedness. At the same time I have not hesitated to present the
results of my own studies where they have led away from the conventional
view of men and events.

In preparation of the maps showing the popular vote in the elections of
1800 and 1824, I have drawn largely upon the data which Dr. Charles O.
Paullin, of the Carnegie Institution, has generously put at my disposal.
In States where the presidential electors were not chosen directly by
the voters, other votes, such as those for governor, have been made the
basis for determining the popular choice among party candidates for the
presidency. Two of my graduate students, Miss Isabel S. Mitchell and Mr.
Joseph E. Howe, have given me valuable assistance in the execution of
the maps. I am under particular obligation to my colleague, Professor
Stewart L. Mims, for reading critically both manuscript and proof.

                                                 Allen Johnson.


    I. The Ordeal of the Confederation                        1

   II. The Making of the Constitution                        25

  III. The Restoration of Public Credit                      46

   IV. The Testing of the New Government                     68

    V. Anglomen and Jacobins                                 89

   VI. The Revolution of 1800                               105

  VII. Jeffersonian Reforms                                 123

 VIII. The Purchase of the Province of Louisiana            143

   IX. Faction and Conspiracy                               161

    X. Peaceable Coercion                                   179

   XI. The Approach of War                                  197

  XII. The War of 1812                                      212

 XIII. The Results of the War                               231

  XIV. The Westward Movement                                245

   XV. Hard Times                                           266

  XVI. The National Awakening                               282

 XVII. The New Democracy                                    298

XVIII. Politics and State Rights                            318

  XIX. The Rise of National Sovereignty                     331

       Index                                                  i


The United States in 1783                            _facing_ 1

State-making in the West, 1783-87                             9

Distribution of Votes in Ratification of The Constitution:
  The New England States                                     37
  The Middle States                                          39
  The Southern States                                        42

Distribution of Population, 1790                             49

Vote on Assumption                                           59

The Northwest, 1785-95                                       71

Vote on the Repeal of the Alien and Sedition
  Acts, February 25, 1799               _between_ 112 _and_ 113

Presidential Election of 1800           _between_ 116 _and_ 117

Distribution of Population, 1800                            125

Vote on the Repeal of the Judiciary Act, March 2, 1802
                                        _between_ 134 _and_ 135

The Yazoo-Georgia Land Controversy                          168

The Tonnage of the United States, 1807                      185

Vote on the Embargo, December 21, 1807
                                        _between_ 190 _and_ 191

Vote on the Declaration of War, June 4, 1812
                                        _between_ 208 _and_ 209

Land Sales and Land Offices To 1821                         248

The Cotton Crop in the United States, 1801-34               250

The West As an Economic Section in 1820                     253

Treaty With Spain, 1819                                     263

Distribution of Slaves in 1820                              270

Vote on the Missouri Compromise, March 2, 1820              278

Russian Claims in North America                             293

Distribution of Population, 1820                            299

States Admitted To the Union Between 1812 and 1821          306

Vote on the Tariff Bill, April 16, 1824
                                        _between_ 310 _and_ 311

Presidential Election of 1824           _between_ 314 _and_ 315

Vote on the Tariff Bill, April 22, 1828
                                        _between_ 328 _and_ 329

Canals in the United States About 1825                      341

Highways of the United States About 1825                    344


[Map: The United States in 1783]




It was characteristic of the people of the United States that once
assured of their political independence they should face their economic
future with buoyant expectations. As colonizers of a new world they were
confident in their own strength. When once the shackles of the British
mercantile system were shaken off, they did not doubt their ability to
compete for the markets of the world. Even Washington, who had fewer
illusions than most of his contemporaries, told his fellow citizens of
America that they were "placed in the most enviable condition, as sole
lords and proprietors of a vast tract of continent, comprehending all
the various soils and climates of the world, and abounding with all the
necessaries and conveniences of life." Independence was the magic word
which the common man believed would open wide the gates of prosperity.
Yet within a year after the ratification of the Peace of Paris, American
society was in the throes of a severe industrial depression.

Contrary to the accepted view, the latter years of the war were not
years of penury and want among the people. Outside of those regions of
Virginia and the Carolinas, which were devastated by the marching and
countermarching of the combatants, the people were living in comparative
comfort. North of the Potomac, indeed, there was even a tendency to
speculation in business and extravagance in living. Throughout the war
farmers had found a ready market for their produce within the lines of
the British and French armies. The temporary suspension of commerce had
encouraged many forms of productive industry. As the war continued,
venturesome skippers eluded British men-of-war and found their way to
European or Dutch West India ports, bringing home rich cargoes in
exchange for tobacco, flour, and rice. The prizes brought in by
privateers added largely to the stock of desirable and attractive
merchandise in the shops of Boston, Philadelphia, and Charleston. If
such prosperity could follow in the wake of war, what commercial gains
might not be expected in the piping times of peace? In anticipation of
immediate returns, merchants drew heavily upon their foreign creditors
and stocked their shops with imported commodities. Southern planters
indulged similar expectations and bought land and slaves on credit,
regardless of the price. "A rage for running in debt became epidemical,"
wrote a contemporary observer. "Individuals were for getting rich by a
_coup de main_; a good bargain--a happy speculation--was almost every
man's object and pursuit."

During the hard times of 1785-86 these golden dreams vanished. Instead
of sharing as the people of an independent nation in the trade and
commerce of the world, American shippers found themselves no better off
than they were as dependents of Great Britain. Orders in council at once
closed the ports of the British West Indies to all staple products which
were not carried in British bottoms. Certain commodities,--fish, pork,
and beef,--which might compete with the products of British
dependencies, were excluded altogether. The policy of France and Spain
was scarcely less illiberal. The effect was immediate. Cut off from
their natural markets, American shipowners were forced either to leave
their vessels to rot at their wharves or to seek new markets. For months
there seemed to be no other alternative. At the same time the new
industries which had sprung up during the war had to meet the shock of
foreign competition, as the British manufacturer dumped on American
wharves the accumulated stock of his warehouses. The plight of the small
farmer and of the large planter was much the same; for both had incurred
debts in expectation of continued prosperity.

Everywhere people complained of hard times. Discouragement and ill-humor
displaced the buoyant optimism with which peace had been heralded. "What
is independence?" asked a writer in _A Shorter Catechism_. "Dependence
upon nothing" was the cynical answer. In many States the popular
discontent found vent in a vindictive crusade against the Tories. Even
sober-minded citizens shared the general detestation of these
unfortunate people. In the heat of war Washington had declared them to
be "abominable pests of society" who ought to be hanged as traitors.
The States had quite generally confiscated their property and in some
cases had passed acts of attainder against them. In communities like New
York, which had long remained in the hands of the British, the popular
animosity was exceedingly bitter. To aid those citizens who had been
dispossessed of their estates, the legislature passed the Trespass Act,
which permitted suits for the recovery of property that had passed into
the hands of the enemy upon the flight of the owners. The terms of the
act were in flat contradiction to the treaty of peace. Further to aid
claimants, it was provided that no military order could be pleaded in
court in justification of the seizure of property.

In a famous case brought before the Mayor's Court of New York by the
widow Rutgers to recover her property from Joshua Waddington, a wealthy
Tory, Alexander Hamilton appeared as counsel for the defendant. It was a
daring act which brought down upon him the unmitigated wrath of the
radical elements. Nevertheless, in an opinion which has considerable
interest for students of constitutional law, the court ruled that the
Trespass Act, "by a reasonable interpretation," must be construed in
harmony with the treaty of peace, which was obligatory upon every State.
It was not to be presumed that the legislature would intentionally
violate the law of nations. The judgment of the court therefore, was in
favor of the defendant. With chagrin and resentment the popular party
declared that the court had set aside a law of the State and had
presumed to set itself above the legislature. Wherever the radicals got
the upper hand, confiscation was the order of the day; and even where
the conservatives succeeded in restraining their radical brethren from
legislative reprisals, no Tory was safe from the assaults of
irresponsible mobs. Thousands took refuge in flight, to the infinite
delight of the wits in the coffee-houses who jested of the "Independence
Fever" which was carrying off so many worthy people.

Financially the Confederation was hopelessly embarrassed. Having sowed
the wind by its issues of bills of credit, it was now reaping the
whirlwind. By the end of the war this paper money had so far depreciated
that it ceased to pass as currency. "Not worth a continental" has passed
into our native idiom. Without power to levy taxes, Congress could only
make requisitions upon the States. The returns were pitifully inadequate
to the needs of government. All told, less than a million and a half of
dollars came into the treasury between 1781 and 1784, although Morris,
as Superintendent of Finance, had earnestly besought the governors of
the States for two millions for the year 1783 alone, in order to meet
outstanding obligations and current expenses. Without foreign and
domestic loans the war could never have been carried to a successful
conclusion; but in 1783 even that source was drained. In sheer
desperation Congress authorized the Superintendent of Finance to draw
bills of exchange, at his discretion, upon the credit of loans _which
were to be procured_ in Europe. In vain Morris warned Congress that no
more loans could be secured. "Our public credit is gone," he declared.

The obvious remedy for the financial ills of the Confederation was to
give Congress the power to levy taxes. Early in 1781, indeed, before the
Articles of Confederation had been ratified by Maryland, the proposal
had been made that Congress should be vested with power to levy a five
per cent duty on imports; but the obstinate opposition of Rhode Island
effectually blocked the amendment. "She considered it the most precious
jewel of sovereignty that no State be called upon to open its purse but
by the authority of the State and by her own officers." Again, in 1783,
Congress submitted to the States an amendment which would confer upon it
the power to place specific duties for a term of twenty-five years upon
certain classes of imported commodities. The tardy response of the
States to this proposal left little hope that it would be adopted.

In fact, the Confederation and its woes hardly occupied the thoughts of
the people at all, except as a subject for jest and ridicule. The
newspapers made merry over the peregrinations of Congress. Frightened
away from Philadelphia by the riotous conduct of some troops of the
Pennsylvania line, who had imbibed too freely, the delegates had
withdrawn first to Princeton and then to Annapolis. Thither Washington
repaired to resign his commission; but even so notable an occasion as
this brought together delegates from only seven of the States. The best
talent in America was drafted into the service of the several States.
Men had ceased to think continentally. "A selfish habitude of thinking
and reasoning," wrote one who styled himself Yorick, in the _New York
Packet_, "leads us into a fatal error the moment we begin to talk of the
interests of America. The fact is, by the interests of America we mean
only the interests of that State to which property or accident has
attached us." "Of the affairs of Georgia," Madison confessed in 1786, "I
know as little as those of Kamskatska."

On all sides intelligent men agreed that the return of prosperity
depended upon the opening-up of foreign trade. Their immediate concern
was the recovery of old markets. When John Adams went to London in 1785
as the first representative of the United States, he bent all his
energies to the task of securing a commercial treaty which would provide
for unrestricted intercourse between the countries. It was an impossible
task. At every turn he encountered the hostility of the mercantile
classes, of whom Lord Sheffield was the most conspicuous representative.
"What have you to give us in exchange for this and that?" "What have you
to give us as reciprocity for the benefit of going to our islands?"
"What assurance can you give that the States will agree to a treaty?"
These were the embarrassing questions which Adams had to encounter.
Baffled by the cool indifference of the English Ministry, Adams wrote
home in despair that there was not the slightest prospect of relief for
American commerce unless the States would confer the power of passing
navigation laws upon Congress or themselves pass retaliatory acts
against Great Britain.

Congress had, indeed, already urged upon the States the necessity of
yielding the power to enact navigation laws; but they had replied with
such deliberation and with so many conditions that Congress was as
powerless as ever. Meantime, each State struck blindly at the common
enemy with little or no regard for its neighbors. "The States are every
day giving proofs," wrote Madison, "that separate regulations are more
likely to set them by the ears than to attain the common object." When
the other New England States closed their ports to British shipping,
Connecticut hastened to profit at their expense by throwing her ports
wide open. New Jersey, with New York on one side and Pennsylvania on the
other, was likened to a cask tapped at both ends. To find a historical
parallel to the annals of this period, one must go back to the
bickerings and jealousies of the states of ancient Greece.

In this dark picture, however, there are cheering rays of light. One by
one the States were redeeming their promises and ceding their western
lands. It seemed as though the Confederation, hitherto a disembodied
spirit, was about to tenant a body. By the year 1786 the United States
were in joint possession of the greater part of the vast region between
the Ohio, the Mississippi, and the Great Lakes--a domain of imperial
dimensions. In anticipation of these cessions, Congress took under
consideration an ordinance reported by a committee of which Thomas
Jefferson was chairman. This ordinance contemplated the division of the
land north of the thirty-first parallel into fourteen or sixteen States.
The settlers in these rectangular areas were not to form state
governments at once, but for their temporary government were to borrow
such constitutions as they thought best from the older States. When a
State had twenty thousand inhabitants, it might frame a permanent
constitution and send a delegate to Congress. Admission to the Union was
to be granted only when a State had as many free inhabitants as "the
least numerous of the thirteen original States." Two features of
Jefferson's report do not appear in the Ordinance of 1784; the fantastic
names which Jefferson had selected and the fifth of the fundamental
conditions which were to be a charter of compact between the old States
and the new. It is perhaps no misfortune that the names Assenisipia,
Polypotamia, Pelisipia, do not appear on the map; the article
prohibiting slavery after the year 1800 might well have been retained.

[Map: State-Making In the West 1783-1787]

More important than the Ordinance of 1784, which indeed is interesting
chiefly because it was the forerunner of the final ordinance for the
Northwest Territory, is that adopted by Congress in the following year.
The so-called Land Ordinance of 1785 provided in general for the survey
of a series of townships six miles square in the region immediately west
of Pennsylvania, and for the further division of each township into
thirty-six lots, or, as they were later styled, "sections," one mile
square. After satisfying the claims of the soldiers of the Continental
Army, Congress proposed to distribute these lands among the States, to
be sold at auction for a minimum price of one dollar an acre, reserving
certain sections in each township and one third of the mineral ore which
might be found. The sixteenth section in each township was to be set
aside for the support of education. Each purchaser was to receive with
his deed a definite description of his holding. Subsequent amendments to
the Land Ordinance made the terms of purchase somewhat easier. Instead
of making an out-and-out purchase, prospective settlers might pay one
third in cash and receive a credit of three months for the balance of
the purchase price. Yet even with these inducements only seventy-three
thousand acres had been sold to individuals down to 1788. The hazards of
western settlement were still too great.

Disappointed in the sales under the Land Ordinance, Congress was
persuaded to consider the alternative course of selling large tracts to
companies. The collapse of national credit left the public domain almost
the only available source of revenue. Early in 1787 the Ohio Company
offered to purchase a tract of land between the Ohio and Muskingum
Rivers. The promoters of this company had been interested in an earlier
project of army officers for the founding of a military colony beyond
the Ohio. Organized at Boston in March, 1786, with a nominal capital of
one million dollars, it had within a year raised one fourth of that
amount and sent first General Samuel Parsons and then the Reverend
Manasseh Cutler to secure the desired grant from Congress. The labors of
this astute divine at the seat of government form an interesting chapter
in the evolution of American legislative methods. By devices well known
to the modern lobbyist he not only secured the grant of land, but also
took a hand in the shaping of a new ordinance for the Northwest
Territory. In order to secure the grant to his associates, he had to
resort to log-rolling and agree to procure for a group of land
speculators an option to lands on the Scioto River. The grant to the
Ohio Company contained a million and a half acres; that to the Scioto
Company, five million acres. But while the one paid down half a million
dollars, the other made no payment, expecting to dispose of their
"rights" before the first payment was due. In the following year a third
grant of a million acres on the Great and Little Miami Rivers in Ohio
was made to John Cleve Symmes.

From these sales Congress expected to realize over three and a half
million dollars in public securities and at the same time to satisfy
military bounty warrants amounting to about eight hundred thousand
acres. The actual amount realized was less than six hundred thousand
dollars. The Scioto Company succeeded in disposing of rights to about
three million acres to a company organized in France, which in turn
sold them to unsuspecting royalist emigrants. Neither company ever
secured a clear title to these lands, and Congress had eventually to
come to the relief of the unhappy French settlers with a donation of
twenty-four thousand acres. Unforeseen circumstances prevented either
the Ohio Company or Symmes from complying with the conditions of sale;
and in both cases Congress consented to alter the terms of contract.

On July 13, 1787, Congress adopted the ordinance which it had long had
under consideration. The authorship of this "charter of the west," after
long controversy, is still in dispute. Like all legislative measures it
bears the mark of many hands. Certain features of Jefferson's ordinance
reappear: the provision for temporary government and eventual statehood,
and the fundamental articles of compact. Other provisions are stated in
a detailed fashion and suggest the probability that Congress had
definite conditions to meet. The ordinance took final form while the
Reverend Manasseh Cutler was representing the Ohio Company in New York.
Perhaps the most striking departure from the Ordinance of 1784 is the
provision for not less than three nor more than five States north of the
Ohio, where Jefferson planned for ten. Admission to the Union was to be
gained only after the population had reached sixty thousand. Temporary
government was to consist of a governor, a secretary, and three judges
appointed by Congress, who were to adopt such laws from other States as
they believed suited to local conditions. In each and every case
Congress reserved the right to disallow these laws. Whenever a territory
attained a population of five thousand, it was to pass to the second
grade of government, with a representative assembly, an appointive
council, and a delegate in Congress.

Six articles of compact were also written into the ordinance, which were
to remain forever unalterable except by the common consent of the
parties thereto--"the original States and the people and States in the
said territory." Freedom of worship, the usual rights of person and
property, and the obligation of private contracts were guaranteed.
Religion, morality, and education were to be forever encouraged. Neither
slavery nor involuntary servitude was to be permitted. In imposing these
conditions Congress undoubtedly exceeded its powers under the Articles
of Confederation, for that document nowhere confers upon Congress the
power to make binding contracts, nor for that matter to legislate in any
wise for the government of the common domain.

The Ohio Company hastened to colonize its broad acres on the Muskingum.
Before the end of the year 1787, the vanguard of the first colony was on
the march through Pennsylvania to the upper waters of the Ohio. There
they spent the winter constructing the craft which was to carry them to
their destination. As soon as the ice broke up in the spring, they
embarked on the Mayflower,--for so they had christened the craft,--and
within five days set foot on the soil of Ohio. Other bands joined them,
and by midsummer their rude huts and a blockhouse marked the site of
what was to be the town of Marietta, the first New England settlement
in the West. Across the Muskingum, at Fort Harmar, the new governor,
General St. Clair, had already taken up his official residence. Farther
down the river, Symmes planted a colony from New Jersey on the tract
which he had purchased; and within the next few years settlements were
made in the adjoining district, which Virginia had reserved as bounty
land for her soldiers. The vision of virgin lands in the Ohio country
was beginning to dawn upon the small farmer of the East. Emigration grew
apace. Between February and June, 1788, an observer noted not less than
forty-five hundred settlers drifting past Fort Harmar in their
flatboats, in search of new homes in the wilderness.

While the colonization of the Northwest was going on under the eye of
Governor St. Clair, hardy pioneers were laying the foundations of a new
society in the Southwest, without the protecting arm of the Government.
Before the war Daniel Boone had made his famous trace to "the country of
Kentucke" through the Cumberland Gap; and Robertson had led his colony
from North Carolina to the upper waters of the Tennessee. Settlers had
followed the long-rangers; and numerous communities sprang up by salt
lick and water course. In all these settlements there was much local
independence. For a time the people on the Watauga had established a
government of their own. Upon the cession by North Carolina of her
western lands, the settlers of eastern Tennessee took matters into their
own hands and prepared to organize as a State. Congress had just adopted
the Ordinance of 1784, and one of Jefferson's prospective States
included most of the land already appropriated by these pioneers. They
nourished, too, long-standing grievances. They were taxed for the
support of a government which treated them with contumely and ignored
their administrative needs. The movement toward independence acquired
such headway that not even the repeal of the act of cession by North
Carolina could stay its course. With a confidence born of frontier
conditions these "modern Franks, the hardy mountain men," as a
contemporary called them, drafted a constitution, organized a
government, and appealed to Congress for recognition as a State of the
Confederation. For three years the State of Franklin, as it was
officially christened, under the able leadership of Governor John
Sovier, refused to recognize the authority of North Carolina, even to
the point of resisting the militia by arms. But Congress turned a deaf
ear to the petitions of the insurgents; and in the year 1788, diplomacy
succeeding where coercion had failed, the people of Franklin returned to
their first allegiance.

Much the same centrifugal forces were at work in northwestern Virginia
and western Pennsylvania, a region which felt its isolation keenly.
"Separated by a vast, extensive and almost impassible Tract of
Mountains, by Nature itself formed and pointed out as a Boundary between
this Country and those below it," the settlers of this trans-Alleghany
region besought Congress to recognize them as a "sister colony and
fourteenth province of the American Confederacy."

More menacing to the integrity of Virginia was a movement for
independent statehood among the people of Kentucky. Rivers were the
highways of their commerce and the current of all bore their flatboats
away from the parent State. New Orleans was their inevitable _entrepôt_.
The forces of nature seemed to conspire to throw these western
settlements into the hands of Spain. Washington was deeply impressed by
the necessity of connecting the headwaters of the James and the Potomac
with the tributaries of the Ohio, if the trade and allegiance of the
people of Kentucky were to be secured to Virginia and to the Union. "The
western States," he wrote to Governor Harrison of Virginia, "stand as it
were upon a pivot. The touch of a feather would turn them any way." The
situation in Kentucky became more acute as intimations reached the
people that John Jay was proposing to renounce the free navigation of
the Mississippi.

In the summer of 1785, Don Diego de Gardoqui, the first accredited
Minister from Spain, arrived in the United States to settle all
outstanding differences between the two countries. Congress appointed
John Jay as its diplomatic agent and instructed him to hold insistently
to the thirty-first parallel as the southern boundary of the States and
to the free navigation of the Mississippi. The prospect of agreement was
very slight. The American claims were based solely on the Treaty of 1783
which the King of Spain was determined not to recognize. Negotiations
dragged on for months. Reporting to Congress in August, 1786, Jay
advised the abandonment of the claim of free navigation of the
Mississippi for the sake of securing an advantageous commercial treaty
with Spain. The delegates from Northern States were ready to barter away
the Southwest; but the Southern delegates succeeded in postponing action
until the impotent Confederation gave way to a more perfect union.

At the Court of St. James, John Adams was having no better luck in
pressing the rights of the moribund Confederation. Notwithstanding the
explicit terms of the Treaty of 1783, British garrisons still held
strategic posts along the Great Lakes, exercising a strong influence
upon the Indians and guarding the interests of British fur traders. Such
a situation would have been intolerable to a self-respecting nation.
Smothering his pride, Adams mustered all the diplomacy which his nature
permitted and sought an explanation of this extraordinary conduct from
the ministers. He was finally told that he need not expect Great Britain
to relinquish the Western posts so long as the States continued to put
obstacles in the way of the collection of British debts.

A general reluctance to meet financial obligations was a deplorable
aspect of the depression to which American society had succumbed. In all
the States there was a more or less numerous class of debtors who were
convinced that the Government could help them out of all their
distresses. As the cause of all their woes was the scarcity of money,
why, let the Government manufacture money and so put an end to the
stringency. What Madison called "the general rage for paper money"
seized upon Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, and
Georgia. Coupled with paper-money acts were others designed to alleviate
the distress of the unfortunate. Stay laws of one sort or another were
devised to keep the wolf, in the guise of the sheriff, from the door.
Legal-tender acts made cattle and produce equivalent to money when
offered in payment of debts. Nor was this legislation inspired
altogether by dishonest intent. Many believed with Luther Martin, of
Maryland, that there were times of great public distress and extreme
scarcity of specie when it was the duty of the Government to pass stay
laws and legal-tender acts, "to prevent the wealthy creditor and the
moneyed man from totally destroying the poor, though even industrious,

No State suffered more from the paper-money aberration than Rhode
Island. Under pressure from the radical elements the legislature passed
an act for the emission of bills of credit which were to be issued to
any freeholder who would offer as security real estate of any sort to
double the amount of the loan. "Many from all parts of the State made
haste to avail themselves of their good fortune, and mortgaged fields
strewn thick with stones and covered with cedars and stunted pines for
sums such as could not have been obtained for the richest pastures." But
when they sought their creditors, not a merchant nor a shop-keeper could
be found. Nobody fished to have a just debt discharged in such currency.
Not to be thwarted in their purpose, the radicals then enacted a law
which threatened with a summary trial and a heavy fine any one who
refused to accept paper money in payment of debt.

Under this Force Act, one John Weeden, a butcher, was brought to trial
for refusing to receive the paper offered by a customer in payment for
meat. To the discomfiture of the legislature the court refused to
enforce the law in this instance, on the ground that the statute was
contrary to the constitution of Rhode Island; and when summoned before
the legislature to answer for their defiance, the judges boldly stood
their ground. The case of _Trevett_ v. _Weeden_ was not without its
lesson to those who were casting about for ways and means to defend
property from the assaults of popular majorities. In Virginia, too, the
highest state court, in the case of _Commonwealth_ v. _Caton_, boldly
asserted the right of the judiciary to declare void such acts of the
legislature as were repugnant to the constitution.

Meantime the debtor and creditor classes in Massachusetts were locked in
a struggle which menaced the peace of the country. Here as elsewhere
hard times had forced the small farmers of the interior counties to the
wall. No doubt their difficulties were caused in part by their own
improvidence, but they were increased by the prevailing scarcity of
money. So dire was the want of a medium of exchange that many
communities resorted to barter. The editor of a Worcester paper
advertised that he would accept Indian corn, rye, wheat, wood, or
flaxseed, in payment of debts owed to him, up to the amount of twenty
shillings. It seemed to the ignorant farmer that his creditors were
taking an unfair advantage of circumstances in demanding currency to
settle debts which had been contracted when money was abundant. The
law, however, favored the creditor. The jails were filled to overflowing
with men imprisoned for debt; the courts were overwhelmed with actions.
In Worcester County, with a population of less than fifty thousand
people, there were in 1784 two thousand cases on the docket of the
Inferior Court of Common Pleas. In this age of litigation only one class
appeared to thrive--the lawyers. The anger of the poor debtors, inflamed
by attachments and foreclosures, vented itself upon the ostensible cause
of their misfortunes. The excessive costs of courts and the immoderate
fees of lawyers are grievances which bulk large in every indictment
drawn by town meeting or county convention. Young John Quincy Adams,
then a senior in Harvard College, was so affected by the odium which had
fallen upon the practice of law that he was almost ready to abandon the
career which he had chosen.

The adjournment of the General Court in July, 1786, without authorizing
an issue of paper money or passing a legal-tender act or fixing the fees
of lawyers and the costs of courts, contributed to the unrest which was
now assuming a threatening aspect. During August and September riotous
mobs prevented the courts from sitting at Northampton, Worcester, Great
Barrington, and Concord. Alarmed by these disorders Governor Bowdoin
convened the legislature in special session and summoned the militia to
the protection of the capital. While the legislature was devising ways
and means of allaying the public excitement, another demonstration
occurred at Worcester which resulted in the dispersion of the Court of
General Sessions by a force of armed men. From Worcester the disorders
spread into adjoining counties; and something like a concerted movement
upon Boston and Cambridge seemed to be preparing. The prompt action of
the state authorities however, balked the plans of the insurgents. The
main body of insurgents under Shays scattered; but a month later they
rallied around Springfield to prevent the holding of court. Governor
Bowdoin then dispatched troops, four thousand strong, under the command
of General Lincoln, to the assistance and protection of the civil
authorities. A civil war seemed imminent. Shays had planned an attack
upon the national arsenal at Springfield, but he could not bring his
rustics to act together. Before the determined resistance of the local
militia his undisciplined troops broke and fled. The arrival of the
state militia under Lincoln completed the demoralization of Shays' army.
Retreating through the hilly country of Hampshire, they wore finally
overtaken and routed at Petersham. Some of the insurgents went to their
homes, completely humbled and subdued; others fled across the border to
await better times; and still others, unrepentant and unsubdued,
continued to harass the countryside. It was not until the following
September that Governor Bowdoin ventured to disband the militia.

To these disturbances in Massachusetts, Congress had not remained
indifferent. Aside from the direct interest that all members were bound
to take in a rebellion which seemed to threaten the very foundations of
a sister State and which might easily recur in their own, Congress was
concerned for the fate of the national arsenal at Springfield. But no
forces were available for the protection of the property of the
Confederation. The few hundred men who comprised the army were scattered
in garrisons along the western frontier. Acting as intermediary between
Congress and Governor Bowdoin, General Knox as Secretary of War made
what provision he could for the defense of the arsenal by local militia;
but these measures were confessedly inadequate. Upon his report Congress
was finally moved to increase the army, ostensibly for the protection of
the frontier, where in truth Indian hostilities required the presence of
additional troops. As these forces would be raised chiefly in New
England, they could be employed first to protect Springfield. Any open
avowal of this plan was avoided, however, lest the insurgents should
take alarm and immediately attack the arsenal. But these plans were
wrecked on the reef of financial bankruptcy. Congress could only
supplicate the States for money and borrow what it might on its
expectations. Recruiting went on so slowly that the rebellion was
practically over when two companies of artillery, numbering
seventy-three men each, which had been raised in Massachusetts, were
finally marched to Springfield. All the other recruits were dismissed.
The inefficiency of Congress and its want of moral influence were

In his famous circular letter of 1783, Washington had spoken of the
times as a period of "political probation." The moment had come for the
United States to determine, said he, "whether they will be respectable
and prosperous, or contemptible and miserable, as a nation." Three years
had now passed and the period of probation seemed to have ended in the
ruin of national hopes. The events of the years 1786 made a profound
impression upon the minds of all responsible and conservative men. In
undisguised alarm, Washington wrote: "There are combustibles in every
State which a spark might set fire to.... I feel ... infinitely more
than I can express to you, for the disorders which have arisen in these
States. Good God! Who, besides a Tory, could have foreseen, or a Briton,
predicted them?" Rightly or wrongly, men of the upper classes believed
that the foundations of society were threatened and that the State
Governments would fall a prey to the radical and unpropertied elements,
unless a stronger Federal Government were created. "With this idea, they
are thinking, very seriously," wrote an interested observer at the seat
of Federal Government in New York, "in what manner to effect the most
easy and natural change of the present form of the Federal Government to
one more energetic, that will, at the same time, create respect, and
secure properly life, liberty, and property. It is, therefore, not
uncommon to hear the principles of government stated in common
conversation. Emperors, kings, stadtholders, governors-general, with a
senate or house of lords, and house of commons, are frequently the
topics of conversation." There were those who frankly advocated a
monarchical government as the only way of escape from the ills under
which American society was laboring. There is reason to believe that a
project was on foot to invite Prince Henry of Prussia to become the head
of a new consolidated government. The influence of the Order of the
Cincinnati was much feared by friends of republican institutions.
Individually members of the order did not hesitate to express their
impatience with popular government. What was to come out of this
political chaos, no man could tell.


     The two most extensive histories dealing with the period of the
     Confederation are George Bancroft's _History of the Formation of
     the Constitution of the United States of America_ (2 vols., 1882)
     and G. T. Curtis's _History of the Origin, Formation, and Adoption
     of the Constitution of the United States_ (2 vols., 1854). In the
     fourth volume of Hildreth's _History of the United States_ (6
     vols., 1849-52), a concise but rather dry account of the
     Confederation may be found. More entertaining is John Fiske's _The
     Critical Period of American History, 1783-1789_ (1888). Valuable
     information bearing on the social as well as the political history
     of the times is contained in the first volume of J. B. McMaster's
     _History of the People of the United States from the Revolution to
     the Civil War_ (7 vols., 1883-1913). More recent histories of the
     period are A. C. McLaughlin's _The Confederation and the
     Constitution, 1783-1789_ (in _The American Nation_, vol. 10,
     1905), and Edward Channing's _History of the United States_, vol.
     III (3 vols., 1905- ). A vigorous narrative of the exploits of the
     pioneers beyond the Alleghanies has been written by Theodore
     Roosevelt, _Winning of the West_ (4 vols., 1889-96). A more
     restrained account of the beginnings of Western settlement is B.
     A. Hinsdale's _The Old Northwest, the Beginnings of our Colonial
     System_ (1899).



Notwithstanding the manifold differences between State and State in the
Confederation, there were everywhere groups of men who confronted much
the same economic conditions. Between the farmer who tilled his sterile
hillside acres in the interior of New England and the cultivator of the
richer soil of the Piedmont in Virginia and the Carolinas, a greater
identity of economic interests existed than the casual observer would
have suspected. The feeling of hostility which circumstances bred in the
followers of Daniel Shays toward the merchants of Boston was akin to
that which the farmers of middle and western Pennsylvania harbored
toward the aristocratic and wealthy classes of Philadelphia and the
eastern counties. A similar antagonism appears between the yeomen of the
uplands and the planters of the tidewater farther to the south,
accentuated, no doubt, by religious and racial differences. The
Scotch-Irish or German dissenter, who was treated with contempt as a
foreigner and forced to support a church established by a State
Government which discriminated against numbers and in favor of property,
was not likely to feel kindly toward the tidewater aristocracy. Bad
crops spelled disaster for these farmers, for they had incurred debt to
purchase their lands and had borrowed capital to work them. In hard
times they were the first to suffer, for whether money was scarce or
plentiful, the tax-collector and the money-lender knocked inexorably at
their doors. Bad roads kept them isolated and want of intercourse bred
much ignorance and prejudice in even honest men. Were the recorded
grievances of these inland groups brought together, they would show a
surprising agreement.

Set over against this interior population with predominant agrarian
interests were those classes, urban for the most part, whose income was
derived from personal rather than real property. Even at this time a
capitalist class of no mean proportions existed. No inconsiderable part
of this personalty was invested in shipping and manufacturing. A part,
not easily determined, was tied up in Western lands, which appealed
strongly to the speculative instincts of the American. The amount of
money at interest was also considerable in States like Massachusetts. As
creditors of the debt-burdened farmers these classes were everywhere on
the defensive. To this group should be added the holders of public
securities, both state and continental, who could not have remained
uninterested witnesses of the demise of the Confederation.

The logic of events was drawing these holders of personal property
together. Capitalists with idle money found the avenues to profitable
investment closed by the inability of Congress to offer protection to
either manufacturing or shipping; creditors with money at interest
witnessed with alarm the inability or unwillingness of state
legislatures to resist attacks upon private contracts and public
credit; holders of public securities shared the general contempt for a
Government, which, so far from providing for the ultimate redemption of
its obligations, could not even pay interest on its debts; speculators
in lands despaired of a rise in values so long as the Government could
not defend its borders and protect its frontier population. The desire
of all these classes, from Boston to Charleston, was for a Government
which would govern.

Under these circumstances the idea of a special convention to revise the
Articles of Confederation grew in favor. Some of the States, notably
Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, had employed constituent
conventions to draft new frames of government. The legislature of New
York had in 1782 proposed a convention to revise the Articles of
Confederation. At the suggestion of Governor Bowdoin, the General Court
of Massachusetts had resolved in 1785 in favor of such a convention; but
the delegates in Congress, for reasons best known to themselves, had
refused to present the resolution. In any case Congress could hardly be
expected to take the initiative.

For many years Virginia and Maryland had been at loggerheads over the
navigation of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. In 1784
commissioners from both States met at Alexandria, and subsequently at
Washington's country-seat, at Mount Vernon, to make a last effort to
adjudicate their differences. It speedily appeared that the question of
commercial regulations was one that concerned also their neighbors to
the north. Maryland proposed that Pennsylvania and Delaware should be
invited to a further conference. The assembly of Virginia went still
further and appointed delegates to meet with delegates from other States
"to take into consideration the trade of the United States" and "to
consider how far a uniform system in their commercial regulations may be
necessary to their common interest and their permanent harmony."
Annapolis was selected as the place of meeting.

The response of the States to this call was disappointing. Only five
States sent delegates. Positive action on trade relations was, of
course, out of the question. But Alexander Hamilton, who attended as a
delegate from New York, drafted a report which went far to redeem the
situation. Addressed to the legislatures of the States represented at
Annapolis, it called attention to the critical state of the Union and
the need of a convention of delegates with wider powers from all the
States; and in conclusion, it named Philadelphia and the second Monday
in May, 1787, as a suitable place and time for such a convention. "From
motives of respect" a copy of this report was sent to Congress.

With its wonted indecision, Congress dallied with this bold proposal
until late in the following February. Meantime, Virginia and other
States appointed delegates to the convention which Congress had not yet
sanctioned. When Congress finally issued the summons, it made no
reference to the Annapolis Convention, though it took over bodily the
recommendations of that body. The sole and express purpose of the
convention was declared to be the revision of the Articles of

The delegates to the Philadelphia Convention were to be "appointed by
the States." As a matter of course, the choice devolved upon the
legislature in every instance. To what extent the active economic
interests directed and controlled the selection is a mere matter of
speculation. Certain it is that the members of the convention belonged
to the governing class in their respective communities. Almost to a man
they had held important public positions. To a surprising extent they
came from the commercial sections of their States. "Not one member
represented in his immediate personal economic interests the small
farming or mechanic classes." A large majority were "directly and
personally interested in the outcome of their labors through their
ownership of property, real or personal." Many were holders of public
securities and profited by the later funding operations of the new
Government; some had invested in Western lands; others had capital
invested in manufacturing, shipping, and slaves. Thus circumstanced,
they had no mind to try doubtful experiments in government.

Among the first of the delegates to reach Philadelphia was James
Madison. Other members of the Virginia delegation soon joined him, and
on the 13th of May, Washington made what was really a triumphant entry
into the city. When the 14th dawned only a few delegates had arrived.
Inclement weather and bad roads detained many, no doubt; but a general
dilatoriness in heeding the summons was accountable for the tardiness
of others. Until a majority of States were represented, the delegates
could only adjourn from day to day. That the gentlemen from Virginia put
this time to good use appears from the plan which they drew up as a
tentative program and which Randolph presented to the convention.
Indeed, there is little doubt that much unrecorded progress was made
throughout the convention by informal conferences among the leaders.

It was not until Friday, May 25, that seven States were represented and
a preliminary organization could be effected. Washington was the
unanimous choice for president, though tradition has it that Franklin
was the first choice of many delegates. Altogether, though not at any
one time, there were fifty-five delegates in attendance from twelve
States. Rhode Island was never represented. The average attendance was
hardly more than thirty. It was possible, therefore, to adopt simple
rules of procedure and to permit full discussion. The credentials of the
delegates gave them, with a single exception, free hand in revising the
Articles of Confederation. Delaware alone forbade its representatives to
make any alterations which should deprive the State of its equal vote in

As the doors closed on this notable body in the chamber over
Independence Hall in the State House, profound secrecy enveloped its
proceedings. Not until the publication of the journal by act of Congress
in 1819 were the actual proceedings of the convention divulged; and many
more years passed before Madison's notes on the debates were given to
the curious public. The earth scattered on the pavement to silence the
rattling of wheels and the sentries stationed at the doors to warn
intruders gave added emphasis to the importance of this gathering.

The task before the convention was one of immense difficulty. The most
general criticism of the Confederation was that expressed in the vague
phrase, "lack of power"; but the defect could not be overcome merely by
giving new powers to Congress. Any such increase of authority involved a
delicate readjustment of the relations of the States to each other and
to the central Government. Before the convention had been in session a
fortnight, a line of cleavage among the delegates appeared. To the most
obtuse mind the resolutions presented as the Virginia plan seemed to
reach far beyond any mere revision of the Articles of Confederation.
Randolph frankly admitted the scope of his resolutions by urging that a
union of the States merely federal would not suffice. The convention so
far yielded to the general drift as to adopt, in committee of the whole,
the resolution "that a national government ought to be established
consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary."

As the group of nationally minded delegates, led by Madison and Wilson,
of Pennsylvania, seized this initial advantage and secured the
acceptance, step by step, of the main features of a national government,
the delegates from the smaller States drew together in alarmed
opposition. It was in their behalf that Paterson, of New Jersey,
presented his resolutions. In contrast to the Virginia plan, this held
out only the prospect of an improved Confederation. Additional powers
were to be given to Congress and there was to be an executive and a
supreme judiciary; but the basal principle of the Confederation--the
equality of the States--was left untouched. Given the alternative
between the New Jersey plan and the Virginia plan as amended, seven
States voted for the latter. Only New York, New Jersey, and Delaware
preferred the former. The vote of Maryland was divided. The convention
then returned to the detailed consideration of the amended Virginia
plan. The large-State men were now disposed to make some concessions.
The word "national" was dropped from all the resolutions; and minor
changes were made in the interest of harmony. But on the fundamental
question of what was termed "proportional representation,"--that is,
representation of the States in proportion to numbers in the national
legislature,--no agreement seemed possible. More than once the
convention was on the point of adjourning _sine die_. Even the usually
placid Franklin suggested that "prayers imploring the assistance of
Heaven ... be held in this Assembly every morning."

In spite of the opposition of the smaller States, the convention finally
voted that the rule of suffrage in the first branch of the legislature
ought not to be according to that established by the Articles of
Confederation. Debate then turned on the manner of constituting the
upper chamber. On July 2, a vote was taken on the proposal of the
Connecticut delegation that each State should have an equal vote in the
upper house. The result was a tie, five States against five, with the
vote of one State divided. The deadlock seemed complete.

Hoping that a compromise might even yet be effected, General Pinckney
proposed a committee of one from each State to consider the whole
matter. Opposition was made, but the convention indorsed the proposal
and chose the members of the committee by ballot. The selection was
obviously favorable to the small-State party, for the committee
abandoned the idea of proportional representation in the second chamber.
On July 5, it recommended that in the first branch of the legislature
there should be one representative for every forty thousand inhabitants
in each State, counting three fifths of the slaves, and that in the
second chamber the States should have an equal vote. The first
proposition underwent further changes at the hands of a special
committee, but the principle of representation was accepted. On July 16,
the first proposition as amended and the second proposition without
change were adopted by a vote of five States to four, with the vote of
one State divided. Very properly historians have termed this the great
compromise of the Constitution, for without it the further work of the
convention would have been impossible. In agreeing that three fifths of
the slaves should be counted in apportioning representation, the
convention made no innovation, but simply took over the federal ratio
which Congress had recommended in 1783 as the basis for future
apportionment of requisitions among the States. On this point there was
no great difference of opinion in the convention.

It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that with this obstacle to
union removed, the Constitution speedily took form. On the contrary,
every proposal bristled with controversial points. The Northern
commercial States demanded insistently that Congress should be given
power to regulate commerce. It was, indeed, the desire of the commercial
classes in all the States that Congress should be given power to pass
retaliatory acts against Great Britain, but the planters of the
Carolinas and Georgia feared--not without reason--that the power to
regulate commerce might be used to interfere with the importation of
slaves. Here, too, the spirit of compromise prevailed. The power was
granted, but the importation of such persons as the States thought
proper to admit was not to be prohibited before the year 1808.

From first to last, divergent views were held as to the constitution of
the chief executive office. After the initial question, whether the
office should be single or plural, was decided, the manner of election
remained to be considered. The early proposal to make the President
elective by the national legislature was dropped as the office assumed
greater importance in the general scheme. If the independence of the
legislature was to be maintained, some form of indirect popular choice
was favored. But if the people were to elect, the larger States would
have a decided advantage. Here was the old question in another form. The
electoral scheme finally adopted was essentially a compromise. In most
instances--Mason, of Virginia, said nineteen out of twenty times--it was
believed that the electors would so scatter their votes that no
candidate would have a majority; consequently the Senate would make a
choice from among the five candidates having the highest votes. By this
arrangement the large States would in effect nominate and the small
States elect the President. But because the Senate had already been
given extensive powers, the convention transferred the final election to
the House, with the provision that the vote there should be by States.
The eventual election of a Vice-President was left to the Senate,
whenever the electoral college failed to make a choice.

From time to time the convention resorted to committees to facilitate
its work. Most important services were rendered by the committee of
detail, which early in August put into orderly and connected form the
conclusions which the convention had reached. It was the committee on
unfinished business which suggested the method finally adopted of
electing the President. In its final form and phrasing the Constitution
is the work of Gouverneur Morris, who prepared the report of the
committee of style.

Citizens of Philadelphia who took up their copies of the _Pennsylvania
Advertiser_ on Tuesday, September 17, found to their surprise that the
columns were completely filled with the new Constitution. This was their
first intimation of what the convention had really done. Rumor had
stalked abroad that the convention was rent by dissensions; but the
envious reader saw at the end of his paper the words, "Done in
convention by the unanimous consent of the States ... in witness whereof
we have hereunto subscribed our names." Done by unanimous consent of
the delegates the Constitution was not, for not all the delegates who
were present on the last day would affix their signatures. It was
Gouverneur Morris who suggested the phrase which gave a specious
unanimity to the work of the convention.

The thoughtful reader of the Constitution must have been impressed by
the new features which caught his eye. In place of the old inefficient
and powerless Congress, he observed a well-organized national
legislature, an independent executive, and a federal judiciary of ample
jurisdiction. Further scrutiny must have apprised him that the new
Government would operate directly upon individuals, thus remedying a
vital defect in the Confederation. The powers given to Congress may well
have set at rest the minds of anxious public creditors. With the power
to lay and collect taxes, to raise and support a military and naval
establishment, and to regulate commerce, Congress had ample means to pay
the public debt, to enforce its claims, and to offer protection to trade
and industry. Not less significant to property-owners were the brief
clauses in the new Constitution which sharply forbade States to emit
bills of credit, to make anything but gold and silver legal tender in
payment of debts, and to make laws impairing the obligation of

[Map: Distribution of Votes in Ratification of the Constitution
The New England States (Based on the map of Dr. O. G. Libby)]

But what guaranty was there that States would observe these
prohibitions? The power to coerce a State was nowhere conferred. The
militia, to be sure, could be called out to execute the laws; and the
United States guaranteed to every State a republican form of government
and promised protection against domestic violence. Congress could deal
surely and effectively with any future Shays if it were invited to do
so. But what if a State passed a law violating the obligation of
contracts? The answer is contained in the clause which reads: "This
Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in
Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under
the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the
Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in
the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
This and the correlative clause which extended the judicial power to all
cases arising under the Constitution, the laws and the treaties of the
United States, may be called the keystone of the whole constitutional
structure. "For the first time in history, courts are called upon by the
simple processes of administering justice, in cases where private right
or personal injury is involved, to uphold the structure of the body
politic." And there were those in the convention who believed that the
principle of judicial control included the power of passing upon the
constitutionality of laws enacted by Congress.

It was still within the power of the old Congress to expedite or block
the ratification of the new Constitution. The document which the
Philadelphia Convention presented was technically only a revision of the
Articles of Confederation, which might be altered only with the consent
of the legislatures of all thirteen States; but the last article of this
new instrument provided that when ratified by conventions (not
legislatures) in nine States, it should go into effect among the States
so acting. In effect, Congress was asked to sanction a secession of nine
States from the old Union which had been declared perpetual. Making a
virtue of necessity, Congress finally yielded and passed the
Constitution on to the States.

[Map: Distribution of Votes in Ratification of the Constitution
The Middle States (Based on the map of O. G. Libby)]

Since the party struggles of Whigs and Tories no campaign of continental
proportions had ever been seen like that which ensued between the
friends and foes of the new Constitution. By their forehandedness and
their clear perception of what they must do, the Federalists, as the
proponents of better government styled themselves, had a slight tactical
advantage. The Anti-Federalists resented the assumption of the name by
their opponents. They were the true friends of federal government, while
the friends of the new Constitution aimed to set up a consolidated
government. The press teemed with letters and essays, allegories and
satires, squibs and pasquinades, expostulating, warning, ridiculing. The
public was invited to heed the admonitions of Cato, Cassius, and many
another worthy Roman.

Although much the same arguments, sober or satirical, were used
everywhere, the campaign had to be fought out in the several States,
each with its own peculiar social, economic, and political conditions.
In Massachusetts the eastern counties, with their dominant commercial
and mercantile interests, favored the Constitution, while the interior
agricultural section, which had fought the battles of the Revolution and
recruited the ranks of Shays' army, opposed it. The interior counties of
New York containing the farming population were Anti-Federal, while the
city and county of New York with its environs--the commercial
section--were Federalist. In Pennsylvania, those who had opposed the
domination of the Scotch-Irish and German radicals in the State
Government now united in advocacy of the new Constitution. Here as
elsewhere the Federal area corresponded closely to the counties where
commercial and mercantile interests were most in evidence. In Virginia,
the old-time social and economic antagonism between east and west,
between the planters and merchants of the tidewater and the small
farmers of the interior, reappeared. Much the same alignment is found in
the Carolinas. Beyond the Alleghanies, the people were a unit in
opposing the Constitution.

Detailed studies of the geographical distribution of votes in the state
conventions, and recent investigations in the archives of the Treasury
Department, sustain the conclusion to which the historian is driven by
the testimony of contemporaries, that the fundamental opposition between
the advocates and opponents of the Constitution was based on
distinctions of wealth. On his first view of the Constitution young John
Quincy Adams wrote in his diary: "It is calculated to increase the
influence, and power, and wealth of those who have any already." A
writer in the _Boston Gazette_ declared that the supporters of the
Constitution consisted generally of the noble Order of Cincinnatus,
holders of public securities, bankers, and lawyers: "these with their
train of dependents form the Aristocratick combination." Over against
this should be put the remark of Alexander Hamilton: that the new
Constitution encountered the "opposition of all men much in debt, who
will not wish to see a government established, one object of which is to
restrain the means of cheating creditors." According to John Adams, the
Constitution was "the work of the commercial people in the seaport
towns, of the planters of the slaveholding states, of the officers of
the Revolutionary army, and the property-holders everywhere."

From November to the following July the campaign continued. Delaware,
New Jersey, and Georgia ratified the Constitution unanimously;
Connecticut by a majority of three to one; and Pennsylvania, by a
majority of two to one. But there is reason to believe that these
majorities in the ratifying conventions did not reflect public opinion
accurately. Massachusetts, Maryland, and South Carolina followed
hesitatingly, each proposing amendments to the Constitution. Toward the
end of June the ninth State, New Hampshire, threw in her lot with the
majority; and on the heels of this news came the intelligence that the
Old Dominion had also ratified. The Constitution was now the law of the
land. In the stanch Federal city of Philadelphia, the Fourth of July was
celebrated with great rejoicing, for in the parlance of the time the
sloop Anarchy was ashore on Union Rock, the old scow Confederation had
put to sea, and the good ship Federal Constitution had come into port
bringing a cargo of Public Credit and Prosperity.

[Map: Distribution of Votes in Ratification of the Constitution
The Southern States, 1787-1790 (Based on the map by Dr. O. G. Libby)]

But until New York ratified the Constitution this rejoicing was
premature. Geographically New York was a pivotal State. A union without
this member was not worthy of the name. The task of the Federalists was
here most difficult. Fully two thirds of the convention were at first
opposed to the Constitution. The leadership of the Federalists fell to
Hamilton. Together with James Madison and John Jay, he contributed to
the newspapers a series of essays in advocacy of the Constitution,
which, under the title _The Federalist_, have become a classic in our
political literature. Just how the Federalists succeeded in overcoming a
hostile majority and in securing a ratification of the Constitution by a
vote of thirty to twenty-seven, remains a mystery to this day.

Half a century later it became the habit of statesmen of the nationalist
school to speak of the Constitution as the work of the people of the
United States. John Marshall declared the Constitution to be "an
expression of the clear and deliberate will of the whole people." As a
matter of fact, no direct popular vote was taken at any stage in its
evolution. The delegates to the Philadelphia Convention were chosen by
the state legislatures; their work was ratified by conventions of
delegates in the several States; and these delegates were chosen in
every State but one on a carefully limited suffrage. New York alone
provided that delegates to the convention should be elected on the basis
of manhood suffrage. Elsewhere property qualifications were imposed
which disfranchised probably about one third of the adult male
population. In all the States a considerable proportion of the voters
abstained from voting. In Boston, where twenty-seven hundred were
qualified to vote, only seven hundred and sixty took the trouble to
vote for delegates to the state convention. A recent writer hazards the
guess that "not more than one fourth or one fifth of the adult white
males took part in the election of delegates to the state conventions."
If this be true, the Constitution expressed something less than the will
of the whole people and perhaps not even of a majority. The making of
the Constitution was clearly the work of a party rather than of the
whole people. In the ranks of the Federalist party were the wealth and
intelligence which made possible concerted and rapid action. The
leadership fell naturally to those who had been accustomed to public
life. From this point of view, the adoption of the Constitution was the
triumph of a "natural aristocracy."

Meantime, Congress nearing its end made testamentary provision for its
heir. After much wrangling and vacillation, it fixed upon New York as
the seat of the new Government and summoned the States to choose
presidential electors, Senators, and Representatives. The new national
legislature was to assemble on the first Wednesday in March, which fell
upon the 4th. To this summons, two States turned a deaf ear. Not having
ratified the new Constitution, North Carolina and Rhode Island were
strangely circumstanced. Of all the States which had entered into the
"firm league of friendship," they alone remained loyal--loyal, but


     Full accounts of the work of the Federal Convention may be found
     in the histories of Bancroft and Curtis; briefer accounts, in the
     volumes already cited, by McMaster, Fiske, McLaughlin, and
     Channing. A succinct narrative is given by Max Farrand, _The
     Framing of the Constitution_ (1913). A suggestive volume, treating
     of the Constitution as the resultant of conflicting economic
     interests, is C. A. Beard's _An Economic Interpretation of the
     Constitution of the United States_ (1913). Among the special
     studies of the ratification of the Constitution may be mentioned,
     O. G. Libby, _The Geographical Distribution of the Vote of the
     Thirteen States on the Federal Constitution, 1787-1788_ (1888);
     McMaster and Stone, _Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution,
     1787-1788_ (1888); S. B. Harding, _The Contest over the
     Ratification of the Federal Constitution in the State of
     Massachusetts_ (1896); and F. G. Bates, _Rhode Island and the
     Formation of the Union_ (1898). The most illuminating notes of the
     debates in the Convention were those taken by James Madison, which
     are printed in the _Records of the Federal Convention_ (3 vols.,
     edited by Farrand, 1911). The most valuable commentary on the
     Constitution is still _The Federalist_, written by Madison,
     Hamilton, and Jay.



"The people have been ripened by misfortune for the reception of a good
government," Washington wrote to Jefferson, in the midsummer of 1788.
"They are emerging from the gulf of dissipation and debt into which they
had precipitated themselves at the close of the war. Economy and
industry are evidently gaining ground." There is, indeed, abundant
evidence that thrift and enterprise were steadily banishing hard times.
The task of establishing the new government was made incomparably easier
by the confidence inspired by returning prosperity.

Already West India commerce had resumed very nearly its old volume. Both
France and Spain had made concessions to vessels which came to the
island ports laden with American produce. The Dutch and the Danish
islands had always been kept open to American trade; and evidence is not
wanting that the needs of British West India planters were stronger than
their respect for orders in council. At all events, by hook or crook,
American farm products and lumber found their way to British planters as
well as to their French competitors. But something more than the
resumption of the West India traffic was needed to restore prosperity.
Necessity drove American sea captains to longer voyages and larger
ventures. American vessels found their way in increasing numbers through
the Baltic to Russia, and around Cape Horn to the Pacific ports, to
China, and to the East Indies. One of the pioneers of this traffic to
the Far East was Captain Robert Gray, of Boston, who, in his ship, the
Columbia, doubled the Cape of Good Hope and completed the first American
voyage around the world.

While hardy seamen were seeking new markets, American ingenuity was
trying to reproduce the machinery which was coming into use in England
for the manufacture of textiles. In the year 1789, Pennsylvania was
manufacturing cotton cloths, hats, and "all articles in leather," while
Massachusetts was making cordage, duck, and glass. "The number of shoes
made in one town, and nails in another, is incredible," wrote
Washington. When Hamilton made his famous report on manufactures two
years later, he described some seventeen industries which had already
attained considerable proficiency, though nearly all of these were
carried on in the household.

The dawn of the 4th of March was saluted by the guns at the Battery in
New York and by the ringing of church bells. This day was to witness the
inauguration of the new Government. Delusive expectation! The dilatory
habits of a decade were not so readily unlearned. To the amusement of
ill-wishers, barely a score of Congressmen appeared in the city; and the
carpenters were still at work remodeling the old City Hall into a
fitting habitation for the new Federal Congress. It was not until the
30th that enough Representatives were in attendance to make up a quorum
and to permit the House to organize. Another week passed before the
Senate could organize.

On the 6th of April, the Senate summoned the House to attend the
counting of the electoral votes. It then appeared that George Washington
had received the highest number (69) and John Adams the next highest
(34). This happy result had not been achieved without some concerted
action among the Federalist leaders. The great personal influence of
Washington was needed, indeed, to give dignity to the new office. While
messengers were hastening to inform Washington and Adams of their
election, the members of Congress had ample opportunities to look each
other over. If they were not well known to each other, they were at
least conspicuous in their respective communities. Nearly every man had
held public office under his State Government and a large proportion had
sat in the state conventions which had ratified the Constitution. Over
two thirds of the Representatives counted themselves Federalist, or at
least friends of the new Constitution.

[Map: Distribution of Population 1790
(Indian Tribes beyond the settled area)]

On the 30th of April, the Senate and House in joint session received the
President-elect. With simple ceremonies as befitted the occasion, the
inauguration of our first President was consummated. Stepping from the
Senate chamber upon the balcony, Washington looked out upon the crowds
which thronged Wall Street. The Chancellor of New York administered the
oath, the populace shouted, "Long live George Washington, President of
the United States!" and then the President withdrew to deliver his
inaugural address.

When the minutes of the Senate were read next day an incident occurred,
which, trivial as it seems, was indicative of a spirit that may be truly
characterized as American. The President's address was referred to as
"His most gracious Speech." In a moment the doughty Maclay, of
Pennsylvania, sprang to his feet with a vigorous protest. These were
words which savored of kingly authority and which were odious to the
people. He moved that they be struck out. Vice-President John Adams
remonstrated mildly; he saw no objection to borrowing the practices of a
government under which we had lived so long and happily. Senator Maclay
was on his feet at once with the declaration that the sentiments of the
people had undergone a change adverse to royal government. Such a phrase
on the minutes of the Senate would immediately be represented as "the
first rung of the ladder in the ascent to royalty." Maclay had his way
and the offensive phrase was erased. Much the same republican spirit
appeared in the debate on titles. The Senate would have preferred to
address the President as "His Highness, the President of the United
States and Protector of their Liberties"; but the House insisted on
having the plain title, "President of the United States."

Even before the inauguration, the House of Representatives had entered
upon its first tariff debate, for an immediate revenue was needed if the
wheels of government were to move. Madison was ready with a scheme of
customs duties patterned very largely after the ill-fated project of
1783. On all sides it was agreed that taxes should be external rather
than internal, upon foreign rather than domestic commerce. Madison
advocated duties upon "articles of requisition likely to occasion the
least difficulty," such as spirituous liquors, molasses, wines, tea,
coffee, cocoa, pepper, and sugar. But almost at once the idea was
broached that indirect aid should be given to certain industries. The
clash of opposing sectional interests appears even in this first debate.
In the end Madison's simple revenue measure was set aside. Specific
duties were levied on more than thirty articles, and _ad valorem_ duties
ranging from five to fifteen per cent on all others. Revenue was still
the main object, but protective duties were deliberately grafted upon
the bill. Tonnage dues were fixed in a separate act, while still another
act laid the foundations of our national fiscal administration. In every
State, side by side with local officials, yet independent of state
control, there were to be collectors, surveyors of ports, inspectors,
weighers, gaugers, measurers,--in short, so many living witnesses to the
existence of a self-sufficient central government.

When Congress addressed itself to the work of establishing the executive
departments, questions of constitutional interpretation thrust
themselves into the foreground. Experience under the Confederation
proved the need of at least the three departments of foreign affairs,
war, and treasury. Bills to establish these departments were at once
framed and favorably considered, but exception was taken to the
provisions making the heads of these departments, who were appointed by
the President and Senate, removable by the President alone. It was
finally agreed to assume that the President had the power to remove from
office. The act was therefore made to read, "Whenever said principal
officer shall be removed by the President." In this wise, by legislative
construction, the Constitution was expanded at many points in the early
years of the new Government.

The bill to establish the Treasury Department was drawn in accordance
with the ideas of Hamilton, for it was expected that he would be the
first incumbent of the office. It may have been his well-known
partiality for British institutions that caused the House to mistrust
the phrase which made it the duty of the Secretary "to digest and report
plans for the improvement and management of the revenue, and the support
of the public credit." "If we authorize him to prepare and report
plans," argued Tucker, of Virginia, voicing that fear of executive
authority which was then instinctive, "it will create an interference of
the executive with the legislative powers; it will abridge the
particular privilege of this House.... How can business originate in
this House, if we have it reported to us by the Minister of Finance?"
The House was not minded to make Alexander Hamilton a Chancellor of the
Exchequer. The bill was amended to read, "digest and prepare."
Subsequently the House showed unmistakably its determination to assume
direction of the national revenues and expenditures.

One of the first concerns of Congress was to give substance to the
colorless statement of the Constitution that there should be one supreme
court and such inferior courts as Congress should ordain and establish.
On the day following its organization, while the House was grappling
with the question of revenue, the Senate appointed a committee to bring
in a bill to establish the federal courts. The chairman of this
committee was Oliver Ellsworth, of Connecticut, who had sat on the bench
of the Court of Appeals under the Confederation and who had been an
influential member of the Federal Convention. The bill reported by the
committee was substantially his work. It provided for a supreme court
bench of six judges--a chief justice and five associates; for thirteen
district courts, each with a single judge; and for three circuit courts,
each of which was to consist of two justices of the Supreme Court and a
district judge. Lengthy provisions in the act carefully delimited the
jurisdiction of these courts, and laid down the modes of procedure and
practice in them. Of great importance was the twenty-fifth section,
which provided for taking cases on appeal to the Supreme Court from the
lower federal and state courts. The words of the act, by a fair
implication, would seem to confer upon the Supreme Court the power to
review the decision of a state court holding an act of the United States
unconstitutional. It would seem to follow logically that the Supreme
Court might do also directly what it might do indirectly--declare an act
of Congress void by reason of its repugnance to the Constitution.
Ellsworth, at least, held that in the discharge of their ordinary
duties, the judges of the federal courts would have the right to
pronounce acts of Congress void when they stood in conflict with the
Constitution. Attempts were made, in the course of the debate on the
Judiciary Act, to strip the federal courts of all jurisdiction except in
admiralty and maritime cases. Many members of Congress agreed with
Maclay in thinking that the Judiciary Act was calculated to draw all law
business into the federal courts. "The Constitution is meant to swallow
all the state constitutions, by degrees," averred the worthy Senator
from Pennsylvania; "and this [bill] to swallow, by degrees, all the
state judiciaries."

The wisdom of the new President appeared in his appointments to office.
Concerned solely with the fate of the federal experiment, he sought
consistently the support of those who would add weight to the new
Government, and who were Federalists in politics. Not only personal
fitness but sectional interests had to be taken into consideration.
Washington was solicitous to draw "the first characters of the union"
into the judiciary, particularly those who had served in the state
courts and commanded public confidence. His choice for Chief Justice
fell upon John Jay. Rutledge, of South Carolina, Wilson, of
Pennsylvania, Cushing, of Massachusetts, Harrison, of Maryland, and
Blair, of Virginia, were first named as Associate Justices. Washington
chose his chief advisers also from different sections. Thomas Jefferson
was invited to become Secretary of State--a post which he accepted
somewhat reluctantly. Hamilton did not have to be urged to take the
headship of the Treasury. Knox was given the superintendence of a
military establishment which then numbered only a few hundred men.
Edmund Randolph was appointed Attorney-General.

Before Congress adjourned in the fall, it adopted and sent to the States
for ratification twelve amendments to the new Constitution. There were
those who thought this action precipitate. Why tinker with a
constitution which had hardly been tried? To all such Madison replied
cogently that the amendments which his committee reported did not alter
the framework of the instrument, but added only certain safeguards to
individual rights. The lack of a declaration of rights had been deplored
in every convention and had cost the support of many respectable people.
Moreover, two communities had not yet "thrown themselves into the bosom
of the Confederacy." The wisdom of this course was attested by the
prompt ratification of ten of the twelve proposed amendments.

On November 21, 1789, North Carolina ratified the Constitution, leaving
Rhode Island to a position of hazardous isolation. Congress was
considering a bill to cut off the commercial privileges of the State, by
putting her on the footing of a foreign nation, when news came that a
convention at Newport had ratified the Constitution by the narrow margin
of two votes. In the following year the number of States was increased
by the admission of Vermont. The admission of Kentucky followed in 1792;
and Congress paved the way for the entrance of other States into the
Union by organizing the Southwest Territory out of Western lands ceded
by the three southernmost States. The expansion of the United States had
begun, bringing with it unforeseen problems.

The severest labors of Congress began in the second session, when the
new Secretary of the Treasury presented his first report on public
credit. Shortly after the Convention of 1787, Hamilton had expressed his
belief that one of the great dangers which threatened American society
was "the depredations which the democratic spirit is apt to make on
property." Distrusting the political capacity of the people, whom in
private he called "a great beast," he believed that the new Government
would succeed or fail in just the proportion that it enlisted the
support of the influential and wealthy classes. He set himself
deliberately to the task of identifying the interests of the propertied
classes with those of the Government.

It was a sorry state in which Hamilton found the national finances. The
foreign debt, including principal and arrears of interest, amounted to
$11,710,000. The domestic debt, much more difficult to determine, was
not less than $42,414,000, about one third of which was made up of
arrears of interest. The debts of the individual States, principal and
interest, were estimated at about $25,000,000. These were heavy burdens
for the shoulders of a young Government whose fiscal powers were as yet
untested. But the shoulders had to be fitted to the burden, if public
credit was to be restored.

In this first report on public credit, January 9, 1790, Hamilton
analyzed the financial situation with masterly clearness and set forth
his plans for the adjustment of the national debt. The determination of
Congress to make adequate provision for the support of the public credit
was justified in his mind by every consideration. A country like the
United States, possessed of little active wealth, must borrow in
emergencies; to borrow on good terms, it must establish its credit; and
to maintain its credit, it must faithfully observe its contracts. But
over and above these considerations, dictated by expediency, were
"immutable principles of moral obligation." Moreover, the national debt
was no ordinary obligation: it was "the price of liberty." On all sides,
it was agreed that the debt contracted abroad should be provided for in
the precise terms of the contracts.

It was only in regard to the domestic debt that differences of opinion
were likely to arise. The notes representing this debt were of all sorts
and kinds. Much of it had changed hands and all of it had depreciated in
value. Some of it still circulated as a monetary medium. The vital
question was: how were the present holders to be paid? At the face value
of the paper, or at the price for which it had been purchased? Hamilton
argued firmly against any discrimination, both because it was a breach
of contract and because it was a violation of the rights of a fair

When this part of Hamilton's plan came before Congress in concrete form,
it gave rise to the bitterest debate which had been heard. That it would
give opportunity for immoderate speculation was plain enough; yet every
alternative which aimed to do justice by both the original and the
present holder was confessedly inadequate, when a certificate of
indebtedness, for example, had passed through several hands without

No sooner was Hamilton's proposal made than a wild scramble began for
the possession of the hitherto worthless government paper. "Couriers and
relay horses by land, and swift sailing pilot boats by sea, were flying
in all directions," wrote Jefferson. "Active partners and agents were
associated and employed in every state, town, and country neighborhood,
and this paper was bought up at 5/ and even as low as 2/ in the pound,
before the holder knew Congress had already provided for its redemption
at par. Immense fortunes were thus filched from the poor and ignorant,
and fortunes accumulated by those who had themselves been poor enough

[Map: Vote on Assumption July 24, 1790]

The second part of the scheme outlined in Hamilton's first report
aroused even more bitter opposition. With a fine audacity he proposed
the assumption of state debts. It is difficult to believe that Hamilton
was perfectly ingenuous in stating his reasons for this move. He
apprehended, he said, that the States would be hampered in satisfying
their creditors because they had surrendered one important source of
revenue to the central Government, duties on imports. In resorting to
other means, the States might pass conflicting measures which would
oppose industry. Besides, the debts had been incurred in the cause of
Union and should be borne by all. But deeper than these reasons was
probably a political motive. Hamilton had no local attachments. A
thoroughgoing nationalist, he saw in the claims of the States to
autonomy only so many obstacles in the path of national unity. "To
cement more closely the Union of States" by creating a solidarity of
financial interests, was, indeed, the basal principle of his fiscal

The wrath of Congressmen from States like Virginia, which had already
discharged most of their debts, knew no bounds. After they had practiced
thrift and met their obligations, should they, forsooth, now aid their
less provident sisters? The chief opponents of assumption came from the
South, and the chief advocates from the North. South Carolina and New
Hampshire parted company with their neighbors, the one because it had a
large debt and the other because it had not. Pennsylvania was divided on
this question. For a time the opposition was too strong to be overcome.
On May 25, 1790, an adverse vote seemed to seal the fate of "Miss
Assumption," as the wits of the day called this measure. Just at this
juncture the question of the location of the future capital, which had
been debated inconclusively during the first session, was revived. Here
again the North was arrayed against the South. Should the capital be
located on the Potomac, as Maryland and the Southern States wished, or
somewhere in Pennsylvania? New York was now out of the question, and
since Pennsylvania would not support assumption, the New England States
rather spitefully opposed the claims of Philadelphia.

Here was a situation which called for the _finesse_ of the politician.
Might not votes for one project be traded for the other? Would the
Virginia representatives abandon their opposition to assumption for the
sake of locating the capital on the banks of the Potomac? It was at this
juncture that Hamilton sought out Jefferson, whose influence over the
Congressmen from Virginia was very considerable, and laid the project
before him. With a readiness which he afterward regretted, Jefferson
fell in with the scheme, and invited Hamilton and certain Virginia
Representatives to dine at his table. In this comfortable fashion, over
their wine, these gentlemen reached an amicable agreement. Such is
Jefferson's account, but the matter could not have been quite so simple,
for other Representatives than those from Virginia changed their votes
and so contributed to the final settlement of the controversy. Nor is
Jefferson quite ingenuous when he afterward described himself as duped
by Hamilton, for he had not shown himself averse to assumption at any
time. Be this as it may, Congress voted to assume the debts of the
States, and to remove the seat of government from Philadelphia after ten
years to a district ten miles square on the Potomac, which Washington
was to select.

The need of further revenue was now imperative. As Hamilton said in his
second report on the public credit, the duties on imported articles had
reached a point which might not be exceeded "without contravening the
sense of the body of the merchants." When Congress met for its third
session in December, 1790, Hamilton boldly urged what was perhaps as
unpopular a tax as he could have proposed--a duty on distilled spirits.
To most Americans an excise was not only an internal tax, but as
Jefferson said, "an infernal one." It was bound to fall with heavy
weight upon the people of the interior who turned much of their corn and
rye into whiskey, for more convenient transportation over the mountains
to Eastern markets. But despite strenuous opposition the excise was
voted. It was, as a member of Congress expressed it, like "drinking down
the national debt."

In this same report of December 13, 1790, Hamilton advocated the
establishment of a national bank. Such an institution, he believed,
would increase the amount of active capital in the country and at the
same time serve the Government as a fiscal agent in obtaining loans and
in collecting taxes. Opposition to this project gathered rapidly and was
encouraged by the Secretary of State. The debates in Congress touched
upon the monopolistic tendency of such a banking institution and its
constitutionality, rather than upon its intrinsic merits and demerits.
The bill was carried by substantial majorities in February, 1791, and
sent to the President for his approval.

Washington was so beset with doubts as to the constitutionality of the
bank bill that he asked his secretaries and the Attorney-General to
express their opinions. Jefferson argued that the power to incorporate a
bank was not given by the Constitution to Congress, for it was not among
the enumerated powers and it was not a power which belonged to any of
the enumerated powers as indispensably necessary to their exercise.
Hamilton deprecated this attempt to confine the general Government
either to powers expressly granted or to powers absolutely necessary to
carry out the enumerated powers. There was another class, he contended,
which might be termed "resulting" powers. If the end to be gained by a
measure was comprehended within the specified powers, and the measure
was obviously a means to that end and not forbidden by the Constitution,
then it was clearly within the compass of the national authority.
Washington finally yielded to Hamilton's persuasions, and signed the

The charter of the bank fixed the capital stock at ten million dollars,
of which the Government was to subscribe one fifth; the rest was open to
public subscription. Three fourths of the public subscriptions might be
paid in bonds of the Government. The notes issued by the bank were made
receivable for all payments to the United States. The bank was to be the
repository of the government funds. Its management was committed to a
board of twenty-five directors chosen annually, who could establish
branch banks as they deemed advisable. The charter was to run for twenty

The stock of the bank was not only subscribed at once, but soon sold at
a premium which invited the wildest sort of speculation in Philadelphia,
New York, and Boston. Stock-jobbing became a mania. "The coffee house is
in an eternal buzz with the gamblers," Madison wrote from the seat of
government. Sinister aspects of this speculative craze soon began to
appear. "Of all the shameful circumstances of this business," said
Madison, "it is among the greatest to see the members of the Legislature
who were most active in pushing this job openly grasping its
emoluments." It was reported that Schuyler, Hamilton's father-in-law,
was to head the board of directors.

As the wide reach of Hamilton's financial policy became clear, men like
Madison, whose sympathies had hitherto been enlisted on the side of more
efficient government, had grave misgivings. When the Secretary of the
Treasury intimated in his report on manufactures that Congress might
promote the general welfare by appropriating money in any way it chose,
Madison definitely parted company with his former collaborator, holding
that by such an interpretation of the Constitution "the Government is no
longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite
one, subject to particular restrictions." Jefferson had already
expressed himself in a similar way apropos of the bank bill. The
suspicions which the Secretary of State entertained of his brilliant
colleague were deep-seated. Hamilton's well-known preference for the
British Constitution and his disposition to convert his secretaryship
into a sort of chief ministerial office confirmed Jefferson's distrust.
Had he and Madison been alone in their suspicions, their misgivings
would not be worth recording; but they voiced the sentiments of an
increasing number of men who disliked the consolidating tendencies of
the new Government.

Moreover, the aristocratic tone of Washington and his _entourage_ gave
deep offense. Both by disposition and by calculation the President
cultivated a certain official etiquette. His receptions were formal to
the point of frigidity. He received his visitors "with a dignified bow,
while his hands were so disposed as to indicate that the salutation was
not to be accompanied with shaking hands." His figure clad in black
velvet was most impressive. His hair was powdered and gathered in a
large silk bag. His hands were dressed in yellow gloves, and he carried
a cocked hat adorned with a black feather, while at his side hung a
sword in a scabbard of white polished leather. To ardent republicans
these trappings were so many manifestations of monarchical leanings.
Hamilton's suggestion that coins should bear the head of the President
under whom they were minted, was additional evidence to suspicious minds
that the group of men who had the President's ear were monarchists at

Before the First Congress adjourned, the nucleus of a new party was at
hand and its fundamental tenet roughly foreshadowed: namely, opposition
to the increase of the powers of the Federal Government through the use
of implied powers and at the expense of the State Governments. The
appearance of the first number of the _National Gazette_ under the
editorship of Philip Freneau was a sign that the further conduct of the
Administration would be subjected to searching criticism. Freneau
succeeded admirably in voicing the opinions of the nascent party. The
columns of the _National Gazette_ had much to say about "aristocratic
juntos," "ministerial systems," and "the control of the government by a
wealthy body of capitalists and public creditors," whose interests were
in opposition to those of the people. When Hamilton's paper, the _United
States Gazette_, attempted to stigmatize the opposition as essentially
Anti-Federalist, Freneau replied that only those men were true friends
of the Union who adhered to a limited and republican form of government
and who were ready to resist the efforts which had been made "to
substitute, in the room of our equal republic, a baneful monarchy." By
posing as the only stanch supporters of republicanism, the opposition
secured a great tactical advantage. To call one's self emphatically a
Republican was to cast aspersions upon the republicanism of one's

As yet, however, there existed only tendencies toward parties and not
clearly defined political groups. The voting in the early sessions of
Congress was far from consistent. The members gave little indication
that they regarded themselves as adherents of parties whose fortunes
depended on preserving an unbroken alignment for or against the
Government. How little coherence the opposition possessed was apparent
when Giles, of Virginia, presented a resolution censuring Hamilton for
his management of the Treasury. Despite the unpopularity of Hamilton and
the general distrust of his policy in Republican circles, the opposition
could muster only seven votes in favor of the resolution, in the closing
hours of the Second Congress.

The presidential election of 1792, therefore, was not properly a contest
between parties. When Washington consented reluctantly to serve a second
term, his unopposed reëlection was assured. The Republicans expressed
their opposition only by supporting for Vice-President, George Clinton,
of New York, whose Anti-Federalism was well known, instead of John
Adams, of Massachusetts. The congressional elections of this year
resulted in the choice of men whose leanings were rather Republican than


     Besides the works of Hildreth and of McMaster, there are several
     compendious histories which treat of the beginnings of the new
     government. Among these are James Schouler, _History of the United
     States under the Constitution_ (7 vols., 1880-1913), and E. M.
     Avery, _History of the United States and its People from their
     Earliest Records to the Present Time_ (7 vols., 1904- ). The events
     of the Administrations of Washington and Adams are narrated by J.
     S. Bassett, _The Federalist System_ (in _The American Nation_,
     vol. 11, 1906). Among the special studies of importance are D. R.
     Dewey, _Financial History of the United States_ (1903); C. R.
     Fish, _The Civil Service and the Patronage_ (1905); H. B. Learned,
     _The President's Cabinet_ (1912); and W. W. Willoughby, _The
     Supreme Court of the United States_ (1890). There are many
     biographies of the Federalist leaders. Among the best are W. C.
     Ford, _George Washington_ (2 vols., 1900); W. G. Sumner,
     _Alexander Hamilton_ (1890); F. S. Oliver, _Alexander Hamilton; an
     Essay on American Union_ (1907); J. T. Morse, _John Adams_ (1885);
     W. G. Brown, _Life of Oliver Ellsworth_ (1905). Of contemporary
     writings none will give a more intimate view of politics than
     Senator William Maclay's _Journal_ (1890). William Sullivan,
     _Familiar Letters on Public Characters_ (1834), gives some lively
     sketches of notable figures, but he writes with a strong
     Federalist bias.



The new Government fell heir to all the unsettled diplomatic problems of
the Confederation. The political destiny of the thirteen States seemed
fixed when they ratified the Constitution; the fate of the Western
communities beyond the Alleghanies still hung in the balance. In
Kentucky, General Wilkinson still intrigued in behalf of Spain. Sevier
and Robertson, in Tennessee, were not averse to separation from the
Eastern States nor to a Spanish protectorate. From New Orleans, Mobile,
St. Marks, and Pensacola, the Spanish authorities supplied the Indians
of the Southwest with arms and ammunition, counting on these uncertain
allies to maintain their long frontier, for Spain still claimed Florida
with its most northern boundary and refused to accept the validity of
the British cession of 1783. More than this: Spain was disposed to claim
both sides of the Mississippi, at least as far north as the Ohio.

In the Northwest, British garrisons still held Michilimackinac, Detroit,
Niagara, Oswego, and other posts. The policy of Great Britain was
dictated by much the same considerations as was that of Spain. Lord
Dorchester, Governor of Canada, assured the home Government that "the
flimsy texture of republican government" could not long hold the Western
settlements in the Union. In 1789, the Lords of Trade reported that it
was a matter of interest for Great Britain "to prevent Vermont and
Kentucke, and all other settlements now forming in the Interior parts of
the great Continent of North America, from becoming dependent upon the
Government of the United States, or of any other Foreign Country, and to
preserve them on the contrary in a State of Independence and to induce
them to form Treaties of Commerce and Friendship with Great Britain."

President Washington had hardly taken the oath of office when a war
cloud appeared on the western horizon. Certain British vessels, bound
for Nootka Sound to establish a trading-post, were seized by Spanish
authorities in a way which provoked bitter resentment. In the early
months of 1790, war seemed imminent. The situation was full of peril for
the United States, for war would inevitably bring about military
operations directed against Florida and Louisiana, and neither party was
likely to respect the neutrality of the United States. The prospect of a
conquest of the Spanish colonies by Great Britain alarmed the
Administration. "Embraced from the St. Croix to the St. Mary's on the
one side by their possessions, on the other side by their fleet," wrote
Jefferson, "we need not hesitate to say that they would soon find means
to unite to them all the territory covered by the ramifications of the
Mississippi." Representations were therefore made to the British
Government that "a due balance on our borders is not less desirable to
us than a balance of power in Europe has always appeared to them."

Fortunately the war cloud vanished as rapidly as it had formed. In the
fall of 1790, Spain and England entered into a convention which averted
hostilities. Yet the situation on both flanks of our long frontier was
full of peril. Spain intrigued with the Creeks of the Southwest, while
the British authorities in Canada encouraged the Indians north of the
Ohio in their hostility to the white settlers. The attitude of the
Indians along the Maumee and Wabash Rivers was so menacing that Governor
St. Clair sent a punitive expedition against them; but the effect upon
the Indians was so slight that a second expedition was set on foot in
the following year. With a force of fourteen hundred raw recruits,
unused to Indian warfare, St. Clair marched into the heart of the Indian
country and suffered an inglorious defeat, on November 4, 1791. More
than half of his command were killed, and scarcely a man escaped
unscathed. It was a most humiliating reverse for the new Government,
occurring almost under the eyes of British garrisons, and just as
opposition was coming to a head in Congress.

While two European powers were thus poised like vultures awaiting the
demise of the new republic, a third darkened the sky. France deemed the
moment auspicious for an attack upon the colonial possessions of her
late ally, the King of Spain. The South American revolutionist, Miranda,
had persuaded the French Ministry, as he had before persuaded Pitt, that
the Spanish colonial empire was tottering and would readily fall with
its rich spoil at the first resolute attack. The French Ministers were
dazzled by the prospect of reviving a colonial empire in the new world.
It seemed well within the range of possibilities to reduce Louisiana,
and from the mouth of the Mississippi to begin the conquest of Spanish
Central and Southern America. With this purpose in view, the Government
sent as Minister to the United States, Citizen Genet, an ardent apostle
of the Revolution. He was instructed to secure a treaty with the United
States--"a true family compact"--which "would conduce rapidly to freeing
Spanish America, to opening the navigation of the Mississippi to the
inhabitants of Kentucky, to delivering our ancient brothers of Louisiana
from the tyrannical yoke of Spain, and perhaps to uniting the fair star
of Canada to the American constellation." But without waiting for the
coöperation of the United States, Genet was to arouse the people of
Kentucky and Louisiana by sending among them agents who should light the
fires of revolution.

[Map: The Northwest 1785-1795]

The first news of the revolution in France had kindled the warmest
sympathy in the United States. Emotional individuals thought they saw
the events of our own revolution mirrored in the stirring drama in
France. The spectacle of the new republic confronting the allied
monarchs of Europe thrilled those who had battled with the hirelings of
George the Third. Civic feasts became the fashion; liberty caps and
French cockades were donned; "the social and soul-warming term Citizen"
was adopted by the more demonstrative. But there were those who did not
sing "Ça Ira" and who foresaw the peril of a general European war.

Early in April, 1793, a British packet brought the news to New York that
Louis XVI had been guillotined and that France was at war with England
and Spain. The ominous tidings brought President Washington post-haste
from Mount Vernon to Philadelphia. Summoning his advisers, he put before
them the perplexing questions which had arisen in his mind. Neutrality
was obviously the policy which national self-interest dictated; but
neutrality seemed hardly compatible with our treaty obligations to
France. In the treaties of 1778, the United States had expressly
guaranteed French possessions in America and had opened its ports to
French privateers and their prizes, denying the privilege to her
enemies. Hamilton argued rather fallaciously that these treaties were
made by the King of France and were binding upon his successors alone;
they were not in force after the Revolutionary Government had destroyed
the monarchy. Furthermore, the guaranty did not apply to an offensive
war such as that which France was now waging. Jefferson and Randolph
took issue with Hamilton on these points; but all agreed that neutrality
must be preserved. On April 22, the President issued a proclamation,
which, avoiding the word "neutrality," declared that the United States
was at peace with both France and Great Britain, and warned all citizens
to avoid all acts of hostility.

The proclamation was well-timed, for Genet had already landed at
Charleston and had begun his extraordinary career as revolutionary agent
of the Gironde. He found the ground well watered for the seeds of
revolution. In Georgia and South Carolina, the frontiersmen were
smarting under the repeated depredations of the Cherokees and Creeks and
eager to put an end to Spanish ascendancy in that quarter. Under these
circumstances it was no difficult matter to arrange for expeditions
against St. Augustine from the Georgia frontier, and against New Orleans
from South Carolina by way of the Tennessee River and the Mississippi.
Assuming that the United States was already enlisted in the cause by the
treaties of 1778, Genet sent out orders to French consuls, bidding them
set up courts of admiralty for the trial of prize cases, and even
dispatched privateers from the port of Charleston to prey upon British
vessels. Before Genet could reach Philadelphia, the French frigate
L'Ambuscade had captured the Little Sarah in lower Delaware Bay, and had
anchored with her prize in the river opposite the city.

From Charleston, Genet made a triumphal progress to Philadelphia,
receiving on all sides demonstrations which convinced him that the heart
of the nation beat in unison with that of France. He was therefore much
disconcerted and angered by the studied reserve of the President, to
whom he presented his credentials in Philadelphia. What a contrast
between the liberty-loving populace and this haughty aristocrat who kept
medallions of Capet and his family upon his parlor walls! At a banquet
in Oeller's Tavern, however, Genet received the sort of demonstrations
which his French heart craved. There, amid poetic declamations and many
libations to the Goddess of Liberty, he and his hosts donned the crimson
cap of liberty and sang with infinite zest the new "Marseillaise." Even
a well-balanced mind might have become convinced that the Administration
and the people were out of accord.

On the threshold of his career at Philadelphia, Genet demanded an
advance payment on the debt which the United States owed to France. The
refusal of the Administration to supply him with funds embittered him
still further. He now took up with vigor his revolutionary projects in
the West. The proposal of George Rogers Clark to raise a force and take
all Louisiana for France reached him at this time and fitted in well
with his general mission. Clark was given a commission as "Major General
of the Independent and Revolutionary Legion of the Mississippi," and was
promised the coöperation of frigates in his attack upon New Orleans. For
this purpose Genet made haste to transform the Little Sarah into a
privateer, under the very eyes of the Government. He was warned that he
must not allow La Petite Democrate, as the vessel was rechristened, to
put to sea. Nevertheless, in defiance of the state and federal
authorities, the ship dropped down the bay and eventually put out to

Up to this moment Genet's popularity was immense. Very probably this
popular devotion to the cause of France was inspired in part by the
factious opposition which was irritating the Administration on purely
domestic issues. Nevertheless, Liberty, Equality, and the Rights of Man
were phrases which appealed cogently to the democratic masses in the
States. In imitation of the Jacobin Club, Democratic societies sprang up
in all the considerable centers of population from Boston to Charleston.
In these organizations the voice of the disfranchised classes was
articulate for the first time. With unprecedented virulence these
Democrats attacked not only policies but personalities. Washington was
libeled in such scurrilous fashion that even his composure broke down on
one occasion, so Jefferson records; and he declared in a passion that by
God! he had rather be in his grave than in his present situation.

After the Little Democrat episode, however, popular sentiment began to
grow cold toward Genet. His plans failed to carry; and he was reported
to have exclaimed in a moment of irritation that he would appeal from
the President to the people. This was the last straw. All but his most
radical followers deserted him. The Administration now determined to
demand his recall. But events in France had already terminated Genet's
career. The Girondist party had fallen and the triumphant Jacobins had
no use for an agent who had served the discredited faction. In February,
1794, Genet was replaced by Fauchet and his revolutionary mission ended
with his official duties.

From the moment when France declared war upon Great Britain to the exile
of Napoleon two decades later, the United States as a neutral nation was
incessantly menaced by the aggressions of one or the other of the
belligerents. A faithful picture of American politics must set the
stirring events of this epoch against the forbidding background of
European intrigue and war. In this struggle the supremacy of the seas
fell to Great Britain. However victorious on European battlefields,
French armies were powerless to defend the colonial possessions in the
West Indies. Cut off from France the colonies could only maintain
themselves by direct trade with neutrals like the United States. But by
the so-called rule of 1756, neutral commerce was forbidden under these
conditions. Ports closed to neutral commerce in time of peace might not
be thrown open in time of war. Flinging consistency to the winds, the
French Convention decreed in February, 1793, that neutral states might
trade with her colonies on the same terms as French vessels. That Great
Britain would refuse to sanction this trade was fully expected. It was
inevitable that Great Britain would treat neutrals who accepted the
French invitation as having forfeited their neutrality.

With little or no thought of probable consequences, fleets of
merchantmen set sail from Boston, Philadelphia, and other ports in the
spring of the year, with cargoes of fish and grain to barter for sugar,
coffee, and rum at Martinique, Antigua, and St. Kitts. The traffic
promised to be most lucrative. But disaster overtook many a gallant
vessel before she could reach her destination. In June, British orders
in council instructed English cruisers to detain all vessels bound for a
French port with corn, flour, and meal, and to purchase such supplies as
were needed. Such vessels were then to be allowed to proceed to any port
of a state with which His Majesty was living in amity. The skipper who
had anything worth taking to a foreign port after an experience of this
sort was lucky indeed. In November orders were issued for the seizure of
all vessels laden with French colonial products or carrying provisions
to any French colony.

Tales of outrages perpetrated under the British orders in council soon
began to reach the home ports of the West India merchantmen. Doubtless
these tales lost nothing in the telling, but the unimpeachable fact
remains that scores of American ships were seized and libeled in
admiralty courts set up in the British West Indies. Nor did the British
naval officers hesitate to impress seamen who were suspected of being
British subjects. Republican opponents of the Administration, who had
felt the proclamation of neutrality as a rebuff to our old ally, France,
were now confirmed in their hostility to Great Britain. To their minds
ample cause for war existed.

The policy which Jefferson and Madison would have forced upon the
Administration was one of retaliation. In a report to Congress Jefferson
proposed that whenever our commerce was laid under restrictions by a
foreign nation, similar restrictions should be put upon the trade of the
offending state. By pacific coercion, the United States would oblige
foreign states to make favorable commercial treaties. Madison urged this
policy upon Congress in a series of resolutions; but the supporters of
the Administration pointed out that retaliatory measures would sacrifice
the trade with Great Britain, which furnished seven eighths of the total
imports into the country. It was plain that the mercantile classes which
upheld the Administration did not desire either war or retaliatory
legislation, however much they might be suffering from British
depredations. The resources of diplomacy were not yet exhausted. Might
not a treaty be secured which would open up the British West India

Upon the news of the offensive orders in council of November, which
reached Philadelphia in the following March, public feeling veered
strongly toward war. At the same time with tales of new outrages at sea
came a not very well authenticated but commonly accepted report of Lord
Dorchester's speech to the Indians of the Northwest, in which he
assured his dusky hearers that war was imminent between his country and
the United States. Congress now began to prepare for the inevitable.
Appropriations were made for the fortification of harbors and the
collection of military stores. The depredations of the Algerine pirates
in the Mediterranean gave excuse for the building of six frigates. An
embargo was laid upon commerce for thirty days and then extended over
another thirty days. Dayton, of New Jersey, alarmed the administration
party by proposing the sequestration of all British debts as an
indemnity for the vessels which had been seized by British cruisers.

A rift now appeared in the war cloud. Early in April, Washington
received intelligence of a new order in council dated January 8, 1794,
which only forbade trade between the French colonies and Europe, leaving
American vessels to trade freely with the French West Indies. Washington
seized the opportune moment to test the resources of diplomacy. On April
16, he sent to the Senate the nomination of Chief Justice John Jay as
Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of St. James. Three days later the
nomination was confirmed, and by the middle of May, Jay was on his way
to England upon the most difficult mission of his diplomatic career.

While Jay was pressing American grievances upon Lord Grenville, not the
least of which was the retention of the Western posts by British
garrisons, events occurred near one of the unsurrendered posts which
might easily have brought on war. The humiliating defeat of St. Clair
in 1791 had left the settlers beyond the Ohio at the mercy of the
Indians. British authorities in Canada encouraged the Indians to believe
that by combination they could check the advance of the whites. An
Indian territory under British protection would have served the purposes
of Great Britain admirably. To forestall these designs President
Washington appointed to command in the Northwest Anthony Wayne--"Mad
Anthony" of Revolutionary days. With a caution and thoroughness which
belied his reputation, Wayne spent nearly two years in recruiting and
drilling an army. Every effort in the mean time to conciliate the
Indians was made futile by the machinations of their British advisers.
By the spring of 1794, Wayne had an army sufficiently trustworthy to
undertake a forward movement. His route lay down the Maumee River, at
the rapids of which Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe had built a fort and
stationed a small garrison, in anticipation of an American attack upon
Detroit, which was supposed to be Wayne's objective. At a place known as
Fallen Timber, a few miles south of the rapids, on August 18, Wayne
found the Indians ready to offer battle. They had chosen their ground
with considerable skill, but Wayne employed his cavalry and infantry so
effectively that he drove the redskins from cover and pursued them with
great slaughter almost to the walls of the British fort. The British
commander demanded an explanation. Wayne replied with a taunt which
amounted to a challenge and which was probably intended to be such; but
the British refused to be drawn into hostilities. Had Wayne attacked
and dispersed the British garrison, he would hardly stand condemned at
the bar of history, for by the Treaty of Paris not he, but the British
commander, was the intruder on foreign soil. Nevertheless, war at this
time would have made Jay's mission futile and might have sacrificed the
whole Mississippi Valley.

The Administration had hardly time to applaud Wayne's victory when it
was greatly perturbed by an insurrectionary movement in western
Pennsylvania. The sturdy Scotch-Irish people of the southwestern
counties beyond the mountains had always felt their aloofness from the
eastern counties. They were now still further disaffected because of the
federal tax on spirituous liquors. They shared the feeling of the
Continental Congress, which in 1774 had declared an excise "the horror
of all free states." Even before the incidence of the tax was fully
felt, protests were drafted at mass-meetings and federal collectors were
roughly treated. The tax fell with heavy weight upon the small farmer.
Whiskey was not merely his chief marketable commodity: it was also his
medium of exchange when money was scarce. A tax on his still seemed to
be an unfair discrimination. Such was the pitch of public feeling in the
year 1793 that farmers who complied with the law had their stills
wrecked by masked men, popularly known as "Whiskey Boys."

Early in July, 1794, the marshal of the district court of Philadelphia
attempted to serve writs against distillers in the western counties who
were charged with breaking the law. He chose his time unwisely, for the
farmers were in the midst of harvesting, and liquor was circulating
freely among the laborers. In serving his last writ, he was threatened
by a number of reapers. This was the spark needed to start a
conflagration. On the next morning the house of a revenue inspector,
Neville, was attacked and blood was shed. A small detachment of soldiers
from Fort Pitt was stationed at the house; but on the following day they
were fired upon and forced to surrender, and the house of the inspector
was burned. The marshal and the inspector fled the country. Matters went
from bad to worse. The mail was robbed; the militia was summoned to meet
at Braddock's Field for the avowed purpose of attacking the garrison at
Fort Pitt; but there the courage of the leaders evaporated. The attack
upon the garrison was commuted into a boisterous march through the
streets of Pittsburg, whose citizens purchased immunity by liberal
donations of whiskey to the thirsty rioters.

On August 7, 1794, the President issued a proclamation commanding the
insurgents to disperse, and summoned twelve thousand militia from the
adjoining States to hold themselves in readiness for active service on
the 1st of September. Meanwhile, earnestly desiring to avoid the use of
force, Washington sent three commissioners to the scene of the riots in
the hope of appealing to the sober sense of the people. They held
protracted negotiations with representatives of the people in the
disaffected district, but were unable to persuade them to deliver up the
ringleaders of the revolt. On September 24, the President issued a
second proclamation and set the troops in motion. Under the command of
"Light Horse Harry" Lee, now Governor of Virginia, the army marched west
in two divisions, but encountered no resistance. Many arrests were made
and eighteen alleged leaders of the insurrection were sent to
Philadelphia for trial. Only two of these, however, were convicted of
treasonable conduct, and they were pardoned by the President. Some
twenty-five hundred troops were quartered near Pittsburg for the winter;
but rebellion did not again lift its head.

The utter collapse of the Whiskey Rebellion made the whole affair seem
ridiculous to those who gathered in the coffee-houses to hear the tales
of the militiamen but the importance of the episode was not slight.
Hamilton is said to have remarked on one occasion that a government can
never be said to be established "until some signal display of force has
manifested its power of military coercion." The Federal Government had
now demonstrated that it was equal to the emergency whenever the laws
were opposed by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the
ordinary course of judicial proceedings or by the powers vested in the
marshals by law. The days of Shays' Rebellion had gone, never to return.

There was an aspect of the insurrection which Washington did not fail to
note in his annual address to Congress in November, 1794. The Democratic
clubs had been unsparing in their condemnation of the excise law, and
their resolutions had more than once a treasonable sound. Washington did
not hesitate to deprecate the untoward influence of these "self-created
societies" and to condemn those "combinations of men, who, careless of
consequences, and disregarding the unerring truth that those who rouse
cannot always appease a civil convulsion, have disseminated, from an
ignorance or perversion of facts, suspicions, jealousies, and
accusations of the whole Government." The Democratic societies now fell
into disrepute and did not long survive their great prototype, the
Jacobin Club of Paris.

Although Jay had presented his credentials in June, 1794, it was the
19th of November before a treaty was signed; and it was not until the
8th of June, 1795, that Washington could send an authentic copy to the
Senate. The most dispassionate member of that body must have confessed
privately to a sense of disappointment as he heard the terms for the
first time. Listening intently for the redress of grievances, he seemed
to hear only concessions. The United States was to assume the debts
still unpaid to British merchants since the peace, so far as "lawful
impediments" had been put in the way of their collection; to open all
ports to British ships on the footing of the most favored nation; and to
make restitution for losses and damages to the property of British
subjects occasioned by French privateers in American waters, whenever
compensation could not be obtained in the ordinary course of justice.
And for all these concessions what had been gained? The promise to
evacuate the Western posts? That was but a tardy redemption of an old
promise. No mention was made of the negroes carried away by British
armies during the war. Nothing was said about the impressment of
American seamen. To be sure, the ports of the East Indies were to be
opened to direct commerce with the United States; but no American vessel
might engage in the coasting trade of these East India dependencies. As
for the West India trade, only vessels of seventy tons burden might
participate, and even that concession was yielded on the express
understanding that molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa, and cotton should not
be exported from the United States to any part of the world. After
hearing this obnoxious twelfth article, few Senators could preserve a
fair mind on the remaining provisions of the treaty.

The historian is in a better position to evaluate the treaty. To the
cause of international arbitration, Jay and Grenville made a distinct
contribution. They provided for three commissions which were to settle
the uncertain boundaries of the United States on the northeast and
northwest; to adjudicate the claims of British creditors; and to adjust
the claims of those citizens of the United States whose ships and
cargoes had been seized in the West India trade, and on the other hand,
the claims of those British subjects who had suffered losses through
French privateers in American waters. Moreover, an agreement was reached
on what should in future be regarded as contraband, and on the treatment
of vessels which should be captured on suspicion of carrying enemies'
property or contraband.

There were two cogent reasons for ratifying the treaty despite its
defects: it provided for indemnity in respect to recent seizures on the
high seas; and it averted war. But no arguments could justify the
surrender of American trade in the West Indies, to the minds of either
the New England shipper or the Southern planter, for while the latter
might be indifferent to other considerations, he would not willingly
part with his right to ship his cotton crop, now becoming every year
more valuable. The requisite two-thirds vote of the Senate was secured
only by dropping out altogether the objectionable twelfth article.

The publication of the treaty was followed by an outburst of popular
indignation which made even the President wince. Remonstrances and
protests poured in upon him from every part of the Union. The sailors
and shipowners of Portsmouth burned Jay and Grenville in effigy,
together with a miniature ship of seventy tons. In Charleston, the flags
were put at half-mast and the public hangman burned copies of the treaty
in the open street. While remonstrating with a disorderly crowd in Wall
Street which was vilifying Jay, Hamilton was stoned and forced to give
way with the blood streaming down his face. Personal abuse of the
coarsest kind was heaped upon Washington by the opposition press, while
a host of pamphleteers assailed him under cover of anonymity. Congress
expressed its hostility toward the President by omitting to congratulate
him on his birthday.

In the face of this denunciation, Washington might well have hesitated
to press the ratification of the amended treaty upon Great Britain. His
perplexities were further increased by the tidings that the Ministry
had renewed the earlier orders for the seizure of provisions on neutral
vessels bound for French ports. Hamilton was of the opinion that the
President should insist upon the withdrawal of this order in council and
upon the acceptance of the Senate amendment before he ratified the
treaty. The delicate task of securing the consent of Great Britain to
these conditions was entrusted to John Quincy Adams, then Minister at
The Hague.

Meanwhile the skies cleared in the Northwest. Wayne's punitive
expedition had done its work. With their towns destroyed and their crops
ruined, the Indians had passed a terrible winter. By the following
summer they were ready to sue for peace. In a great council at
Greenville, on August 4, 1795, they agreed to a treaty which ceded to
the United States all the region south and east of a line running from
the intersection of the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers to Lake Erie. Only one
thing was needed to secure the Northwest and that was the evacuation of
the British posts.

During this same summer, Thomas Pinckney, at the Court of Madrid, was
trying to secure the liberation of the Southwest from the control of
Spain. On October 27, 1795, the treaty of San Lorenzo was signed, which
conceded the thirty-first parallel as the northern boundary of West
Florida from the Mississippi to the Apalachicola. This was in itself a
notable achievement; but even more important to the people of the
Western world was the declaration that the Mississippi River should be
open to their commerce with the right of deposit at New Orleans.

The mission of Adams at the Court of St. James was not less successful.
The Ministry agreed to modify the objectionable order in council and to
accept the treaty without the twelfth article. With a deep sense of
relief Washington promulgated the treaty as the law of the land on
February 27, 1795. With these three treaties of 1795, not only was war
averted, but our slender hold upon the vast tract between the
Alleghanies and the Mississippi immeasurably strengthened, if not
secured for all time.


     The attitude of historical writers toward the events recorded in
     this chapter has been considerably altered since the publication
     of a series of articles by F. J. Turner. The more important of
     these contributions are: "The Origin of Genet's Projected Attack
     on Louisiana and the Floridas" (_American Historical Review_,
     III); "The Policy of France toward the Mississippi Valley"
     (_Ibid._, X); and "The Diplomatic Contest for the Mississippi
     Valley" (_Atlantic Monthly_, XCIII). Nearly all the authorities
     cited in the foregoing chapter deal in greater or less detail with
     the diplomatic events of Washington's Administrations. The
     following may be added to the list: Trescott, _Diplomatic History
     of the Administrations of Washington and Adams_ (1857); F. A. Ogg,
     _The Opening of the Mississippi_ (1904); C. D. Hazen,
     _Contemporary American Opinion of the French Revolution_ (1897).
     The story of the expeditions against the Indians of the Northwest
     is told by Roosevelt, _Winning of the West_ (vol. IV). A reliable
     account of the Whiskey Insurrection is given in Brackenridge,
     _History of the Western Insurrection_ (1859).



In January, 1795, Hamilton retired from the Treasury Department. The
moment was well chosen, for his great creative work was done and signs
were not wanting that the initiative in finance was about to pass to the
House of Representatives. As he passed out of office, a young
Representative from Pennsylvania made his appearance in Congress who was
scarcely his inferior in quick grasp of the intricacies of public
finance. Almost the first efforts of Albert Gallatin were directed to
the improvement of the methods of congressional finance. It was at his
suggestion that the first standing Committee of Ways and Means in the
House was appointed, in the expectation that it would assume a general
superintendence of finance. Believing that the Executive could be held
in check only by systematic, specific appropriations, Gallatin became an
insistent advocate of the rule, and in consequence a thorn in the flesh
of the departments. "The management of the Treasury," complained Wolcott
to Hamilton, "becomes more and more difficult. The legislature will not
pass laws in gross. Their appropriations are minute; Gallatin, to whom
they yield, is evidently intending to break down this department, by
charging it with an impracticable detail." "The heads of departments,"
Fisher Ames wrote despondently, two years after Hamilton left office,
"are chief clerks. Instead of being the ministry, the organs of the
executive power, and imparting a kind of momentum to the operation of
the laws, they are precluded even from communicating with the House by
reports." There was no room for a British ministry in the Republican
scheme of politics.

Meantime, Washington's foreign policy had widened the breach between the
political factions and had forced him into a partisan position. From the
Republican point of view, Jay's treaty threw the United States into the
arms of England and gave just cause of offense to France. Knowing the
popular temper, which was undoubtedly hostile to the treaty, the
Republican leaders endeavored to defeat the purposes of the
Administration by refusing to vote the necessary appropriations. Their
first demand was for the papers relating to the treaty, on the ground
that in matters upon which the action of the House was needed, that body
might properly call for information to guide its deliberations. The
President refused this demand, both because he deemed it imprudent to
make the papers public, and because he denied the right of the House to
participate in the treaty-making power.

The debate which followed is one of the most illuminating in the early
history of Congress. The trend of argument may be suggested by two
remarks of opposing partisans. Said Griswold for the Federalists, "The
House of Representatives have nothing to do with the treaty but provide
for its execution." Disclaiming that the House was bent upon impairing
the constitutional right of the President and Senate to make treaties,
Gallatin contended that the power claimed by the House was "only a
negative, a restraining power on those subjects over which Congress has
the right to legislate." In vigorous resolutions the House sustained
Gallatin's position; and the appropriation for the treaty was carried
only by the casting vote of the Speaker, on April 29, two months after
Washington by proclamation had declared the treaty to be the law of the

The consequences of the _rapprochement_ between the United States and
Great Britain were far-reaching. The French Minister, Fauchet, urged his
Government to take immediate steps to acquire a continental colony which
would not only serve France and her West India colonies as a granary and
as a market for their exports, but which would also bring pressure to
bear upon the disaffected border communities of the United States. Such
a colony was Louisiana. With this province in her possession, a power
like France would speedily control the Mississippi and the Western
people who used that highway for their commerce. Throughout the year
1795, the French Government sought by persuasion and threats to secure
Louisiana from Spain as the price of an alliance.

How far the Administration was apprised of these designs is not clear;
but against the background of French intrigue certain passages of
Washington's Farewell Address take on a new significance. The West was
warned that it could control "the indispensable outlets for its own
productions" only by attaching itself firmly to "the Atlantic side of
the Union." "Any other tenure ... whether derived from its own separate
strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign
power, must be intrinsically precarious." And the admission of Tennessee
as a State in the year 1796 may have been hastened by an ill-defined
fear that the people of the West might not be proof against French

The purpose of Washington not to accept a re-election was known to his
intimates early in the spring of 1796. Upon whom would his mantle fall?
There was much searching of hearts among Federalist leaders, but by the
end of the summer it was well understood that Federalist electors would
support John Adams and Thomas Pinckney for the Presidency and
Vice-Presidency. The most talented man in the party was unquestionably
Alexander Hamilton; but Hamilton had made too many enemies to be a
popular candidate. By common consent, Thomas Jefferson became the
candidate of the Republicans for President; with him was associated
Aaron Burr, of New York.

The most remarkable aspect of the campaign of 1796 was the undisguised
attempt of Adet, who had succeeded Fauchet, to turn the election in
Jefferson's favor. The treaty with England could not be undone; but
France had much to hope from a Republican administration. In a series of
letters directed to the Secretary of State, but printed in the
Philadelphia _Aurora_, Adet announced that the Directory regarded the
treaty of commerce concluded with Great Britain as "a violation of the
treaty made with France in 1778, and equivalent to a treaty of alliance
with Great Britain." "Justly offended," the Directory had ordered him to
"suspend his ministerial functions with the Federal Government." This
action, however, was not to be regarded as a rupture between the two
peoples, but only "as a mark of just discontent, which is to last until
the Government of the United States returns to sentiments and to
measures, more conformable to the interests of the alliance, and the
sworn friendship between the two nations."

Adet would have had the people believe that the alternatives were
Jefferson or war; and the threat of war, so it was said, was enough to
drive the peace-loving Quakers of Pennsylvania into the Republican
ranks. In more northerly States Adet's manifesto probably had the
opposite effect. "There is not one elector east of the Delaware River,"
declared the Connecticut _Courant_, "who would not sooner be shot than
vote for Thomas Jefferson." Not a Republican elector was chosen in the
States to the north and east of Pennsylvania. On the other hand, Adams
received only two electoral votes south of the Potomac. South Carolina
divided its vote between Jefferson and Pinckney. Only unexpected votes
in Virginia and North Carolina gave Adams the election, for Pennsylvania
was carried by the Republicans. Pinckney lost the Vice-Presidency
through the defection of Federalists in New England.

An incident of the election in Pennsylvania revealed the change already
wrought by parties in the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution
expected that a small number of persons selected by their fellow
citizens from the general mass would deliberately weigh "all the reasons
and inducements which were proper to govern their choice," and in their
mature wisdom choose the individual who met the requirements of the
office. It fell out otherwise. In Pennsylvania, one of the six States to
choose electors by popular vote, each party had put forward a ticket
with fifteen names. Thirteen of the fifteen Republican electors were
chosen. Of the two Federalist electors who were chosen, one broke faith
with his party and cast his vote for Jefferson and Pinckney. The
Federalists were exasperated by this treachery. "What!" expostulated a
writer in the _United States Gazette_: "Do I chuse Samuel Miles to
determine for me whether John Adams or Thomas Jefferson shall be
President? No! I chuse him to _act_, not to _think_."

While Adet was endeavoring to bring what the Federalists called the
French party into power, the Administration was urging the reluctant
Monroe at Paris to make the Jay Treaty as palatable as possible to the
French Government. This was an irksome task for that ardent Republican.
From the outset of his mission he found it difficult to sustain that
detachment from French politics which his position demanded. Moreover,
after having assured the French Government that Jay was negotiating at
London only for the redress of grievances and not for a commercial
treaty, Monroe found it peculiarly humiliating to be obliged to confess
that he had been kept in ignorance of the real trend of negotiations.
Under these circumstances, he temporized and gave only half-hearted
attention to the task of placating the Directory. Hamilton now advised
his recall; and Washington, who had on two occasions expressed his
displeasure with Monroe's conduct, determined to send Charles Cotesworth
Pinckney in his stead.

Trivial as this incident seems, it was not without its effect upon the
course of diplomacy abroad and of politics at home. When Monroe
endeavored to put his successor into touch with the French Foreign
Office, he was told that the Directory was not prepared to receive
another American representative until their grievances had been
redressed. This affront left Pinckney in an embarrassing position, for
until his credentials were accepted, he was liable, like all foreigners
at that time, to arrest as a spy. It was not until February, after many
months of waiting, that he was given his passport. He at once crossed
the border and took up his residence at Amsterdam.

Meantime, Monroe had taken his departure with the warmest expressions of
regard on the part of the French Government. He was assured that his
worth and his efforts in behalf of his country's interests were
understood and appreciated. He returned to the United States with the
firm conviction, which his Republican friends shared, that he had been
made the victim of Federalist chicanery. In the following year he
published an elaborate defense which served admirably as a popular
campaign document in the next presidential elections.

It fell to John Adams on the very threshold of his administration to
deal with what he euphemistically called the misunderstanding with
France. His inaugural address announced unmistakably his intention to
preserve neutrality between the belligerents of Europe, and to treat
France with impartiality but with a sincere desire for her friendship.
Between the lines may be read also an equally sincere desire to placate
the opposition and to free himself from all imputation of a bias toward
Great Britain and a monarchical system. From the first news of
Pinckney's dismissal, President Adams was disposed "to institute a fresh
attempt at negotiation": he even approached Jefferson to see if he would
not persuade Madison to serve on a special commission, believing that
Madison's well-known Gallic sympathies would commend him to the French
nation. At the same time he declared stoutly in a message to Congress,
in special session on May 15, that France had treated the United States
"neither as allies nor as friends nor as a sovereign state." Attempts
which had been made to create a rupture between the people of the United
States and their Government "ought to be repelled with a decision which
shall convince France and the world that we are not a degraded people
humiliated under a colonial spirit of fear and sense of inferiority."
While he therefore recommended measures of defense, he asked the Senate
to confirm the appointment of three commissioners whom he proposed to
send to France. Two of these, Pinckney and John Marshall, were
Federalists, but the third was Elbridge Gerry, a Massachusetts
Republican, who was the second choice of the President, Dana having
declined to serve.

While Congress was acting upon the President's recommendations and
voting appropriations for fortifications and for the completion of the
three frigates which were then on the stocks, disquieting disclosures
came from the West. Spain having declared war upon England in the
previous fall, British emissaries, it was rumored, were concerting plans
for the conquest of New Orleans and West Florida. While expeditions made
up of Western frontiersmen and Indians descended upon the Spanish
strongholds in the Southwest, a British fleet was to blockade the mouth
of the Mississippi. The evidence which President Adams laid before
Congress in July implicated Senator Blount, of Tennessee. In common with
other land speculators, he had become alarmed at the rumor that France
was about to acquire Louisiana, and had agreed to use his influence
among the whites and Indians of the Southwest, where he had formerly
been governor, to assist the designs of Great Britain. He was expelled
from the Senate and impeached. Before his trial could take place, he was
elected a member of the legislature of Tennessee, and from that point of
vantage he successfully defied the federal authorities.

The episode had unfortunate consequences: it aroused the distrust of the
Spanish Government and delayed the surrender of Natchez and other posts
which Spain had agreed to cede in the Treaty of 1795; and it furnished
Talleyrand, who had become Minister of Foreign Affairs under the
Directory, with an additional argument for the cession of Louisiana to
France. France in control of Louisiana and Florida would be "a wall of
brass forever impenetrable to the combined efforts of England and

Early in March, 1797, dispatches arrived from the envoys which were full
of sinister disclosures. On the 19th, President Adams announced gloomily
that he perceived "no ground of expectation" that the objects of the
mission could be accomplished "on terms compatible with the safety,
honor, or the essential interests of the nation." He renewed his
recommendations of measures of defense "proportioned to the danger." The
average Republican regarded this message as tantamount to a declaration
of war. Jefferson spoke of it as "an insane message." The partisan press
held it to be further proof of British bias in John Adams, the old
aristocrat! But when the President sent to Congress the deciphered
dispatches, and the newspapers had printed extracts from them, a wave of
indignation swept over the country. For the moment the wildest partisan
of France was silenced.

The envoys told a sordid tale of French intrigue and greed. It appeared
that they had never been received officially when they made known their
presence on French soil, but had been approached by agents of
Talleyrand, whom they referred to in the dispatches as Mr. X, Mr. Y, and
Mr. Z. They were much mystified by the language used by these gentlemen,
until the evening of October 18, when Mr. X called on General Pinckney
and whispered that he had a message from Talleyrand. "General Pinckney
said he should be glad to hear it. Mr. X replied that the Directory, and
particularly two of the members of it, were exceedingly irritated at
some passages of the President's speech, and desired that they should be
softened; and that this step would be necessary previous to our
reception. That, besides this, a sum of money was required for the
pocket of the Directory and Ministers, which would be at the disposal of
M. Talleyrand; and that a loan would also be insisted on. Mr. X said if
we acceded to these measures, M. Talleyrand had no doubt that all our
differences with France might be accommodated. On inquiry, Mr. X could
not point out the particular passages of the speech that had given
offense, nor the quantum of the loan, but mentioned that the _douceur_
for the pocket was twelve hundred thousand livres, about fifty thousand
pounds sterling."

Unwilling to believe their ears, the astonished envoys asked to have
these proposals put in writing. Mr. X not only complied with this
request, but brought with him Mr. Y, a confidential friend of
Talleyrand, who repeated the terms upon which the envoys would be
received, and pointed out convenient means by which the money could be
secretly transferred.

The American commissioners responded that while they had ample powers to
make a treaty, they had none to make a loan. They offered, however, to
send one of their number to America for further instructions, provided
that the Directory would check the further capture of American vessels.
Nevertheless, the efforts of X and Y to secure the _douceur_ were not
relaxed. Finally, finding the envoys either obstinate or obtuse, Mr. X
exclaimed, "Gentlemen, you do not speak to the point. It is money; it is
expected that you will offer money." The Americans were inexorable.
"What is your answer?" asked X impatiently. "It is," said the envoys,
"no, no; not a sixpence."

On November 1, the commissioners agreed to hold no more indirect
intercourse with the Government, but to prepare a statement of the
American grievances against France and to send it to Talleyrand. Two
weary months passed before they received his answer. Couched in language
which was both contemptuous and insulting, this reply of Talleyrand
terminated the mission. The Directory intimated that in future they
would treat only with Gerry as "the more impartial" member of the
commission. Pinckney and Marshall remonstrated against this
discrimination, but Gerry unwisely consented to deal with Talleyrand
alone. Marshall secured a passport with some difficulty and departed for
home. Pinckney with more difficulty secured permission to retire to
southern France with his invalid daughter.

The war spirit now ran high. President Adams declared that he would
never send another minister to France without assurances that he would
be "received, respected, and honored as the representative of a great,
free, powerful, and independent nation," and the people supported this
declaration with surprising unanimity. Demonstrations occurred in all
the playhouses of Philadelphia and New York; young men formed
associations and donned the black cockade as an emblem of patriotic
devotion; even in the quiet towns of New England, women met to drink tea
and to sing the new song "Adams and Liberty." Cities along the coast
vied with one another in their eagerness to build warships. The
patriotic fervor found expression in original song and verse. "Hail
Columbia" was the happy inspiration of young Joseph Hopkinson, of
Philadelphia. For once in his life President John Adams found himself a
popular hero riding on the crest of public applause.

To the intense disgust of Jefferson, even Republicans caught the war
fever, and joined with the Federalists in putting the country on a war
footing. Among the earliest measures of Congress was an act providing
for the establishment of a Navy Department. In rapid succession followed
acts authorizing the President to permit merchantmen to arm in their own
defense and our warships to seize French vessels which preyed upon our
commerce. On July 7, the existing treaties with France were repealed. In
short, without a formal declaration, the United States was virtually at
war with France. The new navy soon put to sea and gratified national
pride by several gallant victories, the most notable being the capture
of the frigate L'Insurgente by the newly commissioned Constellation, on
February 9, 1799. When peace was restored in 1800, the navy had a record
of eighty-four prizes, most of which were French privateers.

The organization of the provisional army did not move so rapidly, partly
because of the incompetence of the Secretary of War, and partly because
of an unseemly wrangle for precedence among the three major-generals
whom Adams had named. Conscious of his own inexperience in military
affairs, President Adams had persuaded Washington to take chief command
of the army with the distinct understanding that he would not be called
into active service unless an emergency arose. Washington named
Hamilton, C. C. Pinckney, and Knox as major-generals, and the President
sent the nominations to the Senate in this order. Misunderstandings
arose at once as to the relative rank of these three major-generals.
Hamilton and his intimates in the circle of the President's advisers
urged that as his name was first on the list he was the ranking officer.
At this Knox took umbrage, for he had outranked Hamilton in the old
army; and so, too, had Pinckney. Knowing the intrigue in Hamilton's
behalf and not a little alarmed at the prospect of having the direction
of the war pass into the hands of a man whom he regarded as a rival,
Adams determined to sign the commissions in the reverse order, thus
giving Knox precedence. The friends of Hamilton were enraged at this
turn of affairs and prevailed upon Washington to write a letter of
protest to the President. Adams was finally persuaded to date all three
commissions alike and to leave the designation of rank to the
commander-in-chief. Washington promptly named Hamilton as
inspector-general with precedence over Pinckney and Knox; whereupon Knox
refused to serve.

The immediate outcome of this controversy was to widen the rift which
was already separating the President from the faction led by Hamilton.
Adams had taken office in the belief that Washington's cabinet advisers
were loyal to him. "Pickering and all his colleagues are as much
attached to me as I desire," he had written just before his
inauguration. But he speedily found that all were accustomed to look to
Hamilton as the virtual leader of the Federalist party. Moreover, he
found himself thrust into the background in the matter of military
appointments, as soon as Hamilton took over the actual work of
organizing the army. The Constitution made him commander-in-chief;
circumstances seemed to conspire, he complained bitterly, "to annihilate
the essential powers given to the President." He had, too, all the
natural aversion of a civilian for military affairs. "Regiments are
costly articles everywhere," he told McHenry testily, "and more so in
this country than in any other under the sun. And if this country sees a
great army to maintain, without an enemy to fight, there may arise an
enthusiasm that seems to be little foreseen."

It would have been strange, indeed, if under these circumstances the
President had not scanned the horizon anxiously for the faintest
intimations of peace. In October, 1798, definite assurances were given
by Talleyrand, through our Minister at The Hague, that France would
receive a new minister from the United States. On February 18, 1799, the
President confounded both friends and foes by sending to the Senate the
nomination of Vans Murray to be Minister to France. The emotions of the
militant Federalists were too various to admit of description. It would
have been madness, however, not to accept the proffered olive branch.
Swallowing their wrath, they agreed to the mission, but substituted a
commission of three for a single minister.

From Napoleon, the new master of France, the commissioners secured a
convention which not only restored peace, but safeguarded the rights of
neutrals, by restraining the right of search and conceding the principle
that free ships make free goods. Napoleon consented also to the
abrogation of the treaties of 1778, but only upon condition that the new
treaty should contain no provision for the settlement of claims for
indemnity. John Adams was not far from the truth when he accounted this
peace one of the most meritorious actions of his life. "I desire no
other inscription over my gravestone," he wrote fifteen years later,
"than: 'Here lies John Adams, who took upon himself the responsibility
of the peace with France in the year 1800.'"


     On the origin and growth of political parties in the United
     States, the following books are suggestive and informing: H. J.
     Ford, _The Rise and Growth of American Politics_ (1898); C. E.
     Merriam, _A History of American Political Theories_ (1910); J. P.
     Gordy, _Political History of the United States_ (2 vols.,
     1900-03); A. E. Morse, _The Federalist Party in Massachusetts to
     the Year 1800_ (1909); J. D. Hammond, _History of the Political
     Parties in the State of New York, 1789-1840_ (2 vols., 1850). To
     those histories already mentioned which describe the quarrel with
     France may be added G. W. Allen, _Our Naval War with France_
     (1909), and A. T. Mahan, _Influence of Sea Power on the French
     Revolution and Empire_ (2 vols., 1898). A most readable account of
     manners and customs in America is given by La
     Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, _Travels through the United States,
     1795-1797_ (2 vols., 1799). Social life in New York and
     Philadelphia is described by R. W. Griswold, _The Republican
     Court_ (1864).



The greatest obstacle in the path of the people of the United States in
their struggle toward national life was the vastness of the territory
which they occupied. Even the region between the Alleghanies and the sea
was as yet imperfectly subdued. Great tracts of wilderness separated
communities beyond the fall-line of the rivers. Intercourse was
incredibly difficult even between the commercial ports of New England
and the Middle States. Stage-coaches plied between Boston and New York,
to be sure, and between New York and Philadelphia. By stage, too, a
traveler could reach Baltimore and Washington in the course of time. But
beyond the Potomac public conveyances were few and uncertain in their
routes. The only public stage in the Carolinas and Georgia plied between
Charleston and Savannah. Those whom either public or private business
forced to journey from these remote Southern States to Philadelphia took
passage in coasting vessels. It is difficult to say which were greater,
the perils by land or by sea. Writing from Philadelphia in 1790, William
Smith, of South Carolina, described the misfortunes of his fellow
Congressmen in trying to reach the seat of government, as follows:
"Burke was shipwrecked off the Capes; Jackson and Mathews with great
difficulty landed at Cape May and traveled one hundred and sixty miles
in a wagon to the city. Burke got here in the same way. Gerry and
Partridge were overset in the stage; the first had his head broke and
made his _entrée_ with an enormous black patch; the other had his ribs
sadly bruised and was unable to stir for some days. Tucker had a
dreadful passage of sixteen days with perpetual storms. I wish these
little _contretemps_ may not sour their tempers and be inauspicious to
our proceedings."

Even in the North, where distances were not so great and where great
arms of the ocean did not penetrate so far inland, as in North Carolina,
for example, interposing so many barriers to communication, travel was
painfully slow and hazardous. Travelers who made the journey from Boston
to New York by stage-coach accounted themselves lucky if they reached
their destination in six days, for no bridges spanned any of the great
waterways and the crossing by ferryboats was uncertain and often
dangerous. Many travelers preferred to journey by water from port to
port, but coasting vessels, contending with the winds and the tides,
were often nine or ten days in sailing from Boston to New York.

The post traveled with somewhat greater speed; yet a letter sent from
Portland, Maine, could not be delivered in Savannah, Georgia, in less
than twenty days. From Philadelphia a post went to Lexington, Kentucky,
in sixteen days, and to Nashville, Tennessee, in twenty-two days. The
cost of these posts, like the cost of traveling, was in many cases
prohibitive. The rate for a letter of a single sheet was twenty-five
cents. News traveled slowly from State to State. The best news sheets
in New York printed intelligence from Virginia which was almost as
belated as that which the packets brought from Europe.

With such barriers in the way of intercourse, the masses, so far indeed
as they possessed the suffrage at all, were not politically
self-assertive. Devoted primarily to the pursuit of agriculture and
commerce, essentially rural in their distribution, the people had
neither the desire nor the means, nor yet the leisure, to engage in
active politics. Politics was the occupation of those who commanded
leisure and some accumulated wealth. The voters of the several States
touched each other only through their leaders. In these early years
national parties were hardly more than divisions of a governing class.
Party organization was visible only in its most rudimentary form--a
leader and a personal following. The machinery of a modern party
organization did not come into existence until the railroad and the
steamboat tightened the bonds of intercourse between State and State,
and between community and community.

In another respect political parties of the Federalist period differed
from later political organizations. Under stress of foreign
complications, Federalists and Republicans were forced into an
irreconcilable antagonism. The one group was thought to be British in
its sympathies, the other Gallic. In the eyes of his opponents, the
Republican was no better than a democrat, a Jacobin, a revolutionary
incendiary; and the Federalist no better than a monocrat and a Tory. The
effect was denationalizing. Each lost confidence in the other's

The Federalists, in control of the Executive,--and thus, in the common
phrase, "in power,"--were disposed to view the opposition as factious,
if not treasonable. Washington deprecated the spirit of party and
thought it ought not to be tolerated in a popular government. Fisher
Ames expressed a common Federalist conviction when he wrote in 1796: "It
is a childish comfort that many enjoy, who say the minority aim at place
only, not at the overthrow of government. They aim at setting mobs above
law, not at the filling places which have known legal responsibility.
The struggle against them is therefore _pro aris et focis_; it is for
our rights and liberties." Such a state of mind can be understood only
by a diligent reading of the newspapers and political tracts of the
time. Republican journalists, many of whom were of alien origin, still
gloried in the ideals and achievements of the French Revolution. But
liberty and democracy, as preached by a Tom Paine and glorified by a
Callender and exemplified by the Reign of Terror in France, had caused
an ominous reaction in the minds of upholders of the established order
in the United States.

Under these circumstances, when, in the minds of those in authority,
party was identified with faction, and faction was held to be synonymous
with treason, the position of the Republicans was precarious. War with
France they bitterly opposed, but were powerless to prevent. The path of
opposition was made all the more difficult by the well-known attitude of
conspicuous Federalist leaders who favored war as an opportunity for
discrediting their political opponents, or, as Higginson expressed it,
for closing the "avenues of French poison and intrigue."

Laboring under the conviction that they had to deal not only with an
enemy without but with an insidious foe within, the Federalists carried
through Congress in June and July, 1798, a series of measures which are
usually cited as the Alien and Sedition Acts. The first in the series
was the Naturalization Act, which lengthened the period of residence
required of aliens who desired citizenship, from five to fourteen years.
The Alien Act authorized the President, for a period of two years, to
order out of the country all such aliens as he deemed dangerous to
public safety or guilty of treasonable designs against the Government.
Failure to leave the country after due warning was made punishable by
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and by exclusion from
citizenship for all time. A third act conferred upon the President the
further discretionary power to remove alien enemies in time of war or of
threatened war. Finally, the Sedition Act added to the crimes punishable
by the federal courts unlawful conspiracy and the publication of "any
false, scandalous, and malicious writings" against the Government,
President, or Congress, with the intent to defame them or to bring them
into contempt or disrepute. For conspiracy the penalty was a fine not
exceeding five thousand dollars and imprisonment not exceeding five
years; for seditious libel, a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars
and imprisonment not exceeding two years.

The debates in Congress left little doubt that the Sedition Act was a
weapon forged for partisan purposes. The Federalists were convinced that
France maintained a party in America which by means of corrupt hirelings
and subsidized presses was paralyzing the efforts of the Administration
to defend national rights. That there was great provocation for the act
cannot be denied. The tone of the press generally was low; but between
the scurrilous assaults of Cobbett in _Porcupine's Gazette_ upon
Republican leaders, and the atrocious libels of Bache upon President
Washington, there is not much to choose.

What the opposition had to fear from the Sedition Act, appeared with
startling suddenness in October, 1798, when Representative Matthew Lyon,
of Vermont, an eccentric character who had become the butt of all
Federalists, was indicted for publishing a letter in which he maintained
that under President Adams "every consideration of the public welfare
was swallowed up in a continual grasp for power, in an unbounded thirst
for ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice." The
unlucky Lyon was found guilty, sentenced to imprisonment for four
months, and fined one thousand dollars.

Alarmed by this attack on what he termed the freedom of speech and of
the press, Jefferson cast about for some effective form of protest.
Collaborating with John Breckenridge, a member of the Kentucky
Legislature, he prepared a series of resolutions which were adopted by
that body, while Madison, then a member of the Virginia House of
Burgesses, secured the adoption of a set of resolutions of similar
purport which he had drafted. Both sets of resolutions condemned the
Alien and Sedition Acts as unwarranted by the letter of the Constitution
and opposed to its spirit. Both reiterated the current theory of the
Union as a compact to which the States were parties; and both intimated
that, as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common
judge, each party had an equal right to judge for itself, as well of
infractions as of the mode of redress.

The real purport of these Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions has been
much misunderstood. The emphasis should fall not upon the compact
theory, for that was commonly accepted at this time; nor yet upon the
vague remedies suggested by the phrases "nullification" and
"interposition." With these remedies Jefferson and Madison were not
greatly concerned. Protest rather than action was uppermost in their
minds. As Jefferson said to Madison, they proposed to "leave the matter
in such a train as that we may not be committed absolutely to
extremities, and yet may be free to push as far as events will render
prudent." What they desired was such an affirmation of principles as
should rally their followers and arrest the usurpation of power by their
opponents. The fundamental position assumed is that the Federal
Government is one of limited powers and that citizens must look to their
State Governments as bulwarks of their civil liberties, whenever the
express terms of the federal compact are violated. The Federal
Government was not to be allowed to become the judge of its own powers.
By recalling the party to its original position of opposition to the
consolidating tendencies of the Federalists, the resolutions of 1798
served much the same purpose as a modern party platform. In this light,
their ambiguities are not greater nor their political theories more
vague than those of later platforms.

In the early months of 1799, petitions for the repeal of the Alien and
Sedition Acts began to pour in upon Congress from the Middle States; but
the Federalists felt secure enough in popular favor to ignore these
protests. With a keener ear for the voice of the people, Jefferson
summoned his Republican friends to seize the moment to effect an entire
"revolution of the public mind to its republican soundness." "This
summer is the season for systematic energies and sacrifices," he wrote
to Madison. "The engine is the press. Every man must lay his purse and
pen under contribution." The response was immediate and hearty. Not only
were political pamphlets printed and distributed from Cape Cod to the
Blue Ridge, but an astonishing number of newspapers were founded to
disseminate Republican doctrine. The three or four years before the
presidential election of 1800 are marked by an unprecedented
journalistic revival. Instead of being mere purveyors of facts, these
newspapers became, as a contemporary observes, "Vehicles of discussion,
in which the principles of government, the interests of nations, the
spirit and tendency of public measures, and the public and private
characters of individuals, are all arraigned, tried, and decided." Such
a systematic attempt to direct public opinion had not been made since
the early days of the Revolution.

[Map: Vote on the Repeal of the Alien and Sedition Acts House
of Representatives February 25, 1799]

The Federalists watched this Republican revival with grave misgivings.
What Jefferson called "the awakening of the spirit of 1776" was to
Fisher Ames an ominous sign of impending "revolutionary Robespierrism."
Federalists of the Hamiltonian brand unhesitatingly held the Republicans
responsible for the Fries Rebellion, which occurred in Pennsylvania. The
immediate occasion for these disturbances, to be sure, was the federal
house tax, but the rioting occurred in those eastern counties which were
ardently Republican; hence the outbreak could be denounced plausibly
enough as the result of Jacobin teachings. In some alarm the
Administration dispatched troops to quell the riots, and prosecuted the
leaders with relentless vigor. Fries was condemned to death, and the
President's advisers would have carried out the decree of the court, "to
inspire the malevolent and factious with terror"; but President Adams
persisted in pardoning Fries, holding wisely that there was grave danger
in so construing treason as to apply it to "every sudden, ignorant,
inconsiderable heat, among a part of the people, wrought up by political
disputes, and personal and party animosities." Such motives were not
appreciated by the circle of Hamilton's admirers. Why were the renegade
aliens who were running the incendiary presses not sent out of the
country, Hamilton asked Pickering. "Are laws of this kind passed merely
to excite odium and remain a dead letter?"

If the Administration made only a half-hearted effort to arrest and
deport aliens, it could at least not be accused of letting the Sedition
Act remain a dead letter. Some unnecessary and thoroughly unwise
prosecutions in the year 1799 were followed by a series of trials for
seditious libel in the spring term of the federal courts. All the
individuals indicted were either editors or printers of Republican
newspapers. The impression created by these prosecutions was, therefore,
that the Administration had determined to crush the opposition. What
deepened this impression was the obvious bias of the federal judges and
the partisanship of the juries, which it was alleged were packed by the

With one accord Republican editors lifted up their voices in defense of
freedom of speech, never losing from view, however, the political
possibilities of the situation. The more prosecutions the better, wrote
one editor significantly to a fellow victim: "You know the old
ecclesiastical observation that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of
the church." From the Federalist point of view these editors were "lying
Jacobins," incendiaries, anarchists. "Should Jacobinism gain the
ascendency," an orator at Deerfield, Massachusetts, warned his auditors,
in the midst of the elections of 1800, "let every man arm himself, not
only to defend his property, his wife, and children, but to secure his
life from the dagger of his Jacobin neighbor." In vain Republicans
protested that they had a right to form a party to oppose measures which
they deemed destructive to public liberty. They were not opposing the
Constitution but the Administration; not government in general, but the
existing Government, of men who were employing despotic methods.

In the presidential election of 1800 only four of the sixteen States
provided for a choice of the electors directly by the people. The
outcome depended upon the action of the legislatures in a comparatively
few States. New England was so steadfast in the Federalist faith that
the Republicans gave up all hope of contesting the control of the
legislatures. After an electioneering tour through Connecticut, Aaron
Burr is said to have remarked that they might as well attempt to
revolutionize the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, Jeffersonian
Republicanism was deeply rooted in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and
Georgia. The contestable area lay in the Middle States and in the

In the early spring, both parties began to burnish their armor for the
first encounter in New York. It was generally believed that the May
elections to the Assembly would determine the vote of the presidential
electors, and that the vote of the city of New York would settle the
control of the Assembly. The task of carrying the legislative districts
of the city for the Republicans fell to Aaron Burr, past-master of the
art of political management and first of the long line of political
bosses of the great metropolis. How he concentrated the party vote upon
a ticket which bore such names as those of George Clinton, Horatio
Gates, and Henry Rutgers; how he wooed and won voters in the doubtful
seventh ward among the laboring classes,--these are matters which elude
the most painstaking researches of the historian. The outcome was a
Republican Assembly which beyond a peradventure would give the
electoral vote of the State to the Republican candidates.

In another respect Burr's victory in New York was important. It made him
the logical and most available candidate for the vice-presidential
nomination. By general consent Jefferson became for the second time the
candidate of his party for the Presidency. On May 11, the Republican
members of Congress met in caucus and unanimously agreed to support Burr
for the Vice-Presidency. Already wiseacres were figuring out the
probabilities of a Republican victory.

It was a chastened group of Federalist Congressmen who met in caucus on
May 3, after the disheartening tidings from New York. Though their
hearts misgave them, they still supported John Adams. To carry South
Carolina, they agreed to support Charles C. Pinckney for the
Vice-Presidency; but rumor had it that many Federalists would be glad to
see Pinckney outstrip Adams,--a hope which in the course of the summer
was frankly avowed by Hamilton. In a letter which he had privately
printed for circulation among the Federalists, Hamilton declared without
disguise his hostility to Adams. The imprudence of this act was apparent
when Burr seized upon a copy of the letter and scattered reprints far
and wide as good campaign material.

[Map: Presidential Election of 1800 Popular Vote by Counties]

The effect of Hamilton's indiscretion was probably slight. Adams carried
all the electoral votes in the New England States, leading Pinckney by a
single vote. The Federalists were completely successful also in New
Jersey and Delaware. Through the tactics of thirteen Federalists in
the Senate of Pennsylvania, they won seven of the fifteen electoral
votes of that State. In Maryland they divided the electoral vote evenly
with their opponents. In North Carolina, they secured four of the twelve
votes; but in South Carolina they were completely discomfited. Instead
of carrying his own State for the ticket, Pinckney was outgeneraled by
the strategy of his cousin Charles Pinckney, who effected an
irresistible combination of the Piedmont farmers and the artisans of
Charleston. The loss of South Carolina was irretrievable and decisive.
The Federalists had to concede the defeat of their ticket.

The exultation of the Republicans was at first unbounded. "The election
of a Republican President," wrote the editor of the Schenectady
_Cabinet_ triumphantly, "is a new Declaration of Independence, as
important in its consequences as that of '76, and of much more difficult
achievement." But the elation of the Jeffersonians was somewhat tempered
by the information that Jefferson and Burr had an equal number of votes
in the electoral college. Adams was defeated, to be sure, but was Thomas
Jefferson elected? Neither Jefferson nor Burr had "the highest number of
votes" which the Constitution required for an election. The House of
Representatives, therefore, must choose between them. But the House was
Federalist! Coincidently with these tidings came rumors that the
Federalists would prevent an election by the House until the 4th of
March passed, when the Presidency and Vice-Presidency would fall vacant,
necessitating a new election. Scarcely less ominous was the report that
the Federalists would endeavor to seat Burr in the presidential chair.

When balloting began in the House on February 11, 1801, enough
Federalists had been involved in an intrigue to defeat Jefferson to give
the vote of six States to Burr. Jefferson received the vote of eight
States, but not the majority which was needed to elect, inasmuch as the
delegations of two States were evenly divided. The result was the same
on thirty-five successive ballots. On the thirty-sixth, February 17,
Jefferson received the votes of ten States and Burr of four. The votes
of Delaware and South Carolina were blank, the Federalists having agreed
to produce a tie by not voting. A similar abstention from voting on the
part of Federalists from Vermont and Maryland gave the votes of those
States to Jefferson.

More than any other man, Bayard, of Delaware, was responsible for the
election of Jefferson. Finding that Burr would not "commit himself,"
Bayard announced that he would cast the single vote of his State for
Jefferson. "You cannot well imagine the clamor and vehement invective to
which I was subjected for some days," he wrote to Hamilton. "We had
several caucuses. All acknowledged that nothing but desperate measures
remained, which several were disposed to adopt, and but few were willing
openly to disapprove. We broke up each time in confusion and discord,
and the manner of the last ballot was arranged but a few minutes before
the ballot was taken." How narrowly the Federalists escaped the folly of
electing Burr may be inferred from the further statement of Bayard,
that "the means existed of electing Burr, but this required his
coöperation. By deceiving one man (a great blockhead), and tempting two
(not incorruptible), he might have secured a majority of the States."

In after years Jefferson was wont to speak of his election as "the
Revolution of 1800." To his mind, it was "as real a revolution in the
principles of our government as that of 1776 was in its form; not
effected, indeed, by the sword, as that, but by the rational and
peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people." In one
sense, at least, Jefferson was right. Taken collectively, the events of
1800 do constitute a revolution--the first party revolution in American
history. For a season it seemed as though the Republican party was to be
denied the right to exist as a legal opposition, entitled to attain
power by persuasion. At the risk of incurring the suspicion of
disloyalty, if not of treason, the Republicans clung tenaciously to
their rights as a minority. By persistent use of the press, by
unremitting personal efforts, and by adroit electioneering, the leaders
succeeded in arousing the apathetic masses and converted their minority
into an actual majority. They won, therefore, for all time that
recognition of the right of legal opposition which is the primary
condition of successful popular government.

The change in political weather was foreshadowed during the summer of
1800 by the removal of the seat of government to the banks of the
Potomac. For ten years Philadelphia had been the center of the
political and the social worlds, which for the only time in American
history were then identical. Even those who knew the court life of
Europe marveled at the display of wealth and fashion at this republican
court. Of this social world, the "President and his Lady" were not
merely the titular and official leaders, but the real leaders. Between
the Virginia aristocracy and the wealthy families of Philadelphia there
were natural affinities. And if the second Federalist President and his
consort did not become leaders in quite the same sense, it was because
John and Abigail Adams belonged temperamentally to a more restrained

Those who had enjoyed the hospitalities of the Morrises, the Binghams,
and the Willings, and the bodily comforts of Philadelphia hotels and
inns, were not likely to find any compensations in the unkempt,
straggling village which the Government and private speculators were
trying to convert into a fitting abode for the National Government.
There were few comfortable private dwellings. Most of the houses were
mere huts occupied by laborers. Great tracts were left unfenced and
uncultivated, in the firm expectation that an extraordinary rise in land
value was about to take place. That craze for speculation in land which
had possessed those with any idle capital afflicted every landowner in
or near the new city.

When Mrs. Adams finally reached the city, after a difficult journey
through the forest between Baltimore and Washington, she met with
anything but a cheering welcome. The President's house was not yet
finished: the plaster was not even dry on the walls. It was built on a
grand and superb scale, but the thrifty New England spirit of the
President's wife was appalled at the prospect of having to employ thirty
servants to keep the apartments in order and to tend the fires which had
everywhere to be kept up to drive away the ague. The ordinary
conveniences were wanting. For lack of a yard, Mrs. Adams made a
drying-room out of the great unfinished audience room. And the only
society which she might enjoy was in Georgetown, two miles away. "We
have, indeed," she wrote, "come into _a new country_." But with true
pioneer spirit, she added, "It is a beautiful spot, capable of every
improvement, and, the more I view it, the more I am delighted with it."

The gloom which enveloped the Federalists after the elections of the
year deepened as they straggled into the new capital in November. They
approached their labors as men who would save what they could of a
falling world. For some time there had been an urgent demand for the
reorganization of the federal judiciary. The justices of the Supreme
Court objected to circuit duty and urged the erection of a circuit court
with a permanent bench of judges. Such a reform was inevitable, it was
said; therefore let the Federalists find what consolation they might
from the possession of these new judgeships. Patriotism, too, suggested
the wisdom of filling the judiciary with men who would uphold the
established order. "In the future administration of our country,"
President Adams wrote to Jay, "the firmest security we can have against
the effects of visionary schemes or fluctuating theories will be in a
solid judiciary."

The Judiciary Act of February 13, 1801, which embodied these aims, added
five new districts to those which had been established in 1789, and
grouped the twenty-two districts into six circuits. The amount of
patronage which thus fell into the President's hands was very
considerable, though it was grossly exaggerated by Republicans. The
partisan press pictured President John Adams signing the commissions of
these new judgeships to the very stroke of twelve on the night of March
3, and then entering his coach and driving in haste from the city.


     On the organization of parties at the close of the century there
     are two works of importance: G. D. Luetscher, _Early Political
     Machinery in the United States_ (1903), and M. Ostrogorski,
     _Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties_ (2 vols.,
     1902. Vol. II deals with parties in the United States).
     Prosecutions under the Sedition Act are reported in F. Wharton,
     _State Trials of the United States during the Administrations of
     Washington and Adams_ (2 vols., 1846). F. T. Hill, _Decisive
     Battles of the Law_ (1907), gives an interesting account of the
     trial of Callender. Two special studies should be mentioned: E. D.
     Warfield, _The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798_ (1887), and F. M.
     Anderson, "Contemporary Opinion of the Virginia and Kentucky
     Resolutions," in the _American Historical Review_, vol. v. The
     spirit of American politics at this time can be best appreciated
     by perusing _Porcupine's Works_, the writings of Callender and Tom
     Paine, and the letters of Fisher Ames, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas
     Jefferson, and Timothy Pickering.



The society over whose political destiny Thomas Jefferson was to preside
for eight years was for the most part still rural and primitive.
Evidences of a higher culture were wanting outside of communities like
Philadelphia, Boston, and Charleston. Even in Philadelphia, the literary
as well as the social and political capital, the poet Moore could find
only a sacred few whom "'twas bliss to live with, and 'twas pain to
leave." American life had not yet created an atmosphere in which poetry,
or even science, could thrive. The scientific curiosity of the younger
generation does not seem to have been whetted in the least by the
startling experiments of Franklin; and the figure of Philip Freneau
stands almost alone, though Connecticut, to be sure, boasted of her
Dwight, her Trumbull, and her Barlow. The "Connecticut wits" are
interesting personalities; but the society which could read, with
anything akin to pleasure, Dwight's _Conquest of Canaan_--an epic in
eleven books with nearly ten thousand lines--was more admirable for its
physical endurance than for its poetical intuitions. Latrobe was quite
right when he wrote that in America the labor of the hand took
precedence over that of the mind.

The American people were still engaged almost exclusively in agriculture
and commerce. Manufacturing was in its infancy. In his report on
manufactures in 1791, Hamilton had named seventeen industries which had
made notable progress, but most of these were household crafts. In 1790,
Samuel Slater had duplicated the inventions of Hargreaves and Arkwright,
and had, with Moses Brown, of Rhode Island, set up a successful cotton
mill at Pawtucket; but ten years later only four factories were in
operation in the whole country.

The wars in Europe had created an unprecedented and ever-increasing
demand for American agricultural products. The price of foodstuffs like
flour and meal reached a point which made possible enormous profits.
Shipping became, therefore, the indispensable handmaid of agriculture,
as Jefferson observed. The volume of trade expanded at an astonishing
rate. The total value of exports mounted from $20,000,000 in 1790 to
$94,000,000 in the year of Jefferson's inauguration. One half of this
amount, however, represented the value of commodities like sugar,
coffee, and cocoa, which had been brought into the country for
exportation. The easy and almost certain profits of this trade attracted
capital which might otherwise have gone into manufacturing.

[Map: Distribution of Population 1800]

Shipping was stimulated also by the Navigation Act of 1789, which
imposed lower tonnage duties in American ports on vessels built or owned
by American citizens, and by the Tariff Act of the same year, which
allowed a ten per cent deduction from the customs duties levied on goods
imported in American vessels. These discriminating duties, together with
the law of 1792, which excluded foreign-built ships from American
registry, would have aided materially in the building of an American
marine, even in less prosperous times. The registered tonnage engaged in
foreign trade increased from 346,254 in 1790 to 718,549 in 1801; and in
coast trade, from 103,775 to 246,255. Yet there was an artificial
quality in this prosperity. "Temporary benefits were mistaken for
permanent advantages," writes a contemporary; "so certain were the
profits on the foreign voyages, that commerce was only pursued as an
art; ... the philosophy of commerce, if I am allowed the expression, was
totally neglected ... they [merchants] did not contemplate a period of
general peace, when each nation will carry its own productions, when
discriminations will be made in favour of domestic tonnage, when foreign
commerce will be limited to enumerated articles, and when much
circumspection will be necessary in all our commercial transactions."

It cannot be said, either, that the American farmer studied the
philosophy of agriculture. He owed his crops less to intelligent
cultivation of the soil than to provident Nature in a new and untilled
country. Both his methods and his implements were bad, and resulted in
that land spoliation which has been the bane of American industry.
"Agriculture in the South," said John Taylor, of Caroline, "does not
consist so much in cultivating land as in killing it"; and the statement
was scarcely less true when applied to the Northern farmer. The soil was
rapidly exhausted by planting the same crop year after year, for it was
easier to take up fresh land than to restore productivity to the old.
Indeed, the comments of foreign travelers at the close of the century
suggest doubts as to whether the American farmer understood the
importance of rotating his crops and of fertilizing his fields. The
farming implements in use showed little of that mechanical ingenuity
which is now characteristic of the American people. The plough was still
a clumsy affair with heavy beam and handles, and wooden mould-board. The
scythe, the sickle, and the flail were the same as their forbears had
used for centuries.

The demand of Europe for the food products of the Northern and Middle
States obscured for a time the importance of cotton as an article of
export. In 1790, South Carolina and Georgia, then the only
cotton-growing States, produced less than two million pounds of inferior
quality, none of which was exported. A decade later thirty-five million
pounds were raised, one half of which was exported; and Virginia, North
Carolina, and Tennessee had begun the cultivation. This sudden
development was due to the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney,
in 1793. This machine facilitated the separation of the seed from the
fiber of the short-staple variety of cotton, which alone could be
profitably cultivated in the uplands, and thus made possible a vast
extension of the area of cotton culture.

The cotton gin came at an opportune moment for the Southern planters,
since rice and indigo were declining in importance as exports, and their
gangs of African slaves were likely to become a burden. They could now
cultivate cotton under an extensive system of agriculture with large
immediate profits. Experience proved, however, that the system was
extraordinarily wasteful, leading to a rapid exhaustion of the soil.
This ever-recurring exhaustion of the soil and demand for new land was a
potent cause of the incessant pressure of population into the virgin
lands of the Southwest, in succeeding decades.

The new President was the embodiment of the national life. Although he
was tall of stature, he was not outwardly an impressive figure. His red,
freckled face wore a frank, good-natured expression, but he lacked
dignity and poise. "His whole figure has a loose, shackling air," wrote
a contemporary. "A laxity of manner seemed shed about him ... even his
discourse partook of his personal demeanor. It was loose and rambling."
With his blue coat and red waistcoat, his green velveteen breeches, yarn
stockings, and slippers down at the heels, he seemed to an English
visitor, who saw him in 1804, "very much like a tall, large-boned
farmer." Jefferson would have been the last to resent this epithet. No
man had a more profound respect for tillers of the soil. Years before he
had written: "Generally speaking, the proportion which the aggregate of
the other classes of citizens bears in any State to that of its
husbandmen is the proportion of its sound to its healthy parts, and is a
good enough barometer whereby to measure its degree of corruption." He
rejoiced in the agricultural possibilities of America. Could he have had
his way, he would have made the republic, in the apt phrase of Mr. Henry
Adams, "an enlarged Virginia--a society to be kept pure and free by the
absence of complicated interests, by the encouragement of agriculture
and of commerce as its handmaid." He abhorred cities and factories, and
dreaded the growth of a manufacturing and capitalist class.

An agricultural society bent upon justice, Jefferson believed, could
always protect itself against the aggressions of foreign nations. "Our
commerce," he wrote soon after his inauguration, "is so valuable to
them, that they will be glad to purchase it, when the only price we ask
is to do us justice. I believe we have in our own hands the means of
peaceable coercion." In this wise the United States would set an example
to the world of a society democratically organized and capable of
unlimited moral and physical progress.

As the head of a party which had effected a revolution in government,
Jefferson's first care was to reconcile his opponents to Republican
rule. The inaugural address emphasized the principles upon which all
republican governments must be based. It is often said that these
principles might have been uttered by Washington with equal
propriety--as good Federalist doctrine. This is to mistake the
significance of the revolution which had occurred. A party had triumphed
which Federalists firmly believed inimical to all government. The
announcement that the fundamental principles to which all Americans were
attached would guide the new Administration had a meaning which it would
not have had if uttered by a Federalist President. So far did Jefferson
lean in holding out the olive branch that he ran the risk of minimizing
the revolution of 1800. To say that "every difference of opinion is not
a difference of principle. We are all Republicans, we are all
Federalists," was to contradict his often expressed conviction that his
party had saved the country from monarchy.

Aside from such generalities as that wise government consists in
restraining men from injuring one another and leaving them free to
regulate their own pursuits, the inaugural address contains no
declaration of purpose or policies. No such reticence marks Jefferson's
private letters, which are, indeed, the best expression of his political
philosophy. Nowhere is the governing purpose of his Administration
stated more clearly than in a letter written just before his
inauguration. "Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns
only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other
nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the
better the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our
general government may be reduced to a very simple organization and a
very unexpensive one,--a few plain duties to be performed by a few

The first and most troublesome task of the Administration was to select
these few servants. Even in naming the heads of departments, the
President experienced some embarrassment, for, while Madison accepted
readily the Secretaryship of State and Albert Gallatin that of the
Treasury, the naval portfolio went begging. Robert Smith, of Maryland,
was finally persuaded to accept the post. Two New Englanders, Henry
Dearborn and Levi Lincoln, became Secretary of War and Attorney-General
respectively. Far more difficult was the distribution of the lesser
federal offices. Had Jefferson been free to follow his own inclination,
he would probably have made few removals, even though such a course
would have seemed somewhat inconsistent with his belief that Federalists
were monarchists at heart. He yielded slowly and reluctantly to the
demands of his partisans for their share of the offices; but he
professed to look forward with joy to that state of things when the only
questions concerning a candidate shall be, Is he honest? Is he capable?
Is he faithful to the Constitution?

The embarrassment of the President was all the greater because removals
from office were likely to defeat his policy of conciliating the
Federalists; and because the bestowal of offices was likely to alienate
some local faction, as in New York, where the Clintons and the
Livingstons were fighting the faction led by Burr. Once started on the
policy of removal, the descent was easy. The point of equilibrium
between the parties was soon passed. By the end of Jefferson's second
term of office, the civil service was as preponderatingly Republican as
it had been Federalist in 1800. It cannot be denied that Jefferson
opened the door to the spoils system; but it should be stated also that
he endeavored to make fitness a qualification for office. The charge
that offices were given indiscriminately to "wild Irishmen" and French
refugees, is not sustained by the facts. On the whole Jefferson's
appointments were not inferior in character to those of his
predecessors. The vicious aspects of the spoils system did not appear
for a generation.

As an opposition party the Republicans had always declaimed vociferously
against the powers wielded by the President. Jefferson sincerely wished
to avoid what he termed the monarchical tendencies of his predecessors;
and as an earnest of his intentions he abandoned not only levees but
also the practice of addressing Congress in a speech, since Republicans
held this custom a reprehensible imitation of the British speech from
the throne. Yet with characteristic indirection, Jefferson assigned
other reasons for substituting a written message for the usual personal
address. "I have had principal regard," said he, "to the convenience of
the Legislature, to the economy of their time, to their relief from the
embarrassment of immediate answers, on subjects not yet fully before
them, and to the benefits thence resulting to public affairs." It is
highly probable that Jefferson had his own convenience also in mind, for
he was not a ready nor an impressive speaker.

The keynote of the reforms which the President suggested tactfully to
Congress was economy. It was to effect a reduction of the debt, indeed,
that Jefferson had called Gallatin to the head of the Treasury. Eight
years later he wrote: "The discharge of the debt is vital to the
destinies of our government; we shall never see another President and
Secretary of the Treasury making all other objects subordinate to this."
By laborious calculation Gallatin reached the conclusion that if
$7,300,000 were set aside each year, the debt, principal and interest,
could be discharged within sixteen years. But the party was clamoring
for the reduction of taxes. The problem before the Secretary of the
Treasury was how to accomplish these antithetical purposes. The most
unpopular tax was unquestionably the excise. If this were cut out and
the estimated appropriation for the reduction of the debt were made, the
Government would be unable to live within its income. The only
alternative was to reduce expenditures. It was at this point that
Jefferson's "chaste reformation" of the government was to begin. Under
the Federalist régime, in anticipation of war with France, the
expenditures for the army and navy had mounted to six millions of
dollars, nearly double the normal expenditure of those departments. All
good Republicans would welcome a proposal to reverse the militant policy
of the Federalists, which, indeed, the return of peace seemed to make
unnecessary. It was agreed that the expenditures for the army and navy
should be kept below two million dollars.

Notwithstanding Jefferson's wish to avoid everything savoring of
executive dictation, he could not abdicate his position as leader of his
party. Throughout his first term, at least, he was the master mind
directing the policies of the party, in ways which were not less
effective because they were personal and indirect. The leadership in the
House of Representatives, which then overshadowed the Senate, fell to
Southern rather than to Northern Republicans. In close touch with the
Speaker, Nathaniel Macon, of North Carolina, and with the chairman of
the Committee of Ways and Means, the eccentric John Randolph, of
Roanoke, the Administration scored comparatively easy victories over the
Federalists on matters of financial policy.

The repeal of the Judiciary Act of 1801 was the second task which the
President laid upon the shoulders of Congress. No act of the outgoing
Administration had given greater offense. Jefferson expressed a general
impression when he declared that the Federalists, driven from the
legislative and executive branches of the Government, had retreated into
the judiciary as their stronghold. "There the remains of federalism are
to be preserved and fed from the Treasury; and from that battery all the
works of republicanism are to be beaten down and destroyed." But no
suggestion of this animus toward the Federalist judges appeared in the
studied moderation of the President's message. The President contented
himself with presenting a record of the causes decided by the courts, in
order that Congress might "judge of the proportion which the institution
bears to the business it has to perform."

[Map: Vote on Repeal of the Judiciary Act House of
Representatives March 2, 1802]

Taking their cue from the President, the Republican leaders in Congress
urged the repeal of the Judiciary Act on the ground that the new courts
had not justified their existence. Republican economy required that
unnecessary, and therefore improper, institutions should be abolished.
Certain bolder spirits like William Giles, of Virginia, however, frankly
admitted a fear of the "ultimate censorial and controlling power" of the
courts over all the departments of the Government--a control "over
legislation, execution, and decision, and irresponsible to the people."
In the background of the active mind of this Virginian was hostility to
the new courts "because of their tendency to produce a gradual
demolition of State Courts." If this last were the real reason for the
repeal of the act, consistency should have led the Republicans to revise
the whole judiciary system from the Supreme Court down. But for such
radical action few, if any, were prepared. The repealing act passed the
House by a party vote of fifty-nine to thirty-two, and was signed by the
President on March 8, 1802.

In the course of the acrimonious debate over the judiciary, Federalists
had challenged the constitutional right and power of Congress to vacate
the judgeships, asserting that the plain intent of the Constitution is
to place the judges beyond the power of Congress by prescribing a tenure
of office during good behavior. The challenge was disquieting, for with
John Marshall on the bench of the Supreme Court, the Republican
reformation of the courts might be brought to naught by an adverse
decision. A supplementary act was therefore passed which prevented the
Supreme Court from holding its usual session. It was hoped that when the
court met in the following year, Federalist partisanship would have lost
its violence.

Two obnoxious acts of the late Administration--the Alien and the
Sedition Acts--had expired by limitation. Congress suffered the Alien
Enemies Act to remain upon the statute book, but insisted upon the
repeal of the Naturalization Act of the year 1798. The time of residence
required of aliens before they could acquire citizenship was again fixed
at five years. With these rather meager performances, the reforms of the
Republicans came to an end.

Perhaps none of the last appointments of John Adams had so exasperated
his successor as that of John Marshall as Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court. Jefferson had an invincible repugnance for Marshall; and the
feeling was cordially reciprocated. Between these men there were
temperamental differences as wide as the ocean. Moreover, Jefferson
entertained the belief that all appointments made by Adams after the
results of the election were known were nullities, on the theory that a
retiring President might not bind his successor. Two years later, in
1803, in the famous case of _Marbury_ v. _Madison_, the Supreme Court,
speaking through the Chief Justice, took sharp issue with the President.
William Marbury had applied to the court for a _mandamus_ to compel
Madison, Secretary of State, to deliver his commission as justice of the
peace, which, it was alleged, had been duly signed and sealed, but never
delivered. The Supreme Court held that Marbury was entitled to his
commission. "To withhold his commission, therefore," said Marshall, "is
an act deemed by the Court not warranted by law, but violative of a
legal vested right." Let President Thomas Jefferson take notice of his
constitutional obligations.

The case of _Marbury_ v. _Madison_, however, has a much deeper
significance for constitutional history. Having asserted the right of
Marbury to his commission, the court disappointed expectations by
refusing to issue the writ of _mandamus_, on the ground that the power
to issue such writs was not conferred by the Constitution upon the
Supreme Court as part of its original jurisdiction. And as the Judiciary
Act of 1789 had conferred this authority, the court was impelled to
declare this provision of the act unwarranted by the Constitution and
therefore void. For the first time the Supreme Court asserted its power
to pronounce an act of Congress repugnant to the Constitution not to be
law, but void and of no effect. In substantiating its position, the
court did not inquire into the difficult question whether the framers of
the Constitution intended or expected the national judiciary to exercise
this authority. It was enough for the purposes of the court that the
Constitution was the supreme and paramount law of the land, established
by the people of the United States. The Constitution defines and limits
the powers of government it must then control any legislative act
repugnant to it. "Certainly all those who have framed written
constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount
law of the nation, and, consequently, the theory of every such
government must be, that an act of the legislature, repugnant to the
constitution, is void."

With equal certitude the court declared that it was the province and
duty of the judiciary to say what the law is. "Those who apply the rule
to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule.
If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the
operation of each." So if a law stood in opposition to the Constitution,
the court must decide which of these conflicting rules governs the case.
"This is of the very essence of judicial duty." Moreover, the judges may
not shut their eyes to the Constitution and see only the law, for they
are bound by oath to administer justice not according to the laws alone,
but "agreeably to the Constitution and the laws of the United States."
"Thus, the particular phraseology of the Constitution of the United
States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential
to all written constitutions, that a law repugnant to the Constitution
is void; and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by
that instrument."

On two other occasions the hostility of the Republican Administration
provoked a trial of strength with the Federalist judiciary. The
impeachment in 1804 of John Pickering, District Judge in New Hampshire,
on charges of intoxication and habits unfitting him for his duties,
amounted to little short of a tragedy. When the trial opened, Judge
Pickering did not appear, but representations made by his son showed
beyond a doubt that he was and had been for two years of unsound mind.
To convict a man of misdemeanors for which he was not morally
responsible seemed a travesty on justice. Yet there was no other
constitutional device for removing him. Though Pickering never appeared
in person, the managers for the House pressed the prosecution; and
rather than leave the administration of justice to a demented judge, the
Senate pronounced the unhappy man "guilty as charged," and resolved
that he should be removed from office.

On the same day that the Senate reached this monstrous decision, March
12, 1804, the House voted to impeach Justice Samuel Chase, of the
Supreme Court. While the defiant words of Chief Justice Marshall in the
Marbury case were still rankling in Jefferson's bosom, Justice Chase had
gone out of his way to attack the Administration, in addressing a grand
jury at Baltimore. The repeal of the Judiciary Act, he had declared, had
shaken the independence of the national judiciary to its foundations.
"Our republican Constitution," said he, "will sink into a mobocracy--the
worst of all possible governments." To appreciate the effect of this
partisan outburst upon the President, one must recall that Chase was the
judge who had presided at the trials of Fries and of Callender, and who
had left the bench to electioneer for John Adams in the campaign of
1800. Jefferson immediately wrote to Nicholson, who was managing
Pickering's impeachment, raising the question whether "this seditious
and official attack on the principles of our Constitution" ought to go

Such was Jefferson's way of initiating the measures of the
Administration. His supporters in the House were not over-eager to take
up the gauntlet, but as usual the wishes of the President prevailed. The
management of the impeachment of Chase fell to John Randolph, who was as
ill-fitted by temperament for the difficult task as a man could be.
Instead of impeaching Chase for his indiscretion at Baltimore, Randolph
dragged into the indictment his conduct on the bench during the trials
of Fries and of Callender, and certain errors in law which he was
alleged to have committed. The effect of these latter items was to range
all the bench on the side of Chase, for if a mere mistake in judgment
was a proper ground of impeachment, no judge was safe in his tenure.
Justice Chase secured some of the best legal talent in the country to
conduct his defense; and the trial assumed from the outset a spectacular
character from the personalities involved.

The managers of the impeachment were far from consistent in their
conception of the nature of impeachable offenses. Randolph, Campbell,
and Giles held that an impeachment was "a kind of inquest into the
conduct of an officer merely as it regards his office," rather than a
criminal prosecution. A judge, in short, might be removed for a mistake
in the administration of the law. Nicholson rejected this theory,
contending that impeachment was essentially a criminal prosecution which
aimed at not only the removal but also the punishment of the offender.
Yet the managers had not specified any offense which could be called a
"high crime" or "misdemeanor" within the meaning of the Constitution.
The counsel for Justice Chase, on the other hand, held consistently to
the position that a judge might not be impeached or removed from office
for anything short of an indictable offense, an offense indictable under
the known law of the land.

From the first, the legal counsel for the accused were more than a
match for the managers. Randolph's erratic course culminated in an
impassioned but incoherent speech which closed the argument for the
prosecution and left the outcome hardly in doubt. Not one of the
articles of impeachment received the two-thirds majority which was
necessary to convict. The eighth article, which touched upon the real
provocation for the trial,--the harangue at Baltimore,--received the
highest vote; but nearly one fourth of the Republican Senators refused
to sustain the managers. The acquittal of Chase was, therefore, a
judgment against Randolph. He never recovered his lost prestige as the
leader of his party in the House. Jefferson could accept Randolph's
downfall with equanimity, but not the failure of the impeachment. Years
afterward he wrote, bitterly that impeachment was "an impracticable
thing, a mere scarecrow." From this time on, said he, the judges held
office without any sense of responsibility, led "by a crafty chief-judge
who sophisticates the law to his mind by the turn of his own reasoning."


     Although the general histories contain much that is important for
     an understanding of the administrations of Jefferson, the
     authority _par excellence_ is Henry Adams, _History of the United
     States of America_ (9 vols., 1889-91). Chapters I-VI of the first
     volume contain an excellent description of American society about
     1800; but for the details of social and economic life the reader
     will turn to McMaster. A briefer account of the Jeffersonian
     régime may be found in Channing, _The Jeffersonian System,
     1801-1811_ (in _The American Nation_, vol. 12, 1906). Henry Adams
     has also contributed two biographies to this period: _Life of
     Albert Gallatin_ (1878), and _John Randolph_(1882). The Federalist
     point of view is admirably presented in S. E. Morison, _The Life
     and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis_ (2 vols., 1913). The larger
     biographies of Jefferson are: H. S. Randall, _Life of Thomas
     Jefferson_ (3 vols., 1858), commonly referred to as the standard
     biography, though exceedingly partisan; G. Tucker, _Life of Thomas
     Jefferson_ (2 vols., 1837); and James Parton, _Life of Thomas



Not a war cloud was in the sky when Jefferson took the oath of office.
The European calm, to be sure, proved to be only a lull in the tempest
of war which was to rage fifteen years longer; but no man could have
cast the horoscope of Europe in that age of storm and stress. The times
seemed auspicious for the Republican program of retrenchment and
economy. Jefferson was so sanguine of continued peace that he would have
been glad to lay up all seven of the frigates which then constituted the
navy in the eastern branch of the Potomac, where "they would be under
the immediate eye of the department, and would require but one set of
plunderers to take care of them." Peace was his passion, he frankly
avowed. He would have been glad to banish all the paraphernalia of war.
Yet within three months the United States was at war with an
insignificant Mediterranean power and menaced by France from an
unexpected quarter.

Early in the spring of 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli, one of the Barbary
powers which for years had preyed upon the commerce of the
Mediterranean, declared war upon the United States by cutting down the
flagstaff at the residence of the American consul. European states had
purchased immunity for their commerce by paying tribute to these
rapacious pirates; and the United States had followed the custom. The
Pasha of Tripoli, however, was dissatisfied with the American tribute, a
paltry eighty-three thousand dollars, and demanded more. The other
Barbary powers threatened to make common cause with him. Anticipating
trouble, Jefferson had sent a small squadron to the Mediterranean even
before the dramatic act of the Pasha at the American consulate; and
hostilities began on August 1 with the capture of a corsair by the
schooner Enterprise. Therewith Jefferson's dreams of a navy for coast
defense only vanished in thin air.

Contrary to all expectations, the Tripolitan War dragged on for four
years, causing the peace-loving Administration no end of embarrassment.
So far from reducing expenditures, Gallatin was obliged to devise new
ways and means for an ever-increasing naval force. An additional duty of
two and one half per cent was laid on all imports which paid an _ad
valorem_ duty, and the proceeds were kept as a separate treasury
account. The Administration was sensitive to the charge that it was
guilty of the very crime which it had accused the Federalists of
committing--"taxing the industry of our fellow citizens to accumulate
treasure for war." With superior wisdom and a higher sense of popular
responsibility, the Republicans, so the argument ran, were establishing
a "Mediterranean Fund," so that the people might know in detail just
what was collected and spent for war purposes.

Tales of individual daring go far to relieve the tedious record of
ineffective blockades and bombardments during the war. Two exploits left
an imperishable memory in the minds of contemporaries--Lieutenant
Stephen Decatur's destruction of the captured frigate Philadelphia,
under the guns of the forts in the harbor of Tripoli; and the tragic
death of Lieutenant Richard Somers and the crew of the Intrepid, as they
were about to blow up the Tripolitan gunboats in the harbor. These deeds
of heroic adventure created the very last thing that Jefferson desired,
something closely akin to an _esprit de corps_ in the new navy.

It was not so much the onslaughts of Commodore Preble's gunboats,
however, as an unexpected attack on his eastern frontier which brought
the Pasha to terms. His exiled brother, Hamet Caramelli, had fallen in
with an American adventurer by the name of Eaton, who persuaded him to
join an expedition against their common enemy. With a motley army they
marched across the desert from Egypt and fell upon the outlying domains
of the Pasha. That astute monarch then yielded to persuasion. On June 3,
1805, with many protestations that he was being subjected to humiliating
terms, he agreed to live on terms of peace with the United States and
renounce all claim to tribute; but his injured feelings were salved by a
ransom of sixty thousand dollars for the crew of the Philadelphia. The
Pasha's brother was rewarded with a pension of two hundred dollars a

At the same moment that hostilities broke out in the Mediterranean,
Jefferson heard disquieting news from France. "There is considerable
reason to apprehend," he wrote to Monroe, on May 26, 1801, "that Spain
cedes Louisiana and the Floridas to France. It is a policy very unwise
in both, and very ominous to us." What Jefferson apprehended was,
indeed, an accomplished fact. On October 1, 1800, the day after Joseph
Napoleon, in the name of his brother, set his hand to the Treaty of
Morfontaine, which restored amicable relations between France and the
United States, General Berthier under instructions from Napoleon signed
at Ildefonso a treaty which restored Louisiana to France. In effect, as
Mr. Henry Adams says, the second treaty undid the work of the first.

The retrocession of Louisiana, long desired and sought by the Directory,
was regarded by Talleyrand as a diplomatic triumph of first magnitude.
The price, easily paid by one who held Italy under his iron heel, was a
kingdom in Tuscany for the young Duke of Parma, nephew and son-in-law of
Charles IV of Spain. The gateway to this vast province was New Orleans,
and the avenue of approach lay by way of Santo Domingo, once an
important French colony, but now under the rule of Toussaint
L'Ouverture. Before Talleyrand's dream of a revived colonial empire in
the heart of the North American continent could be realized, this
"gilded African" must be removed and Santo Domingo restored to its
former position as the center of the French West Indies. The conquest of
a negro republic surely could not be a difficult undertaking for one who
had humbled Austria on the battlefields of northern Italy. In November,
1801, Napoleon dispatched Leclerc with an army of ten thousand men to
recover Santo Domingo.

Jefferson was thoroughly alarmed at the news of Leclerc's expedition.
"Every eye in the United States," he wrote, "is now fixed on this affair
of Louisiana. Perhaps nothing since the Revolutionary War has produced
more uneasy sensations through the body of the nation." No discerning
man could mistake the significance of the expedition; the French troops
would proceed to Louisiana after finishing their work in Santo Domingo.
The retrocession of Louisiana, in short, as Jefferson said, completely
reversed all the political relations of the United States. Hitherto,
from the Republican point of view, France had been our natural friend.
Henceforth, as the possessor of New Orleans, through which three eighths
of the produce of the West passed to market, she became a natural and
habitual enemy. "France placing herself in that door," wrote Jefferson
to Livingston, "assumes to us the attitude of defiance. The impetuosity
of her temper, the energy and restlessness of her character, placed in a
point of eternal friction with us, and our character, ... these
circumstances render it impossible that France and the United States can
continue long friends when they meet in so irritable a position.... The
day that France takes possession of New Orleans fixes the sentence which
is to restrain her forever within her low-water mark. It seals the union
of two nations who in conjunction can maintain exclusive possession of
the ocean. From that moment we must marry ourselves to the British fleet
and nation."

Even as he expressed his apprehensions to Livingston, then Minister to
France, Jefferson suggested ways and means for averting the clash of
conflicting interests. If France was bent on possessing and holding
Louisiana, might she not make concessions for the sake of retaining the
friendship of the United States? Livingston was to sound the French
Government to ascertain whether it would entertain the idea of ceding
the Island of New Orleans and the Floridas. "We should consider New
Orleans and the Floridas as equivalent for the risk of a quarrel with
France produced by her vicinage," he assured Livingston.

What the Western world had to fear from the French occupation of
Louisiana appeared in November, 1802, when Governor Claiborne, of the
Mississippi Territory, reported that the right of deposit at New Orleans
had been withdrawn. The act, to be sure, was that of the Spanish
intendant, but every one believed that it had been incited by France.
The people of the Western waters, particularly in Tennessee and
Kentucky, were outraged and demanded instant war against the aggressor.
Even in Congress a war party raised its head. During all this popular
clamor the self-restraint of the Administration was admirable. The
annual message ignored the existence of the war party and referred to
the cession of Louisiana in colorless language worthy of Talleyrand.

The Administration was not, however, without a well-considered policy.
In January, at the instance of party leaders, an appropriation of two
million dollars was voted by Congress "to defray any expenses in
relation to the intercourse between the United States and foreign
nations"; and James Monroe was appointed Minister Extraordinary to
France and Spain, to aid Livingston and Pinckney in "enlarging and more
effectually securing our rights and interests in the river Mississippi
and in the territories eastward thereof."

Meantime, Napoleon's colonial schemes had received a decisive check. The
transfer of Louisiana had been delayed by the opposition of Godoy, who
had returned to royal favor in Spain; Leclerc's invading army had been
worn away by the attrition of incessant war with the negroes; a second
army had been decimated by yellow fever; and finally Leclerc himself had
succumbed to the dread destroyer, leaving the remnants of the French
troops to their fate. Without the most extraordinary exertions, Santo
Domingo was lost; and what was Louisiana without the island which was
the very heart of the projected colonial system? The First Consul was
almost ready to abandon a project which after all had originated in
Talleyrand's brain rather than in his own. What he sought was a fair
pretext to cover his retreat from failure.

Livingston plied the French Ministers with arguments to prove that it
was good policy to put the Americans in possession of the Island of
Orleans. One day, while he was repeating the old story, Talleyrand
suddenly asked what he would give for the whole of Louisiana. For the
moment Livingston was nonplussed, and declined to make any offer.
Talleyrand repeated his question and Livingston replied that twenty
millions of francs would be a fair price, if France would pay the
spoliation claims of American citizens since the Treaty of 1800.
Talleyrand demurred: the sum was too small. Thereupon Livingston
promised to advise with Monroe who was expected soon.

Monroe, as it happened, arrived on this very day. On the following day
Livingston learned casually from Marbois, a minister who stood very
close to the First Consul, that Napoleon had named a hundred million
francs and the payment of the American spoliation claims as the price of
Louisiana. Further conversation elicited the information that Napoleon
would consider an offer of sixty million francs with claims amounting to
twenty millions more. For a fortnight the two envoys, at the risk of
losing everything, sought to secure better terms. But the First Consul
would not abate his demands. On May 2, 1803, Livingston and Monroe set
their signatures to a treaty by which Napoleon agreed to sell a province
of which he was not in possession and which he had contracted never to
alienate. The price to be paid was the sum last named, amounting in
American figures to $11,250,000. The amount of outstanding claims which
the United States agreed to assume was estimated at $3,750,000. After
signing his name to the treaty, Livingston rose and shook hands with
Monroe and Marbois. "We have lived long," he said with emotion, "but
this is the noblest work of our lives."

In less exalted moments, Livingston and Monroe may well have
experienced some disquietude at what they had done. The instructions
given to Monroe contemplated no more extensive purchase than New Orleans
and West Florida, at a sum not exceeding $10,000,000. The envoys had set
out to purchase a tract of land which controlled the delta of the
Mississippi they had acquired an empire beyond the Mississippi whose
limits they did not know, at a price which exceeded their allowance by
$5,000,000. Besides, it was not at first believed that West Florida was
included in this purchase. Livingston was keenly disappointed, until on
narrower examination he found, in the words of the treaty, evidence
which satisfied him that France--to quote Mr. Henry Adams--"had actually
bought West Florida without knowing it and had sold it to the United
States without being paid for it." The words on which he founded his
theory were those which retroceded Louisiana "with the same extent as it
now has in the hands of Spain, and that it had when France possessed it,
and such as it should be according to the treaties subsequently entered
into between Spain and the other States." Monroe soon adopted
Livingston's view and pressed it upon the President.

The news of the purchase of Louisiana reached the United States in the
latter part of June and occasioned much rejoicing among stanch
Republicans of the Middle and Southern States. The people east of the
Alleghanies were densely ignorant about this Spanish province, but they
sensed in a vague way that its possession by a power like France would
have dragged the United States into the maelstrom of European politics.
The Federalists of the Eastern States looked askance at this as at every
act of the Administration of Thomas Jefferson, without knowing anything
about this vast domain beyond the Mississippi. The President himself was
not much better informed about Louisiana. In a report to Congress he
undertook to put together such information as he could cull from books
of travel and pick up by hearsay. His credulity led him into some
amazing statements. A thousand miles up the Missouri, he stated soberly,
there was a salt mountain, one hundred and eighty miles long and
forty-five miles in width, composed of solid rock salt, without any
trees or even shrubs on it. He would not have believed the tale but for
the testimony of travelers who had shown specimens of the salt to the
people of St. Louis. Federalist newspapers made merry over the
President's discovery. "Can this be Lot's wife?" asked one editor.

But Jefferson had already taken steps to dispel general ignorance about
the Far West. Securing from Congress an appropriation for an expedition
among the Missouri Indians, ostensibly to extend the external commerce
of the United States, he commissioned his private secretary, Meriwether
Lewis, and William Clark, brother of George Rogers Clark, to undertake
one of the most important explorations in American annals. With a body
of picked men, Lewis and Clark made their way to the upper waters of the
Missouri, and passed the winter of 1804-05 among the Mandans. In the
following spring and summer they crossed the Rocky Mountains to the
waters of the Columbia. Here they spent a second winter, and then began
their arduous return, by way of the Great Divide, the Yellowstone River,
and the Missouri, to St. Louis. The journals of the members of this
expedition are a remarkable record of personal adventures and scientific
observations. It was not until 1814, however, that the details of this
expedition were given to the public.

Meantime, Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike had won immediate fame by
publishing an account of two thrilling expeditions into the Far West. On
the first expedition Pike traced the upper course of the Mississippi
almost to its source; on the second, begun soon after his return to St.
Louis in 1806, he followed the course of the Arkansas to the peak which
bears his name. His attempt to explore the headwaters of the Rio Grande,
which he mistook for the Red River, led to his capture by the Spanish
authorities. After a roundabout journey through Mexico and Texas, he was
released on the Louisiana frontier.

Unexpected as the acquisition of Louisiana was to the Administration,
President Jefferson was quick to appreciate the vast importance of the
province to the United States. "Giving us the sole dominion of the
Mississippi," he wrote, "it excludes those bickerings with foreign
powers, which we know of a certainty would have put us at war with
France immediately: and it secures to us the course of a peaceable
nation." At the same time he was equally quick to see that the
acquisition would give "a handle to the malcontents." To his intimates
he avowed with the utmost frankness that the Administration had
exceeded its constitutional powers. The Constitution, he conceived, did
not contemplate the acquisition of territory not included within the
limits fixed by the Treaty of 1783. Yet he was firmly convinced of the
practical necessity of ratifying the treaty of purchase. The only way
out of the dilemma, he thought, was frankly "to rely on the nation to
sanction an act done for its great good, without its previous

Never doubting that so benevolent a purpose would be cordially approved,
Jefferson drafted an amendment to the Constitution authorizing the
acquisition of Louisiana and providing for its government. To his
surprise, leading Republicans received his proposal with indifference,
not to say with coolness. Nicholas thought that the power to acquire
territory by treaty might fairly be inferred from the Constitution, and
advised the President not to run the risk of turning the Senate against
the treaty by raising constitutional scruples. In much distress of
spirit Jefferson replied that to assume by free construction the power
to acquire territory was to make blank paper of the Constitution. If the
treaty-making power could be stretched in this fashion, then there was
no limit to its extent. But finding that his party did not share his
scruples, Jefferson abandoned his amendment to the Constitution,
"confiding that the good sense of our country will correct the evil of
construction when it shall produce ill effects." Hamilton in all the
pride of triumphant Federalism had never gone further than this.

The debates in Congress over the treaty are full of interest to the
student of constitutional law. The treaty fairly bristled with
controversial points. The exigencies of politics played havoc with
consistency. Parties seemed to have changed sides. Federalists borrowed
state-rights arguments without a tremor; and Republicans employed the
language of centralization with Federalist facility. Federalists from
New England looked beyond the immediate issue and discerned the
inevitable economic as well as political consequences of westward
expansion. The men who would have naturally populated the vacant lands
of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont would inevitably seek this "new
paradise of Louisiana," observed a New England pamphleteer. Jeffersonian
Democracy rather than Federalism would become the creed of these
transplanted New Englanders, if Ohio were a fair example of future
Western Commonwealths. Moreover, as these new States would in all
probability enter the Union as slaveholding communities, they would
further impair the influence of the Eastern States in the National
Government. Even the remnant of the Federalist party in the South
opposed the purchase of Louisiana, fearing that the Atlantic States
would be depressed in influence by the formation of great States in the

Upon one great constitutional principle, both Federalists and
Republicans were disposed to agree: that the United States had the power
to acquire foreign territory, either by treaty or conquest. Senator
Tracy, of Connecticut, conceded this point, but denied that the
inhabitants of an acquired territory could be admitted into the Union
and be made citizens by treaty. In providing that "the inhabitants of
the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union," the
Administration had exceeded its constitutional authority. The consent of
all the States was necessary to admit into the Union. Senator Pickering,
of Massachusetts, held the same view. "I believe the assent of each
individual State to be necessary," said he, "for the admission of a
foreign country as an associate in the Union, in like manner as in a
commercial house the consent of each member would be necessary to admit
a new partner into the company." To this line of argument, Taylor, of
Virginia, replied that the words of the treaty did not contemplate the
erection of the ceded territory as a State, but its incorporation as a

On October 17, 1803, the Senate ratified the treaty by a vote
of twenty-four to seven. Two constitutional principles seemed,
therefore, to be decided: the Government had a constitutional
right to acquire foreign territory; and the treaty-making power could
incorporate--whatever that expression might mean--such territory into
the Union. A third matter of policy had yet to be determined: what
powers had Congress over the new territory? Two courses lay open, either
to make Louisiana a part of the "territory" which the Constitution gives
Congress power to "dispose of," or to hold the province as a dependency
apart from other organized Territories. The provisional act which
Congress adopted pointed in this latter direction, since it authorized
the President to take possession of the province and concentrated all
powers, civil and military, in the hands of agents to be appointed by
him. When objection was made that such despotic authority was
incompatible with the Constitution, Rodney, of Maryland, declared in the
House of Representatives that Congress had a power in the Territories
which it could not exercise in the States, and that the limitations of
power found in the Constitution were applicable to States and not to
Territories. The Republicans were making rapid progress in learning the
vocabulary of Federalism.

It is one of the ironies of history that the province over which parties
battled with so much display of legal profundity was not yet in the
possession of the First Consul. Six months after the ratification of the
treaty, in the old Cabildo at New Orleans, Laussat received from the
Spanish governor the keys of the city and took possession of the
province in the name of his master. For twenty days the Tricolor floated
over the Place d'Armes, emblem of the shadowy French tenure. On December
2, it, in turn, gave place to the Stars and Stripes, as Louisiana passed
into the hands of the last of its rulers, the puissant young republic.

In the following year Congress divided the province, giving to the
southern part, the Territory of Orleans, which contained most of the
inhabitants, a separate territorial government, and annexing the
sparsely settled upper part to the Indiana Territory. The Act of 1804
was roundly abused because it gave to the President the appointment of
all officers in the Territory of Orleans, even the appointment of the
legislative council of thirteen. By the treaty, it was pointed out, the
inhabitants of Louisiana were guaranteed all "the rights, advantages,
and immunities of citizens of the United States." Was not representative
government one of these privileges? The obvious answer was the
unpreparedness of the Spanish inhabitants for Anglo-American
institutions. To the Western American who floated down the Mississippi,
past the cotton-fields and sugar plantations cultivated by African
negroes, and who landed his cargo on the levee at New Orleans, among the
motley throngs, province and city seemed like a foreign country, and the
inhabitants aliens in speech and habits. From the buildings, with their
many arcades and balconies and varied coloring, to the courts of law
where the Code Napoléon, introduced by Laussat, added confusion to the
Spanish law, the atmosphere of New Orleans was that of a city of the Old
World, where one civilization was superimposed upon an older. Men bred
in the traditions of the English law might reasonably doubt whether the
people of Louisiana were ready for self-government.

Before the new territorial government could be organized, a remonstrance
had been drawn up by the people of Louisiana and forwarded by three
commissioners with all possible dispatch to Washington. In the following
year (1805), Congress so far yielded to the complaints of the people of
Louisiana as to authorize an elective assembly and to hold out the
promise of eventual statehood.

But what were the bounds of Louisiana? No one knew with certitude. The
letters of Livingston and Monroe had convinced Jefferson that Louisiana
included at least West Florida, and for two years he sought by every
diplomatic device to wrest from Spain a confirmation of this shadowy
title. That Spain did not intend to cede West Florida and that France
had no expectation of receiving it seems clear enough from the
instructions to Laussat. What he handed over to the American
representative was Louisiana, with the Rio Bravo and the Iberville as
boundaries. With some show of right, Jefferson might have occupied
Texas; he preferred, however, to chase his phantom claim to Florida. For
Texas nobody then cared, but the Floridas were coveted by Southern

In a letter written soon after the signing of the Louisiana Treaty,
Robert Livingston relates a suggestive conversation which he had with
Talleyrand. "What are the eastern bounds of Louisiana?" asked Livingston
rather naively. "I do not know," replied Talleyrand; "you must take it
as we received it." "But what did you mean to take?" Livingston
insisted. "I do not know," was the reply. "Then you mean that we shall
construe it our own way?" "I can give you no direction," replied the
astute Frenchman. "You have made a noble bargain for yourselves, and I
suppose you will make the most of it."


     The history of the Barbary Wars is well told by G. W. Allen, _Our
     Navy and the Barbary Corsairs_(1905), and by C. O. Paullin,
     _Commodore John Rodgers_(1910). The investigations of Henry Adams
     in foreign archives enabled him to treat the diplomatic history of
     the purchase of Louisiana with great fullness. F. A. Ogg, _The
     Opening of the Mississippi_(1904), and J. K. Hosmer, _The
     Louisiana Purchase_ (1902), contain brief accounts of the
     acquisition of the province. The actual route of the Lewis and
     Clark expedition may be traced with the aid of O. D. Wheeler, _The
     Trail of Lewis and Clark_, 1804-1904 (1904). The constitutional
     aspects of the Louisiana Treaty and the subsequent legislation for
     the territory are discussed at length by Adams, and less
     satisfactorily by Schouler and Von Holst. Channing, _The
     Jeffersonian System, 1801-1811_ (1906), contains a good account of
     the whole episode. The problem of the original boundaries is
     discussed by F. E. Chadwick, _The Relations of the United States
     and Spain_(1909).



Down to the end of the eighteenth century, the people of New England
possessed a greater degree of social solidarity than any other section
of the Union. Descended from English stock, imbued with common religious
and political traditions, and bound together by the ties of a common
ecclesiastical polity, they cherished, as Jefferson expressed it, "a
sort of family pride" which existed nowhere else between people of
different States. In New England, there were elements of political and
religious dissent, to be sure, but the domination of the Congregational
clergy and the magistracy was hardly less complete in the year 1800 than
fifty years earlier. New England was governed by "the wise, the good,
and the rich." All the forces of education, property, religion, and
respectability were united in the maintenance of the established order
against the assaults of democracy. New England Federalism was not so
much a body of political doctrines as a state of mind. Abhorrence of the
forces liberated by the French Revolution was perhaps the dominating
emotion. Democracy seemed an aberration of the human mind, which was
bound everywhere to produce the same results in society. Jacobinism was
the inevitable outcome. "The principles of democracy are everywhere what
they have been in France," wrote Ames. "Democracy is a troubled spirit,
fated never to rest, and whose dreams, if it sleeps, present only
visions of hell."

In 1801, New England was in bitter, irreconcilable opposition to the
National Administration. The situation was fraught with grave
possibilities. Jefferson himself looked forward to "an uneasy
government," if the whole body of New England continued in opposition to
Republican principles. Ordinary political opposition was to be expected,
of course; but a sectional opposition, fortified by a social solidarity
like that of New England, was a menace to the Union. From the moment
when he took the oath of office, Jefferson directed his best energies to
the Republican conquest of New England. It was a policy dictated not
only by partisan considerations, but also by the highest instincts of
statesmanship. The fair-minded historian is bound to record that the
Jeffersonian party in this period of its history was, in spite of all
its inconsistencies, a potent agency in the maintenance of the Union.

The first conquest of the Republicans was that of Rhode Island in the
first year of the new Administration. The President was deeply gratified
by what he called "the regeneration of Rhode Island," interpreting the
event as "the beginning of that resurrection of the genuine spirit of
New England." Vermont, he prophesied, would next emerge from under the
yoke of the Federalist hierarchy; and the fall election verified his
prediction. Elsewhere the contest was more stubborn and prolonged, but
the Federalists noted with alarm that the Republican vote was
increasing everywhere. By the end of Jefferson's first term, the number
of Republican voters in New England very nearly equaled that of their

The ranks of the Republican party were recruited largely from the rural
districts, where hostility to the mercantile and moneyed classes was
most bitter. It was the old alignment of the men of little or no
personal property against the prosperous and well-to-do classes. From
this point of view the Republican movement was an attack upon the
privileged orders, an attempt to break down the social hierarchy of New
England. Closely connected with the political movement was also the
struggle of the Baptists and the Methodists to secure religious freedom
in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The dissenters looked to Jefferson as
their natural leader; and the bitter opposition of the Congregational
clergy to the spread of democracy was due to their persistent, and no
doubt sincere, belief that dissent and democracy were manifestations of
the same radical and destructive spirit.

The rising tide of Republicanism and the increasing popularity of the
Administration cast the Federalist leaders into the deepest gloom. The
annexation of Louisiana was regarded as a mortal blow, since it
imperiled the ascendency of New England in the Union, and New England
was the stronghold of Federalism. At the beginning of the year 1804,
most of the Federalist members of Congress from New England were agreed
in thinking that a crisis was approaching. Democracy was about to
triumph over the forces of law and order. The only question was how to
save their section, where the ravages of Jacobinism could yet be stayed.
There was but one answer, from the point of view of Senator Timothy
Pickering. The people of the Eastern States could not reconcile their
habits, views, and interests with those of the South and West:
therefore, let them withdraw from the Union and form a Northern
Confederation. Plumer, of New Hampshire, and Tracy and Griswold, of
Connecticut, were in hearty agreement with this view. Pickering then put
his project before the members of the coterie of Federalists in
Massachusetts, which was generally known as the "Essex Junto." As the
confederacy shaped itself in Pickering's imagination, it would of
necessity include New York, which would act as a barrier to the
insidious inroads of Southern Jacobinism; but Massachusetts should
initiate the movement.

Replying for his intimates in the Essex Junto, George Cabot put aside
the project, not as in any wise morally reprehensible,--on the contrary,
he thought separation desirable,--but as impracticable. The people of
New England were not aware of their danger and therefore not prepared
for so radical a movement. The only chance for a successful revolution,
Cabot thought, would be "a war with Great Britain manifestly provoked by
our rulers." Pickering and Griswold then turned to New York for support
and to Aaron Burr.

The Vice-President was at this time without political influence in the
Administration, and without credit, either morally or politically. In
New York, the Livingstons and the Clintons, whom he had mortally
offended, were determined to drive him from the party. At first, Burr
was inclined to give way: he even applied to the President for an
executive appointment; but this resource failing, he determined to fight
his enemies to the bitter end. In February, 1804, he was nominated for
governor by a group of his friends in the legislature, in opposition to
the Clinton faction. It was well known that many Federalists would
support his candidacy. At this crucial moment, Pickering and Griswold
sought out Burr as an ally. As Governor of New York, they intimated, he
would be in a strategic position and could take the lead in the
secession of the Northern States. His leadership in the movement, in
short, was to be the price of Federalist support at the polls. But the
shifty Burr would not commit himself further than to promise an
administration satisfactory to the Federalists. The conspirators had to
rest content with this vague assurance and to count on Burr's ambition,
and his desire to be revenged upon his enemies, to bind him to their

Meantime, Alexander Hamilton was straining every nerve to prevent the
Federalists from indorsing the man who stood in the way of his own
ambition and whom he believed to be a dangerous and unprincipled
character. Some vestige of prudence kept the party from committing
itself openly to Burr, but its vote was cast for him. Burr carried his
old stronghold, New York City, but he was beaten elsewhere in the State.
The hopes of the Federalists were shattered; the conspirators were
confounded; and the bubble of a Northern Confederacy vanished.

The immediate consequences of this political episode were personal.
Hamilton had again thwarted the ambitions and incurred the deadly enmity
of an embittered political desperado. A challenge followed and was
accepted. On a summer morning, July 11, 1804, at Weehawken across the
Hudson, the rivals faced each other for the last time. Hamilton threw
away his fire: Burr aimed with murderous intent, and Hamilton fell
mortally wounded. From this moment Burr was a marked man and an outcast
from respectable society in the East. The newer society of the West,
less sensitive in such matters, thought none the less of a man who had
shot his foe in a fair fight. Thither Burr betook himself when his term
of office expired.

As the presidential election approached, the Republicans determined to
prevent any recurrence of the accident which had so nearly seated Burr
in the President's chair. This resolve took the form of a constitutional
amendment which provided that presidential electors should designate on
distinct ballots the persons voted for as President and Vice-President.
To change the Constitution in this wise was a delicate matter. No part
of the work of the Federal Convention had been more difficult than to
reconcile the small-State party to the mode provided for the election of
a President. The final settlement had been accepted only in the
expectation that in most cases the electoral college would fail to
elect, and that a choice would then be made by the House of
Representatives, where the small States would have an equal voice with
the large States. To remove the chances of an election by the House was
to upset the original compromise and to increase the importance of the
large States in the initial election.

Another consequence would follow the proposed change. The office of
Vice-President would be degraded. Roger Griswold clearly foresaw this
eventuality. "The office will generally be carried into the market,"
said he, "to be exchanged for the votes of some large States for
President; and the only criterion which will be regarded as a
qualification for the office of Vice-President will be the temporary
influence of the candidate over the electors of his State."
Notwithstanding these and many less obvious objections, the amendment
was adopted by a party vote in Congress and promptly ratified by
thirteen out of the sixteen States before the fall elections.

The campaign of 1804 was uneventful. The congressional caucus of the
Republican party dropped Burr as a candidate and nominated George
Clinton, of New York. Jefferson was the unanimous choice of his party.
The depressed Federalists supported Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of
South Carolina, and Rufus King, of New York, as their candidates.
Jefferson was triumphantly reëlected with the loss of only two States,
Connecticut and Delaware, and of two electoral votes in Maryland. Well
might he exult at the discomfiture of his enemies. "The two parties," he
wrote to Volney, "are almost melted into one."

[Map: The Yazoo-Georgia Land Controversy]

Below the calm surface of Republican politics, however, dangerous
counter-currents swirled. For a time the controversy over the Yazoo land
claims seemed likely to be a reef on which Republican unity would be
shattered. Both the United States and Georgia laid claim to the great
Western tract which is now occupied by the States of Mississippi and
Alabama. But Georgia with a stronger _prima facie_ case evinced little
regard for the claims of the Federal Government. In 1795, while a mania
for land speculation was sweeping over the country, the legislature
yielded to corrupt influences and sold some thirty-five million acres in
the disputed territory for the sum of $500,000 to four land companies.
In the following year, the people of Georgia rose in their wrath, turned
out the corrupt legislators, and forced the passage of a rescinding act.
Meantime, sales had been made by the Yazoo speculators to guileless
purchasers, who now appealed to Congress for relief. In 1798, Congress
enacted a law providing for commissioners who should confer with Georgia
regarding these conflicting claims. At the same time the Territory of
Mississippi was organized.

Such was the status of the Yazoo land claims when Jefferson became
President. It fell to him to appoint the federal commissioners. They
wrestled manfully with the perplexing details of the controversy, and in
1802 reported what they believed to be a fair settlement of the claims
of all parties. Georgia was to cede her Western lands to the United
States in return for a payment of $1,250,000 and an agreement on the
part of the Federal Government to extinguish all Indian titles within
her limits as soon as might be. In the course of time this Western
territory was to be admitted as a State. Five million acres were to be
set aside to satisfy the claims of those who had suffered loss by the
rescinding act of Georgia.

The morbid imagination of John Randolph could see nothing but jobbery in
this proposal to satisfy claims which had been fraudulently obtained
from the Legislature of Georgia. There can be little doubt that
Randolph's hatred for Madison, who was a member of the federal
commission, influenced his subsequent action. On two occasions, in 1804
and again in 1805, he assailed the proposed compromise, and twice he
secured a postponement, though he could not defeat the bill which
embodied the conclusions of the commission. From this time on Randolph
was never more than an uncertain ally of the Administration. The few
politicians who still followed his lead were styled rather
contemptuously "Quids." Even Republicans with slender classical training
grasped the significance of a _tertium quid_. Yet Randolph was still a
power in the House.

The Yazoo affair dragged on for years. In 1810, a decision of the
Supreme Court gave aid and comfort to the opposition. In the case of
_Fletcher_ v. _Peck_, the court held that the original Act of 1795,
conveying the Yazoo grants, was a contract within the meaning of the
Constitution which might not be impaired by subsequent legislation. It
was not until 1814 that Congress voted $8,000,000 to the claimants under
this act and so settled one of the most obstinate controversies in the
history of Congress.

In the fall of 1805, Jefferson seemed about to realize what had been the
object of his diplomatic endeavors ever since the acquisition of
Louisiana. Intimations came from Talleyrand that the Floridas might be
obtained by purchase if the United States would prevail upon Spain to
refer the whole dispute to Napoleon. On December 3, 1805, he sent a
message to Congress which seemed to break completely with all
Jeffersonian precedents. It recounted the failure of negotiations with
Spain, and spoke sternly of the depredations committed in the new
Territories by Spanish officers and soldiers. The Administration had
found it necessary to order the troops on the frontier to be in
readiness to repel future aggressions. Some of the injuries committed
admitted of a peaceable remedy. Some of them were "of a nature to be met
by force only, and all of them may lead to it." Coupled with these
admonitions were suggestions for the fortification of seaports, the
building of war-vessels, and the organization of the militia.

Coming from the pen of one who had written that peace was his passion
and who had hitherto avoided war with Quaker-like submission, this
message caused bewilderment on all sides. The West, however, took the
President literally and looked forward with enthusiasm to a war which
was bound to end in the overthrow of Spanish dominion in the Southwest.
Three days later a secret message was delivered to the House of
Representatives announcing that Spain was disposed to effect a
settlement "so comprehensive as to remove as far as possible the grounds
of future collision and controversy on the eastern as well as the
western side of the Mississippi." Only a show of force was needed "to
advance the object of peace."

Randolph for one was thoroughly disgusted by "this double set of
opinions and principles"; and his ill-temper gave vent to biting
invective when he learned, that as chairman of the Committee of Ways and
Means he was expected to propose an appropriation of $2,000,000 for the
purchase of Florida. He refused flatly to assume the responsibility "of
delivering the public purse to the first cut-throat that demanded it,"
for Madison had said in private conversation that the money was destined
for Napoleon. The opposition of Randolph caused weeks of delay. It was
not until March 13 that Madison could authorize Armstrong, minister to
France, to offer $5,000,000 for Florida and Texas. It was then too
late. Either Armstrong had been misled or Napoleon had changed his mind:
in either case, the favorable moment had passed. The purchase of Florida
was indefinitely deferred.

During these months, when relations with Spain were strained to the
breaking point, Aaron Burr was weaving the strands of one of the most
intricate and baffling intrigues in American history. Shortly after
relinquishing the office of Vice-President, Burr undertook an extensive
tour through the West. In the course of his voyage down the Ohio he
landed on Blennerhassett's Island, which an eccentric Irish gentleman of
that name had transformed into an estate. At Cincinnati he was the guest
of Senator John Smith; and there he met also Jonathan Dayton, who had
just finished his term as Senator from New Jersey. Both of these
individuals played an uncertain part in Burr's plans. At Nashville he
visited General Andrew Jackson; at Fort Massac he spent four days in
close conference with General James Wilkinson, who was in command of the
Western army--one of the most precious rascals in the annals of the
country; and at New Orleans he put himself in touch with the Mexican
Association, which had been formed by ardent individuals who looked
forward to war with Spain and the liberation of Mexico.

To men like Andrew Jackson and Daniel Clark, of New Orleans, whose
loyalty is beyond question, Burr announced his purpose to devote his
life to the overthrow of the Spanish power in America. It was a mission
which commended itself to the Spanish-hating people of the Mississippi
Valley. Western newspapers announced that he meditated some
extraordinary enterprise; and one editor hinted that he was plotting a
revolution which would end in the formation of a separate government for
the region bordering on the Ohio and the Mississippi.

Returning to the East, Burr left no stone unturned in his efforts to
find funds to finance this mysterious enterprise. He was in conference
with Merry, the British minister, and with Yrujo, the Spanish minister;
and each received a different impression as to the scope of his plans.
At one time Burr talked madly of seizing the government at Washington.
The kaleidoscopic changes of his plans baffle consistent explanation.
One thing only is clear: he needed funds. These he obtained in part from
his son-in-law, Joseph Alston, a wealthy planter in South Carolina, and
in part from the credulous Blennerhassett, who was persuaded to purchase
a million acres on the Washita River in northern Louisiana. Thither the
expedition which started out from Blennerhassett's Island was ostensibly
directed. How far Burr's plans went beyond the occupation of this tract
is a matter of conjecture. One of Blennerhassett's servants may
inadvertently have told the truth when he said that they were "going to
take Mexico, one of the finest and richest places in the whole world."

If Burr seriously contemplated a filibustering expedition against
Mexico, he was favored by circumstances. Spanish troops had taken up a
position east of the Sabine River, on what was American soil; and only
an overt act was needed to precipitate war. Every frontiersman was
preparing for a tussle with the hated Spaniard. In the event of war Burr
knew well enough that an expedition against Mexico would be countenanced
by the government at Washington. Whether or no war with Spain would
occur depended upon the coöperation of General Wilkinson, for he had
been charged by the Secretary of War to take command of the troops at
New Orleans with as little delay as possible and "to repel any invasion
of the territory of the United States east of the river Sabine, or north
and west of the bounds of what has been called West Florida."

The delay of Wilkinson in following these orders of May 6, 1806, has
been explained on the supposition that he was awaiting the development
of Burr's plans. Be that as it may, his hesitation was fatal to the
conspirators. On September 27, the Spanish troops retired beyond the
Sabine, thus removing an excellent pretext for war. From this time on
Wilkinson's hand is against Burr. His conduct is enveloped in an
atmosphere of intrigue. At one moment he is sending alarmist dispatches
to the President, warning him against a mysterious expedition which was
being prepared--by what authority he professed not to know--against the
Spanish province of Mexico; at the next moment he is intriguing with the
Spanish authorities, warning them against Burr and assuring them of his
protection. This valuable information Wilkinson thought was worth about
$111,000; but his aid-de-camp seems to have returned empty-handed from
the City of Mexico. His further exploits in New Orleans, which he kept
in a state of perpetual alarm and finally put under martial law, read
like a chapter from a melodrama.

It was not until October, 1806, that President Jefferson expressed any
serious concern about Burr's intrigues. Even then he concluded to send
only a confidential agent to watch the conspirator and to arrest him if
necessary. In November, dispatches from Wilkinson convinced the
President of the need of more summary action. On November 27, he issued
a proclamation, stating that sundry persons were confederating and
conspiring together to begin a military expedition or enterprise against
the dominions of Spain. Honest and well-meaning citizens were being
seduced under various pretenses to engage in the criminal enterprises of
these men. All faithful citizens and the civil and military authorities
were therefore enjoined to be vigilant in preventing the expedition and
in bringing the conspirators to punishment.

The President's proclamation wrought a transformation in the temper of
the West. People reasoned that the danger must be greater than any one
had suspected. The newspapers began to print wild stories. The
Legislature of Ohio authorized the governor to take proper measures to
prevent acts hostile to the United States. The governor promptly seized
the bateaux which were being constructed at Marietta and called out the
militia to overpower Blennerhassett and his followers. On the Virginia
side of the river, the militia were in readiness for a descent upon the
island. On the night of December 10, Blennerhassett and a handful of men
left the island in such boats as they could find. Wild rumors followed
the expedition as it floated peacefully down the Ohio. The _Western Spy_
told its readers that Blennerhassett had passed Cincinnati in keel boats
loaded with military stores; that more were to follow; and that twenty
thousand men had been enlisted in an expedition against Mexico.

Meantime, Burr had met with embarrassing delays. The promised recruits
had not come in, since war had not been declared. Only two of the five
boats which Jackson had agreed to build were ready. Nevertheless, Burr
left Nashville on December 23, as he had planned, and on the next day
joined Blennerhassett at the mouth of the Cumberland. The combined
strength of this flotilla which was causing such public consternation
was nine bateaux, carrying less than sixty men.

The voyage of the expedition down the Ohio and the Mississippi was
without incident until January 10, when the expedition put into Bayou
Pierre, in the Mississippi Territory. There Burr was put under arrest
and brought before a grand jury. Luck again favored him. As in Kentucky,
so here the jurors failed to find any ground for indictment.
Nevertheless, the judge bound Burr over to appear from day to day.
Holding this proceeding unauthorized by law, Burr forfeited his bond and
made his escape; but near Fort Stoddert, he was again apprehended. On
March 5, 1807, he was sent with a guard of six men from Fort Stoddert to
Richmond, Virginia.

The commitment, indictment, and trial of Aaron Burr form a fittingly
inconclusive sequel to a strange tale of intrigue and misadventure. Not
merely the fate of the accused man, but the personalities involved, gave
a spectacular character to the legal proceedings at Richmond. Arrayed as
counsel on the side of Burr were three notable attorneys from Virginia,
and Luther Martin of Maryland. The foreman of the grand jury was John
Randolph. The chief witness for the prosecution was General Wilkinson.
The presiding judge was Chief Justice John Marshall, within whose
circuit Blennerhassett's Island lay. And behind the prosecution,
straining every nerve to secure the conviction of the conspirators, was
President Thomas Jefferson.

From first to last the Chief Justice made the task of the prosecution
exceedingly difficult by a rigorous definition of treason. Treason
involved an overt act, he insisted; the actual levying of war by an
assembling of armed men. To convict of treason, the testimony of two
witnesses was required by the Constitution. Now, Burr was hundreds of
miles away from Blennerhassett's Island when the alleged overt act of
treason was committed. The court would not admit any testimony relative
to the conduct and declarations of Burr elsewhere and subsequent to the
transactions on Blennerhassett's Island. Such testimony was in its
nature merely corroborative, the Chief Justice ruled, and inadequate to
prove the overt act in itself, and therefore irrelevant until the overt
act was proved by the testimony of two witnesses. On September 1, the
prosecution abandoned the case, and the jury returned a verdict of not
guilty. The Government now sought to secure the conviction of Burr on
the charge of misdemeanor; but less than a week was needed to reveal the
weakness of the testimony put forward by the prosecution. On September
15, Burr was again acquitted.


     The New England conspiracy, the Yazoo controversy, and the
     intrigues of Burr, are admirably recounted by Henry Adams. His
     account may be corrected at various points, however, by consulting
     W. F. McCaleb, _The Aaron Burr Conspiracy_ (1903). A brief account
     of the intrigues and plots of this time may be found in Channing,
     _The Jeffersonian System, 1801-1811_ (1906). The intrigues of the
     Federalists in New England have been described recently with new
     information by S. E. Morison, _Life and Letters of Harrison Gray
     Otis_ (2 vols., 1913). Other biographies of importance are H. C.
     Lodge, _Life and Letters of George Cabot_ (1877); James Parton,
     _Life and Times of Aaron Burr_ (1858); J. S. Bassett, _Life of
     Andrew Jackson_ (2 vols., 1911). The trial of Burr is described in
     popular fashion by F. T. Hill, _Decisive Battles of the Law_
     (1907). The origin and subsequent history of the Yazoo affair may
     be traced in C. H. Haskins, "The Yazoo Land Companies" (in the
     _American Historical Association Papers_, 1891).



The so-called Peace of Amiens in 1801 proved to be only an interlude in
the wars of France with Europe. Within two years hostilities were
renewed which closed only with the battle of Waterloo. In the course of
this prolonged conflict Napoleon won and lost for France the ascendency
in central and western Europe, but Great Britain remained throughout
mistress of the seas. The commerce of France and of Holland and Spain,
which had become virtually her dependencies, was almost driven from the
seas. For their foodstuffs and colonial supplies, more than ever in
demand as war devastated the fields of Europe, these nations had to look
to vessels flying neutral flags. The export trade of the United States,
which had fallen from $94,000,000 in the year 1801 to $55,800,000 in
1803, rapidly recovered until in 1805 it passed the high-water mark of
the earlier year. More than half of this trade was in products of the
tropics, for while the direct trade between the West India colonies and
Europe was forbidden by the so-called "Rule of 1756," American shippers
carried on a lucrative traffic which was virtually direct. Products
brought from the West Indies to American ports were promptly reshipped
as part of American stock to European ports; and the British courts had
held that this importation had broken the voyage. When once import
duties had been paid in an American port, the courts refused to inquire
what thereafter became of the cargo and whether in fact rebates were
given on exportation.

In midsummer of 1805 occurred a reversal of British policy. In the case
of the Essex, which had made the voyage from Charleston to London with
colonial produce from Martinique, a British admiralty court ruled for
the first time that the payment of import duties was not sufficient
proof of _bona fide_ importation, because of the practice in the United
States of repaying duties on exportation. Other seizures followed that
of the Essex, to the consternation of American shippers. Insurance rates
on cargoes were doubled and doubled again within a year. Early in 1806,
Monroe, then Minister to England, wrote in protest to the British
Ministry that "about one hundred and twenty vessels had been seized,
several condemned, all taken from their course, detained, and otherwise
subjected to heavy losses and damages." But Monroe could not obtain any
concession of principle or promise of indemnity.

The policy which the Secretary of State was known to favor was that of
coercing England through restrictions upon trade. The implications of
this policy were suggested by his often-quoted remark touching upon the
dependence of British manufacturers: "There are three hundred thousand
souls who live by our custom: let them be driven to poverty and despair,
and what will be the consequences?" He lost no opportunity to urge upon
his party associates the need of passing retaliatory legislation
against Great Britain. It was well known, of course, that the President
would support any fair application of his theory of peaceable coercion.

At first there was a general disposition to try the effect of an
embargo; but more prudent counsels prevailed when the news of Trafalgar
reached America. Congress finally adopted, in April, 1806, a
non-importation bill, which was to become effective eight months later.
There was some point to Randolph's criticism when he declared it to be
"a milk-and-water Bill. A dose of chicken broth to be taken nine months
hence"; for the act prohibited only the importation of such English
goods as could be manufactured in the United States or procured
elsewhere. Such a measure was not likely to make the manufacturers of
England quail. In the mean time, the Administration was to accomplish
what it might by direct negotiation with the British Ministry, using
this Nicholson Act as a covert threat. Much against his will, Jefferson
had to nominate another envoy to act with Monroe. His choice fell upon
William Pinkney, of Maryland. The friends of Madison were not unwilling
to humiliate Monroe, whose presidential aspirations might interfere with
Madison's succession, for Jefferson had let it be known as early as the
summer of 1805 that he did not seek a reëlection.

A few days after Congress adjourned occurred the Leander episode. This
frigate was one of several British war vessels whose presence in
American waters was a constant menace to merchantmen and an insult to
the National Government. From time to time they appeared off Sandy Hook,
lying in wait for American vessels which were suspected of carrying
British seamen who had fled from the hard conditions of service on ships
of war. An American merchantman was likely at any time to be stopped by
a shot across her bow and to be subjected to the humiliation of a visit
from a search crew. On April 25, 1806, the Leander, in rounding up a
merchantman, fired a shot which killed the helmsman of a passing
coasting sloop. The incident or accident threatened to assume the
proportions of a _casus belli_.

The practice of impressment was an old grievance which seemed to
Americans devoid of any justification. From the British point of view
there was much to be said in extenuation of the practice. It should not
be forgotten that Great Britain was locked in a life-and-death struggle
with a mighty antagonist, and that she had need of every able seaman.
Owing to the rigorous life on board of men-of-war, every ship's crew was
likely to be depleted by desertions whenever she touched at an American
port. Jack Tar found life much more agreeable on an American
merchantman; and he rarely failed to procure the needful naturalization
papers or certificates which would give him a claim to American
citizenship. The right of expatriation was not at this time conceded by
the British Government. Once an Englishman, always an Englishman.
Surely, then, British commanders might claim their own seamen on the
high seas. Officially, at least, they never claimed the right to impress
American seamen. Yet where differences of speech were so slight, the
provocation so strong, and the needs of the navy so great, search crews
were not always careful to distinguish between Britishers and Yankees.

The United States never admitted the justice of these claims. To concede
the right of search on the high seas was to admit a vast extension of
British jurisdiction. As early as 1792, Jefferson had stated the
principle for which the United States had consistently contended: "The
simplest rule will be that the vessel being American shall be evidence
that the seamen on board of her are such." The principle was never
accepted by any British ministry. The practice of impressment continued
to harass each succeeding administration. In 1806, a crisis seemed at
hand. Madison reported to the House of Representatives the names of nine
hundred and thirteen persons who appeared to have been impressed from
American vessels. How many of these were British deserters under
American names, it is impossible to say. The number reported by Madison
is at least an index to the sense of injury which the nation felt.

When President Jefferson sent Pinkney to join Monroe in securing a
comprehensive treaty with Great Britain, which should restore West India
trade to its old condition and provide indemnity for the American
vessels condemned in the admiralty courts, he set down, as a _sine qua
non_ in his instructions, the renunciation by the British Government of
the practice of impressment. It was an ultimatum which expressed a truly
national feeling; but with the consciousness of power which the
domination of the high seas gave, the British commissioners treated
this ultimatum, somewhat contemptuously, as an impossible and
unwarranted demand. The American mission should have ended then and
there; but on obtaining assurances that greater care would be exercised
in impressing seamen, Monroe and Pinkney determined to disregard their
instructions. Negotiations were continued and culminated in a treaty,
December 1, 1806, which ran counter to the injunctions of the President
in every particular. He refused to submit the document to the Senate.
Nevertheless, he permitted Madison to draft new instructions for the
commissioners, in the hope that the treaty could be made a basis for
further negotiations. While these new instructions were crossing the
ocean, a disaster occurred which brought the United States and Great
Britain to the verge of war.

In the early months of 1807, some French frigates had run up Chesapeake
Bay to escape a British squadron. Relying on what Jefferson pleasantly
termed the hospitality of the United States, these British men-of-war
dropped anchor in Lynnhaven Bay, near Cape Henry, where they could watch
the passage through the capes. From one of these British vessels a boat
crew of common seamen made their escape to Norfolk. Just at this time
the new frigate Chesapeake, which had been partially fitted out at the
navy yard at Washington for service in the Mediterranean, dropped down
to Hampton Roads to receive her complement of guns and provisions for a
three years' cruise.

[Map: Tonnage of the United States 1807]

On June 22, the Chesapeake passed out through the capes, preceded by the
Leopard, a British frigate of fifty guns. When they were well out on
the high seas, the Leopard drew alongside the Chesapeake and signaled
that she had a message for Commodore Barron. This message proved to be
an order from Admiral Berkeley at Halifax, instructing commanders of
British vessels who fell in with the Chesapeake to search her for
deserters. The American commander denied that he had deserters on board
and refused to allow the search. Almost immediately the Leopard
approached with her gundecks cleared for action. Unaware of his danger
Commodore Barron had not called his crew to quarters. The Leopard opened
fire and poured three broadsides into the helpless American vessel,
killing three men and wounding eighteen others. After fifteen minutes
Barron hauled down his flag to spare his crew from needless sacrifice,
and suffered the British commander to search the dismantled Chesapeake.
Four alleged deserters were found and taken away, three of whom
subsequently were proved to be American citizens. The Leopard then
returned to the squadron off Cape Henry, while the Chesapeake limped
back to Hampton Roads.

Had the President chosen to go to war at this moment, he would have had
a united people behind him. But Thomas Jefferson was not a martial
character. His proclamation ordering all armed British vessels out of
American waters and suspending intercourse with them if they remained,
was so moderate in tone as to seem almost pusillanimous. John Randolph
called it an apology. Instead of demanding unconditional reparation for
this outrage, Madison instructed Monroe to insist upon an entire
abolition of impressments as "an indispensable part of the
satisfaction." The astute Canning, who had become Foreign Secretary in
the new Portland Ministry, took advantage of this confusion of issues to
evade the demand for reparation until popular passion in the United
States had subsided. It was not until November that Canning took active
measures. He then sent a special commissioner to the United States in
the person of George Rose.

The instructions which Rose carried with him to Washington, in January,
1808, were anything but conciliatory. As a preliminary to any
negotiations, he was to demand the recall of the President's
proclamation of July 2, and an explicit disavowal of Commodore Barron's
conduct in encouraging desertion from His Majesty's navy. The United
States was also to give assurances that it would prevent the recurrence
of such causes as had provoked the display of force by Admiral Berkeley.
That the Administration should have continued negotiations after the
full purport of these instructions was disclosed, seems incredible; but
it was not until the middle of February that Madison awoke to the fact
that the United States was being invited to "make as it were an
expiatory sacrifice to obtain redress." Yet another month passed before
Rose was given to understand that his mission was futile. By this time
public attention was engrossed in the contest for neutral rights.

Before the close of the year 1806, Napoleon was master of central Europe
and in a position to deal his premeditated blow at the commercial
ascendency of England. A fortnight after the terrible overthrow of
Prussia at Jena, he made a triumphal entry into Berlin. From this city
he issued, on November 21, the famous decree which was his answer to the
British blockade of the continent. Since the British had determined to
ruin neutral commerce by an illegal blockade, so the preamble read,
"whoever deals on the continent in English merchandise favors that
design and becomes an accomplice." All English goods henceforth were to
be lawful prize in any territory held by the troops of France or her
allies. The British Isles were declared to be in a state of blockade.
Every American or other neutral vessel going to or coming from the
British Isles, therefore, was subject to capture.

The British Ministry took up the gauntlet. An order in council of
January 7, 1807, forbade neutral trade between ports under the control
of France or her allies; a second order, November 11, closed to neutrals
those European ports under French control "as if the same were actually
blockaded," but permitted vessels which first entered a British port and
paid port duties to sail to any continental port. Only one more blow
seemed needed to complete the ruin of American commerce. It fell a month
later, December 17, 1807, when Napoleon issued his Milan Decree.
Henceforth any vessel which submitted to be searched by an English
cruiser or which paid any tonnage duty to the British Government or
which set sail for any British port was subject to capture and
condemnation as lawful prize. Such was to be the maritime code "until
England returned to the principles of international law which are also
those of justice and honor."

American commerce was now, indeed, between the hammer and the anvil. The
Nicholson Non-Importation Act, which had been twice suspended and which
had only just gone into effect (December 14), seemed wholly inadequate
to meet this situation. It had been designed as a coercive measure, to
be sure, but no one knew precisely to what extent it would affect
English trade. The time had come for the blow which Jefferson and his
advisers had held in reserve. On December 18, the President sent to
Congress a message recommending "an immediate inhibition of the
departure of our vessels from the ports of the United States." The
Senate responded by passing a bill (which Jefferson probably drafted)
through its three stages in a single day; the House passed the measure
after only two days of debate; and on December 22, the Embargo Act
received the President's signature.

The temper of those who supported the embargo was reflected by Senator
Adams, of Massachusetts, who was reported to have said: "The President
has recommended the measure on his high responsibility. I would not
consider, I would not deliberate; I would act." Yet there were members
of Congress who were not prepared to accept the high authority of the
President. The vote in the House of Representatives indicates that
opinion was divided in Adams's own State. Boston with its environs and
the interior counties were opposed to the embargo. New York was also
divided, though here the commercial areas favored the measure. Maryland
showed a like division of opinion. Connecticut was a unit in opposing
the President's policy.

What was the measure which was accepted almost without discussion on
"the high responsibility" of the President? So far as it was defended at
all, it was presented as a measure for the protection of American ships,
merchandise, and seamen. It forbade the departure of all ships and
vessels in the ports of the United States for any foreign port, except
vessels under the immediate direction of the President. Foreign armed
vessels were exempted as a matter of course from the operation of this
act; so also were all vessels in ballast or already loaded with goods at
the time when the act was passed. Coasting vessels were to give bonds
double the value of vessel and cargo to re-land their goods, wares, or
merchandise in some port of the United States.

American shippers were so little appreciative of the protection offered
by a benevolent Government that they evaded the embargo from the very
first. Foreign trade was lucrative in just the proportion that it was
hazardous. If some skippers obeyed, the profits were so much the greater
for the less conscientious. Under guise of engaging in the coasting
trade, many a ship's captain with the connivance of the owner landed his
cargo in a foreign port. A brisk traffic also sprang up by land across
the Canadian border.

[Map: House Vote on the Embargo December 21, 1807]

All pretense that the embargo was designed to protect American commerce
had now to be abandoned. Jefferson did not attempt to disguise his
purpose to use the embargo as a great coercive weapon against France and
Great Britain. Congress passed supplementary acts and suffered the
President to exercise a vast discretionary power which was strangely at
variance with Republican traditions. "When you are doubtful," wrote the
President with reference to coasting vessels, "consider me as voting for
detention." "We find it necessary," he informed the governors of the
States, "to consider every vessel as suspicious which has on board any
article of domestic produce in demand at foreign markets." Governors of
those States which consumed more wheat than they produced were to issue
certificates to collectors of ports stating the amount desired. The
collectors in turn were to authorize merchants in whom they had
confidence to import the needed supplies. Nor did the President hesitate
to put whole communities under the ban when individual shipowners were
suspected of engaging in illicit trade. He so far forgot his horror of a
standing army that he asked Congress for an addition to the regular army
of six thousand men. Congress had already made an appropriation of
$850,000 to build gunboats. It now appropriated a million and a quarter
for fortifications and for the equipment of the militia.

Through the long summer of 1808, President Jefferson waited anxiously
for the effects of coercion to appear. The reports from abroad were not
encouraging. The effects of the embargo upon English economy are even
now a matter of conjecture. In the opinion of Mr. Henry Adams, the
embargo only fattened the shipowners and squires who devised the orders
in council, and lowered the wages and moral standard of the laboring
classes by cutting off temporarily the importation of foodstuffs and the
raw material for British manufacturers. When Pinkney approached Canning
with the proposal that England should revoke her orders upon the
withdrawal of the embargo, he was told, with biting sarcasm, that "if it
were possible to make any sacrifice for the repeal of the embargo
without appearing to deprecate it as a measure of hostility, he [His
Majesty] would gladly have facilitated its removal as a measure of
inconvenient restriction upon the American people." The blow aimed at
Great Britain had missed its mark.

From the first Napoleon had welcomed the embargo as a measure likely to
contribute to the success of his continental system. On April 17, 1808,
he issued a decree from Bayonne ordering the seizure of all American
vessels in French ports. It was argued ingeniously that since they were
abroad in violation of the embargo, they were not _bona fide_ American
vessels, but presumptively British, and therefore subject to capture. To
accept the aid of the French Emperor in enforcing a policy which was
intended to coerce his action, was humiliating to the last degree.
Armstrong wrote to Madison that in his opinion the coercive force of the
embargo had been overrated. "Here it is not felt, and in England ... it
is forgotten."

The importance of the embargo, Jefferson never tired of repeating, was
not to be measured in money. If the brutalities of war and the
corruption incident to war could be avoided by this alternative, the
experiment was well worth trying. Yet Jefferson himself was startled by
the deliberate and systematic evasions of the law. "I did not expect,"
he confessed, "a crop of so sudden and rank growth of fraud and open
opposition by force could have grown up in the United States." Moreover,
the cost of the embargo was very great. The value of exports fell from
$108,000,000 in 1807 to $22,000,000 in the following year. The national
revenue from import duties was cut down by one half.

The embargo bore down with crushing weight upon New England, where
nearly one third of the ships engaged in the carrying trade were owned.
The shipbuilding industry languished, as well as all the industries
subsidiary to commerce. Even the farmers suffered as the embargo
continued. A temporary loss of their market could have been borne with
some degree of equanimity, but not an indefinite loss, for imported
goods now began to rise in price, adding to the general distress.

The economic distress of New England, however, cannot be measured by the
volume of indignant protest. The Federalist machine never worked more
effectively than when it directed this unrest and diverted it to
partisan purposes. Thomas Jefferson's embargo was made to seem a
vindictive assault upon New England. The Essex Junto, with Timothy
Pickering as leader, spared no pains to convince the unthinking that
Jefferson was the tool or the dupe of Napoleon, who was bent upon
coercing the United States into war with Great Britain. The spring
election of 1808 gave the measure of this reaction in Massachusetts. The
Federalists regained control of both houses of the state legislature,
and forced the resignation of Senator John Quincy Adams, who had broken
with his party by voting for the embargo, and who had incurred the
undying enmity of of the Essex Junto by defending the policy of the

In the midst of what Jefferson called "the general factiousness,"
following the embargo, occurred a presidential election. Jefferson was
not a candidate for reëlection. His fondest hope now was that he might
be allowed to retire with honor to the bosom of his family. Upon whom
would his mantle fall? Madison was his probable preference; and Madison
had the doubtful advantage of a formal nomination by the regular
congressional caucus of the party. But Monroe still considered his
chances of election good; and Vice-President George Clinton also
announced his candidacy. Both Monroe and Clinton represented those
elements of opposition which harassed the closing months of the
Administration. Contrary to expectation, the Federalists did not ally
themselves with Clinton, but preferred to go down in defeat under their
old leaders, Charles C. Pinckney and Rufus King. With the opposition
thus divided, Madison scored an easy victory; but against him was the
almost solid vote of a section. All the New England States but Vermont
cast their electoral votes for the Federalist candidates.

Before the end of the year the failure of the embargo was patent to
every fair-minded observer. The alternatives, war or submission, were
not pleasant to contemplate. From force of habit the party in power
looked to Jefferson for leadership; but since Madison's election, he had
assumed the rôle of "unmeddling listener," not wishing to commit his
successor to any policy. The abdication of Jefferson thus left the party
without a leader and without a program at a most critical moment.

Under the circumstances it was easier to continue the embargo than to
face the probability of war. Gallatin had already urged the need of more
stringent laws for the enforcement of the embargo,--laws which he
admitted were both odious and dangerous. On January 9, 1809, Congress
passed the desired legislation. Thereafter coasting vessels were obliged
to give bonds to six times the value of vessel and cargo before they
were permitted to load. Collectors were authorized to refuse permission
if in their opinion there was "an intention to violate the embargo."
Only loss at sea released a shipowner from his bond. In suits at law
neither capture nor any other accident could be pleaded. Collectors at
the ports and on the frontiers were authorized to seize goods which were
"apparently on their way toward the territory of a foreign nation." And
for such seizures the collectors were not liable in courts of law. The
army, the navy, and the militia were put at their disposal.

The "Force Act" was the last straw for the Federalists of Massachusetts.
Town after town adopted resolutions which ran through the whole gamut of
partisan abuse. The General Court of Massachusetts resolved that it
would coöperate with other States in procuring such amendments to the
Constitution as were necessary to obtain protection for commerce and to
give to the commercial States "their fair and just consideration in the
government of the Union." Governor Trumbull, of Connecticut, flatly
declined to allow the militia to assist the collectors in the
enforcement of the embargo, holding that the act to enforce the embargo
was unconstitutional, "interfering with the state sovereignties, and
subversive of the guaranteed rights, privileges, and immunities of the
citizens of the United States." The legislature rallied to the support
of the governor with resolutions which breathe much the same spirit as
the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.

The incessant bombardment by the New England towns was too much for
Jefferson's equanimity. "I felt the foundation of the government shaken
under my feet by the New England townships," he said in after years. His
control over his own party was gone. Northern Republicans combined with
Federalists to force the repeal of the embargo through Congress; and on
March 1, 1809, with much bitterness of spirit, Jefferson signed the bill
that terminated his great experiment. Instead of interdicting commerce
altogether, Congress suspended intercourse with France and Great Britain
after March 15 and until one or the other of the offenders repealed its
obnoxious orders. Meantime, American vessels were free to pick up what
trade they could with other nations.


     The historical writings of Henry Adams are indispensable aids to
     an understanding of the foreign policy of Jefferson. On the effect
     of the embargo, Channing, _The Jeffersonian System_, takes sharp
     issue with Adams. There is a mass of valuable data on social
     history in the third volume of McMaster, _History of the People of
     the United States_. E. L. Bogart, _Economic History of the United
     States_ (1913); Katherine Coman, _Industrial History of the United
     States_ (1913); and C. D. Wright, _Industrial Evolution of the
     United States_ (1907), are manuals containing much valuable
     matter. The brief introductions to the chapters in G. S.
     Callender, _Selections from the Economic History of the United
     Slates_ (1909), are always illuminating. The foreign policy of
     Jefferson and Madison is extensively reviewed in A. T. Mahan, _Sea
     Power in its Relations to the War of 1812_ (2 vols., 1905).



The Administration of James Madison began with what seemed like a
diplomatic triumph. Negotiations with the new British minister, Erskine,
led to a complete agreement on all the points in dispute. Full
reparation was to be made for the Chesapeake affair. The offensive
orders in council of 1807 were to be withdrawn on a fixed date.
Thereupon, with undisguised satisfaction, the President issued a
proclamation, April 21, 1809, renewing commercial intercourse with Great
Britain. General rejoicing followed. Ships which had been tied up to
wharves for eighteen months put to sea with crowded holds. Those
Republicans who had stanchly upheld the Jeffersonian policy of peaceable
coercion boldly claimed for the embargo the credit of having brought
about this happy consummation. Some misgivings were excited, to be sure,
by the report of a new order in council which substituted a blockade of
Holland, France, and Italy for the order of November, 1807; yet weeks of
smug satisfaction were enjoyed by the Administration before it was
bewildered by the tidings that Canning had recalled Erskine and
repudiated all his acts. Madison had to submit to "the mortifying
necessity" of issuing another proclamation reviving the Non-Intercourse
Act against Great Britain.

Erskine was replaced by Francis James Jackson, a typical representative
of the governing class,--intolerant, overbearing, and contemptuous. He
had been chosen in 1807 for the brutal destruction of the Danish fleet
at Copenhagen. Pinkney described him as "completely attached to all
those British principles and doctrines which sometimes give us trouble."
Madison was speedily convinced that conciliation was not the keynote of
this man's mission. After the first exchange of notes, he took the pen
out of the hand of Robert Smith, his incompetent Secretary of State, in
order to deal more effectually with the adversary. When Jackson
intimated that Erskine had been disavowed for disobedience to
instructions and that the Administration was somehow responsible for
this misconduct, Madison warned him sharply that "such insinuations are
inadmissible in the intercourse of a foreign minister with a government
that understands what it owes itself"; and a few days later, after an
exhibition of domineering temper on the part of Jackson, Madison
informed him that no further communications would be received. Months
passed, however, before Jackson was recalled; and in the mean time he
made a tour through the Eastern States where he was warmly welcomed by
the Federalists. No better evidence was needed to convince the
Administration of the unpatriotic and pro-British attitude of Federalist
New England.

The Non-Intercourse Act had brought some measure of relief to New
England shipping. Trade with parts of the European continent could now
be carried on by those who wished to incur the hazard. A greater volume
of trade was probably carried on illicitly with England. Amelia Island,
just across the Florida line, and Halifax, in Nova Scotia, became
intermediate ports to which American goods went for reshipment to Europe
and to which British merchandise was shipped for distribution in the
United States. Notwithstanding these well-known evasions of the law,
Congress would probably have been content to leave well enough alone but
for the fact that the Non-Intercourse Act would expire by limitation in
the spring of 1810. Some action was imperative. A bill was drawn by the
Administration to meet the situation and introduced in the House by
Macon; but it failed to command the support of the party and was dropped
in favor of a second bill, commonly known as Macon's Bill No. 2, though
he was not the author of it. This measure eventually became law, May 1,
1810. "It marked the last stage toward the admitted failure of
commercial restrictions as a substitute for war," writes Mr. Adams. By
repealing the Non-Intercourse Act it left commerce free once more to
seek the markets of the world. In case either Great Britain or France
should revoke or modify its hostile policy, the President was authorized
to revive the Non-Intercourse Act against the delinquent nation.

After the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809, Napoleon had begun the
"sequestration" of American vessels in European ports. Sequestration
proved to be only a euphemistic expression for confiscation. On May 14,
he issued from Rambouillet a decree which authorized the seizure and
condemnation of all American ships in French ports. With an eye to the
needs of his war chest, the Emperor calculated that by drawing in this
net he would make a catch amounting to about six million dollars. As a
matter of fact, this was a conservative estimate. The American consul at
Paris reported the seizure of one hundred and thirty-four vessels
between April, 1809, and April, 1810. The actual loss to American
shipowners could not have been less than ten millions of dollars.

The news of the passage of Macon's bill suggested another stroke to the
wily conqueror of Europe. On August 5, he announced to the American
Minister that the decrees of Berlin and Milan were revoked and would be
inoperative after November 1, "it being understood that in consequence
of this declaration the English are to revoke their orders in council
and renounce the new principles of blockade," and that the United
States, conforming to its act of May 1, 1810, would "cause their rights
to be respected by the English."

Accepting this letter at its face value, with a credulity which now
seems incredible, President Madison proclaimed on November 2 that France
had withdrawn its decrees, and that in consequence commercial
intercourse with Great Britain would be suspended on and after February
2, 1811. Madison's haste was due to a very natural desire to coerce
Great Britain into a similar renunciation, but to his chagrin, the
British Ministry refused to accept the mere notification of Napoleon as
evidence of the repeal of the various decrees. Even the supporters of
the Administration became uneasy as months passed without any formal
edict of revocation. Might not the courts adjudge that the decrees had
not been repealed _pro forma_? The Administration was greatly perturbed
in December, too, by the news that two American vessels had been
sequestered at Bordeaux. After much hesitation, Congress came to the
support of the President and revived the Non-Intercourse Act against
Great Britain, at the same time admitting the weakness of its position
by the additional provision that the courts should not entertain the
question whether the French decrees were or were not revoked. On the
same day, February 28, 1811, Pinkney took formal leave of the Prince
Regent under circumstances which presaged, if they did not imply, a
rupture of diplomatic relations. Yet the British Ministry had so little
comprehension of the temper of the American people that at this very
moment Wellesley was drafting instructions for the new Minister, Mr.
Augustus John Foster, which bade him yield not a jot or a tittle to the
alleged rights of neutrals. He was, however, to make proper reparation
for the Chesapeake affair.

In these months of struggle for the rights of neutral commerce, the
question of impressments had been relegated to second place in the minds
of Americans. The blockade of New York by British frigates in the spring
of 1811 suddenly revived the old controversy. For a year past an
American squadron under the command of Commodore John Rodgers had
patrolled the coast, under instructions to protect all merchantmen from
molestation by armed foreign cruisers within the three-mile limit.

The British frigate Guerrière had made itself particularly offensive by
its search crews and arbitrary seizures of alleged deserters. On May 16,
1811, Commodore Rodgers's flagship, the frigate President carrying
forty-four guns, sighted a British sloop-of-war some fifty miles east of
Cape Henry, which he believed to be the Guerrière, and wishing to make
inquiries about a certain seaman who was reported to have been
impressed, Rodgers sailed toward the stranger. The vessel acted in a
manner which was thought suspicious, so the President gave chase. On
coming within range about dusk, the American frigate was fired upon, so
it was alleged in a subsequent court of inquiry. The President then
opened its batteries and in less than fifteen minutes had overpowered
the British corvette. To his surprise and disappointment, Rodgers then
learned that his antagonist was not the Guerrière, but the Little Belt,
a vessel far inferior to his own and carrying only twenty guns. When the
new British Minister arrived in Washington, he found the Administration
singularly indifferent to the historic Chesapeake affair. In the opinion
of the American public, the President had avenged the Chesapeake.

While Congress was vacillating between non-intercourse and partial
non-intercourse, in the early months of 1810, with a strong inclination
toward the path of least resistance, one voice was raised for war. Henry
Clay was then filling out an unexpired term in the Senate upon
appointment by the Governor of Kentucky. Born in Virginia, thirty-three
years before, he had sought his fortune as a young lawyer in the new
communities beyond the Alleghanies. Closely identified with the
aggressive spirit of his section, he voiced a growing sense of
humiliation that his country should be buffeted by every British
ministry. The people of Kentucky and Tennessee had little patience with
half measures in defense of national rights. The petty diplomacy of
closet statesmen did not appeal to the soul of the frontiersman who was
accustomed to hew his way to his goal. The people of this section,
imperial in its dimensions, were prepared for large tasks done in a bold
way. Their ideas of the Union transcended the policies of Eastern
statesmen, whose eyes saw no farther than the tops of the Alleghanies
and whose ears listened all too readily to the admonitions of European
chancellors. Clay spoke heatedly of the "ignominious surrender of our
rights"--heritage of the heroes of the Revolution. He would have
Congress exhibit the vigor of their forbears. "The conquest of Canada is
in your power," he cried. "I trust I shall not be deemed presumptuous
when I state that I verily believe that the militia of Kentucky alone
are competent to place Montreal and Upper Canada at your feet." This was
a new and unfamiliar style of oratory in the Senate of the United

At this moment, however, the United States seemed far more likely to
acquire the Floridas than Canada. In the summer of 1810, Americans who
had crossed the border and settled in and around the district of West
Feliciana rose in revolt against the Spanish governor at Baton Rouge,
and declared West Florida a free and independent state, appealing to the
Supreme Ruler of the world for the rectitude of their intentions. What
their intentions were appeared in a petition to the President for
annexation to the United States. This was an opportune moment for the
realization of the hopes which Madison had cherished ever since the
acquisition of Louisiana. On October 27, 1810, he issued a proclamation,
announcing that Governor Claiborne would take possession of West Florida
to the river Perdido, in the name of the United States.

Not satisfied with this achievement, President Madison called attention
in a secret message to the condition of East Florida and asked Congress
for authority to take temporary possession of any part or parts of the
territory. With equal secrecy Congress gave the desired authorization,
and the President immediately sent two commissioners with large
discretionary powers to the St. Mary's River. In March, 1812, another
"revolution" took place. The Spanish governor of East Florida was forced
to surrender and to permit the occupation of Amelia Island in the name
of the United States. The farce was too broad, however, even for the
eager Administration. The President was obliged to disavow the acts of
his agents. But Amelia Island was not evacuated until May, 1813, and
West Florida was never released. After much deliberation Congress
annexed part of the region to the new State of Louisiana and joined the
rest to the Territory of Mississippi.

In the Northwest also American pioneers were overrunning the bounds, not
those fixed by international agreement, to be sure, but those marked by
Indian treaties, which commanded even less respect. A society which
believed that the only good Indian was a dead Indian was not likely to
be over-nice in its appraisal of his property rights. The line of
intercourse marked by the Treaty of Greenville in 1795 had receded
somewhat as home-seekers had pushed their way up the rivers from the
Ohio into the Indiana Territory; but the vast interior around the upper
waters of the Wabash River was still closed to white men. Governor
William Henry Harrison fully shared the irritation of the settlers that
Indians should monopolize the best lands. He was therefore a willing
agent of the President when in 1804 and 1805 he took advantage of the
necessities of certain chieftains, whom he called "the most depraved
wretches on earth," to despoil whole tribes of their lands, under the
guise of treaties.

Among the better class of Indians this policy aroused the bitterest
resentment. The rise of Tecumseh, son of a Shawnee warrior, and of his
brother the Prophet, dates from this time. It was the aim of these
remarkable individuals to prevent the further alienation of Indian lands
by limiting the authority of irresponsible local chiefs and conferring
it upon a congress of warriors from all allied tribes. During the year
1808, Tecumseh and the Prophet laid the foundation of a confederacy by
establishing an Indian village on Tippecanoe Creek, one hundred and
fifty miles above Vincennes.

In the following year (1809), Governor Harrison anticipated the
formation of this Indian confederation by beginning negotiations with
the same irresponsible sachems for the cession of more lands. The
treaty, which was readily concluded, carried despair to the heart of
every follower of Tecumseh, for it conveyed to the National Government
three millions of acres of the best lands in the Indian country,
extending along both banks of the Wabash for a hundred miles. An
alliance with the British seemed to be the only recourse of the Indians.
Only a spark was needed to start a conflagration along the whole

Although war was believed to be imminent by the people of Indiana, the
winter and summer of 1811 passed without untoward events. Toward the end
of October, Harrison began a forward movement into the Indian country.
On the morning of November 7, his camp on the banks of the Tippecanoe
was attacked. A sharp engagement followed, in which the army narrowly
escaped disaster; but the troops rallied and finally succeeded in
routing the Indians. In the abandoned village of the Prophet were found
English arms--confirmatory evidence, it was said, of the part which the
British in Canada had taken in the projects of Tecumseh and the Prophet.
Occurring at a moment of tension between the United States and Great
Britain, the battle of Tippecanoe may be regarded properly as "a
premature outbreak of the great wars of 1812." An unforeseen consequence
of this skirmish on the frontier was the rise of a new popular hero in
the West.

Nationally minded men indulged high hopes of the new Congress which
convened at the capital in November, 1811. The presence of some seventy
new members, many of whom belonged to a younger generation, warranted
the expectation that the Twelfth Congress would exhibit greater vigor
than its predecessor. In organizing, the House passed over Macon, who
belonged to the old school of statesmen, and chose as Speaker Henry
Clay, who had exchanged his seat in the Senate for this more stirring
arena. Clay's conception of the Speakership was novel. He was determined
to be something more than a mere presiding officer. As a leader of his
party he proposed to use his powers of office to shape legislation. His
heart was set upon an aggressive policy. War had no terrors for him. He
therefore named his committees with the possibility of war in mind.

There were many young men who shared Clay's impatience with the policy
of peaceable coercion and its humiliating sequel. Grundy, of Tennessee,
had been elected because he openly favored war. He admitted that he was
"anxious not only to add the Floridas to the south, but the Canadas to
the north of this Empire." John C. Calhoun, a new member from South
Carolina, openly repudiated the restrictive system of the President as a
mode of resistance suited neither to the genius of the people nor to the
geographical character of the country. "We have had a peace like a war,"
he cried; "in the name of Heaven let us not have the only thing that is
worse--a war like a peace!" Clay left the chair frequently to stir the
House by his glowing eloquence. Whatever else might be said about these
young stalwarts, no one could doubt their ardent nationalism and
devotion to the Union. Even the President was moved to allude gently in
his annual message to the duty of assuming "an attitude demanded by the
crisis and corresponding with the national spirit and expectations."

The response of Congress was exasperatingly slow. It was January before
a bill to increase the standing army by twenty-five thousand men became
law. Another month passed before Congress would agree to a bill
authorizing the President to raise a volunteer force of fifty thousand
men. No arguments would move the House to vote an appropriation of seven
and a half million dollars for a navy of twenty frigates and twelve
ships-of-the-line. Even more discouraging was the reluctance of Congress
to anticipate the financial drain of war by levying the internal revenue
taxes which Gallatin strongly recommended, now that Congress had
suffered the charter of the National Bank to expire. Without that
important instrument of credit, he saw no alternative but to revive the
excise which was so hateful to Republicans. In the end Congress
authorized a loan of eleven million dollars, but no additional taxes.

[Map: Vote of House on the Declaration of War June 4, 1812]

From the first the war party had fixed upon Great Britain as the object
of attack. In the sober light of history, France appears to be quite as
much an enemy to American commerce. But so long as the Administration
maintained that Napoleon had withdrawn his decrees, and that England had
not, consistency required that Great Britain should be regarded as the
greater offender. Reparation had been made for the Chesapeake affair, to
be sure, but no guaranties had been given that the rights of
neutral vessels would be respected on the high seas. Besides, the group
of young Republicans led by Clay and Grundy had looked forward to the
conquest of Canada on the north and of Florida on the south as the
result of war. Madison was too keen a politician not to know that he
could not afford to alienate this group if he wished a second term in
office. On April 1, he recommended an embargo for sixty days, and two
months later, on June 1, he sent his famous war message to Congress.

In reciting the grievances of the United States, the President thrust
into the foreground "the continued practice of violating the American
flag on the great highway of nations, and of seizing and carrying off
persons sailing under it." No one could deny that these were real
grievances, but they had not been pressed in recent negotiations as a
possible cause of war. A second grievance was the blockade of American
ports by British cruisers. "They hover over and harass our entering and
departing commerce," said the President. "To the most insulting
pretentions they have added the most lawless proceedings in our very
harbors; and have wantonly spilt American blood within the sanctuary of
our territorial jurisdiction." This grievance was also real, but not of
recent date. When the President alluded to "pretended blockades" under
which "our commerce has been plundered in every sea," he touched upon
outrages which were still fresh in the minds of all. "Not content with
these occasional expedients for laying waste our neutral trade,"
continued the message, "the Cabinet of Great Britain resorted, at
length, to the sweeping system of blockades, under the name of Orders in
Council." Finally, the President did not refrain from the plain
intimation that the Indian hostilities on the frontier were due to the
influence of British traders and British garrisons.

Three days later the House of Representatives passed a bill declaring
war by a vote of 79 to 49. The opposition came largely from the
Northeast. The representatives from Connecticut and Rhode Island were to
a man against war, and they were supported by Federalists from
Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. In the
Senate the vote stood 19 for war and 13 against it. "Except
Pennsylvania, the entire representation of no Northern State declared
itself for the war; except Kentucky, every State south of the Potomac
and Ohio voted for the declaration."

While Congress was debating the alternatives of peace or war, the
British Government took a step which under modern conditions would have
averted hostilities. Taking advantage of a decree of Napoleon dating
from 1810, which declared his edicts revoked so far as American vessels
were concerned, the Ministry announced on June 23 that the British
orders would be withdrawn. But just five days earlier, President Madison
had proclaimed a state of war between the United States and Great


     A brief account of the events which formed the prelude to the War
     of 1812 may be found in K. C. Babcock, _The Rise of American
     Nationality_ (in _The American Nation_, vol. 13, 1906). The
     diplomatic and military antecedents of the war are set forth at
     greater length in A. T. Mahan, _Sea Power in its Relation to the
     War of 1812_ (2 vols., 1905). Biographies contribute much that is
     of interest. Carl Schurz, _Henry Clay_ (2 vols., 1887), is one of
     the best. J. T. Morse, _John Quincy Adams_ (1882), and Edmund
     Quincy, _Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts_ (1867), also
     contain interesting information. M. P. Follett, _The Speaker of
     the House of Representatives_ (1896); Edward Stanwood, _History of
     the Presidency_ (1898); and M. L. Hinsdale, _History of the
     President's Cabinet_ (1911), touch upon important aspects of
     politics. The volume entitled _Memoirs and Letters of Dolly
     Madison_ (1886) gives many charming glimpses of social life at the
     capital. The discomforts and hazards of travel in the West are
     described with great vivacity by Margaret Van Horn, _A Journey to
     Ohio in 1810_ (1912).



When hostilities began in North America, the war establishment of the
United States stood officially at 36,700 men. Actually the army
consisted of ten regiments with ranks half filled, scattered in
garrisons from Mackinac to Lake Champlain,--a force of less than 10,000
men, of whom 4000 were raw recruits. The staff was made up of old and
incompetent officers; and from a military point of view the new
appointments left much to be desired. The navy which was to contest the
supremacy of the seas with the victor at Trafalgar consisted of twelve
sea-going vessels and some two hundred gunboats, which were useless
except for coast defense. There was bitter truth in the manifesto issued
by the Federalist members of Congress when it said: "Our enemy is the
greatest maritime power that has ever been on earth, and to her we offer
the most tempting prizes. Our merchantmen are on every sea. Our rich
cities lie along the Atlantic seaboard close to the water's edge. And to
defend these from the cruisers of Great Britain we are to have an army
of raw recruits yet to be raised and a navy of gunboats now stranded on
the beaches and frigates that have long been rotting in the slime of the

The worst aspect of the war was its sectional character. New England was
in opposition. From the outset the activity of the National
Administration was weakened by the indubitable fact that the United
States, as the Federalists were never tired of repeating, began the war
"as a divided people." When General Dearborn made requisition upon the
governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut for militia to defend the
coast, Governor Strong ignored the summons. Pressed for a reply, he
finally stated to the Secretary of War that the judges of the Supreme
Court of Massachusetts had advised him that the commanders-in-chief of
the militia in the several States, rather than the President, had the
right to determine whether any of the exigencies contemplated by the
Constitution existed so as to require them to place the militia in the
service of the United States. The judges also advised the governor that
the militia, when in the service of the United States, could not
lawfully be commanded by any federal officers below the President, but
only by state officers. The general assembly of Connecticut sustained
Governor Griswold in a similar attitude toward the federal authorities,
holding that the war was an offensive war to which the provisions of the
Constitution respecting the militia did not apply.

From the first the war-hawks had cried, "On to Canada," for their hope
of conquest was undisguised. "Agrarian cupidity," declared Randolph,
"not maritime right, urges the war. Ever since the report of the
Committee on Foreign Relations came into the House, we have heard but
one word,--like the whippoorwill, but one eternal monotonous
tone,--Canada, Canada, Canada!" Military considerations, however,
probably determined the campaign of 1812,--so far, indeed, as any
well-considered plans were worked out. A general advance was to be made
along the route by Lake Champlain to Montreal. Three expeditions were
also to be sent against Sackett's Harbor, Niagara, and Malden. All were
strategic points on the Lakes; but Malden was particularly important as
the center of British influence among the Indians of the Northwest.

The expedition against Malden, which was entrusted to General William
Hull, not only failed to accomplish its purpose, but terminated in the
most humiliating reverse of the war. For reasons that have never been
adequately explained, Hull laid siege to Malden instead of attacking it
at once with his superior force; and when British reënforcements
appeared, he not only abandoned the siege, but on August 15, surrendered
Fort Detroit without firing a shot. The army, the fort, and the
undisputed control of the Michigan country passed into the hands of the
British. On the same day occurred the surrender of Fort Dearborn and the
massacre of its garrison by the Indians.

The other military operations on the northern frontier were scarcely
less inglorious. The failure of the attack upon Queenston, October 13,
was due largely to the incompetence of the commanding general. Nowhere
did the American troops pierce the Niagara or Lake Champlain frontier.
The Duke of Wellington was well within the truth when he declared the
American campaign of 1812 "beneath criticism."

The smart of these humiliating failures was only relieved by the series
of stirring naval victories which began with the duel between the
Constitution and the Guerrière. The frigates met on August 19, some
three hundred miles off Cape Race. "In less than thirty minutes from the
time we got alongside of the enemy," reported Captain Hull of the
Constitution, "she was left without a spar standing, and the hull cut to
pieces in such a manner as to make it difficult to keep her above
water." The effect of this victory was electric. When the Constitution
reached Boston Harbor, even Federalists broke into exultation. The cry
in every New England home was, "Thank God for Hull's victory!" Nothing
could have been better timed and more dramatic. The papers which
announced the humiliating surrender of General Hull contained the news
of his nephew's victory.

If the victory of the Constitution was won on unequal terms,--the
Guerrière was undoubtedly inferior,--the British Admiralty could not
excuse a second naval defeat on this score. On October 17, the American
sloop-of-war Wasp encountered the brig Frolic convoying merchantmen six
hundred miles east of Norfolk. There was little to choose between the
vessels either in size or equipment, yet the marksmanship of the
American gunners was so far superior that in forty-three minutes the
crew of the Wasp had boarded the Frolic. Not even the subsequent capture
of both vessels by a British ship-of-the-line could dim the glory of
this victory. A week later the frigate United States under Captain
Decatur captured the Macedonia and brought her into New London--"the
only British frigate ever brought as a prize into an American port." In
December the Constitution, now commanded by Captain Bainbridge, added to
her laurels by overpowering the powerful frigate Java.

The effect of these disasters upon the British public was out of all
proportion to the actual value of the vessels lost. Canning afterward
declared that the loss of the Guerrière and the Macedonia produced a
sensation scarcely to be equaled by the most violent convulsion of
nature. "The sacred spell of the invincibility of the British navy was
broken by those unfortunate captures."

In the midst of the war occurred a presidential election. Madison had
been the unanimous choice of the congressional caucus held in May; but
only eighty-three out of one hundred and thirty-three Republicans had
attended, and the discontent of New York Republicans was well known. The
nomination of De Witt Clinton by the New York legislative caucus opened
wide the breach in the party. In September a convention of Federalists
repeated the error of 1804 and indorsed Clinton's nomination, naming as
his partner Jared Ingersoll, of Pennsylvania. Elbridge Gerry, of
Massachusetts, was finally nominated for Vice-President by the
Republicans. The alternatives presented to the people seemed to be
Madison and continued war ineffectively conducted, or Clinton and still
more humiliating peace. New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and all the New
England States but Vermont, preferred Clinton. The South and West
supported Madison; but without the vote of Pennsylvania Madison would
have been defeated.

To retrieve Hull's disaster, General William Henry Harrison, the hero of
Tippecanoe, was placed in command of the Western army in the fall of
1812; but a succession of mishaps overtook his expedition into the
Northwest. He not only failed to reach Detroit, but lost most of his
available troops by disease, desertion, and the onset of British
detachments from Fort Malden.

It was now clear that the control of the Lakes was indispensable for a
successful invasion of Canada. At the close of the year 1812, there was
not a war-vessel flying the American flag on Lake Erie. To create a
fleet was the task set for Oliver Hazard Perry, a young naval officer,
who was sent from Newport to Presqu' Isle. Of the needful supplies only
timber was abundant; the rest had to be brought overland from
Philadelphia by way of Pittsburg. Surmounting all obstacles,
nevertheless, the energetic Perry finally got together a flotilla of
vessels which was quite equal to the British squadron. The two fleets
met in battle off Sandusky on September 10, 1813. The American boat
Lawrence, Perry's flagship, was obliged to strike her colors, but Perry
boarded another vessel of his fleet and succeeded in turning defeat into
a brilliant victory. "We have met the enemy and they are ours," was his
triumphant dispatch to General Harrison.

The way was now open to the invasion of Canada. Under the protection of
Perry's fleet, Harrison was able to transport his army to the Canadian
shore below Fort Malden. The British troops were already in full
retreat. On October 5, 1813, the American army overtook them and in a
short but decisive battle on the river Thames revenged the loss of
Detroit. Among the dead on the British side was found the body of
Tecumseh. In point of numbers, the battle of the Thames is
insignificant; but it has an important place in the annals of the war
because it destroyed the British military power in the Northwest and
recovered control of the Michigan Territory.

No such success attended the movement of American troops on the Niagara
and St. Lawrence frontier. The control of Lake Ontario was in doubt
throughout the year 1813. The military operations, first under Dearborn,
and then under Wilkinson and Hampton, were indecisive. Indeed, the
events of the year served only one good purpose: they revealed the
incompetence of the older generals and the ability of the younger

The loss of the Chesapeake in a duel with the Shannon, on June 1, 1813,
outside of Boston Harbor, left the United States with an available
sea-going navy of just two frigates and a few small sloops. All the
other frigates were shut up in various ports by the British blockade,
which extended from Cape Cod to Florida. The burden of offense during
the rest of the war fell upon privateers. During the war more than five
hundred fitted out in American ports. In the year 1813 they took over
three hundred prizes, while the frigates took but seventy-nine. While
British cruisers were blockading the coast of the United States, these
craft, with their beautiful lines and wonderful spread of canvas,
carried consternation to all British shippers in the English Channel and
in the Irish Sea. They "seize prizes in sight of those that should
afford protection," complained the London _Times_, "and if pursued put
on their sea-wings and laugh at the clumsy English pursuers." No
exploits of the regular navy contributed so much to dispose the British
governing class to peace as the depredations of these privateers.

In the remote Southwest, the war assumed a different character. There
the enemy on the border was not Great Britain but Spain. The people of
the Carolinas and Georgia fully expected to acquire the Floridas while
the North was wresting Canada from British control. Had President
Madison been given his way, this wish would have been gratified; but
Congress refused to countenance the seizure of East Florida, and in May,
1813, Madison very reluctantly ordered the troops to evacuate Amelia
Island. No scruples deterred Congress from authorizing the occupation of
West Florida. In the spring of 1813, General Wilkinson forced the
surrender of the only Spanish fort on Mobile Bay and took possession of
the country as far as the Perdido--"the only permanent gain of territory
made during the war."

During the first year of the war the younger warriors of the Western
Creeks, in what is now Alabama, had been incited to hostilities by
Tecumseh, and in the following spring began depredations which
culminated in the capture of Fort Mims and the massacre of its
inhabitants on August 30, 1813. The horrors of an Indian war brought
every able-bodied settler in the adjoining States to arms. Before the
end of the year seven thousand whites had invaded the Indian territory
and had killed about one fifth of the Creek warriors. The hero of the
war was General Andrew Jackson, who at the head of an army of Tennessee
militiamen won a decisive battle at Horseshoe Bend on the Tallapoosa
River. On August 9, 1814, he forced the chieftains who had not fled
across the Florida border to sign a treaty of capitulation at Fort
Jackson and to cede nearly two thirds of their lands in southern Georgia
and in what afterward became central Alabama. This phase of the war
opened up a vast territory to settlement and made the military
reputation of Andrew Jackson.

Operations on the Niagara frontier were resumed by the American troops
in 1814; but they were now directed by one of the new major-generals,
Jacob Brown, who infused a new spirit into his soldiers. On July 5,
General Winfield Scott's brigade won a signal victory at Chippewa. Three
weeks later, on July 25, the entire army fought a desperate battle at
Lundy's Lane, which lasted from sunset to midnight. The Americans
claimed a victory, but the losses were about even and the British
remained in possession of the field. At the close of the year, despite
the valiant fighting of Brown's army, the situation on the Niagara had
not changed materially. The invasion of Canada and a peace dictated from
Quebec seemed as remote as ever.

The British plans for the campaign of 1814 called for "a diversion on
the coasts of the United States, in favor of the army employed in the
defense of Upper and Lower Canada." For the first time since the
opening of hostilities, British military authorities could concentrate
their attention on the war in North America. The defeat of Napoleon on
the plains of Leipzig had thrown his shattered columns back upon France.
Thither the allied armies had followed him and forced his capitulation.
With the end of European wars in sight, Wellington could release his
veteran troops for service in America. In early summer eleven thousand
seasoned troops were sent to Canada. Four thousand more were dispatched
under Major-General Ross, of the Peninsular army, to coöperate with the
navy under Admiral Cochrane on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Later in
the year Major-General Pakenham, also a veteran of the Peninsular
campaign, was sent with ten thousand troops to seize the mouth of the
Mississippi and to force the capitulation of the West by closing the
ports on the Gulf.

Those whose memories went back thirty-seven years may well have recalled
Burgoyne's expedition, for it was by the old Lake Champlain route that
Sir George Prevost began his invasion of New York in September, 1814.
His objective was Plattsburg, where an American army of not more than
two thousand men was stationed. Accompanying his army, to insure its
line of communication with Canada, was a fleet consisting of a frigate,
a brig, and a dozen smaller vessels. To this fleet, Captain Thomas
Macdonough could oppose only a corvette and a dozen small craft. The
fleets met in a battle for the control of the lake on September 11. The
resourcefulness of the young American officer saved the day. By winding
his corvette, the Saratoga, about, so as to bring her unused guns to
bear just when the fight seemed lost, he forced the formidable Confiance
to strike her colors. The surrender of the smaller British boats
followed. The battle of Plattsburg was decisive of the invasion. Fearing
greater disasters if he pressed on without the control of the waterway
at his rear, Prevost at once ordered a retreat.

The expedition directed toward Chesapeake Bay was well under way before
Prevost's ill-starred invasion began. On August 19, General Ross landed
his forces on the banks of Patuxent River, within striking distance of
Washington. Marching leisurely across country toward the capital, the
British finally met at Bladensburg a motley array of some seven thousand
Americans, hastily summoned from the countryside. What followed is not
easily described. Some show of resistance was made by the marines from
the American gunboats in the Patuxent; but for the most part the
Americans were seized with a panic and fled in wild disorder. The
President and his Cabinet took to the Virginia woods, leaving the enemy
to wreak their vengeance on the government buildings. Having fired the
Capitol, the White House, and other edifices, the British forces
returned to their fleet and reëmbarked. The historian can take no
pleasure in dwelling upon details which are discreditable to all
concerned; for if the British committed acts of vandalism, the Americans
had provoked retaliation when they burned the parliament houses at York
in the campaign of 1813.

An attack upon Baltimore which might have resulted in further outrages
was frustrated by the measures of defense which the government of the
city had already wisely undertaken. After a skirmish in which General
Ross was killed, and an ineffective bombardment of the harbor defenses,
the British withdrew.

A visitor to the national capital after its capture described the
President as "miserably shattered and woe-begone," and heart-broken at
the defection of New England. To prosecute the war, money and men were
needed; but both were wanting. The Administration hoped, but hoped in
vain, that the victories at Chippewa, Lundy's Lane, and Plattsburg would
stimulate enlistments; but recruits were not likely to be lured by
promises which every one knew the Government could not redeem. It became
clearer every day that unless Congress was disposed to adopt Monroe's
plan of conscription, the National Government would have to put its
dependence upon state armies. In September, after Castine and the
eastern part of Maine to the Penobscot had been occupied by the British,
Governor Strong consented to call out the militia of Massachusetts, but
he was careful to place the troops under the command of state officers.
At the same time he made inquiry of the Secretary of War whether the
expenses of the militia would be assumed by the National Government.
Monroe replied rather sharply that so long as Massachusetts refused to
put her troops under the command of national officers, she need not
expect the United States to maintain them. The Governor of Connecticut
had already withdrawn the militia of that State from national service.
At the moment when Prevost was beginning his invasion, the Governor of
Vermont declined to call out the state militia because he doubted his
authority to order the militia out of the State. The Union seemed on the
point of disintegrating into its original elements.

The anxieties of the Administration were further increased by the action
of the Massachusetts General Court, which called a convention of those
States "the affinity of whose interests is closest," with the avowed
purpose of devising some mode of common defense and of securing a
convention of delegates from all the States to revise the National
Constitution. In spite of vigorous opposition, delegates were chosen, to
meet on December 15 with "such as may be chosen by any or all of the
other New England States." The legislatures of Connecticut and Rhode
Island responded promptly; but the legislature of Vermont unanimously
declined the invitation, and New Hampshire failed to reply. The movement
seemed all the more ominous after the fall elections, which resulted in
the choice of thirty-nine Federalist Congressmen from New England and of
only two Republicans. In the preceding Congress there had been thirty
Federalists and eleven Republicans.

That members of the Essex Junto would gladly have seized this
opportunity to remake the Federal Union by excluding the Western States
appears clearly enough in the correspondence of men like Timothy
Pickering. A new Union of the "good old thirteen States" on terms set by
New England was believed to be well within the bounds of possibility.
Radical newspapers referred with enthusiasm to the erection of a new
federal edifice. Little wonder that the harassed President was obsessed
with the idea that New England was on the verge of secession.

From the first, however, this movement in New England was kept well in
hand by men like Harrison Gray Otis, who always insisted that the object
of a convention was to defend New England against the common enemy and
to prevent radical action under the stress of popular excitement. If
this be true, it was unfortunate, to say the least, that these patriots
chose just this moment, when the Federal Government was about to succumb
to the common enemy, to propose alterations in the Constitution; and it
was equally unfortunate for the reputations of all concerned that they
should have held their deliberations in secret, giving an air of
conspiracy to their proceedings. The official journal of the Convention
at Hartford was not published until 1823. When the Convention adjourned
on January 5, 1815, all that the general public was permitted to know of
its deliberations was contained in its famous report.

The Convention was at no little pains to reassure a waiting world that
it did not contemplate or countenance secession. It was not yet ready to
concede that the defects in the Constitution were incurable nor that
multiplied abuses justified a severance of the Union, "especially in a
time of war." "If the Union be destined to dissolution, ... it should,
if possible, be the work of peaceable times, and deliberate consent."
But these philosophical considerations did not deter the author of the
report from a vicious and partisan attack upon "the multiplied abuses of
bad administrations."

President Madison must have read this document with mingled feelings,
for the Convention held, almost in the words of his Resolutions of 1798,
that the infractions of the Constitution were so "deliberate, dangerous,
and palpable" as to put the liberties of the people in jeopardy and to
make it the duty of a State "to interpose its authority for their
protection." The legislatures of the several States were recommended to
adopt measures for protecting their citizens against all
unconstitutional acts of Congress which should subject the militia or
other citizens to forcible drafts, conscriptions, or impressments. They
were also urged to apply to the Federal Government for consent to some
arrangement whereby the States, separately or in concert, could
undertake their own defense and retain a reasonable proportion of the
national taxes for the purpose. Finally, seven amendments to the
Constitution were proposed, to prevent a recurrence of the grievances
from which the New England States suffered. Four of these proposed
amendments put limitations upon Congress: a two-thirds vote of both
houses was to be required to admit a new State, to interdict commerce,
to lay an embargo, and to declare war. In future, representation and
direct taxes were to be apportioned according to the respective numbers
of free persons. Naturalized citizens were to be excluded from all
federal civil offices; and finally--a blow at the Virginia
dynasty--"the same person shall not be elected President of the United
States a second time; nor shall the President be elected from the same
State two terms in succession."

The General Court of Massachusetts acted promptly. Three commissioners
were dispatched at once to Washington, to work out an amicable
arrangement for the defense of the State. On February 3, 1815, the
"three ambassadors," as they styled themselves, set out for the capital.
Ten days later, _en route_, they learned that General Andrew Jackson had
decisively repulsed an attack of the British upon New Orleans on January
8. On reaching Washington the commissioners were met with the news that
a treaty of peace had been signed at Ghent. Their cause had met with the
most unlucky fate which can befall any cause in the United States: it
had become ridiculous. The tension of war-times relaxed in a roar of
laughter at their expense.

Early in the year 1813, Russia had endeavored to mediate between her
ally and the United States. President Madison had at once, and as it
appeared somewhat precipitately, sent Albert Gallatin and James A.
Bayard as peace commissioners to St. Petersburg; but Great Britain
declined the Czar's good offices. The American envoys, however, remained
in Europe. When, then, in October, the British Ministry intimated that
it was prepared to begin direct negotiations, President Madison created
a new commission by sending John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and Jonathan
Russell to join Gallatin and Bayard. In the last week in June, the
commissioners repaired to Ghent, which had been chosen as the place of
meeting. Thither the British negotiators followed them in leisurely
fashion. The first joint conference was not held until August 8, 1814.

The task of the American commissioners was one of very great difficulty.
Confronted by the unexpected demand that the revision of the Canadian
boundary, the fisheries, and the establishment of an Indian state in the
Northwest should be included in the _pourparler_, they could only reply
that they had been instructed to discuss only matters of maritime
law--impressments, blockades, and neutral rights. There seemed so little
likelihood of agreement that the American commissioners prepared to
leave Ghent. But the British Ministry abated its extreme demands and
continued the negotiations. At the same time new instructions from
Washington advised the American representatives that they might drop the
subject of impressments if they found it an insuperable obstacle in the
way of peace.

The insistence of the British agents upon the principle of _uti
possidetis_--the state of possession at the close of the war--again
threatened to break off negotiations, for the Americans resolutely
insisted on the _status quo ante bellum_, a restoration of all places
taken during the war. It was at this juncture that tidings arrived of
the British repulse at Plattsburg. For a week the British Ministry
debated the feasibility of renewing the war; but the complications at
the Congress of Vienna, the "prodigious expense" of continued war, the
change in public opinion, and the emphatic conviction of Wellington that
the Ministry had "no right from the state of the war to demand any
cession of territory"--these and many lesser considerations disposed the
Cabinet to ask the American envoys to prepare a draft of a treaty.

Strong differences of opinion developed among the Americans when they
set to work upon their preliminary draft. As the representative of
Western interests, Clay set himself obstinately against any further
recognition of the British right--secured by the treaty of 1783--of free
navigation of the Mississippi. Adams was equally determined not to
sacrifice the correlative right to the Labrador and Newfoundland
fisheries, which his father had secured in the Treaty of Paris.
Gallatin, the peacemaker, was in favor of offering to renew both
privileges; and he finally succeeded in winning Clay's reluctant assent
to this plan. But when the British commissioners objected, both sides
agreed to omit all reference to these vexing questions.

The treaty which was signed on December 24, 1814, is remarkable for its
omissions. The reader will scan it in vain for any allusion to
impressments, blockades, and neutral rights. It is equally silent as to
the control of the Lakes, Indian territories, the fisheries, and the
navigation of the Mississippi. It was "simply a cessation of
hostilities, leaving every claim on either side open for future
settlement." Clay probably reflected the disappointment of Republicans
when he pronounced it "a damned bad treaty." Nevertheless, it brought
what was most desired by the exhausted Administration--peace. Moreover,
the treaty must be viewed in the light of events in Europe. The
overthrow of the Napoleonic Empire and the exile of Bonaparte gave
promise of a return to normal conditions so far as maritime rights were
concerned. The victories of American seamen in the war were after all
better guaranties of neutral rights than any declarations on parchment.


     Besides the larger histories, which contain abundant information
     about the war, mention should be made of B. J. Lossing's
     _Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812_ (1868), written by one
     who visited most of the battlefields of the war. A well-balanced
     account of the military operations is contained in K. C. Babcock's
     _The Rise of American Nationality_ (in _The American Nation_, vol.
     XIII, 1906). Theodore Roosevelt, _The Naval War of 1812_ (various
     editions); E. S. Maclay, _History of the United States Navy from
     1775 to 1901_ (3 vols., 1901-02), and _History of American
     Privateers_ (1899); J. R. Spears, _History of Our Navy_ (4 vols.,
     1897); and C. O. Paullin, _Commodore John Rodgers_ (1910), give
     the history of the maritime war. The most comprehensive study of
     the naval operations of the war is the work by Admiral Mahan
     already cited. The part of Jackson in the war is set forth in many
     biographies. The most picturesque is James Parton, _Life of Andrew
     Jackson_ (3 vols., 1860); the most recent is J. S. Bassett, _Life
     of Andrew Jackson_ (2 vols., 1911). S. E. Morison, _Life and
     Letters of Harrison Gray Otis_ (2 vols., 1913), gives a fresh
     account of the disaffection in New England and of the Hartford
     Convention. The peace negotiations at Ghent are set forth
     circumstantially by Henry Adams in his _History of the United
     States_ (9 vols., 1889-91).



In a message to Congress transmitting the treaty of peace, President
Madison congratulated the country on the termination of a war "waged
with a success which is the natural result of the wisdom of the
legislative councils, of the patriotism of the people, of the public
spirit of the militia, and of the valor of the military and naval forces
of the country." The verdict of history does not sustain this pæan of
victory. "The record, upon the whole," declares Admiral Mahan, "is one
of gloom, disaster, and governmental incompetence, resulting from lack
of national preparation, due to the obstinate and blind prepossessions
of the Government, and, in part, of the people." Public opinion indorsed
the President's estimate of the late struggle.

As a matter of fact, the people of the United States had seen little of
the disasters and ravages of war. All the important battles took place
on the borders. The great mass of the people were undisturbed in their
vocations. There was hardly a day during the war when a farmer could not
till his acres in tranquillity. Not an important city save Washington
was taken during the war. Nor was the loss of life large in proportion
to population. All told, the killed and wounded did not exceed five
thousand men. Napoleon lost nearly two hundred thousand French soldiers
in his disastrous Russian campaign.

American character appeared at its best and at its worst in these three
years of war. Even the British press could not gainsay the
resourcefulness and intelligence of the American soldier and sailor,
though the phrase "Yankee smartness" conveyed also the unpleasant
imputation of trickiness and moral laxity. Wherever conditions permitted
a fair test, the superiority of the American gunner was incontestable.
The greater losses of the British whenever the armies met on even terms
proved the superior marksmanship of the American militiaman. The
adaptation of the fast-sailing schooner to privateering was further
evidence of an alert intellect which was quick to adapt means to ends.
This quality, to be sure, has been bred in every frontier folk by the
very necessities of existence, but it appeared in marked strength in the
American of this time. While the shipbuilders of New England were laying
the keels of these privateers, Robert Fulton was perfecting his
steamboat on the Delaware and Hudson rivers. In the year before the war,
the first steamboat appeared on the Ohio, and before the end of the war
fourteen were plying on Western waters, and opening up a new era in the
American colonization of the continent.

This instinctive adaptation of means to ends was less successful in the
realm of American politics. No celerity could compensate for want of
prevision on the part of the authorities at Washington. The lesson of
the war was not lost upon James Madison, at least. "Experience has
taught us," said he in a message to Congress,--and the words amounted to
a confession of error,--"that neither the pacific dispositions of the
American people nor the pacific character of their political
institutions, can altogether exempt them from that strife which appears,
beyond the ordinary lot of nations, to be incident to the actual period
of the world; and the same faithful monitor demonstrates that a certain
degree of preparation for war is not only indispensable to avert
disaster in the onset, but affords also the best security for the
continuance of peace."

The indirect effects of war were more widely felt. The blockade affected
adversely all the extractive industries upon which the vast majority of
the people in all the States depended. Only New England escaped
unscathed--and the circumstance was not creditable to the section. In
the latter months of 1814 ruin stared the Southern planter in the face.
The lifting of the blockade wrought a transformation. Planters in the
Old Dominion, who could find no market for their tobacco and wheat on
February 13, sold their produce on February 14 at prices which made them
rich again. Flour which had found almost no purchasers at seven and a
half dollars a barrel sold readily at ten. Imported commodities fell in
price correspondingly. Ships put to sea at once laden with the
accumulated produce of two long years. The export trade, which had
fallen to less than $7,000,000, leaped to $46,000,000 between March and
October. Fully two thirds of this wealth accrued to the Southern
planters who raised the three great staples, tobacco, cotton, and rice.
The people of the Middle States shared only moderately in this
prosperity. The value of the wheat and corn which the farmers of
Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey raised for export did not much
exceed that of tobacco alone.

The return of peace brought relief also to the shipping industry of New
England. Vessels which the embargo and the restrictive policy and the
hazards of war had kept in port now put to sea again. But the European
conditions which had created such immense profits for the Yankee skipper
in 1805, 1806, and 1807 had passed away. Foreign ships now bid for the
carrying trade of the Atlantic, and their competition cut down freight
rates to a point which caused melancholy forebodings in the homes of
Boston and Salem shipowners.

The long period of commercial restriction followed by three years of war
caused a dislocation of industry in New England. Capital which had been
invested in shipping now sought larger returns in the manufacture of
those commodities hitherto supplied by British factories. When the
embargo was laid, only fifteen cotton mills were in operation,
representing a capital of about $500,000. Two years later, capital to
the amount of $4,000,000 had been invested in factories which employed
nearly 4000 hands. At the close of the war, $40,000,000 were invested in
cotton mills which consumed 27,000,000 pounds of raw cotton and gave
employment to 100,000 men and women. Hitherto much of the weaving had
been done on hand looms in the farmhouses of New England: only the
spinning had been done by machinery. In 1814, Francis Lowell introduced
the power loom into his mill at Waltham, Massachusetts, and brought the
various processes of cotton manufacturing under one roof. The foundation
of the New England factory system was thus laid before the end of the
war. In the following decade the famous factory towns on the Merrimac
came into existence. The metamorphosis of the section had begun.

The woolen industry received a great impetus in this same period of
artificial stimulation, but it failed to expand with the same rapidity,
owing to the scarcity and cost of the finer grades of wool.
Nevertheless, in the year 1816, about $12,000,000 were invested in the
manufacture of woolen fabrics. Like the cotton industry, this owed its
development to the policy of Presidents from Virginia. It is one of the
ironies of history that Jefferson and Madison should have unwittingly
sacrificed Southern planters to build up industries in the North, and
that New Englanders should have excoriated those worthies for policies
which became the source of New England prosperity.

To these new industries peace spelled disaster. English manufacturers
seized the opportunity to unload the goods which they had been piling up
in their warehouses for years. Importations which had amounted to
$13,000,000 in 1813 rose to the staggering sum of $147,000,000 in 1816.
Not even import duties stemmed the tide, for as Lord Brougham stated in
Parliament, "It was well worth while to incur a loss upon the first
exportation, in order, by a glut, to stifle in the cradle those rising
manufactures in the United States which the war had forced into
existence, contrary to the natural course of things."

In October, 1815, the cotton manufacturers of Rhode Island sent a
memorial to Congress, stating that their one hundred and forty factories
were threatened with destruction by this cut-throat competition. Such
complaints seemed unduly apprehensive; yet before the year closed, most
of the textile mills had shut down. The distress of New England was no
longer feigned. Caught in a process of transition from shipping to
manufacturing, capital could neither advance nor retreat. It was a
legitimate case for governmental aid. Even Jefferson laid aside his
early prepossessions in favor of a simple bucolic life for the American
citizen, and admitted that "to be independent for the comforts of life,
we must fabricate them for ourselves. We must now place the manufacturer
by the side of the agriculturist." Madison, too, departed from the
Virginia faith so far as to recommend sufficient protection of "the
enterprising citizens whose interests are now at stake" to guard them
"against occasional competition from abroad."

Within sight of the blackened walls of the Capitol, in temporary
quarters which it had rented, Congress set its hand to the work of
national reconstruction. Before many months had passed, the new Capitol,
under the supervision of Latrobe, began to rise from the ruins of the
old, a symbol of a new era. On the walls of the rotunda, John Trumbull
painted scenes which were to remind coming generations of the heroic
days of the Revolution, and within its confines was eventually installed
what was left of the library of Congress, with the gaps supplied in part
by Jefferson's private collection, which Congress purchased. The new
nation was not to disdain wholly the finer aspects of life nor to
despise the garnered wisdom of the ages.

In March, 1816, Congress took under consideration a tariff bill which
had been drafted on lines marked out by the new Secretary of the
Treasury, A. J. Dallas, of Pennsylvania. The debates brought out a wide
diversity of interests. Daniel Webster represented admirably the mingled
feelings of his New England constituents when he professed to favor
existing manufactures, but deprecated any action calculated to produce
new industries. He never wished to see the time when the young men of
the country would be forced to close their eyes to heaven and earth, and
open them in the dust and smoke of unwholesome factories. On the other
hand, Calhoun, eschewing a narrow sectionalism, declared that
manufacturing must be encouraged as a wise national policy. "Neither
agriculture, manufactures, nor commerce, taken separately, is the cause
of wealth," said he. "It flows from the three combined and cannot exist
without each." The South showed little of the apprehension which John
Randolph expressed when he cried, "Upon whom bears the duty on coarse
woolens and linens and blankets, upon salt, and all the necessaries of
life?" and answered, "On poor men, and on slaveholders."

The bill which Congress eventually passed fixed somewhat lower duties
than Dallas had advised. A duty of twenty-five per cent was placed on
cotton and woolen goods until June 30, 1819, when it was to be reduced
to twenty per cent. By what was known as the minimum principle, all
cotton fabrics costing less than twenty-five cents a square yard were
held to have cost that amount and were made to pay corresponding duties.
The object of this provision was to exclude from India the coarser and
cheaper cotton textiles which would menace the products of New England
looms. Other important articles were made subject to higher duties, such
as rolled and hammered iron, leather goods, hats, carriages, and
writing-paper. A comparison of these duties with those of the tariff of
1789 shows a marked increase. Where the average duty was seven and one
half per cent in 1789, it was thirty per cent in the tariff of 1816. So
far as the intent of the law is concerned, this tariff act committed the
country to a fiscal policy in which "revenue was subordinated to
industrial needs."

Although the largest vote against the tariff bill came from the South
and Southwest, twenty-three out of fifty-seven Representatives voted for
the bill. New England showed a prepondering opinion in favor of
protection: only ten out of twenty-seven Representatives opposed the
bill. The Representatives of the Middle States ranged themselves
emphatically on the side of protection; and with them stood the
Congressmen from Ohio and Kentucky.

The close of the war found the country with a badly disordered currency
and with a bankrupt treasury. Nowhere were the remedial efforts of
Congress needed more. The condition of the currency was due, in part at
least, to the failure of Congress in 1811 to perceive the regulative
influence of a national bank. By refusing to recharter the United States
Bank, Congress not only deprived the Treasury of an exceedingly valuable
fiscal agent during the war, but also threw the door wide open to
indiscriminate and unregulated state banking. Between 1811 and 1816 the
number of these state institutions increased from eighty-eight to two
hundred and forty-six, all of which exercised the right of issuing notes
with little or no restriction. Inflation followed inevitably. During the
blockade the banks of the Middle and Southern States suffered great
distress by the constant drain of specie to New England and abroad.
After the capture of Washington, practically all banks outside of New
England were forced to suspend specie payments. The country experienced
once more all the evils of a depreciated currency. Southern bank notes
were refused for deposit in Philadelphia banks. Notes of these
institutions in Philadelphia, in turn, were subject to a discount of
twenty-four per cent in Boston. Uncertainty and distrust demoralized
financial operations everywhere.

Wiser by the experience of five years, Congress was now disposed to
establish another national bank. A first bill, however, fell short of
the President's desires and was vetoed. A second bill became law on
April 10, 1816. The provisions of this Bank of the United States
differed in several particulars from that chartered in 1790. Its capital
was three and one half times as large. One fifth of the total capital
of $35,000,000 was to be subscribed by the Government, and the remainder
by individuals. Five of the twenty-five directors were to be appointed
by the President of the United States. The funds of the Government were
to be deposited in the Bank unless the Secretary of the Treasury should
otherwise direct, laying his reasons for any such change before
Congress. In return for the privileges granted in the charter, the Bank
was required to transfer the government funds from place to place
without charge, and to pay $1,500,000 to the Government. On its side the
Government agreed not to charter any other bank except in the District
of Columbia. The circulation of the Bank was limited to the amount of
its capital. Its notes were to be payable on demand in specie and to be
receivable in all payments to the Government.

Such an institution gave promise of serving the Government as a sound
fiscal agent and of assisting materially in the restoration of the
currency to a specie basis. The stock was subscribed promptly by 31,334
individuals, all but three thousand of whom resided in the Middle
States. New England was still reluctant to support the plans of Mr.
Madison; the South had other uses for its capital. To facilitate the
resumption of specie payments, Congress passed a joint resolution, that
after February 20 of the following year (1817), all dues to the
Government should be paid in specie, treasury notes, national bank
notes, or notes of banks payable in the "said currency of the United
States." This was strong medicine for the state banks. Unwilling or
unable to contract their circulation and to call in their loans, the
banks of the Middle States asked to have the date of resumption
deferred, on the ostensible ground that the new bank could not be
organized in time to assist them. The energetic Secretary of the
Treasury disposed of this plea by putting the Bank in operation in
January, 1817. On the date set by Congress the banks very generally
resumed specie payments.

The propulsive force given to the Government by the war seemed likely to
continue. The task of the National Government no longer seemed merely
negative,--to "restrain men from injuring one another," in the
Jeffersonian phrase,--but positive and constructive. Even Madison, in
his annual message of 1815, recommended liberal provision for defense,
more military academies, an improved and enlarged navy, protection to
manufactures, new national roads and canals, and a national university.
He gave his support to Monroe's proposal to fix the peace establishment
at twenty thousand men; and he experienced the unique sensation of
finding himself in advance of his party, which finally agreed upon an
army of ten thousand men. Still more striking evidence of the change
which had passed over the party of Jefferson was its willingness to
retain the entire naval establishment and to appropriate $4,000,000 for
frigates and ships-of-the-line. Clay and Calhoun, speaking for the
younger Republicans, agreed that the greatest danger of the future lay
in weak government. They were not in the least intimidated by the
addition of $80,000,000 to the national debt as the result of war. That
sum represented to their minds simply the price, none too large, of
commercial and industrial independence.

These young aggressive spirits seemed at times quite indifferent to nice
questions of constitutional law. Calhoun dismissed constitutional
objections to a national bank with a wave of the hand: he thought
discussion of such abstract themes "a useless consumption of time." On
introducing his bill for internal improvements, in December, 1816, he
intimated that he did not propose to indulge in metaphysical subtleties
respecting the Constitution. "The instrument was not intended as a
thesis for the logician to exercise his ingenuity on; ... it ought to be
construed with plain good sense." If Clay exhibited more sensitiveness
to constitutional limitations, it was because he had to clear himself
from the charge of inconsistency. In supporting the Bank Bill in 1816 he
frankly confessed that he had changed his mind on the point of
constitutionality. He had believed the incorporation of a bank in 1811
unwarranted by the Constitution; but conditions had changed. What was
then neither necessary nor proper was now both necessary and proper. The
interpretation of the Constitution must always take existing
circumstances into account. If Clay did not add to his reputation as an
expounder of the Constitution by this speech, he represented admirably,
nevertheless, the changes which circumstances had wrought in the
convictions of his associates.

Against these new tendencies John Randolph set himself stark and grim.
"The question is," said he, replying to Calhoun's new nationalism,
"whether or not we are willing to become one great consolidated nation,
or whether we have still respect enough for those old, respectable
institutions [the States] to regard their integrity and preservation as
a part of our policy." Randolph spoke for a generation which was passing
away; but his words touched a responsive chord in the breast of
President Madison. On March 3, 1817, as he was about to leave office, he
sent to Congress a message vetoing the Internal Improvements Bill and
warning his party associates of the danger of latitudinarian views of
the Constitution. This message was Madison's farewell address. It was
thoroughly characteristic of the man and the statesman.

The relaxing of Republican doctrines, and of party ties generally,
divested the presidential election of any real political significance.
The Federalists were thoroughly discredited. As a party they made no
concerted effort to nominate candidates. Virtually, therefore, the
selection of a President rested with the congressional caucus of the
Republican party. The choice lay between two members of the President's
Cabinet: James Monroe, Secretary of State, and William H. Crawford,
Secretary of the Treasury. Governor Tompkins, of New York, was put
forward by enthusiastic partisans from that State, but he was not a
national figure in any sense and commanded no support outside of his
State. Intrigue played a part in this caucus, if contemporary testimony
may be believed. Tradition has it that Martin Van Buren and Peter B.
Porter prevented their New York delegation from voting for Crawford and
thus threw the nomination to Monroe. Governor Tompkins was the choice of
the caucus for Vice-President. No one could safely affirm that these
nominees were the choice of the rank and file of the party. Here and
there public meetings were held to protest against the dictation of the
congressional caucus; but no organized opposition developed. The
campaign proved to be a tame affair. Nowhere was there a real contest.
Only three States, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Delaware, chose
Federalist electors. Not a ripple of excitement stirred the public when
announcement was finally made that Monroe had received 183 electoral
votes and Rufus King, 34. For the fourth time a Virginian had been
raised to the Presidency.


     Of the general histories, only that by McMaster contains any great
     amount of information bearing on the economic changes wrought by
     war and the preceding period of commercial restriction. Adams
     summarizes the economic results of war in a single chapter in the
     last volume of his work. K. C. Babcock, _The Rise of American
     Nationality_ (in _The American Nation_, vol. 13, 1906), attempts
     the same task. Besides the manuals on economic history which have
     already been mentioned, there are several excellent volumes
     dealing with various phases of national life: such as, D. R.
     Dewey, _Financial History of the United States_ (1903); F. W.
     Taussig, _Tariff History of the United Stales_ (rev. ed., 1913);
     R. C. H. Catterall, _The Second Bank of the United Stales_ (1903);
     J. L. Bishop, _History of American Manufactures from 1608-1860_ (2
     vols., 1861-64); C. W. Wright, _Wool-Growing and the Tariff_
     (1910). Among the biographies of statesmen of the new generation,
     the best are: G. T. Curtis, _Life of Daniel Webster_ (2 vols.,
     1869); W. W. Story, _Life and Letters of Joseph Story_ (2 vols.,
     1851); G. Hunt, _John C. Calhoun_ (1908).



At the end of the second decade of the nineteenth century, the people of
the United States were still in the main a homogeneous folk, native-born
descendants of native-born ancestors. The tide of immigration which was
by the end of the century to inundate the nation and transform its
character was just beginning to flow. Its volume between the close of
the Revolution and the year 1820, when the first official statistics
were collected, must remain a matter of conjecture. In 1817, the
painstaking Niles, in his _Register_, estimated that about twenty-two
thousand immigrants had arrived in that year in the ports of New York,
Philadelphia, and Boston, of whom four thousand were Germans and the
rest inhabitants of the British Isles. Fully one half of these British
subjects were brawny Irishmen, often a turbulent lot, but always in
demand for hard labor on the roads and canals which were projected in
every part of the Union. Among these newcomers, however, were many
undesirables. Not a few English parishes emptied their poorhouses by
sending the helpless inmates to the New World. Some of these deported
paupers, no doubt, found a livelihood and became respectable citizens;
but the records of almshouses in the Eastern States indicate that many
of these unfortunates had only exchanged one asylum for another. In the
Philadelphia poorhouses in the early thirties, from one third to one
half of the inmates were foreign-born. Cargoes of redemptioners came
into American ports as late as the year 1818. Of that traffic which was
bringing helpless Africans into bondage in the Southern States, more
will be said in a subsequent chapter.

Among the new arrivals, it goes without saying, were men and women, who,
and whose descendants, contributed mightily to the building up of
American Commonwealths. Entire communities seeking an asylum in the New
World continued to arrive as in the early years of the seventeenth
century. In 1817, a body of German separatists from Württemberg, under
the leadership of Joseph Baumeler, landed at Philadelphia. Like the
English Pilgrims they sought freedom from religious persecution, but the
Plymouth which they founded was on a new frontier--at Zoar in the
wilderness of Ohio.

What particularly impressed every foreign traveler in America during
these years of transition and expansion was the incessant movement of
society. The earlier westward movement of population had never wholly
ceased, but it had been retarded by the war. The return of peace was
like the first warm days of spring. The roads leading West were fairly
inundated by a swelling stream of emigrants. An observer at the Genesee
turnpike noted a train of some twenty wagons and one hundred and sixteen
persons on their way to Indiana from a single town in Maine. A traveler
on his way from Nashville to Georgia, in January, 1817, met an
astonishing number of people from the Carolinas and Georgia who were
bound for the cotton lands of Alabama. He counted over two hundred
conveyances and three thousand people, driving herds of cattle and
droves of hogs before them. But the great highway to the West lay
through Pennsylvania. On the road from Chambersburg to Pittsburg,
Fearon, an intelligent and in such particulars a trustworthy English
traveler, counted one hundred and three stage-wagons, drawn by four and
six horses, proceeding from Philadelphia and Baltimore to Pittsburg, and
seventy-nine wagons bound in the opposite direction. "On the road,"
comments Fearon, "every emigrant tells you he is going to Ohio; when you
arrive in Ohio, its inhabitants are 'moving' to Missouri and Alabama;
thus it is that the point for final settlement is forever receding as
you advance, and thus it will hereafter proceed, and only be terminated
by that effectual barrier--the Pacific Ocean."

To this emigration all sections of the Union contributed. In the
back-country of New England--in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and
western Massachusetts--was a restive population little loved by the
governing class. President Timothy Dwight, of Yale College, described
these people as "impatient of the restraints of law, religion, and
morality," contentious, always complaining, and always indebted. They
were likely to be Baptists or Methodists, by persuasion, and Democrats
in politics. As small farmers their lot was a hard one. They needed only
the incentive of cheap lands in the West to sever the slender ties which
bound them to the stony hillsides of New England. Yet the older towns of
New England also complained of the Western fever which was carrying off
the available labor supply. Fearon found "the small and middling
tradesmen" always ready to sell out when business got bad and "pack up
for the back-country." The immediate destination of these New Englanders
was western New York. Within a decade what had been a frontier area was
filled with an industrious population eager to secure markets for the
surplus products of their farms.

[Map: Land Sales and Land Offices to 1821]

Before a very large number of New Englanders passed beyond western New
York, emigrants from the Middle States were pushing into the Ohio
country, where Harrison's victories had opened vast tracts to the white
settlers. The earliest settlers in Indiana and Illinois, however, were
of Southern extraction. Tennessee and Kentucky, having no longer a
supply of good land at low prices, sent the younger generation on to a
new frontier. In the year 1816 the father of Abraham Lincoln took his
family across the Ohio on a raft and hewed his way into the timber lands
along the river bottoms of Indiana. With these migratory Kentuckians
went also descendants of the Germans and the Scotch-Irish who had
peopled the Great Valley in the previous century. Even from the
Carolinas came all sorts and conditions of men,--poor whites, Quakers,
Baptists,--small farmers whom the advancing plantation system was
driving from the uplands.

Even more significant than this advance of population into the region
north of the Ohio was the contemporaneous movement from the Southern
Seaboard States into the cotton lands of the Gulf plains. The way had
been prepared by Andrew Jackson's conquest of the Creeks. Alabama was
the immediate goal of the migrating Southerner. From Kentucky, also, but
more particularly from Tennessee, stalwart pioneers entered this new El
Dorado. The father of Jefferson Davis was one of those who tried their
luck in the alluvial plains of the lower Mississippi. By the year 1820,
the area of settlement had extended from southern Tennessee to Mobile,
and from Mobile to the Mississippi along the Gulf.

[Illustration: The Cotton Crop in the United States 1801-1834
  Based on Estimates furnished to Congress by the Secretary of Treasury
  Figures indicate the crop in million pounds
  Shaded segments indicate the Gulf States]

The causes and consequences of this colonization of the Southwest form a
vital chapter in the economic history of the country. In the year before
the war, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia produced 75,000,000 pounds
of cotton; the only other cotton-raising States, Tennessee and
Louisiana, produced 5,000,000 pounds. Ten years later, the Seaboard
States raised 117,000,000 pounds; the Southwest, 60,000,000. In another
decade the States of the Southwest had outstripped the Old South. This
comparison throws a flood of light upon Southern history. The invention
of the cotton gin had made possible the cultivation of the short-staple
cotton plant, which was the only variety that could be raised profitably
in the uplands. Occurring just at the moment when the use of the power
loom in factories was giving an unprecedented stimulus to the
manufacture of cotton, the cotton gin worked a revolution in Southern
life and industry. From the tidewater, with its large plantations
worked by African slaves, the cultivation of cotton passed into the
region above the fall-line of the rivers, where the small farmer
practiced a diversified agriculture. Socially and politically the two
regions had always been distinct. The gentlemen planters of the
tidewater, with much the same outlook as the English gentry of the same
period, regarded the democratic yeomen of the Piedmont with distrust not
unmixed with contempt. By excluding them from their proportionate
representation in the state legislatures, the aristocratic planters
maintained an ascendency which was at once political and social. But as
cotton-growing became more profitable and advanced into the interior,
the farmer of the uplands found himself pushed to the wall. Either he
must adopt the plantation system and purchase slaves, or sell his land
and move on. For want of capital large numbers chose the latter
alternative and swelled the numbers of those who had already set their
faces westward.

The communities which within six years after the Treaty of Ghent were
admitted into the Union as the States of Mississippi and Alabama, did
not at first differ materially from Indiana and Illinois, which became
Commonwealths at the same time. Much the same obstacles confronted the
pioneer in the pine forests of Mississippi as in the hard woods of the
Northwest. Either as squatter or _bona fide_ purchaser he had with the
aid of his neighbors hewed out a clearing, or single-handed girdled the
trees, and laid the sills of his log cabin. A "raising" or "frolic" was
one of the few opportunities for social intercourse in the hard life of
the frontiersman. Between the stumps of his clearing he planted his
first crop of Indian corn; and what the soil did not yield for his
sustenance, he supplied with his trusty rifle. Time wrought vast
transformations in these new communities. The thriftless, who scratched
the surface of the ground and then sold out to a newcomer of sterner
fiber, passed on to a new frontier. Log cabins gave way to frame houses.
Clearings became well-tilled farms. Better methods of cultivation
extracted a surplus of produce which could be sent to market. Along the
rivers of the Northwest, cities sprang up like mushrooms.

From this point the history of the Southwest diverged from that of the
Northwest. The virgin lands of the Gulf attracted also the planter with
his capital invested in African slaves. Once again the small farmer felt
the combined pressure of social and economic forces. He saw his
wealthier neighbor acquire the more fertile lands; he found himself
thrust into a socially inferior class; and again he yielded to fate.
While a democratic society of self-reliant yeomen was developing in the
northern half of the Mississippi Valley, a society based upon a
plantation economy and aristocratic in its outward characteristics was
forming in the Gulf States. Yet in its aggressiveness and commercial
enterprise, the new South resembled the Northwest rather than the old

[Map: The West as an Economic Section in 1820]

While the South was producing staples for an ever-growing market, it
became itself the market for the surplus products of the Northwest. An
active internal trade sprang up between the sections in spite of the
natural barriers to commercial intercourse. Live stock could be driven
to market. It was a common occurrence to see droves of thousands of
"razor-back" hogs on their way from Kentucky to the Seaboard States,
feeding on nuts and roots by the way. Rivers were the chief highways for
such produce as could not provide for its own locomotion. The Western
waters floated all sorts of craft, from the lumber raft to the flatboat,
laden with pork, cheese, butter, flour, corn, and whiskey. The greater
part of these boats were makeshifts, and made no return voyage. It was
not until 1809 that a barge was warped upstream from New Orleans to
Nashville. The entire traffic on the Mississippi and the Ohio was
carried on until 1817 in less than a score of keel boats, which made the
voyage downstream from Louisville to New Orleans in about forty days,
and upstream in ninety. When, then, a steamboat succeeded in making a
return voyage in twenty-five days, it was hailed as an epoch-making
performance. In the next year twenty steamboats were competing for the
river traffic; and three years later (1820) seventy-two were in actual
service. Yet the steamboat did not drive the flatboat from the Western
rivers. So late as 1840 one fifth of the freight handled on the lower
Mississippi was carried in flatboats or barges.

The rapid rise of this internal commerce between the farmer of the
Northwest and the cotton planter of the South increased the ability of
both to purchase manufactures in the Eastern markets. Both sections had
wants which they could not supply by their simple household industries.
They had to import not only their farming implements, but most of those
articles, useful or ornamental, which were thought indispensable to a
higher civilization. "Spots in Tennessee, in Ohio, and Kentucky,"
comments an English traveler, "that within the lifetime of even young
men, witnessed only the arrow and the scalping knife, now present the
traveler with articles of elegance and modes of luxury which might rival
the displays of London and Paris." Most of this stock was transported
over the mountains from Philadelphia or Baltimore. In 1820, three
thousand wagons carried to Pittsburg, the distributing center of the
West, nearly eighteen million dollars' worth of merchandise.

The commercial interests of the East were quick to see the possibilities
of this new market. An eager rivalry sprang up between the merchants of
New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Everywhere ways and means of
cheaper transportation were discussed. In this subject the Western
farmer was vitally interested, for freight charges added nearly one
third to the cost of merchandise transported over the mountains. The
cotton planter of the Seaboard States, also, feeling the competition of
the Southwest, where riverways were abundant and easily navigable, saw
the need of better roads to tidewater, in order to lessen the cost of
marketing his produce.

The popular demand for better roads was not recent. All the States had
encouraged, directly or indirectly, the building of turnpikes and
bridges. Between 1793 and 1812, Pennsylvania had chartered fifty-five
turnpike companies, and other States had been scarcely less ready to
grant articles of incorporation to stock companies. Private enterprise
had, indeed, done much to improve communication along the seaboard.
Turnpikes and bridges had shortened the journey by stage from Boston to
Washington to four and a quarter days by the year 1815. The city of New
York was in 1816 within twenty-four hours of Albany by the Hudson River

Numerous canal companies had also been chartered; but of all the canals
projected, only three had been completed when the War of 1812 began: the
Dismal Swamp Canal in Virginia, the Santee Canal in South Carolina, and
the Middlesex Canal in Massachusetts. It remained for New York to usher
in a new era in internal communication by authorizing in 1817 the
construction of the Erie Canal. In the ardent imagination of its chief
promoter, De Witt Clinton, this canal was destined to be "a bond of
union between the Atlantic and Western States" and "an organ of
communication between the Hudson, the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence, the
Great Lakes of the North and West, and their tributary rivers," creating
"the greatest inland trade ever witnessed" and transforming New York
into a vast emporium of commerce and "the granary of the world."

This bold bid for Western trade alarmed the merchants of Philadelphia,
particularly as the completion of the national road threatened to divert
much of their traffic to Baltimore. In 1825, the legislature of
Pennsylvania grappled with the problem by projecting a series of canals
which were to connect its great seaport with Pittsburg on the west and
with Lake Erie and the upper Susquehanna on the north.

The magnitude of the transportation problem was such, however, that
neither individual States nor private corporations seemed able to meet
the demands of an expanding internal trade. As early as 1807, Albert
Gallatin had advocated the construction of a great system of internal
waterways to connect East and West, at an estimated cost of $20,000,000.
But the only contribution of the National Government to internal
improvements during the Jeffersonian era was an appropriation in 1806 of
two per cent of the net proceeds of the sales of public lands in Ohio
for the construction of a national road, with the consent of the States
through which it should pass. By 1818 the road was open to traffic from
Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, Virginia.

In 1816, with the experiences of the war before him, no well-informed
statesman could shut his eyes to the national aspects of the problem.
Even President Madison invited the attention of Congress to the need of
establishing "a comprehensive system of roads and canals." Soon after
Congress met, it took under consideration a bill drafted by Calhoun
which proposed an appropriation of $1,500,000 for internal improvements.
Because this appropriation was to be met by the moneys paid by the
National Bank to the Government, the bill was commonly referred to as
the "Bonus Bill." "Let it not be forgotten," said Calhoun in advocacy of
his bill, "that it [the size of the Union] exposes us to the greatest of
all calamities,--next to the loss of liberty,--and even to that in its
consequences--disunion. We are great, and rapidly--I was about to say
fearfully--growing. This is our pride and our danger; our weakness and
our strength.... We are under the most imperious obligation to
counteract every tendency to disunion.... Whatever impedes the
intercourse of the extremes with this, the center of the Republic,
weakens the Union."

The one section which was impervious to these national considerations at
this moment was New England; but it was President Madison, and not New
England, who defeated the Bonus Bill. On the day before he left office,
Madison sent to Congress a notable veto message. Reverting to his
earlier faith, he pronounced the measure unconstitutional. Neither the
express words of the Constitution nor any fair inference could, in his
judgment, warrant the exercise of such powers by Congress. To pass the
bill over his veto was impossible. Monroe, too, in his first message to
Congress intimated that he also held strict views of the powers of
Congress. The policy of internal improvements by Federal aid was thus
wrecked on the constitutional scruples of the last of the Virginia

Having less regard for consistency, the House of Representatives
recorded its conviction, by close votes, that Congress could appropriate
money to construct roads and canals, but had not the power to construct
them. As yet the only direct aid of the National Government to internal
improvements consisted of various appropriations, amounting to about
$1,500,000 for the Cumberland Road.

Circumstances were also pressing the claims of the Far West upon the
Government. Beyond the scattered settlements of Illinois and Indiana
extended vast forests, known only to the Indians and the fur traders.
With the experiences of the war fresh in mind, the new Secretary of War,
Calhoun, urged upon the Government the necessity of taking resolute
measures to hold this territory. Laws excluding foreigners from the
Indian trade were passed; forts were established at strategic points
like Chicago, Prairie du Chien, and Green Bay; and in 1820, Governor
Cass, of the Michigan Territory, was sent on an expedition through the
Wisconsin forests into Minnesota, to assert American claims wherever
British influence was still felt.

Still farther west lay an almost unknown region of imperial dimensions.
Save where venturesome pioneers had pushed up the Arkansas and the
Missouri, and where the Spaniards maintained their feeble hold in the
Southwest, no white men inhabited the great prairies which swept
westward to the foothills of the Rockies. Only nomadic Indian tribes and
occasional traders followed the buffalo trails across this wide expanse.
Between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific was the region which Lewis
and Clark had penetrated. Along the valley of the northern branch of the
Columbia River, the Hudson's Bay Company had planted their trading
posts. Farther to the south lay Spanish California and the ill-defined
region to the eastward over which _presidios_ maintained a shadowy

On October 20, 1818, Benjamin Rush and Albert Gallatin, ministers to
England and France respectively, concluded a convention with Great
Britain which left the fate of the Oregon country in suspense for a
period of ten years. To the British claims of prior discovery by Cook
and Mackenzie and of prior occupation by the Hudson's Bay Company, the
American commissioners opposed the claims based on the voyage of Captain
Gray in 1792 and on the founding of Astoria by John Jacob Astor in 1811.
It was finally agreed that the northern boundary of the United States
should run from the Lake of the Woods to the Stony Mountains, along the
forty-ninth parallel, and that the disputed country beyond the mountains
should be occupied jointly for a period of ten years. An agreement was
also reached regarding the Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries.

On another frontier conditions existed to which Congress could not
remain indifferent. East Florida was still a thorn in the side of
Georgia and Alabama. The province had become a rendezvous for pirates,
filibusters, renegade Indians, and runaway negroes. Creek warriors who
would not submit to the loss of their lands had taken refuge with their
kinsmen, the Seminoles, and were inciting malcontents of every stripe
against the whites. A band of negroes, estimated at not less than a
thousand in number, together with some Creek Indians, had taken
possession of an abandoned fort on the Apalachicola and had terrorized
the country for miles around. The Spanish commander at Pensacola was
summoned to destroy this pirates' nest and to disperse the marauders;
but he was either unable or unwilling to do so, and in 1816 a red-hot
shot from a United States gunboat blew up the magazine of the negro
fort, killing nearly three hundred men, women, and children. Early in
1818, in equally summary fashion troops of the United States expelled a
band of freebooters from Amelia Island.

The slight regard which the United States paid to the territorial
sovereignty of Spain in Florida sprang from a general conviction that
Spain could not and would not observe the provisions of the Treaty of
1795. Spain had then agreed to restrain the Indians living within her
borders from attacking the citizens or Indians of the United States.
President Monroe seemed to assume that Spain had forfeited her rights
over Florida. At all events, he authorized General Andrew Jackson to
assume command of the forces at Fort Scott and to call on the governors
of adjacent States for militia to terminate the war. This order of
December 26, 1817, was stated in dangerously broad terms. Jackson did
not doubt for an instant that it authorized him to pursue the Indians
into Florida. To his mind the time seemed opportune for the seizure of
East Florida as an indemnity for the outrages committed by the
Seminoles. He wrote to the President to this effect. "Let it be
signified to me," said he, "through any channel (say Mr. J. Rhea) that
the possession of the Floridas would be desirable to the United States
and in sixty days it will be accomplished."

To his dying day Jackson maintained that the President signified his
approval through Congressman Rhea, of Tennessee. Monroe denied that he
had read Jackson's letter until after the exploits which so nearly
plunged the country into war with Spain. Whatever may be the truth of
the matter, General Jackson acted in accord with what he believed to be
the President's desires. With a thousand men he marched across the
border and was soon in possession of St. Mark's. Among those who fell
into his hands was Alexander Arbuthnot, a Scotch trader who was
suspected of inciting the Indians. Continuing his march, Jackson
surprised and captured Suwanee, another rendezvous of Indians and
runaway negroes. Here he found Robert Ambrister, another British
subject, who was also regarded as a suspicious character. Returning to
St. Mark's, Jackson handed these two suspects over to a court martial,
which found both guilty of giving aid and comfort to the enemy and of
inciting or waging war against the United States. Arbuthnot was hanged
from the yardarm of his own schooner; Ambrister was shot. The fall of
Pensacola finished the campaign. By the end of May, 1818, Florida was in
the possession of the troops of the United States and Jackson was on his
way to Tennessee, the idol of his men and a national hero in the
estimation of the people of the Southwest.

The outcome of these exploits might easily have been war with both Spain
and Great Britain. Don Luis de Onis, the Spanish Minister at Washington,
immediately suspended the negotiations then in progress respecting the
Floridas and made a spirited protest "against these acts of hostility
and invasion." He demanded the immediate restitution of the places which
had been seized, indemnity for all damage to property, and the
punishment of General Jackson. As for Great Britain, Lord Castlereagh
afterward said that, such was the temper of Parliament and the country,
war might have been produced by holding up a finger and an address to
the Crown carried by an almost unanimous vote.

The Cabinet of President Monroe was divided over the course to be
pursued. Calhoun insisted that Jackson had virtually committed an act of
war, which should be promptly disavowed. But Adams held--and the
President was inclined to side with him--that in reality Spain had been
the aggressor, and that Jackson had not violated the spirit of his
orders. In order to terminate the war, Jackson had been obliged to cross
the Spanish line. He had not done so with the purpose of waging war upon

[Map: Treaty with Spain 1819]

Following a memorandum made by the President, Adams replied to Don Onis
in this spirit. Later, in a masterly state paper, he set forth the
intolerable conditions which obtained on the Florida frontier. The lax
conduct of the Spanish authorities was held to justify the aggressive
measures of Jackson. The United States was prepared to restore Pensacola
and St. Mark's whenever Spain should give guaranties for the observance
of treaty obligations. So far from consenting to punish Jackson, the
United States demanded the punishment of those Spanish officials who had
so flagrantly violated the obligations of the Treaty of 1795. "Spain
must immediately make her election either to place a force in Florida at
once adequate for the protection of her territory and to the fulfillment
of her engagements, or cede to the United States a province of which she
retains nothing but the nominal possession." This latter alternative,
indeed, the Administration never lost from view.

Confronted by the revolt of all her American colonies, Spain could
hardly resist this insistent pressure upon a province which she could
neither govern nor defend. On February 22, 1819, Don Onis set his hand
to a treaty which ceded the Floridas in return for the assumption by the
United States of claims of American citizens against her to an amount
not exceeding $5,000,000. The treaty contained also a definition of the
boundary between Spanish and American possessions on the North American
continent. Beginning at the mouth of the Sabine River, the line ran
along that river to the thirty-second parallel; thence due north to the
Red River, which it followed to the hundredth meridian; thence north to
the Arkansas and along that river to its source; thence to the
forty-second parallel, which it followed to the Pacific. As the United
States renounced all claims to the west and south of this boundary, so
Spain surrendered whatever shadowy title she had to the Northwest.

The ratification of the Florida Treaty was delayed by the attempt of the
Spanish Crown to grant extensive tracts to certain grandees, and by the
vigorous opposition of Henry Clay in the House of Representatives. The
treaty seemed to him a bad bargain. "What do we get?" he cried. "We get
Florida loaded and encumbered with land grants which leave scarcely a
foot of soil for the United States. What do we give? We give Texas free
and unencumbered, and we surrender all our claims on Spain for damages
not included in that five millions of dollars." He challenged the right
of the President and Senate to alienate territory without the consent of
the House. Behind Clay's opposition lay some personal pique against the
President and his Secretary of State; but he voiced, nevertheless, the
spirit of the Southwest, which already looked toward Texas as a possible
field of expansion and resented its surrender.


     The westward movement is described in various chapters of volumes
     IV and V of McMaster, _History of the People of the United
     States_. The significance of the movement is best explained in F.
     J. Turner, _Rise of the New West, 1819-1829_ (in _The American
     Nation_, vol. 14, 1906), which contains also excellent chapters on
     the social and economic life of the different sections of the
     country. The highways and waterways to the West are described in
     A. B. Hurlbert, _Historic Highways of America_ (10 vols.,
     1902-05). A summary account of the development of transportation
     is given in J. L. Ringwalt, _Development of Transportation Systems
     in the United States_ (1888). Among the biographies which
     contribute materially to an understanding of the new West may be
     mentioned Theodore Roosevelt, _Thomas H. Benton_ (1887), and James
     Parton, _Life of Andrew Jackson_ (3 vols., 1860). Edward
     Eggleston, _The Circuit Rider_ (1888), and the _Autobiography of
     Peter Cartwright_ (1856), touch upon important aspects of frontier
     life. The importance of the German element in American history is
     admirably set forth in Faust, _The German Element in the United
     States_ (2 vols., 1909). The spread of New Englanders in the West
     is described by L. K. Mathews, _The Expansion of New England_
     (1909). The diplomatic negotiations which resulted in the cession
     of Florida are reviewed by F. E. Chadwick, _The Relations of the
     United States and Spain_ (1909).



The phrase "era of good feelings" applied to the Administration of
President Monroe is a misnomer. It is descriptive neither of politics
nor of business and industry, for the historic Democratic party was all
but rent by bitter personal animosities, and the country was prostrated
by a severe industrial crisis.

The first symptoms of hard times appeared in the early months of the
year 1819. Undoubtedly the causes of the crisis were world-wide; but
local conditions go far to explain the industrial collapse in the United
States. All indications point to the conclusion that the country was
experiencing the inevitable reaction from a period of too rapid
commercial expansion and of unsound speculation. The high prices of
commodities after the war had given a sort of fictitious prosperity to
industry and trade, and had encouraged unduly the spirit of commercial
enterprise. On credit easily secured from wild-cat banks, the Western
pioneer had bought lands beyond the purchasing power of his own meager
capital; and the speculator in turn had borrowed money to secure title
to lands which he would unload upon unsuspecting settlers. State banks
had met these demands by liberal issues of notes which were imperfectly
covered by their specie reserves. It needed only a sudden demand for
liquidation to cause widespread distress.

The unwise management of the National Bank may have contributed to the
approaching disaster. The branch banks in the South and West had loaned
freely, issuing notes which were payable at any branch of the National
Bank. Capital was thus diverted from the East to sections of the country
where there was least conservatism in banking. In 1818, the directors of
the Bank became alarmed at the excessive expansion of credit, and issued
instructions which compelled the redemption of notes at the bank where
they were issued. At the same time the branch banks curtailed their
loans. This sudden reversal of policy caused a fearful pressure which
was transmitted from creditor to debtor all along the line.

Every sufferer by the panic was disposed to blame the National Bank for
his misfortunes, particularly as it was common rumor that the directors
of the Bank had speculated in its stock and had used their influence to
cripple local banks. Congress had been obliged to take cognizance of
these charges and to appoint a committee to investigate the condition of
the institution. On the report of this committee, in January, 1819, the
stock of the Bank fell from 140 to 93. The investigation revealed
nothing worse than mismanagement; but a vigorous effort was made in
Congress to revoke the charter.

The widespread hostility of the West and South toward the National Bank
was born at this time. Everywhere it was known as "the Monster." State
after State passed acts to tax the branch banks out of existence. The
decision of Chief Justice Marshall, to be sure, in the famous case of
_M'Culloch_ v. _Maryland_, declared emphatically that the States had no
constitutional power to tax the branches of an institution chartered
under the laws of the United States; nevertheless, the legislature of
Ohio deliberately levied such a tax, and when resistance was offered to
its collection, withdrew the protection of the State from the branch
banks. Feeling themselves the victims of the money power, the people in
many of the Western States resorted to the remedies which were broached
during hard times under the Confederation. Kentucky became notorious by
reason of its laws in behalf of the debtor class. In every Western State
there was a disposition to seek shelter from the operation of federal
law behind the ægis of State rights. The people of these newer
communities were slow to accept the force of precedent in cases decided
by the federal courts. Andrew Jackson voiced this feeling when he became
President. "Mere precedent," said he, "is a dangerous source of
authority, and should not be regarded as deciding questions of
constitutional power, except where the acquiescence of the people and
the States can be considered as well settled."

That there was much real suffering during this panic admits of no doubt.
Niles estimated that not less than twenty thousand persons were seeking
employment in Philadelphia in the summer of 1819, and quite as many
wandering in the streets of New York looking for work. In both cities
soup-houses were established by private charitable societies to relieve
distress in the following winter. In the city of New York, during the
year 1816, over nineteen hundred unfortunates were imprisoned for debt;
and of these, over seven hundred owed less than twenty-five dollars.

But it was not merely the city dweller who felt the pinch of poverty.
Thousands of Western settlers who had purchased land under the Act of
1800, which permitted deferred payments, found themselves insolvent.
More than $21,000,000, one fifth of the national debt, remained unpaid
in the year 1820. To the importunities of these debtors Congress had
yielded from time to time, but it was not until 1821 that it passed the
first general relief act. Those who had not completed their payments
within the prescribed five years were then permitted to give up the land
which they had not paid for, and to apply the payments already made to
the full purchase of the lands which they retained. Arrears of interest
were remitted.

In 1820, Congress passed an act which wrought a far-reaching change in
the disposal of the public domain. The credit system was abolished
outright. After July 1, 1820, land was to be sold for cash at a minimum
price of a dollar and a quarter an acre, and in eighty-acre tracts. A
payment of one hundred dollars, then, would make a settler the owner of
eighty acres in his own right. The prospect of actual ownership of a
small tract made him far less ready to listen to the voice of the
tempter in the form of the speculator, who had heretofore lured him to
make larger purchases on credit than he could ever pay for by the labor
of his hands.

In the midst of this period of financial depression, the Territory of
Missouri applied for admission into the Union. On February 13, 1819,
while an enabling act was under consideration in the House of
Representatives, James Tallmadge, of New York, moved an amendment which
touched Southern interests to the quick. "_And provided_, That the
further introduction of slavery or involuntary servitude be prohibited,
except for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been
duly convicted; and that all children born within the said State, after
the admission thereof into the Union, shall be free at the age of
twenty-five years."

[Map: Distribution of Slaves 1820]

This bold attempt to prevent the spread of slavery provoked a brief but
momentous debate. Clay left the Speaker's chair to remonstrate, "in the
name of humanity," against a policy which could result, he believed,
only in the misery of the slaves of the South. The lot of the negro
would be vastly improved if the unfortunate people were more widely
dispersed. Taylor, of New York, called this a specious plea. "It is that
humanity," said he, "which seeks to palliate disease by the application
of nostrums, which scatter its seeds through the whole system." To open
the West to slavery would be simply to create an additional demand for
the importation of slaves. Of those Southern Representatives who took
part in this debate, not a man posed as the defender of slavery in the
abstract. Barbour, of Virginia, frankly admitted that slavery "like all
other human things is mixed with good and evil--the latter, no doubt,
preponderating." And Johnson, of Kentucky, maintained that though
slavery might be a necessary evil, "not incompatible with true
religion," even so "slavery must still be a bitter draught."

What rankled in the breasts of all Southern men was the insinuation that
their social system was founded on hypocrisy and tyranny. Tallmadge
commented with biting sarcasm on the willingness of Southern gentlemen
to contribute to missionary enterprises for the uplifting of the
Hottentots and Hindus, and their determination to keep their African
slaves in ignorance. And his colleague contrasted the plantations,
overrun with weeds on one side of Mason and Dixon's line, with the
cultivated farms on the other: in Pennsylvania, he observed "a neat,
blooming, animated, rosy-cheeked peasantry"; in Maryland, "a squalid,
slow-motioned black population." These were barbed shafts which left
sore wounds.

When the Union was formed, African negroes were held in servitude in
all but two of the States. At the time of this debate, slavery had been
abolished, or was on the way to ultimate extinction, in every State
north of Maryland and Delaware. Climate rather than humanitarian
considerations sealed the fate of slavery at the North; and climate, in
the last analysis, fastened African slavery on the South. As the South
became committed to the raising of a staple, and that staple cotton, the
negro was regarded as an indispensable factor in plantation economy.
There were far-sighted individuals, it is true, who deprecated slavery
on humanitarian grounds; but they were, for the most part, citizens of
border States where the profitableness of negro labor was less apparent.
Even in these communities opposition to slavery was tempered by dread of
what emancipation might bring in its train. The history of Santo Domingo
revealed the hideous possibilities of a negro insurrection. No father of
a family could contemplate with equanimity the proximity of a large body
of free, semi-civilized blacks. For a time even prominent slaveholders
favored the aims of the Colonization Society which proposed to deport
emancipated blacks to the African coast. So late as 1820 the Governor of
Virginia recommended an appropriation by the legislature for the
emancipation and removal of the negroes.

Although slavery was a local institution, and regulated by state law,
its existence was recognized by the Federal Convention of 1787. The
arrangement which obtained under the old Confederation, whereby five
slaves were to count as three whites in apportioning representation and
taxes, was continued; the mutual obligation of the States to return
fugitives from justice and labor was distinctly stated in the
Constitution; and the slave trade was permitted to continue at least to
the year 1808.

In 1793, Congress had met its constitutional obligations by enacting a
law for the return of fugitive slaves; and in 1794, Congress passed an
act--"the first national act against the slave trade"--which prohibited
all trade in slaves from the United States to any foreign country. By
the opening of the new century all the States had forbidden the
importation of slaves from abroad. But in 1803, South Carolina again
legalized the slave trade; and in 1805, Congress after a brief
interdiction removed all restrictions upon the importation of slaves
into the Louisiana Territory. The slave trade at once assumed alarming
proportions. It was officially stated that between 1803 and 1807, 39,075
negroes were brought into the port of Charleston. Eighteen hundred of
these unfortunate blacks were imported in American vessels. One half of
the consignees of these slavers were Americans, of whom thirteen were
natives of Charleston and eighty-eight of Rhode Island.

This traffic, coupled with the alarm caused by negro insurrections in
the West Indies, prepared the public mind for positive action, as the
year approached when Congress might constitutionally prohibit the
foreign slave trade. The Act of March 2, 1807, however, only partially
met the expectations of the anti-slavery people. The African slave
trade was forbidden, but negroes illegally imported were to be disposed
of as the legislatures of the several States should determine. There was
reason to fear that the Southern States would neglect to legislate on
this important matter, and that the act would be indifferently enforced.
Moreover, the coastwise slave trade for purposes of sale was not
interdicted, but forbidden only in vessels under forty tons burden.

That the Act of 1807 did not prevent the African slave trade was patent
to every one who knew conditions in the Southern Seaboard States; but
the extent of this traffic can only be surmised. During the debates on
the Missouri Bill, Tallmadge stated that fourteen thousand negroes had
been brought into the country within the last year, and the statement
was not challenged.

When the Missouri controversy was renewed in the session of December,
1819, the number of free States equaled the number of slave States. The
addition of a twenty-third State, then, would unsettle the equilibrium
between the sections in the Senate. A growing antagonism based upon
widely different economic and social organizations was coming to be
felt--felt rather than clearly perceived and openly recognized. In the
year 1800, the two sections had been nearly equal in population; in
1820, the North outnumbered the South by over half a million. This
disparity in numbers had a direct political significance, for the
national House of Representatives was beyond all question controlled by
the delegations from the free States. No great prescience was needed to
warn the South that in self-defense it must maintain the even balance
of sections in the Senate. The contest for Missouri was therefore
essentially "a struggle for sectional domination."

The Tallmadge amendment was passed by the House, but rejected by the
Senate, after a heated debate which convinced Southern statesmen that
there was a distinct anti-slavery sentiment at the North. The
adjournment of Congress threw the whole controversy into the crucible of
public opinion. The latent hostility of men and women with humanitarian
sympathies was at once raised to white heat. Mass meetings in city,
town, and county passed resolutions against the spread of slavery and
the admission of more slave States. Yet it can hardly be said that the
public conscience was deeply touched. The leaven of abolitionism had to
work many years before it could produce results in politics.

The whole question assumed a new guise when Congress met in December,
1820. The people of Maine had held a convention and formed a
constitution, and were now applying for admission as a State. Here was a
free State which would offset Missouri if it were admitted as a slave
State. When the House passed a bill to admit Maine, the Senate promptly
attached to it, as a "rider," a bill for the admission of Missouri
without any prohibition of slavery. It was to this bill that Senator
Thomas, of Illinois, representing a constituency divided against itself
on the subject of slavery, offered an amendment in the nature of a
compromise. He would admit Missouri as a slave State, but prohibit
slavery forever in the rest of the old Province of Louisiana north of
36° 30'. The Senate accepted this amendment and sent the bill to the
House. Here the original Maine Bill was stripped of the rider and the
Thomas amendment by large majorities. Shortly after this vigorous
assertion of independence, the House passed a bill for the admission of
Missouri with the prohibition of slavery. The deadlock seemed complete.

The constitutional aspects of the problem called forth some exceedingly
able argumentation. Those who favored imposing a restriction upon
Missouri argued, plausibly enough, that as Congress was given the power
to admit new States, so it was fully warranted in exercising discretion
and refusing to admit. Precedents existed for imposing restrictions.
Three States carved out of the Northwest Territory had been admitted on
condition that their constitutions should not be repugnant to the sixth
article of the Ordinance of 1787. The State of Louisiana had been
admitted under explicit conditions. It was fully competent for Congress,
by virtue of its authority over Territories, to regulate all the stages
in the process of framing a constitution, and then to give or to
withhold its approval.

The most brilliant argument on the other side was made by William
Pinkney, of Maryland. Conceding that the power of Congress was
discretionary, he insisted that Congress might not exact terms which
would interfere with the results to be accomplished. "What, then," he
asked, "is the professed result? To admit a State into this Union. What
is that Union?... An equal Union between parties equally sovereign....
It is into that Union that a new State is to come. By acceding to it
the new State is placed on the same footing with the original States....
If it comes in shorn of its beams--crippled and disparaged beyond the
original States--it is not into the original Union that it comes.... The
first was a Union _inter pares_; this is a Union between _disparates_,
between giants and a dwarf, between power and feebleness, between full
proportioned sovereignties and a miserable image of power."

Yet there were Senators and Representatives from the North who would not
be diverted from the discussion of the larger sectional and ethical
issues involved in the extension of slavery. Chief among these was Rufus
King, who then represented New York in the Senate. His cogent arguments
made a profound impression. "The great slaveholders in the House," Adams
wrote in his journal, "gnawed their lips and clenched their fists as
they heard him."

[Map: House Vote on the Missouri Compromise March 2, 1820]

Meantime, a joint committee of conference was endeavoring to reconcile
the differences between the House and the Senate. The House was put at a
disadvantage by the approach of March 4--when the consent of
Massachusetts to the admission of Maine would expire. It was finally
agreed that the Senate should pass the bill admitting Maine as a
separate measure, while the House should accept the Missouri Bill with
the Thomas amendment. Missouri, in short, was to come in as a slave
State, but slavery was forever prohibited in the rest of the Louisiana
Purchase north of her southern boundary. An analysis of the voting in
the House of Representatives reveals no clear-cut sectional divisions,
though it forecasts a time when slavery might split parties along
sectional lines. In New England and the Middle States public opinion had
not yet crystallized into inflexible opposition to the spread of
slavery; but the Northwest was distinctly in favor of a restriction upon
Missouri. The Southwest and the South were a unit in desiring the
admission of Missouri as a slave State.

In the fall of 1820, the Missouri question in another form returned to
vex Congress. When the constitution of the State was presented to
Congress, it was found to contain a clause which excluded free negroes.
Again the two houses locked horns. Passions rose again. The work of the
preceding session seemed about to be undone. But under the persuasive
leadership of Henry Clay, a joint committee elaborated a resolution
which was acceptable to both houses. Missouri was to be admitted on the
express condition that the offending clause in her constitution should
never be construed so as to authorize the passing of any law by which
any citizen of any of the States of the Union should be deprived of his
privileges and immunities under the Federal Constitution. The
legislature of Missouri was to give its solemn consent to this
fundamental condition. Then, and not until then, the President was to
declare Missouri a member of the Union. The State complied with the
requirement, though in the same breath protesting that all this was an
empty form, since Congress could not thus bind a State. On August 10,
1821, President Monroe declared Missouri a State of the Union.

In the midst of this exciting controversy, Monroe was reëlected
President. Nowhere but in Pennsylvania was there any serious opposition.
Old distinctions of party had so far disappeared that the venerable
ex-President John Adams was chosen as a presidential elector in
Massachusetts, and voted with his fourteen colleagues--who were half
Federalists and half Democrats--for James Monroe. In the electoral count
Monroe lacked only a single vote of a unanimous election.

When the electoral vote was about to be counted, an embarrassing
question arose with regard to the vote of Missouri. As the State had not
yet complied with the condition imposed by Congress, its right to vote
was challenged. Again Clay appeared in his rôle of compromiser. The
delicate question was adroitly avoided by having the President of the
Senate announce the electoral vote with and without the votes of
Missouri. At last the Missouri question was disposed of; but words had
been uttered which could not be recalled; and wounds had been inflicted
which left scars. The South could never quite forget that it had been
charged with conniving at crime in maintaining slavery. "You have
kindled a fire," said Cobb, of Georgia, to Tallmadge, "which all the
waters of the ocean cannot put out, which seas of blood only can


     An account of the crisis of 1819 is contained in F. J. Turner's
     _Rise of the New West_ (in _The American Nation_, vol. 14, 1906);
     a shorter and less satisfactory account in A. M. Simons's _Social
     Forces in American History_ (1911). Much information may be
     gleaned from the pages of McMaster's history. Detailed information
     must be sought in the special studies already cited, such as R. C.
     H. Catterall, _The Second Bank of the United States_ (1903), and
     P. J. Treat, _The National Land System, 1785-1820_ (1910). From
     the vast literature dealing with slavery and the slavery
     controversy, the following titles may be selected as especially
     important: W. E. B. DuBois, _The Suppression of the African
     Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870_ (1896); W.
     H. Collins, _The Domestic Slave-Trade_ (1904); A. B. Hart,
     _Slavery and Abolition_ (in _The American Nation_, vol. 16, 1906);
     N. D. Harris, _The History of Negro Servitude in Illinois_ (1904);
     E. R. Turner, _The Negro in Pennsylvania_ (1911); and a number of
     monographs in the Johns Hopkins University _Studies_. All the
     larger histories discourse with great particularity upon the
     Missouri controversy. Contemporary views of the congressional
     struggle are presented in J. Q. Adams's _Memoirs_, and in T. H.
     Benton's _Thirty Years' View; or, A History of the Working of
     American Government, 1820-1850_ (2 vols., 1854).



There is a measure of truth in speaking of the War of 1812 as a second
war of independence. In throwing off the shackles of British commercial
ascendency, American society experienced much the same sense of elation
and liberation as the peoples of Europe who contemporaneously rose in
their might against Napoleon and asserted their right to independent
national existence. The war was followed in the United States by an
expansion of the vital forces of the nation in all directions. The
earliest manifestations of this new national consciousness, however,
were characteristically boisterous. An English traveler, who visited the
United States soon after the war, found every man, woman, and child
talking about the Guerrière, the Java, the Macedonia, the Frolic, Lake
Erie, Lake Champlain, and the "vast inferiority of British sailors and
soldiers to the true-blooded Yankees." The events of the war were
commemorated in songs which this Briton declared--and no doubt
truthfully--to be "frothy, senseless bombast." But whatever limitations
of culture were disclosed by this outburst of national conceit, no one
could doubt for an instant that an exuberant vitality was coursing
through the veins of the nation.

It was a fair question, however, whether this national feeling would
find expression in any permanent literary form. A literature of its own
America did not possess: every one with literary tastes was forced to
this humiliating admission. Writing from Berlin in 1801, John Quincy
Adams hailed the first number of Dennie's _Port Folio_ with delight.
"The object," he declared, "is noble. It is to take off that foul stain
of literary barbarism which has so long exposed our country to the
reproach of strangers and to the derision of our enemies." But the
periodical had a very limited circle of readers, and its literary merits
were slight. The _Anthology and Boston Review_, founded in 1805, had a
wider influence upon letters in America; but it is memorable chiefly as
the forerunner of the _North American Review_, modeled upon the English
quarterlies, which was first published by William Tudor, in the year
1815, at Boston.

The publication of American books at this time was a hazardous
enterprise. "The successful booksellers of the country," wrote one who
recalled his own experiences in the book trade, "were for the most part
the mere reproducers and sellers of English books." Yet American
publishers often showed commendable enterprise. In 1817, Byron's
_Manfred_ was received, printed, and published at Philadelphia in a
single day. Walter Scott, Moore, Miss Edgeworth, Miss Porter, and Lord
Byron were the favorite British novelists and poets whose writings were
reprinted in America. Among the American publications advertised by
booksellers, were sermons, geographies, and schoolbooks; but rarely any
productions which belonged to the category termed by contemporaries

The slender literary product of the United States from 1815 to 1830 is
contained in magazines rather than in books. Prose and verse which could
never have found a publisher separately appeared in periodicals of every
description. Most of these were ephemeral publications. The more serious
reviews, like the _American Biblical Repository_, the _American Law
Journal_, and the religious reviews, had a longer life; but the lighter
magazines, like the _Ladies' Literary Cabinet_, the _Young Ladies'
Parental Mentor_, and the _Casket: or Flowers of Literature, Wit, and
Sentiment_, rose and fell on the fickle tide of public taste. Even the
West had its magazines. Lexington, Kentucky, which disputed with
Cincinnati the proud title, "Athens of the West," published the _Western
Review_, one number of which contained a review of _Don Juan_ within six
weeks after the poem was published in England.

In the September number of the _North American Review_, in 1817,
appeared an original poem of such merit as to mark an era in the history
of American verse. There was in William Cullen Bryant's _Thanatopsis_,
it is true, no such youthful exuberance of feeling as the first
stirrings of poetic genius in a new world might be expected to exhibit.
The sense of refined form seemed almost un-American; yet there are lines
in the poem which suggest the primeval background of American life and
its influence upon the American mind. In 1819 appeared Washington
Irving's _Sketch-Book_--the first American book which was widely read
in England; and in 1821, Cooper published _The Spy_, which was the first
to win favor on the Continent. Both Cooper and Irving were more or less
conscious imitators of English prose writers, the one of Scott and the
other of Addison; and they lacked consequently that originality which
critics have always demanded as the hall-mark of a genuinely native art.
It is easy to forget, however, that the Americans were not a primitive
people. They were folk with a literary inheritance, of which albeit they
often showed little knowledge. It was not for them to invent new forms,
but to press new wine into old bottles. Of Irving, moreover, it should
be said that he drew freely upon a vein of delicious humor, as in his
_Knickerbocker History of New York_, which may be truly characterized as

The annals of American art in these years are even more bare. Benjamin
West, to be sure, was born in Pennsylvania, but he achieved eminence in
England. That he could succeed Sir Joshua Reynolds as President of the
Royal Academy was a tribute to his fame, but equally convincing proof
that he had ceased to be identified with the land of his nativity.
Gilbert Stuart owed much to West, but his return to America in 1792
saved him from complete subservience to English models. As a portrait
painter he developed power and individuality. Posterity may well be
grateful that the portraits of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison were
painted with fidelity to nature as Stuart saw it, rather than in the
grandiose manner of West. Two other names, Malbone and Allston, deserve
brief mention. The one achieved some distinction as a painter of
miniatures; the other is remembered both as artist and man of letters in
the literary circle which was forming about Boston. The name of Jonathan
Trumbull completes the list of American artists. What David was to the
great actors in the revolutionary drama in France, Trumbull was to the
notable characters of the American Revolution. In his conception of his
themes he was perhaps the most genuinely American painter of his time.

In the pages of his autobiography, Trumbull recounts an interview with
his father which may take the place of any further comment on the dearth
of artistic feeling in the United States. The young man was arguing
passionately for his vocation. The father, a typical Yankee, listened
with commendable patience, and complimented the lad when he had
finished. "'But,' added he, 'you must give me leave to say, that you
appear to have overlooked, or forgotten, one very important point in
your case.' 'Pray, sir,' I rejoined, 'what was that?' 'You appear to
forget, sir, that _Connecticut is not Athens_'; and with this pithy
remark, he bowed and withdrew, and nevermore opened his lips upon the
subject. How often have those few impressive words recurred to my

The names of Bryant, Cooper, and Irving are linked with the city of New
York which enjoyed for a brief time that primacy in the world of
American letters which it was fast acquiring in commerce. The center of
literary and scholarly activity in the next generation was Boston,
where the New England renaissance began. In this revival of letters
Harvard College had a notable part. In 1806, John Quincy Adams was
appointed Professor of Rhetoric and gave a course of lectures which
moulded the taste of that school of orators to which Edward Everett
belonged--a school of oratory which found its models in Demosthenes and
Cicero. Everett became Professor of Greek in 1815; and George Ticknor,
Professor of Belles-Lettres in 1816. Prescott graduated in 1814, Palfrey
in 1815, and George Bancroft in 1817,--all three to add to American
historiography works of enduring excellence. In 1817, young Ralph Waldo
Emerson entered college.

It was Boston, however, rather than Harvard College, which
created the atmosphere that these young scholars--all from Boston
families--breathed: for the Athenæum, the American School of Arts and
Sciences, and the Massachusetts Historical Society had begun to exercise
an increasing influence on the younger generation. Harvard College, like
all colleges of the day, was hardly more than a species of higher
academy whither boys went at a tender age to continue their study of the
classics and mathematics, and incidentally to cultivate rhetoric and

The liberation of the American mind from time-honored traditions and
conventions appeared markedly in the ecclesiastical revolts and
religious revivals of the age. Unitarianism took its rise quite as much
in protest against the teaching of Calvinism, that man was brought into
the world hopelessly depraved, as against the orthodox conception of
Christ's nature. The definite separation of Unitarianism from
Congregationalism dates from 1815 when William E. Channing published his
memorable letter to the Reverend Samuel C. Thacher. The writings of
Buckminster, Channing, and other theological liberals have a distinct
place in the annals of American intellectual life. Universalism also
took its rise at this time and spread with remarkable rapidity under the
lead of Hosea Ballou. In western Pennsylvania and Virginia, the
Campbells, father and son, led a departure from the established
Presbyterian order. The Society of Friends was also rent by the
teachings of Elias Hicks.

Revivals had been a recurring feature of New England religious life
since the latter years of the seventeenth century. That they stimulated
many forms of religious activity appears in the annals of missionary
enterprises at home and abroad. In 1810 the American Board of Foreign
Missions and in 1814 the American Baptist Missionary Union were founded.
In 1812 four young missionaries went out to India; and five years later
other devoted young men began their labors among the Cherokees and
Choctaws of the Southwest. There is something at once heroic and
pathetic in the humanitarian zeal of a people, whom Europeans still
regarded with disdain, to carry to the remote ends of the earth a
Christian civilization which they had themselves hardly attained. But an
incomprehensible idealism has from first to last been interwoven in the
texture of American character.

After the cessation of European wars the United States stood singularly
aloof from the Old World, yet in the affairs of South America they did
not cease to take a lively interest. The successive revolutions by which
the provinces of the Rio de la Plata, Chili, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and
Mexico threw off the yoke of Spain woke a thrill in the people of the
United States, for they thought they saw the events of their own
revolution repeated in the exploits of San Martín and Bolívar. To the
imagination of Henry Clay, this was a sublime spectacle--"eighteen
millions of people struggling to burst their chains and be free." He
would have had the United States recognize these sister republics and
join hands with them in forming an American system independent of
Europe. And when the Administration hesitated, he exclaimed: "We look
too much abroad. Let us break these commercial and political fetters;
let us no longer watch the nod of any European politician; let us become
real and true Americans, and place ourselves at the head of the American

The conception of an American system did not originate in the ardent
mind of Henry Clay. It was as old as the Union itself. Foreign
encroachment had been feared from the very birth of the nation. "You are
afraid of being made the tool of the powers of Europe," said Richard
Oswald to John Adams while peace negotiations were pending at Paris.
"Indeed I am," rejoined Adams. "What powers?" asked Oswald. "All of
them," said Adams; "it is obvious that all the powers of Europe will be
continually manoeuvring with us to work us into their real or
imaginary balances of power.... But I think that it ought to be our rule
not to meddle." Washington's refusal to enter into an alliance with
France and his firm insistence upon neutrality were inspired by this
same fear. Jefferson's negotiations for the purchase of New Orleans were
motivated by the fear that France, once in possession of the mouth of
the Mississippi, would threaten the isolation of the United States and
drive us into the arms of Great Britain. "Jefferson is an American,"
Adet once said, with rare insight, "and by that title, it is impossible
for him to be sincerely our friend. _An American is the born enemy of
European peoples._"

The corollary of the principle of non-intervention was abstention on the
part of the United States from the affairs of Europe. Could the United
States, then, recognize the colonies of Spain as independent republics
without emerging from its traditional isolation? President Monroe would
have been glad to recognize the South American republics even before
they had demonstrated their ability to maintain their independence; but
his cool-headed Secretary of State prevailed upon him to await further
evidence. It was not until 1822, indeed, that the President recommended
to Congress the establishment of missions in the new republics of South
America. Spain protested emphatically against this action; but Adams,
now sure of his ground, justified the action of the Administration by an
appeal to facts. So long as Spain was attempting to reduce the colonies
by arms, the United States had observed "the most impartial neutrality."
But war had ceased, and the United States had "yielded to an obligation
of duty of the highest order, by recognizing, as independent states,
nations which, after deliberately asserting their right to that
character, had maintained and established it against all the resistance
which had been or could be brought to oppose it."

In the year 1823, the traditional principles of American foreign policy
were put to a severer test. Soon after the Congress of Vienna, that
combination of the great powers was consummated which contemporaries
usually but erroneously styled the Holy Alliance. Austria, Prussia,
Russia, and Great Britain covenanted together to meet at fixed periods
to consult upon their common interests and to consider the measures
"most salutary for the repose and prosperity of nations, and for the
maintenance of the peace of Europe." Three years later, France was
admitted to the councils of these "self-appointed keepers of the world's
peace." Innocent enough in its public professions, this association of
the great powers was converted by Metternich of Austria, who had
acquired a remarkable ascendency over the mind of his own sovereign and
over that of the impressionable czar, into an instrument of reaction and
repression, whenever and wherever the specter of revolution raised its
head. Within a few years revolutionary uprisings occurred in Italy and
Spain. The so-called legitimate sovereigns were driven from their
thrones and constitutional governments were established. In successive
congresses at Troppau and Laybach, the three powers, Austria, Russia,
and Prussia, resolved to suppress these revolutionary movements. An
Austrian army was commissioned to carry out this policy of intervention,
as it was termed; and the King of the Two Sicilies was restored to his
uneasy throne. Neither Great Britain nor France took part in these
congresses. It now remained to chastise the revolutionists of Spain. At
the Congress of Verona in 1822, the representative of Great Britain
openly protested against any intervention in Spain. But again the three
powers, now joined by France, resolved to restore the deposed Fernando
VII. Early in the following year a French army crossed the Pyrenees and
entered Madrid. It was commonly believed that the restoration of the
monarchy was to be followed by a reduction of the revolted colonies and
a restoration of the Spanish colonial empire.

It was at this juncture that Canning, who had become the head of the
British ministry, protested against the policy of intervention and
sought for ways and means to make the protest effective. The one power
whose traditions of liberty and whose interests in this particular
seemed to be identical with those of Great Britain was the United
States. In truth, their interests were far from being identical. Two
years before, in a conversation with the British minister at Washington,
the Secretary of State, in his most uncompromising manner, had
challenged the right of Great Britain to the valley of the Columbia
River or to any part of the Pacific Coast. And so recently as April of
this critical year 1823, Adams had taken alarm at the appearance of a
British naval force off the coast of Cuba and had warned the Government
at Madrid that "the transfer of Cuba to Great Britain would be an event
unpropitious to the interests of the United States." At the same time
Adams stated his conviction that within half a century the annexation of
Cuba to the United States would be "indispensable to the continuance of
the Union itself." Coupled with this prophecy was the equally frank
assurance that the United States desired to have Cuba and Porto Rico
"continue attached to Spain"--for the present.

[Map: Russian Claims in North America]

It was in midsummer of this year, too, that Adams protested against the
ukase of the czar which had asserted the claim of Russia to the Pacific
Coast as far south as the fifty-first degree, and to a maritime
jurisdiction one hundred Italian miles from the coast. Adams records in
his diary that he told the Russian minister "that we should contest the
right of Russia to _any_ territorial establishment on this continent,
and that we should assume distinctly the principle that the American
continents are no longer subjects for _any_ new European colonial
establishments." The time had come when the United States was bound to
take more than a sentimental interest in the affairs of Spanish America.
The disintegration of the Spanish colonial empire not only invited the
Intervention of European powers in the internal affairs of the new
republics, but also exposed portions of the North American continent to
their aggressions.

On several occasions Canning conferred with Richard Rush, the minister
of the United States resident in London, to ascertain whether his
Government would join Great Britain in a public declaration against any
"forcible enterprise for reducing the colonies to subjugation on behalf
of or in the name of Spain; or which meditates the acquisition of any
part of them to itself, by cession or by conquest." England had no
designs upon the distant colonies of Spain, Canning asseverated; at the
same time it "could not see any part of them transferred to any other
power with indifference." Not trusting implicitly in Canning's altruism,
Rush wisely suggested that Great Britain should first recognize the
South American republics as a preliminary to a joint declaration. To
this Canning would not commit himself; and Rush would not assume
responsibility for a public declaration on any other conditions.

On receiving the dispatches from Rush recounting these interesting
conferences, President Monroe took counsel with the two Virginia
oracles, Jefferson and Madison. Both advised him to meet Canning's
overtures and to make common cause with Great Britain--the one nation,
as Jefferson put it, which could prevent America from having an
independent system and which now offered "to lead, aid, and accompany us
in it." Monroe was disposed to follow this advice. He not only drafted a
message to Congress upon these lines, but he went further and urged the
recognition of Greek independence in a way which departed widely from
the traditional aloofness which earlier Presidents had maintained in
matters of European concern. On the other hand, Adams was decidedly of
the opinion that Canning's invitation should be declined. He did not
wish the country to appear "as a cock-boat in the wake of the British
man-of-war." Moreover, Adams was considerably alarmed at the reactionary
principles which the Russian ministry had avowed in a communication
addressed to the minister at Washington. He urged the President to seize
the occasion to make an explicit declaration of American principles.
"The ground I wish to take," said he, "is that of earnest remonstrance
against the interference of European powers by force with South America,
but to disclaim all interference on our part with Europe; to make an
American cause and adhere inflexibly to that."

Yielding to his contentious Secretary of State, President Monroe
redrafted his message to Congress. In its final form, December 2, 1823,
this famous state paper contained the essential principles of what has
come to be known as the Monroe Doctrine. It was asserted "as a general
principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are
involved that the American continents, by the free and independent
condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be
considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers."
The message expressly disclaimed any purpose to interfere in European
politics; but respecting the affairs of the Western hemisphere a direct
and immediate interest was frankly avowed. "The political system of the
allied powers is essentially different in this respect from that of
America." "We should consider any attempt on their part to extend their
system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and
safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power
we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments
who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose
independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles,
acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of
oppressing them, or controlling in any manner their destiny, by any
European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an
unfriendly disposition toward the United States."

The immediate effects of the message are not easily traced. It is not
clear, even, that the favorable treaty made with Russia in the following
year was the outcome of what Canning somewhat contemptuously styled "the
new Doctrine of the President." Russia, it is true, agreed to waive her
claims below fifty-four degrees forty minutes and to exclusive
jurisdiction in Bering Sea; but the conflicting claims of England in the
Northwest remained, and Canning predicted that England would "have a
squabble with the Yankees yet in and about those regions."

Later generations have read strange meanings into the message of
President Monroe. Even contemporaries were not clear as to its import.
Interpreted in the light of its origin, it was a candid announcement
that the United States did not purpose to meddle in the affairs of
European states or of their existing dependencies, and a protest against
the increase of power of European states in America either by
intervention or by new colonization.


     In the concluding volume of Henry Adams's _History of the United
     States_ are excellent chapters on American literature, art, and
     religious thought. W. B. Cairns's _On the Development of American
     Literature from 1815 to 1833_ (1898) contains much interesting
     information about periodicals. Barrett Wendell's _A Literary
     History of America_ (1900) is full of pungent comment on early men
     of letters. C. C. Caffin, _The Story of American Painting_ (1907),
     and H. T. Tuckerman, _Artist-Life, or Sketches of American
     Artists_ (1847), record the small achievements of American art.
     John Trumbull's _Autobiography, Reminiscences, and Letters, from
     1756 to 1841_ (1841), is a book of great interest. E. G. Dexter's
     _A History of Education in the United States_ (1904) is an
     excellent manual. The Unitarian Movement can be best followed in
     J. W. Chadwick's _William Ellery Channing_ (1903). The history of
     the various denominations may be found in volumes of the _American
     Church History Series_. The genesis of Monroe's message is
     described by F. J. Turner, _The Rise of the New West_(in _The
     American Nation_, vol. 14, 1906), and F. E. Chadwick, _The
     Relations of the United States and Spain_ (1909). Both of these
     accounts are based on W. C. Ford, _John Quincy Adams: His
     Connection with the Monroe Doctrine_ (in Massachusetts Historical
     Society _Proceedings_, 1902). An excellent essay is that by W. F.
     Reddaway, _The Monroe Doctrine_ (2d. ed., 1905).



By the year 1824, the West had become a section to be reckoned with by
those who were calculating their chances in the presidential race. Since
the war six Western States had been admitted into the Union. The
population west of the Alleghanies had increased by nearly a million and
a half within a decade. The relative importance of this new section
appears in the census returns. In 1790, less than six per cent of the
total population lived west of the Alleghanies; in 1820, nearly
thirty-two per cent were domiciled in this vast region. In the National
Legislature the West had acquired notable weight. By the apportionment
of 1822, it had forty-seven out of two hundred and thirteen members of
the House; in the Senate, eighteen out of forty-eight. But these figures
do not tell the whole tale. As Professor Turner has well said, rightly
to estimate the weight of Western population we must add the people of
western New York and of the interior counties of Pennsylvania, and of
the trans-Alleghany counties of Virginia, as well as the people of the
back-country of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, North Carolina, and
Georgia. "All of these regions were to be influenced by the ideals of
democratic rule which were springing up in the Mississippi Valley."

[Map: Distribution of Population 1820]

Economic conditions bred a democratic society in the West. What
Gallatin said of Pennsylvania was true of the greater West: "An equal
distribution of property made every individual independent and produced
a true and real equality." The basal characteristic of the West was
individual ownership of land; and the reaction of the sense of
proprietorship upon individual character was the most significant fact
in the history of its population. Intense individualism and rugged
self-reliance were the salient characteristics of the Westerner. So far
as he reflected upon his social relations, he believed in complete
social equality. In numberless instances the pioneer had migrated to
escape the social inequalities and depressing conventions of older
communities; and he was not minded to encourage the reproduction of
these conditions in his new home. "America, then, exhibits in her social
state an extraordinary phenomenon," wrote De Tocqueville in his notable
study of American democracy. "Men are there seen on a greater equality
in point of fortune and intellect, or, in other words, more equal in
their strength, than in any other country of the world, or in any age of
which history has preserved the remembrance."

Life on the frontier, where a man wrestled with the primitive forces of
Nature and conquered by dint of his indomitable will, made the Westerner
perhaps overconfident in his ability to deal with all obstacles in the
way of human achievement and withal somewhat impatient under the
restraints imposed by the more complicated social order in the older
communities to the East. The sweep of the prairies and the wide horizon
lines of the Middle West may have exercised a subtle influence upon
temperament. At all events, the Westerner was buoyant and optimistic,
taking large views of national destiny and of the possibilities of human
achievement in a democracy.

There was danger, indeed, that in cutting loose from the irritating
restraints of the older communities, the people of the West would
sacrifice much of the grace and many of the intellectual and spiritual
refinements of an older civilization. "In this part of the American
continent," observes De Tocqueville, "population has escaped the
influence not only of great names and great wealth, but even of the
natural aristocracy of knowledge and virtue." It seemed to two young New
Englanders who traversed the vast region from the Western Reserve to New
Orleans in 1813, in the interests of missionary societies, that the
people were wrapped in spiritual darkness, "being ignorant, often
vicious, and utterly destitute of Bibles and religious literature." The
General Bible Society of the United States was founded in 1816 to dispel
this irreligious gloom. Within five years this organization and its
numerous auxiliaries had distributed one hundred and forty thousand
Bibles and Testaments through the new States.

Yet the irreligion of the West was painted darker than it really was.
Methodism had struck root where other denominations could not thrive.
Its methods and organization, indeed, were peculiarly adapted to a
people which could not support a settled pastor. "A sect, therefore,
which marked out the region into circuits, put a rider on each and bade
him cover it once a month, preaching here to-day and there to-morrow,
but returning at regular intervals to each community, provided the
largest amount of religious teaching and preaching at the least
expense." The Baptists, too, secured a footing in the new communities
and labored effectively in creating religious ties between the old and
the new sections of the country. In religion as in politics the people
of the West were responsive to emotional appeals. The circuit rider,
with his intense conviction of sin and his equally strong conviction of
salvation through repentance, wrought great crowds in camp meetings into
ecstasies of religious excitement. Odd religious sects and strange
"isms" were to be found in the back-country. At New Harmony on the
Wabash River were the Rappites, a sect of German peasants who came first
to Pennsylvania under their leader George Rapp, and who afterward
returned thither. At Zoar in Ohio was the Separatist community led by
Joseph Baumeler. Shaker societies were formed at many places; and
Mormonism was just beginning its strange history through the revelations
of Joseph Smith in western New York.

The intellectual horizon of the Western world was necessarily limited.
Absorbed in the stern struggle for existence, the people had no leisure
and no heart to enjoy the finer aspects of life. Education was a luxury
which only the prosperous might possess. The purpose to make elementary
education a public charge developed tardily. Outside of New England,
indeed, a public school system did not exist. Throughout the older
portions of the West the traveler might find academies and so-called
colleges, but none supported at public expense. The State of Indiana,
it is true, entered the Union with a constitution which made it the duty
of the legislature to provide, as soon as circumstances permitted, "for
a general system of education, ascending in a regular gradation from
township schools to a State University, wherein tuition shall be gratis,
and equally open to all." But years passed before circumstances
permitted the realization of this ideal. Meantime, the prosperous
planters of the Southwest employed tutors for their children, and the
well-to-do farmers of the Northwest paid tuition for their boys at
academies. But young Abraham Lincoln had to teach himself Euclid and to
cipher on the back of a wooden shovel, by the flickering embers of a
log-cabin fire.

The new Commonwealths entered the Union as self-confessed democracies.
In all the States formed after the War of 1812, with one exception,
property qualifications such as prevailed in the older States were swept
away and the right to vote was accorded to every adult white male. In
Mississippi alone there was the additional qualification that a voter
should be enrolled in the militia or have paid a state or county tax.
Everywhere, too, the principle was accepted that representation should
be based upon population and not upon property. The men who framed these
new constitutions believed that they were establishing the rule of the
people. It was, indeed, unthinkable that, believing themselves equal in
all other respects, they should not accept the principle of political
equality and popular sovereignty.

There is evidence in these new constitutions, however, that the people
placed less reliance in their legislative bodies than did the people of
the Revolutionary era. Instead of general grants of legislative power,
there are specific prohibitions and positive injunctions. Important
limitations are imposed upon the form and mode of legislation. It is
clear, too, that fear of an over-strong executive had given way to a
belief in the necessity of having a stronger countervailing influence,
capable of checking the legislative. Everywhere the governor was made
elective directly by the people and given the veto power. The conviction
was often expressed in constitutional conventions that the governor was
peculiarly the representative of the people, a popular tribune who would
protect them against the indiscretions of their legislative
representatives. The extension of the elective principle to all
important offices was accompanied also by a general conviction that life
tenure of office is undemocratic. "Rotation in office," said Andrew
Jackson, voicing a popular feeling, "is a cardinal principle of

The spirit of Western democracy leavened also the older States. The
people of Maine, breaking away from Massachusetts and her ancient
ideals, boldly declared for manhood suffrage in their new constitution.
Connecticut adopted a constitution in 1818 to replace the old charter,
and dissolved the old union of Church and State by declaring that no
preference should be given by law to any Christian sect or mode of
worship. At the same time Connecticut extended the suffrage to all who
served in the militia or paid a state tax. New York in the constitution
of 1821 and Massachusetts by a constitutional amendment in the same
year abandoned the old property qualifications for voting.

In both Massachusetts and New York, conservative men like Chancellor
Kent and Daniel Webster frankly avowed their apprehensions of universal
suffrage. "The tendency of universal suffrage," said Kent in the New
York convention, "is to jeopardize the rights of property, and the
principles of liberty." He held society to be an association for the
protection of property as well as of life, "and the individual who
contributes only one cent to the common stock ought not to have the same
power and influence in directing the property concerns of the
partnership as he who contributes his thousands."

The democratic movement affected not only the formal organization of
State Governments, but also the machinery and methods of political
parties. In the Northern States there was increasing dissatisfaction
with the practice of nominating candidates for office by legislative
caucus. The rank and file of the parties were no longer willing to
submit blindly to the dictation of leaders. In deference to party voters
in districts which were not represented by men of their political faith,
the leaders of the respective parties now found it expedient to summon
special delegates to their party conclaves, in order to give a more
truly representative character to the organization of party. The
legislative caucus, in short, gave way to the mixed caucus.

[Map: States Admitted to the Union between 1812 and 1821]

But the old vice remained. The selection of candidates for office was
still made by those who had no mandate to act for the party except in
a legislative capacity. If the voters of the party were in truth the
source of authority within the party, then a means had to be devised of
ascertaining their will. The democratic principle, in short, had to be
applied to party. In response to this feeling, mass meetings and
irregular conventions were held; but these methods of securing an
expression of party opinion were only transitional. Indeed, so long as
the means of communication were defective, popular gatherings were
necessarily poorly attended. The next step in the democratization of
party organization could only be taken when the barriers of space were
overcome by the application of the steam engine to transportation. The
nominating delegate convention waited on the development of

Much the same popular hostility was directed against the congressional
caucus. Candidates for the presidential nomination were not blind to
this movement, and for the most part they sought other means of
promoting their chances. Monroe had hardly entered upon his second term
when state legislative caucuses began to nominate favorite sons. In
1821, the legislature of South Carolina put forward the name of William
Lowndes, and upon his death named John C. Calhoun as its candidate for
the Presidency. In 1822, the legislature of Tennessee presented the name
of Andrew Jackson, "the soldier, the statesman, the honest man," to the
consideration of the people of the United States. In the same year
Republican members of the legislature of Kentucky recommended Henry Clay
"as a suitable person to succeed James Monroe as President." A "joint
meeting of the Republican members of the Massachusetts legislature and
of Republican delegates from the various towns of the Commonwealth not
represented in the legislature" nominated John Quincy Adams for the
Presidency in January, 1823. And finally, illustrative of the varied
methods in use and of the strange vicissitudes of politics at this time,
a public gathering or mass meeting at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in
March, 1824, nominated Adams for President and Jackson for

A series of resolutions passed by the legislature of Tennessee in 1823
called attention in no uncertain language to the shortcomings of the
congressional caucus and called for its overthrow. A canvass of the
members of Congress showed that one hundred and eighty-one out of two
hundred and sixty-one believed a caucus inexpedient at this time.
Nevertheless, the minority, acting in Crawford's interest, took their
courage in both hands and held a caucus on February 14, 1824. Sixty-four
out of sixty-eight votes were cast for William H. Crawford, who thus
became by all precedents the "regular" candidate of the Republican
party. This nomination and the indorsement of Jackson by the Republicans
of Pennsylvania spoiled Calhoun's chances. In the spring of 1824, he
allied himself with the Jackson faction by accepting the nomination for
Vice-President at the hands of a state nominating convention at
Harrisburg, which had put Jackson at the head of the ticket.

Such issues as were discoverable in the presidential contest of 1824
were formulated in the debates in Congress during the early part of the
year. As the country recovered from financial depression, the question
of internal improvements again forged to the front. In 1822, a bill to
authorize the collection of tolls on the Cumberland Road had been vetoed
by the President. In an elaborate essay Monroe set forth his views on
the constitutional aspects of a policy of internal improvements.
Congress might appropriate money, he admitted, but it might not
undertake the actual construction of national works nor assume
jurisdiction over them. For the moment the drift toward a larger
participation of the National Government in internal improvements was
stayed. Two years later, however, Congress authorized the President to
institute surveys for such roads and canals as he believed to be needed
for commerce and military defense. The vote on this bill shows that the
source of opposition to internal improvements was chiefly in the
Northeast, in Virginia, and in the Carolinas. The West and Southwest,
with Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey, were a unit in support of
the general survey.

No one pleaded more eloquently for a larger conception of the functions
of the National Government than Clay. No one voiced the aspirations of
his section more faithfully. He called the attention of his hearers to
provisions made for coast surveys and lighthouses on the Atlantic
seaboard and deplored the neglect of the great interior of the country.
"A new world has come into being since the Constitution was adopted," he
exclaimed. "Are the narrow, limited necessities of the old thirteen
States, of, indeed, parts only of the old thirteen States as they
existed at the formation of the present Constitution, forever to remain
the rule of its interpretation?" Of the other presidential candidates,
Jackson voted in the Senate for the general survey bill; and Adams left
no doubt in the public mind that he did not reflect the narrow views of
his section on this issue. Crawford felt the constitutional scruples
which were everywhere being voiced in the South, and followed the old
expedient of advocating a constitutional amendment to sanction national
internal improvements.

The Tariff Act of 1824 also entered somewhat into the presidential
campaign. The failure of the protectionists to secure a higher tariff in
1820 had been followed by other efforts to secure congressional action;
but none succeeded until Clay was again elected Speaker of the House and
thrust the matter into the foreground of discussion. Clay dwelt
eloquently upon the loss of the foreign market for agricultural products
and upon the consequent widespread distress. To his mind the remedy was
the establishment of an American market by fostering manufactures. That
such a policy would involve a clash of sectional interests, he did not
deny; but he believed that "reconciliation by mutual concessions" could
be effected and a genuine "American system" be brought into existence.

[Map: House Vote on Tariff Bill April 16, 1824]

The tariff bill presented in 1824 was avowedly a protective measure.
Among lesser changes, increased duties were proposed on iron, lead,
wool, hemp, cotton bagging, and cotton and woolen goods. At once
the clash of sectional interests began. New England shippers protested
against the duty on hemp, which they needed for cordage; and Southern
planters made common cause with them on this item, because the cheap
bagging which they used for baling their cotton was made of coarse hemp.
For the same reason the maritime sections of New England opposed the
duty on iron. For precisely opposite reasons, Kentucky clamored for the
protection of her hemp-growers, and Pennsylvania, for the protection of
her iron-workers. It was well understood that the cotton industry was
established and needed no protection; nevertheless, the minimum duty on
cotton fabrics was raised. The increased duty on woolens, however, was
offset by an increased duty on raw wool, so that the woolen
manufacturers profited little by the change of rate. A proposal to apply
to woolens the minimum principle which had been extended to cottons in
1816 was defeated by the opposition of the South. Any increase in the
cost of cheap woolen goods was bound to enhance the cost of clothing the
slaves. On the other hand, the representatives of the great
grain-growing and farming States of New York, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania, together with the States of the Ohio Valley, were almost
unanimously in favor of the proposed bill. When the bill came to a vote
in the House on April 16, 1824, only nine of the combined ninety-five
votes of these sections were cast in the negative. Equally emphatic was
the protest of the South and Southwest: only six out of seventy-six
Representatives favored the bill. New England by its divided vote
revealed the internal conflict between the commercial and manufacturing
interests. The bill passed both houses of Congress by small majorities
and received the signature of the President.

Of the presidential candidates, only one spoke with uncertain sound on
the tariff issue. Clay was the outspoken advocate of a far-reaching
American system; Adams thought the tariff of 1824 a fair compromise;
Jackson, properly coached by his intimates, put himself on record as a
supporter of a protective policy to create a home market; only Crawford,
representative of the peculiar interests of the South and candidate for
Northern support, felt the impossibility of harmonizing the conflicting
interests of his followers by a clear-cut and explicit utterance on the

With so many candidates in the field, it was difficult to forecast the
outcome of the presidential campaign. Even if there had been a
pronounced popular drift toward any candidate, the result would have
remained in doubt until the six States which still gave the choice of
electors to their legislatures had completed the complicated electoral
process. There was a strong likelihood, however, that the election would
go to the House of Representatives. As the choice would then be confined
to the three candidates having the highest vote, there was not a little
bargaining in the States where the legislatures chose the electors. The
completed returns gave Jackson 99 electoral votes; Adams, 84; Crawford,
41; and Clay, 37. Calhoun was elected Vice-President by more than two
thirds of the electoral vote. The House, therefore, as wiseacres had
foretold, was called upon for the second time to decide a contested
presidential election.

The position of Clay was one of unenviable distinction and power. He
could not be elected President, but he could, it was believed, determine
which of his rivals should have the coveted office. His own State
favored Jackson as a second choice; but Clay wrote to a friend that he
could not consider the killing of twenty-five hundred Englishmen at New
Orleans proved the fitness of Jackson for the chief civil magistracy.
Crawford was personally less objectionable to Clay; but he had suffered
a paralytic stroke and his health was precarious. Besides, Crawford had
opposed some of the policies which Clay had most at heart. For years
Clay had been a bitter opponent of Adams; yet after all was said, he was
bound to admit that his interests would be best served by an alliance
with this stiff-necked New Englander. At an early date, therefore, he
determined to throw his support to Adams.

For weeks the capital was enveloped in an atmosphere of intrigue. Clay
was courted by all factions. The possibility of securing his support was
a standing temptation to wire-pullers. Even Adams wrote in his diary,
"_Incedo super ignes_" (I walk over fires). When Clay announced
positively, on January 24, that he and his friends would support Adams,
a storm of passionate denunciation broke upon him. An anonymous letter
appeared in a Philadelphia newspaper, charging that friends of Adams had
offered Clay the Secretaryship of State in return for his support, and
that friends of Clay had reported the offer to friends of Jackson, with
the intimation that Clay would support the general on similar terms.
When the friends of Jackson spurned these overtures, Clay sold out to
Adams. With quite unnecessary heat Clay branded the author of this
letter as "a base and infamous calumniator, a dastard, and a liar." His
first instinct was to challenge the author whoever he might be; but when
Representative George Kremer, an odd character who was chiefly
conspicuous by reason of the leopard-skin coat which he wore avowed
himself the writer of the offensive letter, Clay wisely concluded not to
make himself ridiculous by an affair of honor with this Gil Blas. He
demanded a congressional investigation instead.

While this investigation of the alleged bargain between Adams and Clay
was pending, the House proceeded to the election of a President. On the
first ballot, Adams received the votes of thirteen States, while Jackson
was the choice of seven States, and Crawford of four. New England, New
York, Louisiana, Maryland, and the States of the Northwest, except
Indiana, supported Adams. Combined with these were now Missouri and
Kentucky, which had voted for Clay. Jackson received the votes of the
Southwest, together with those of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, and
South Carolina. Crawford was supported by Georgia, North Carolina,
Virginia, and Delaware. Two days later the President-elect announced
that he had invited Henry Clay to be his Secretary of State. After some
hesitation, Clay accepted the post.

[Map: The Presidential Election of 1824]

The cry of corruption is a recurrent note in the history of
democracies. The American democracy is no exception. With most of the
charges of corruption, the historian has little concern; but the bargain
and corruption cry of 1825 has a historical significance. The falsity of
the charge against Clay has been proved as nearly as a negative can be.
Adams may not have been above the uncongenial task of soliciting votes,
but he kept safely within the moral domain which his conscience marked
out. The motive which governed his appointment of Clay as Secretary of
State is stated frankly in a letter to Monroe, two days after the
election by the House. He considered the appointment "due to his talents
and services to the western section of the Union, whence he comes, and
to the confidence in me manifested by their delegations." Upon one
individual these considerations made no impression: Andrew Jackson left
the capital with wrath in his soul. He felt that he had been defrauded
by a corrupt bargain. From this time on his hand was against Clay,--that
"Judas of the West," as he afterward called him,--who had conspired to
"impair the pure principles of our republican institutions" and to
"prostrate that fundamental maxim which maintains the supremacy of the
people's will."

Years after the events of 1824-25, the belief of Jackson that the will
of the people had been defeated found classic expression in Thomas H.
Benton's _Thirty Years' View of Congress_. What Benton termed "the Demos
Krateo principle" was thoroughly in accord with the spirit of the new
democracy, but it rested upon an entire misunderstanding of the
Constitution. A direct popular election of the President was never
contemplated by the framers of the Constitution. It is impossible to
find in either the letter or the spirit of the Constitution any
justification for the view that the House of Representatives is bound to
elect the candidate having the highest popular vote.

What the will of the people really was in the presidential election of
1824 is by no means clear. Even in those States where presidential
electors were chosen by popular vote, Jackson received less than half of
the popular vote; and in many of these States the actual vote fell far
below the potential. In Massachusetts, where 66,000 votes had been cast
for governor the year before, only 37,000 voters took the trouble to
vote for President. In Pennsylvania, which boasted of a population of
over a million, less than 48,000 voted in 1824. Moreover, the six States
which chose the presidential electors through their legislatures,
contained one fourth of the population of the country. One fact,
however, stands out with unmistakable clearness,--and it did not escape
politicians like Van Buren, of New York, who had their fingers on the
pulse of the people,--this martial hero from out of the West had an
unprecedented vote-getting capacity. It were well to observe the Western
horizon more intently.


     The best description of the political characteristics of American
     society in this period is given by Alexis de Tocqueville,
     _Democracy in America_ (2 vols., trans., 1862). F. J. Turner has
     pointed out the importance of the West in the development of the
     nation in several studies, notably: "The Significance of the
     Frontier in American History" (American Historical Association,
     _Report_, 1893); "The Problem of the West" (_Atlantic Monthly_,
     vol. 78); "Contributions of the West to American Democracy"
     (_Atlantic Monthly_, vol. 91). The political development of the
     South is set forth with great thoroughness by U. B. Phillips,
     _Georgia and State Rights_ (American Historical Association,
     _Report_, 1901); W. A. Schaper, _Sectionalism and Representation
     in South Carolina_ (_ibid._, 1900); and C. H. Ambler,
     _Sectionalism in Virginia from 1776 to 1861_ (1910). Important
     aspects of the tariff are discussed in Edward Stanwood's _American
     Tariff Controversies in the Nineteenth Century_ (2 vols., 1903),
     and in C. W. Wright's _Wool-Growing and the Tariff_ (1910).



The circumstances of his election made the position of President Adams
one of very great difficulty. He alluded to his embarrassment in his
first message to Congress. "Less possessed of your confidence in advance
than any of my predecessors," said he, "I am deeply conscious of the
prospect that I shall stand more and oftener in need of your
indulgence." It is doubtful, however, if even he appreciated the
momentum of the forces which were already combining to discredit his
administration. In October, the legislature of Tennessee had again
nominated Jackson for the Presidency, and he had accepted the nomination
as a summons to wage war upon the forces of evil in high places. The
campaign of 1828, indeed, had already begun: and it was to be a campaign
of personal vindication as well as of popular rights.

Under similar circumstances most men would have made sure of the loyalty
of their constitutional advisers, at least, but Adams flattered himself
that he could carry on a non-partisan administration. The results were
disastrous, for at least two of the Cabinet were not above using the
patronage of office to further the cause of Jackson. In his laudable
desire not to allow the Government to become "a perpetual and
unintermitting scramble for office," Adams refused to make removals in
the civil service on partisan grounds, yet he retained in office
underlings who labored incessantly in the cause of the opposition.

Equally impolitic was the attitude of the President toward questions of
public policy in his first message to Congress. Just when the opposition
was in a fluid state and the winds of conflicting doctrines were
ruffling the surface of national politics, Adams gave utterance to
opinions on the functions of government which were bound to alienate
many of his followers. Entertaining no doubts as to constitutional
limitations upon the powers of the National Government, he advocated not
only the construction of roads and canals, but the establishment of
observatories and a national university. His program included
governmental aid to the arts, mechanical and literary, and to the
sciences, "ornamental and profound." He was prepared to give
encouragement not only to manufacturing but to agriculture and to
commerce. Many of these were objects which President Jefferson had
recommended to the consideration of Congress in 1806; but whereas he had
urged the adoption of amendments to the Constitution which would
authorize Congress to provide for roads and canals and education, Adams
seemed oblivious to the limitations of the Constitution. In much alarm
Jefferson suggested to Madison the desirability of having Virginia adopt
a new set of resolutions, bottomed on those of 1798, and directed
against the acts for internal improvements. In March, 1826, the general
assembly declared that all the principles of the earlier resolutions
applied "with full force against the powers assumed by Congress" in
passing acts to protect manufactures and to further internal
improvements. That the Administration would meet with opposition in
Congress, whatever its program might be, was a foregone conclusion. The
only question was whether the diverse and mutually hostile factions
which had followed the fortunes of Crawford, Calhoun, and Jackson could
coalesce into a consistent opposition. The first test occurred when the
Administration proposed the Panama mission.

The overthrow of the authority of Spain in South America had left the
way clear for the long-projected union of the republics. Early in the
year 1825, the ministers of Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia waited on
Clay to learn whether the United States would accept an invitation to a
great council or congress which had been called by the revolutionist
Bolívar, now President of Colombia. The project appealed strongly to
Clay. A league of young republics in the New World to offset the Holy
Alliance in Europe was, as his biographer remarks, "one of those large,
generous conceptions well calculated to fascinate his ardent mind." The
imagination of the President was not so easily touched: he instructed
Clay to inquire more particularly into the purposes of the congress.

The condition of affairs in the countries bordering on the Caribbean
Sea--the American Mediterranean--was such, indeed, as to justify extreme
caution in dealing with the Latin-American republics. It was matter of
common knowledge that Colombia and Mexico had designs upon Cuba, the
last of the Spanish outposts in the New World. So long as Spain
continued at war with her old colonies, the United States was bound to
be uneasy about the fate of Cuba and Porto Rico. Even if the islands
were liberated by the republican armies of Central and South America,
they were likely to fall a prey to some European power. The appearance
of a French fleet off the coast of Cuba during the summer of 1825 gave
point to these not unwarranted apprehensions. It was rumored that Cuba
was to be made the basis for an expedition against Mexico in behalf of
Spain. This episode prompted Clay to make strong representations to
France that the United States could not consent to the occupation of
Cuba by any other European power.

When, then, a formal invitation came to participate in the Panama
Congress, the Administration determined to seize the occasion to
exercise a wholesome restraint by friendly advice upon the assembled
delegates of the republics, and at the same time to ascertain their
purposes. In asking the Senate to confirm the nomination of two
delegates, however, the President voiced his own expectation of what the
Congress would be and do, rather than the purposes of Bolívar and his
associates. The occasion would be favorable, the President intimated,
for the discussion of commercial reciprocity, of neutral rights, and of
principles of religious liberty. An alliance with the Latin-American
republics was not contemplated. On the contrary, the delegates from the
United States would urge "an agreement between all of the parties
represented at the meeting, that each will guard by its own means
against the establishment of any future European colony within its
borders." At this stage in its evolution the Monroe Doctrine was not
understood to include any obligation on the part of the United States to
police the territories of the lesser republics of the New World.

The instructions given to the envoys leave no doubt as to the intentions
of the Administration. Every possible endeavor was to be made to
dissuade Colombia and Mexico from their designs upon Cuba and Porto
Rico. The recognition of Hayti as an independent state was to be
deprecated. In short, the _status quo_ in the Caribbean Sea was to be
maintained; and throughout, the congress was to be regarded as a
diplomatic conference and in no wise as a convention to constitute a
permanent league of republics.

Nevertheless, the opposition in Congress persisted in misrepresenting
the President's purposes. It was pointed out that the republics to the
south very generally believed that the United States was pledged by
Monroe's message to make common cause with them when their independence
was threatened. "Are we prepared," asked Hayne, of South Carolina, "to
send ministers to the Congress of Panama for the purpose of making
effectual this pledge of President Monroe as construed by the present
administration and understood by the Spanish-American states?" With
greater sincerity Southern Representatives protested against
participating in a congress which proposed to discuss the suppression
of the slave trade and the future of Hayti. "Slavery in all its
bearings," said Hayne, "is a question of extreme delicacy, concerning
which there is but one safe rule either for the States in which it
exists or for the Union. It must ever be treated as a domestic question.
To foreign governments the language of the United States must be that
the question of slavery concerns the peace and safety of our political
family, and that we cannot allow it to be discussed." Least of all, he
continued, could the United States touch the question of the
independence of Hayti in connection with revolutionary governments which
had marched to victory under the banner of universal emancipation and
which had permitted men of color to command their armies and enter their
legislative halls.

In the end the Administration had its way and the nominations were
confirmed; but the delay was most unfortunate. On their way to the
Isthmus, one of the delegates died, and the other arrived too late to
take part in the congress. From the viewpoint of domestic politics, the
controversy over the mission was only an incident in the evolution of a
party within the bosom of the Democratic party. The animus of the
opposition is revealed in the often-quoted remark of Martin Van Buren,
who was trying to drill the varied elements in the Senate into a
coherent organization: "Yes, they have beaten us by a few votes, after a
hard battle; but if they had only taken the other side and refused the
mission, we should have had them."

Of far more serious import than this factional opposition in Congress
was the resistance which the authorities of Georgia offered to the
National Administration in the matter of Indian lands. On March 5, 1825,
the Senate ratified the Treaty of Indian Springs with the Creek Indians,
which provided for the cession of practically all the lands of the tribe
between the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers. For years the planters of
Georgia had coveted these fertile tracts, awaiting with impatience the
negotiations of the Federal Government with the reluctant Indians.
Although the title to the lands was not to pass to Georgia until
September 1, 1826, Governor Troup ordered them to be surveyed with a
view to their immediate occupation. Meantime, well-founded charges were
current that the treaty had been made by a faction among the Creeks,
without the consent of the responsible chiefs. President Adams at once
ordered the state authorities to desist from their survey; but the
governor replied that Georgia was convinced of the validity of the
treaty and fully determined to enter into possession of her own. The
tone of the governor's letter was ominous. Nevertheless, the President
instituted negotiations for a new treaty. The diplomatic shifts resorted
to by the Indian agents in this instance were not above suspicion, but
the President seemed to entertain no misgivings, for he assured the
Senate that the new Treaty of Washington (January 24, 1826) was the will
and deed of "the chiefs of the whole Creek Nation." The grant left the
Indians still in possession of some lands west of the Chattahoochee.

The feelings of all loyal Georgians were outraged by the course of the
Administration. The legislature protested against the Treaty of
Washington as "illegal and unconstitutional," and denounced the
President's action as "an instance of dictation and federal supremacy
unwarranted by any grant of powers to the General Government." "Georgia
owns exclusively the soil and jurisdiction of all the territory within
her present chartered and conventional limits," read the resolutions of
December 22, 1826. "She has never relinquished said right, either
territorial or jurisdictional, to the General Government."

The ebullient governor hardly needed the indorsement of the legislature.
He pushed on the surveys to the limits set by the original treaty. But
the surveyors soon met with resistance from the Indians; and the Indians
appealed to the President. The Secretary of War then notified Troup that
the President felt himself compelled to employ all the means under his
control to maintain the faith of the nation and to carry the treaty into
effect. Governor Troup replied defiantly that the "military character of
the menace" was well understood. "You will distinctly understand,
therefore, that I feel it my duty to resist to the utmost any military
attack.... From the first decisive act of hostility, you will be
considered and treated as a public enemy, and with less repugnance
because you, to whom we might constitutionally have appealed for our
defense against invasion, are yourselves the invaders, and, what is
more, the unblushing allies of the savages whose course you have
adopted." He at once issued orders to the state military officers to
hold the militia in readiness to repel any invasion of the soil of

The tension which had now become acute was relieved by the intelligence
that the President had ordered the Indian agent to the Creeks to resume
negotiations for the cession of the rest of their lands. The governor
hastened to point out jubilantly that the President had beaten a
retreat. Meantime, the President had laid the whole matter before
Congress in a special message. A committee of the House advised the
purchase of the rest of the Indian lands, but in the mean time the
maintenance of the terms of the Treaty of Washington. A committee of the
Senate, however, with Benton as chairman, took an opposite view of the
situation, and deprecated any action looking toward the coercion of a
sister State. A treaty concluded with the Creeks in November, 1827,
fortunately satisfied all parties and put an end to this exciting
controversy--a controversy in which the President had played a lone and
not very successful hand.

In this same year (1827), another Indian problem of even greater
perplexity arose. The Cherokees of northwestern Georgia, who were ruled
by a group of intelligent half-breeds, declared themselves one of the
sovereign and independent nations of the earth, and drafted a
constitution which completely excluded the authority of the State of
Georgia. Again, in no uncertain language, Georgia asserted her title to
all the lands within her limits, regarding the Indians simply as
"tenants at her will"; but before the controversy reached an acute
stage Adams had surrendered the Presidency to General Andrew Jackson,
who had only contempt for Indian rights when they fell athwart the
purposes of honest white settlers.

In the midst of these protestations against federal intervention, the
legislature of Georgia sounded a note of defiance also in the matter of
the tariff. It was "their decided opinion an increase of Tariff duties
will and ought to be RESISTED by all legal and constitutional means."
Just what should be "the mode of opposition" they would not pretend to
say, but for the present they would content themselves with "the
peaceable course of remonstrating with Congress." This rather ominous
protest was inspired by the demands of certain manufacturers and
politicians who had assembled in convention at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
in the summer of 1827.

The woolen industry had profited least of all those which had been
protected by the Tariff of 1824. Not only had the slight advance in
rates been offset by the increase of the duty on raw wool, but the
effect of English competition in 1825 had been most depressing to the
woolen trade. A tariff bill to meet the wishes of the wool-growers and
woolen manufacturers had passed the House early in 1827, but had been
defeated in the Senate by the casting vote of the Vice-President. The
convention at Harrisburg was designed to create a public sentiment in
favor of the protected interests and to bring pressure from various
sources to bear upon Congress. The failure of the tariff bill in the
spring session had impressed upon woolen manufacturers the necessity of
securing allies.

The recommendations of the convention at Harrisburg were comprehensive.
Higher duties all along the line, from wool to glass, were urged. But
that which the promoters of the convention had most at heart was the
extension to woolens of the minimum principle already applied to cotton
fabrics. According to their demands, the _ad valorem_ duty on woolens
should range from forty to fifty per cent, assessed on minimum
valuations of fifty cents, two dollars and a half, four dollars, and six
dollars a yard. That is to say, goods valued at less than fifty cents a
yard were to be treated as though they had a value of fifty cents; and
all between fifty cents and two dollars and a half, as though they were
worth two dollars and a half; and so on--a system which offered a high
degree of protection to the cheaper fabrics in each group.

[Map: House Vote on Tariff Bill April 22, 1828]

The high hopes of the protectionists were only partially realized. In
the following session of Congress, economic interests became badly
tangled with political. The President and the greater part of his
supporters were protectionists. Indeed, it was openly charged by the
opposition that the Harrisburg Convention was a device of the Adams men
to promote his reëlection. The opposition, on the other hand, was far
from united on the tariff question. The only affinity between Southern
planters and their Northern allies in the Middle and Western States was
hostility to the Administration. According to Calhoun, who in after
years made a frank avowal of his part in the intrigue, the opposition
determined to frame a tariff bill with a general high level of
duties to satisfy the Middle and Western States, but to increase
the duties on raw material which New England manufacturers needed. All
the stanch Jackson men were to unite in forcing this bill to a passage
without amendment. At the last moment, however, the Southern group were
to part company with their allies and to vote against the bill. The
Representatives from New England, and the supporters of the
Administration generally, would of course vote against the bill also,
and so compass its defeat. The odium would then fall upon the Adams men,
while the Jackson men could pose as the only whole-hearted advocates of
protection; and, finally, not the least factor in Calhoun's
calculations, the South would escape the toils of high protection. There
was only one hitch in this cleverly planned game. To the consternation
of the plotters, enough New England Representatives swallowed the bitter
dose to enact the bill.

The "tariff of abominations" deserves all the abuse which has been
heaped upon it. Shapen in political iniquity, it bore upon its face the
marks of its origin. High duties for which no one had asked were imposed
on certain raw material like pig and bar iron, and hemp, the better
quality of which was always in demand and never produced in the United
States. Items like the increased duty on molasses and the heavy duty on
sail-duck were added to make the bill distasteful to New England. But
the woolen industry suffered the most grievous disappointment. Instead
of the minimum principle advocated by the Harrisburg Convention, the Act
of 1828 established a minimum of one dollar between the minimal points
of fifty cents and two dollars and a half. Whereas the proposed rate
would have fixed a prohibitory duty on woolens costing about a dollar a
yard, the act allowed only a duty of forty-five per cent. "The dollar
minimum," as one of the aggrieved manufacturers put it, "was planted in
the very midst of the woolen trade."

Again the Middle States and the States of the Ohio Valley united in
support of the protective principle. New England was divided against
itself. Political considerations weighed heavily with those New
Englanders who like Webster voted for the bill. John Randolph hardly
exaggerated when he declared that "the bill referred to manufactures of
no sort or kind, except the manufacture of a President of the United


     To the bibliography at the close of the preceding chapter only a few
     titles need be added. The foreign policy of the Adams Administration
     is well described in F. E. Chadwick's _The Relations of the United
     States and Spain_ (1909). The stages in the Indian controversy may
     be traced in U. B. Phillips's _Georgia and State Rights_ (American
     Historical Association, _Report_, 1901), and in E. J. Hardin's _Life
     of George M. Troup_ (1859). E. M. Shepard, _Martin Van Buren_
     (1888), and T. D. Jervey, _Robert Y. Hayne and His Times_ (1909),
     are important biographies. Josiah Quincy's _Figures of the Past_
     (1883) contains some interesting sketches of Washington society,
     while N. Sargent's _Public Men and Events_ (2 vols., 1875) supplies
     an abundance of political gossip.



Shortly after the Federal Convention of 1787, a friend remarked to
Gouverneur Morris, "You have made a good constitution." "That," replied
Morris laconically, "depends on how it is construed!" From Washington to
Jackson the process of construing the Constitution had gone on,
intermittently by the executive and legislative, steadily by the
judiciary. "The judiciary of the United States," wrote Jefferson in
1820, "is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working
underground to undermine the foundations of our confederate fabric. They
are constantly construing our constitution from a coördination of a
general and a special government, to a general and supreme one alone.
They will lay all things at their feet, and they are too well versed in
the English law to forget the maxim, '_boni judicis est ampliare

Yet as late as 1800 the federal judiciary had pronounced none of those
decisions which were to make it so powerful a factor in the assertion
and maintenance of national sovereignty. In declining an appointment as
Chief Justice, John Jay wrote to President Adams that he had "left the
bench perfectly convinced that under a system so defective, it would not
obtain the energy, weight, and dignity, which were essential to its
affording due support to the National Government; nor acquire the
public confidence and respect which, as the last resort of the justice
of the Nation, it should possess."

The uncertainty of the law was in large part responsible for this lack
of prestige. "Too great inattention," complained a Boston lawyer, in the
_Columbian Centinel_ in 1801, "has hitherto prevailed as to the
preservation of the decisions of our courts of law. We have neither
authorized nor voluntary reporters. Hence we are compelled to the loose
and interested recollections of counsel, or to depend wholly on British
decisions." The first systematic attempt to secure records of opinions
was made by Connecticut in 1785. Four years later, Ephraim Kirby, a
printer in Litchfield, issued "the first regular printed law reports in
America." This example was followed in other States; and in 1798 the
first volume of United States Supreme Court Reports was published by

The great period in the history of the Supreme Court coincides with the
thirty-four years during which John Marshall held the office of Chief
Justice. President John Adams rendered no more lasting service to the
Federalist cause than when he appointed this great Virginian to the
bench, for Marshall, if not a Federalist of the strictest sect, was a
thoroughgoing nationalist. Down to his appointment only six decisions
involving constitutional questions of any moment had been handed down;
between 1801 and 1835, sixty-two were rendered, of which Marshall wrote
thirty-six. The decisions of the court during "the reign of Marshall"
fill thirty volumes of the Reports. Seven hundred and fifty-three cases
were taken on appeal to the Supreme Court from the lower federal courts,
and in nearly one half of these cases the decisions were reversed.

An American constitutional law did not exist when Marshall took office.
Few precedents were available. In some of his important cases Marshall
did not cite a single judicial decision. He reached his conclusions by
the light of reason. "There, Story," he would say to his associate, "is
the law. Now you must find the authorities." In a peculiar sense it is
true to say that Marshall both laid the foundations of constitutional
law and reared the superstructure, as one of his biographers remarks.
But Marshall was ably supported by his colleagues; and he owed much, as
he freely admitted, to the arguments of a remarkable body of lawyers of
the federal bar. Wirt, Pinkney, and Webster were as truly creators of
American constitutional law as the learned justices.

The constitutional importance of the decision of the Supreme Court in
_Marbury_ v. _Madison_ has already been pointed out. In the development
of the idea of national sovereignty, the significance of the decision
lies in the emphatic assertion that the Supreme Court is the tribunal of
last resort in cases involving the constitutionality of acts of

The first open resistance of a State to federal authority, as asserted
by the Supreme Court, occurred in 1809, when the legislature of
Pennsylvania interposed its authority to prevent the payment of prize
money which had been awarded by a federal district court to Gideon
Olmstead and others for their capture of the sloop Active during the
Revolution. All efforts to secure a peaceful settlement of this
controversy having failed, the Attorney-General, in behalf of Olmstead,
applied to the Supreme Court for a writ of _mandamus_, directing Judge
Peters of the district court to enforce his judgment. In granting the
writ, Chief Justice Marshall pointed out the gravity of the issue. "If
the legislatures of the several States," said he, "may at will annul the
judgment of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights
acquired under those judgments, the Constitution becomes a solemn
mockery, and the nation is deprived of the means of enforcing its laws
by the instrumentality of its own tribunals." Such a conclusion he
emphatically repudiated. Reviewing the history of the case with all its
details, he reached the uncompromising conclusion that "the State of
Pennsylvania can possess no constitutional right to resist the legal
process which may be directed in this cause.... A peremptory _mandamus_
must be awarded."

Judge Peters issued the writ, but all efforts of the marshal to serve
the writ were thwarted by the state militia. The marshal then summoned a
_posse comitatus_ of two thousand men. Bloodshed seemed imminent; but
after an ineffectual appeal to the President, the Pennsylvania
authorities gave way and paid over the money. Subsequently the officer
commanding the militia and others were indicted, tried, convicted, and
sentenced to fine and imprisonment, for resisting the writ of a federal
court; but they were pardoned by the President because "they had acted
under a mistaken sense of duty."

In this conflict of authority the National Government won at every
point. Even the resolution which the legislature adopted in the heat of
the controversy, calling for an amendment to the Constitution which
should establish "an impartial tribunal to determine disputes between
the General and State Governments," met with no approval from other
States. Virginia, soon to be of a very different mind, responded that "a
tribunal is already provided ... to wit: the Supreme Court, more
eminently qualified from their habits and duties, from the mode of their
selection, and from the tenure of their offices, to decide the disputes
aforesaid in an enlightened and impartial manner, than any other
tribunal which could be erected."

In two notable cases, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality
of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and asserted its authority to review and
reverse decisions of the state courts when those decisions were adverse
to alleged federal rights. The opinion in the first case, that of
_Martin_ v. _Hunter's Lessee_, in 1816, was written by Joseph Story, of
Massachusetts, who had been appointed to a vacancy on the bench by
President Madison. Story was reputed to be a Republican, but he
disappointed all expectations by becoming a stanch supporter of
nationalist doctrines and only second to Marshall in his influence upon
the development of American constitutional law.

The case of _Martin_ v. _Hunter's Lessee_ grew out of the old Fairfax
claims which Marshall had represented as counsel before his appointment
to the bench. In 1815, the Supreme Court had reversed the decision of
the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and ordered the state court to execute
the judgment rendered in the lower state court. The judges of the Court
of Appeals, headed by Judge Spencer Roane, a bitter opponent of
Marshall, formally announced that they would not obey the _mandamus_,
holding that the twenty-fifth section of the Judiciary Act of 1789--that
extending the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court over state
tribunals--was unconstitutional. The state-rights elements in Virginia
quickly rallied to the support of the judges, and the Supreme Court
found itself face to face with an incensed public opinion in the Old
Dominion. In no wise daunted by this opposition, the Supreme Court
reviewed its position in 1816 and again ordered the execution of its

Five years later, Chief Justice Marshall rendered a similar decision in
the case of _Cohens_ v. _Virginia_. The counsel for the Commonwealth had
argued that the appellate jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution on
the Supreme Court was merely authority to revise the decisions of the
inferior courts of the United States. "Congress," it was contended, "is
not authorized to make the supreme court or any other court of a State
an inferior court.... The inferior courts spoken of in the Constitution
are manifestly to be held by federal judges." "It is the case, not the
court, that gives jurisdiction," replied Marshall. "The courts of the
United States can, without question, revise the proceedings of the
executive and legislative authorities of the States, and if they are
found to be contrary to the Constitution may declare them to be of no
legal validity. Surely the exercise of the same right over judicial
tribunals is not a higher or more dangerous act of sovereign power."

It was in the course of this decision that Marshall asserted in
unmistakable language the sovereignty of the National Government. "The
people made the Constitution and the people can unmake it.... But this
supreme and irresistible power to make or to unmake resides only in the
whole body of the people; not in any subdivision of them. The attempts
of any of the parts to exercise it is usurpation, and ought to be
repelled by those to whom the people have delegated the power of
repelling it.... The framers of the Constitution were indeed unable to
make any provisions which should protect that instrument against a
general combination of the States, or of the people for its destruction;
and conscious of this inability, they have not made the attempt. But
they were able to provide against the operation of measures adopted in
any one State, whose tendency might be to arrest the execution of the
laws; and this it was the part of wisdom to attempt. We think they have
attempted it."

Between these notable Virginia cases was decided, in 1819, the case of
_M'Culloch_ v. _Maryland_, in which the Chief Justice sustained the
constitutionality of the act establishing the National Bank, and
declared a state law imposing a tax on a branch of the Bank
unconstitutional and void. In the course of his opinion, which followed
much the same line of reasoning that Alexander Hamilton had employed,
Marshall stated in classic phraseology the doctrine of liberal
construction. Holding that the Constitution was not a code of law, but a
document marking out in large characters the powers of government, he
sought, among the enumerated powers, not the lesser, but the great
substantive, powers necessary to the purposes of the Union. These
substantive powers, however, carry with them many incidental (Hamilton
said _resulting_) powers, among which a choice may freely be made to
achieve the desired and legitimate end. "Let the end be legitimate,"
said Marshall, "let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all
means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end,
which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the
Constitution, are constitutional." In an earlier decision (_United
States_ v. _Fisher_, 1804), indeed, Marshall had refused to concede the
force of the argument that the Federal Government was clothed only with
the powers indispensably necessary to exercise powers expressly granted
to it. "Congress must possess the choice of means which are in fact
conducive to the exercise of a power granted by the Constitution."

The cumulative effect of these decisions was to provoke a violent
reaction in Virginia. Under the pen-name "Algernon Sidney," Judge Roane
renewed his attacks upon the Chief Justice in violent and at times
offensive language. "The judgment before us," he declared, referring to
the case of _Cohens_ v. _Virginia_, "will not be less disastrous in its
consequences, than any of these memorable judgments [of the time of
Charles I]. It completely negatives the idea, that the American States
have a real existence, or are to be considered, in any sense, as
sovereign and independent States." It seemed to Jefferson that the
powerful arguments of Roane completely "pulverized" every word which had
been uttered by John Marshall. John Taylor of Caroline, however, was the
philosophical exponent of this reactionary movement. In his
_Construction Construed_ (1820), _Tyranny Unmasked_ (1822), and _New
Views of the Constitution_ (1823), he pointed out the manifest tendency
of the decisions of the Supreme Court and suggested the "state veto" as
the remedy against usurpation of power by the Supreme Court or by
Congress. The legislature of Virginia indorsed an amendment to the
Constitution drafted by Judge Roane which would have limited the
jurisdiction of the federal courts, where the rights of the States were
concerned, and which would have forbidden appeals from the courts of a
State to any court of the United States. Beyond such remonstrances and
protests, however, public opinion in Virginia was not prepared to go at
this time.

The judges of the Supreme Court could not remain indifferent to these
assaults. "If, indeed, the Judiciary is to be destroyed," wrote Story,
"I should be glad to have the decisive blow now struck, while I am
young, and can return to my profession and earn an honest livelihood."
But he added, "For the Judges of the Supreme Court there is but one
course to pursue. That is, to do their duty firmly and honestly,
according to their best judgments."

It was in this spirit that the court rendered judgment in the case of
_Green_ v. _Biddle_ (1823), which gave deep offense to the people of
Kentucky by setting aside as unconstitutional the so-called "Occupying
Claimant Laws." The remonstrance of the legislature was all the more
bitter because the decision had been rendered by a bench of only four
judges, one of whom dissented from the majority opinion. The resolutions
of the legislature demanded a reorganization of the court in such wise
that the concurrence of at least two thirds of the judges should be
necessary in an opinion affecting the validity of state laws. And when
Congress made no response, the lower House called upon the governor to
express his opinion "whether it may be advisable to call forth the
physical power of the State to resist the execution of the decisions of
the court, or in what manner the mandates of said court should be met by
disobedience." But Kentucky like Virginia kept well within the legal
limits of petition and remonstrance.

In Ohio, also, there was an ominous spirit of resistance to the force of
precedent. Notwithstanding the decision of the court in the case of
_M'Culloch_ v. _Maryland_, the general assembly of that State not only
enacted a law to tax the local branch of the National Bank, but actually
seized the amount of the tax. Suit was thereupon brought against the
state auditor; and in spite of the vigorous remonstrance of the
legislature, the Supreme Court again sustained the constitutionality of
the Bank and declared the state tax unconstitutional. The State was
ultimately obliged to make restitution of the funds of the Bank.

[Map: Canals in the United States about 1825]

Meantime, the national judiciary had contributed to the expansion of the
Constitution in notable ways; sometimes by affirming the
constitutionality of powers exercised by the President or Congress, and
at other times by narrowing the limits of state authority. In the case
of the _American Insurance Company_ v. _Canter_, twenty-five years after
the acquisition of Louisiana, Marshall affirmed the constitutionality
of the treaty which had so aroused Jefferson's misgivings. "The
Constitution," said the Chief Justice, "confers absolutely on the
Government of the Union the powers of making war and of making treaties;
consequently, that Government possesses the power of acquiring
territory, either by conquest or by treaty."

In two instances, on the other hand, the Supreme Court gave an
interpretation of the "obligation of contracts" clause of the
Constitution which seriously limited the powers of the States. In the
case of _Fletcher_ v. _Peck_ (1810), the court declared unconstitutional
an act of the legislature of Georgia which attempted to revoke the
notorious Yazoo land grants of 1795. A grant was held to be a contract
within the meaning of the Constitution; and the court found no adequate
ground for exempting such contracts from the prohibition of the

Far-reaching in its implication, also, was the second instance, when the
Supreme Court held unconstitutional and void the acts of the New
Hampshire legislature which amended the charter granted by the Crown to
Dartmouth College in 1769. Arguing as counsel for the college, of which
he was an honored graduate, Daniel Webster held that the charter of a
private corporation was a contract which might not be impaired by an act
of a state legislature. Chief Justice Marshall only restated and
amplified Webster's argument, when he rendered the opinion of the court
and declared that New Hampshire might not by law impair the charter of
Dartmouth College. To the argument of the counsel for the Commonwealth,
contending that the framers of the Constitution never contemplated such
a broad use of the word "contract," Marshall replied that it was not
enough to say this particular use of the word was not in the mind of the
Convention when the article was adopted. "It is necessary to go farther,
and to say that, had this particular case been suggested, the language
would have been so varied as to exclude it, or it would have been made a
special exception."

The immense significance of this decision was not immediately apparent.
The peculiar immunity which it gave to private property could not be
appreciated until the rise of corporations with concentrated capital.
Not even the Chief Justice foresaw that the guaranty of inviolability
which he had thrown about a private educational corporation would be
demanded with equal right by the great business corporations of the
succeeding era.

[Map: Highways of the United States about 1825]

In the famous case of _Gibbons_ v. _Ogden_ (1824), the Supreme Court
gave an interpretation of the commerce clause of the Constitution which
also had a profound effect upon subsequent history. In the course of its
decision the court declared unconstitutional a law of the State of New
York which had granted an exclusive right to operate steamboats in the
waters of New York. The regulation of commerce, the court held, had been
given exclusively to Congress, and "commerce" as used in the
Constitution comprehended not merely traffic and intercourse but also
navigation. The power to regulate was regarded as a unit. In regulating
commerce with foreign nations, the power of Congress does not stop at
the jurisdictional lines of the several States. "If a foreign voyage may
commence or terminate at a port within a State, then the power of
Congress may be exercised within a State." Similarly, the court reasoned
that commerce "among the States" cannot stop at the external boundary of
each State. "Commerce among the States must of necessity be commerce
with the States." In short, while expressly disclaiming that Congress
had the power to regulate the internal commerce of a State, the court
asserted the complete control of Congress over inter-state commerce so
far as navigation was concerned. The deeper significance of this
interpretation of the commerce clause appeared only when railroads began
to span the continent and the jurisdictional lines of States were
crossed and re-crossed by an ever-increasing volume of trade.

Twenty-five years had wrought a vast change in the position of the
national judiciary in the American constitutional system. "It is now
seen on every hand," wrote Attorney-General Wirt, urging the appointment
of Chancellor Kent to a vacancy on the Supreme Court bench, "that the
functions to be performed by the Supreme Court of the United States are
among the most difficult and perilous which are to be performed under
the Constitution. They demand the loftiest range of talents and learning
and a soul of Roman purity and firmness. The questions which come before
them frequently involve the fate of the Constitution, the happiness of
the whole Nation, and even its peace as it concerns other nations." In
the light of the decisions reviewed, the nationalizing tendency of the
federal judiciary is unmistakable. But a constitutional reaction had set
in; and even while John Marshall was setting forth the doctrine of
national sovereignty in its most uncompromising form, John C. Calhoun in
the quiet of his estate in South Carolina was elaborating a defense of
state rights on premises which the great Chief Justice had combated for
a quarter of a century.


     An adequate history of the Supreme Court has yet to be written. H.
     L. Carson, _The History of the Supreme Court of the United States,
     with biographies of all the chief and associate justices_ (2 vols.,
     1902-04), and H. Flanders, _The Lives and Times of the
     Chief-Justices of the Supreme Court_ (2 vols., 1855-58), are
     serviceable works. The best selection of cases on constitutional
     law is that by J. B. Thayer, _Cases in Constitutional Law_ (2 vols.,
     1894-95). Some of the more important decisions may be found
     abridged in Allen Johnson's _Readings in American Constitutional
     History_ (1912). W. W. Willoughby, _The Supreme Court: its History
     and Influence in our Constitutional System_ (1890), and _The American
     Constitutional System_ (1904), are interesting volumes by an
     authority on constitutional law. J. P. Kennedy, _Memoirs of the Life
     of William Wirt_ (2 vols., 1850); G. J. McRee, _Life and
     Correspondence of James Iredell_ (2 vols., 1857-58); W. W. Story,
     _Life and Letters of Joseph Story_ (2 vols., 1851); and G. T.
     Curtis, _Life of Daniel Webster_ (2 vols., 1870), contribute to an
     understanding of the relation of the federal bench and bar.
     Especially valuable is Charles Warren's _History of the American
     Bar, Colonial and Federal, to 1860_ (1911). The progress of American
     law is reviewed in _Two Centuries' Growth of American Law,
     1701-1901_, by members of the faculty of the Yale Law School.


Adams, Abigail, 120, 121.

Adams, John, Minister to England, 7;
  demands Western posts, 17;
  on the adoption of the Constitution, 41;
  elected Vice-President, 48;
  on the President's address, 50;
  re-elected Vice-President, 67;
  candidate for the Presidency, 92;
  elected President, 93;
  his attitude toward France, 96;
  appoints commissioners, 96-97;
  urges preparations for war, 98;
  sends X Y Z letters to Congress, 98;
  appoints officers of army, 101-02;
  at odds with Hamilton faction, 103;
  resumes relations with France, 103-04;
  his title to fame, 104;
  pardons Fries, 113;
  candidate for Presidency (1800), 116;
  and federal judiciary, 121-22;
  presidential elector (1820), 280;
  on European entanglements, 289-90;
  offers Chief Justiceship to Jay, 331.

Adams, John Quincy, and the practice of law, 20;
  on the new Constitution, 41;
  special envoy to England, 87;
  secures amendment of Jay Treaty, 88;
  defends the embargo, 189;
  resigns from Senate, 193;
  commissioner at Ghent, 227-29;
  on Jackson's invasion of Florida, 262;
  his reply to Spain, 262-63;
  on recognition of South American Republics, 290-91;
  challenges British claims on Pacific, 292;
  on future of Cuba, 292-93;
  protests Russian claims on the Pacific Coast, 293;
  advises against joint declaration with England, 295;
  candidate for the Presidency (1824), 308;
  favors internal improvements, 310;
  favors Tariff of 1824, 312;
  his electoral vote (1824), 312;
  wins Clay's following, 313-14;
  elected President by the House, 314;
  appoints Clay Secretary of State, 315;
  his first message, 318-19;
  and the civil service, 318-19;
  on the Panama Congress, 320, 321;
  and the Creek Indians, 324-26;
  and the Cherokee Indians, 326-27.

Adet, French Minister to United States, interferes in the election
  of 1800, 92-93;
  on Jefferson as an American, 290.

Agriculture, American, 126-27.

Alabama, admitted as a State, 251.

Alien and Sedition Acts, 109;
  petitions for the repeal of, 112;
  expiration of, 135.

Allston, Washington, 286.

Ambrister, Robert C., 261-62.

Amelia Island, _entrepôt_ for neutral trade, 199;
  occupied by the United States, 204;
  evacuated, 219.

American character, disclosed by the war, 232-33.

American Insurance Company _v._ Canter, 341-42.

American literature, want of, 283;
  from 1815 to 1830, 284.

Ames, Fisher, on the heads of departments, 89-90;
  on the Republican opposition, 108;
  on democracy, 161-62.

Annapolis Trade Convention, 28.

_Anthology and Boston Review_, 283.

Anti-Federalists, and the Constitution, 39.

Appointments, by Washington, 54-55;
  by John Adams, 122;
  by Jefferson, 130-31;
  by John Q. Adams, 318-19.

Arbuthnot, Alexander, 261-62.

Army, at the establishment of Government, 55;
  provisional, in 1798, 101-03;
  at the beginning of the War of 1812, 212;
  after the War of 1812, 241.

Articles of Confederation, proposed amendments to, 6;
  inadequacy of, 16-17, 21-24, 25-27.

Assumption of state debts, 58-61.

Ballou, Hosea, 288.

Baltimore, and Western trade, 254, 256.

Bancroft, George, 287.

Bank of the United States, opposed by Jefferson, 62;
  advocated by Hamilton, 63;
  charter of, 63;
  speculation in the stock of, 63-64;
  Congress refuses to recharter, 239;
  charter of the second, 239-40;
  management of, 267;
  investigation of, 267;
  popular hostility to, 267-68;
  taxation of the branches of, 268.

Baptists, in New England, 247;
  in the West, 301-02.

Barbour, James, 271.

Baumeler, Joseph, 246, 302.

Bayard, James A., and the election of 1801, 118-19;
  commissioner at Ghent, 227.

Benton, Thomas H., on the election of 1825, 315-16.

Berlin Decree, of Napoleon, 187;
  its revocation, 200.

Bible Society of the United States, 301.

Bladensburg, battle of, 222.

Blennerhassett, Harman, and Burr, 172-73, 175-76.

Blockade of American ports by British cruisers, 181-82, 201, 218, 233.

Blount conspiracy, 97.

Bonus Bill, advocated by Calhoun, 257;
  vetoed by Madison, 257.

Boone, Daniel, 14.

Boston, as an intellectual and literary center, 287.

Bowdoin, Governor James, and Shays' Rebellion, 20-21;
  suggests convention of the States, 27.

Breckenridge, John, 110.

Brown, Jacob, 220.

Brown, Moses, 124.

Bryant, William Cullen, 284.

Burr, Aaron, candidate for the Vice-Presidency (1796), 92;
  on politics in Connecticut, 115;
  carries the city of New York (1800), 115-16;
  elected Vice-President (1800), 118;
  candidate for Governor of New York, 165;
  approached by Federalists, 165-66;
  his duel with Hamilton, 166;
  his intrigues, 172-73;
  his expedition, 173-76;
  his arrest and trial, 176-78.

Cabot, George, 164.

Calhoun, John C., repudiates peaceable coercion, 207;
  favors Tariff of 1816, 237;
  his nationalism, 241-42;
  on constitutional limitations, 242;
  his Bonus Bill, 257;
  Secretary of War, 258;
  candidate for the Presidency, 307;
  candidate for the Vice-Presidency, 308;
  elected Vice-President, 312;
  on the Tariff of 1828, 328-29;
  elaborates his defense of state rights, 345.

Campbell, Alexander, 288.

Canada, proposed conquest of, 203, 213.

Canals, constructed and projected, in 1825, 255-56.

Canning, George, and the Chesapeake affair, 186;
  on the embargo, 191;
  on British naval losses, 216;
  on intervention, 292;
  overtures to Rush, 294;
  on the new doctrine of President Monroe, 296.

Capital, location of the national, 60-61;
  removed from Philadelphia to Washington, 119-21.

  _congressional_ (1800), 116;
      (1804), 167;
      (1808), 193-94;
      (1812), 216;
      (1816), 243;
        hostility to, 307, 308;
      (1824), 308.
  _legislative_, 305.

Channing, William E., 288.

Chase, Samuel, impeachment of, 139-41.

Cherokee Indians, in Georgia, 326-27.

Chesapeake Bay, navigation of, 27-28;
  British military operations in, 221-23.

Chesapeake, United States frigate, and the Leopard, 184-86;
  reparation offered for, 197;
  avenged, 202;
  captured, 218.

Chippewa, battle of, 220.

Cincinnati, Society of the, 24.

Civil service. _See_ Appointments.

Claiborne, W. C. C., Governor of the Mississippi Territory, reports
  withdrawal of the right of deposit, 148;
  takes possession of West Florida, 204.

Clark, George Rogers, and Genet, 74-75.

Clay, Henry, his early career, 202-03;
  in the Senate, 203;
  Speaker of the House, 207;
  commissioner at Ghent, 227, 229;
  his nationalism, 241-42;
  on the National Bank Bill, 242;
  opposes the Florida Treaty, 264-65;
  on the extension of slavery, 270;
  on the admission of Missouri, 279;
  on the counting of the electoral vote (1820), 280;
  advocates an American system, 289;
  candidate for the Presidency (1824), 307-08;
  on internal improvements, 309-10;
  urges a protective tariff, 310;
  favors the Tariff of 1824, 312;
  his electoral vote (1824), 312;
  and Jackson, 313, 314, 315;
  and Crawford, 313;
  and Adams, 313-14;
  accepts Secretaryship of State, 314;
  denies corrupt-bargain charge, 313-15;
  favors Panama Congress, 320;
  on the status of Cuba, 321.

Clinton, De Witt, nominated for the Presidency (1812), 216;
  promotes the Erie Canal, 255-56.

Clinton, George, candidate for Vice-Presidency (1792), 67;
  elected Vice-President (1804), 167;
  candidate for the Presidency (1808), 194.

Cohens _v._ Virginia, 336-37.

Colonization Society, 272.

  _foreign_, during the Revolution, 2;
      restrictions upon, 3, 7;
      power to regulate, 34;
      revival of, 46-47;
      aggressions on, 76-77, 86-87;
      and Jay's Treaty, 85-87;
    Mississippi opened to, 87;
    during European wars, 124, 179-80;
    during the War of 1812, 233;
    after the Treaty of Ghent, 233-34.
    between South and Northwest, 252-53;
    along the Mississippi, 253-54;
    between East and other sections, 254-56.

Commonwealth _v._ Caton, 19.

Compromises of the Constitution, 33-35.

  _of the Confederation_, and finance, 5-6;
    peregrinations of, 6;
    and foreign commerce, 7-8;
    and the public domain, 8;
    organizes the Northwest Territory, 10-12;
    and the State of Franklin, 15;
    and Shays' Rebellion, 21-22;
    and the Annapolis Convention, 28-29;
    and the new Constitution, 38, 44.
  _of the new Union_, elections to, 44;
    assembles, 47;
    organizes, 48;
    attends the counting of the electoral vote, 48;
    hears the inaugural address, 48, 49;
    enters upon its duties, 50.

Connecticut, favors the open door, 8;
  ratifies the Constitution, 41;
  refuses call for militia, 213;
  and the Hartford Convention, 224;
  adopts a new Constitution, 304;
  suffrage in, 304;
  authorizes first law reports, 332.

Connecticut Wits, the, 123.

Constitution of the United States, drafting of, 30-35;
  publication of, 35-38;
  ratification of, 39-43;
  voting on, 43-44;
  first amendments to, 55;
  Twelfth Amendment to, 166-67;
  judicial interpretation of, 331-45.

Constitution, United States frigate, captures L'Insurgente, 101;
  captures the Guerrière, 215;
  captures the Java, 216.

Constitutions, of new States, 303-04;
  of the old States, 304-05.

Convention of 1787, origin, 28-29;
  choice of delegates to, 29;
  proceedings of, 30-38;
  journal of, 30;
  its work, 35-36.

Cooper, J. Fenimore, 285.

Corrupt-bargain cry, in 1825, 313-15.

Cotton gin, invention of, 127;
  effect of, 127-28.

Cotton-growing, spread of, 127, 249-51.

Cotton manufacturing, beginnings of, 124;
  after the embargo, 234-35;
  after the Peace of Ghent, 235-36.

Court reports, first published, 332.

Courts, federal. _See_ Federal judiciary, Judiciary Act, etc.

Crawford, William H., candidate for presidential nomination (1816), 243-44;
  nominated for the Presidency (1824), 308;
  on internal improvements, 310;
  on the Tariff of 1824, 312;
  his electoral vote (1824), 312;
  his vote in the election by the House, 314.

Creek Indians, rising of, 219;
  capitulation of, 220;
  in East Florida, 260;
  lands in Georgia, 324-26.

Crisis of 1819, 266-67.

Cuba, interest of the United States in, 293, 321.

Cumberland Road. _See_ National Road.

Currency, under the Confederation, 5;
  after the War of 1812, 238-39, 240-41.

Cushing, William, 54.

Cutler, Manasseh, 11-12.

Dallas, A. J., Secretary of the Treasury, and the tariff, 237-38;
  and the new National Bank, 241.

Dartmouth College Case, 342-43.

Davis, Jefferson, father of, 249.

Dearborn, Henry, Secretary of War, 130-31;
  in the War of 1812, 213, 218.

Decatur, Stephen, 145, 215.

Delaware, instructs delegates to the Federal Convention, 30;
  ratifies the Constitution, 41.

Democracy in the United States, 298-301, 303-07.

Democratic societies, founded, 75;
  condemned by Washington, 83-84.

_Demos Krateo_ principle, 315-16.

Dennie, Joseph, 283.

Departments, executive, organized, 51-52;
  Fisher Ames on, 89-90.

Deposit, right of, at New Orleans, 87;
  withdrawn, 148.

Detroit, surrender of, 214.

Dorchester, Lord, Governor of Canada, 68, 78-79.

Duties on imports, proposed in 1781, 1783, 6.

Dwight, Timothy, his _Conquest of Canaan_, 123;
  on the back-country people, 247.

East Florida, revolution in, 204;
  occupied by United States, 204;
  rendezvous, 259-60;
  invaded by Jackson, 260-62.

Ellsworth, Oliver, 53-54.

Embargo Act, _of 1794_, 79;
  _of 1807_, 188-89;
    enforcement of, 190-91, 194-95;
    as a coercive weapon, 190, 192;
    effect of, 191-93;
    in New England, 193, 195;
    repeal of, 196;
  _of 1812_, 209.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 287.

Emigration, from New England, 247-48;
  from the Middle States, 248;
  from the South, 249.

Era of Good Feelings, 266.

Erie Canal, construction of, 255-56.

Erskine, D. M., British Minister to the United States, 197.

Essex, case of the, 180.

Essex Junto, 164, 193, 224.

Everett, Edward, 287.

Executive Departments, establishment of, 51-52.

Fallen Timber, battle of, 80-81.

Far West, 258-59.

Fauchet, J. A. J., succeeds Genet, 76;
  urges acquisition of Louisiana, 91.

Fearon, Henry B., 247, 248.

Federal Convention of 1787. _See_ Convention of 1787.

_Federalist_, the, 43.

Federalist party, origin of, 39-40.
  _See also_ Presidential elections.

Finances, of the Confederation, 5-6;
  of the new Government, 50-51, 56-64.

Fiscal administration, beginnings of national, 51.

Fisheries, discussed at Ghent, 229;
  in the Convention of 1818, 259.

Fletcher _v._ Peck, 170, 342.

Floridas, controversy over the boundaries of, 16, 68;
  northern boundary settled, 87;
  proposed purchase of, 148;
  and the province of Louisiana, 151, 158-59;
  sought by Jefferson, 170-71;
  acquisition of, 264.

Florida Treaty, 264-65.

Foreign-born in the United States, 245-46.

Foster, A. J., British Minister to the United States, 201.

France, concessions to American commerce, 46;
  covets Spanish colonies, 70-71;
  sends Genet to United States, 71-72;
  demands rights under treaties of 1778, 72-73;
  substitutes Fauchet for Genet, 76;
  opens colonies to neutral trade, 76-77;
  attempts to procure Louisiana, 91;
  offended at Jay's Treaty, 92-93;
  refuses to receive Pinckney, 95;
  the X Y Z affair, 98-99;
  involved in hostilities with United States, 101;
  convention of 1800, 104, 146;
  acquires Louisiana, 146;
  expedition against Santo Domingo, 146-47;
  cedes Louisiana to United States, 149, 150;
  continental system, 187-88;
  and the embargo, 191-92;
  sequesters American vessels, 199-200;
  withdraws decrees, 200.

Franklin, Benjamin, in the Convention of 1787, 30, 32.

Franklin, State of, 15.

French Revolution, influence on America, 72.

Freneau, Philip, 65-66, 123.

Fries Rebellion, 113.

Fulton, Robert, 232.

Gallatin, Albert, Representative, 89;
  on the treaty-making power, 90-91;
  Secretary of the Treasury, 130;
  his policy of retrenchment, 132-33;
  and the Mediterranean Fund, 144;
  urges enforcement of the embargo, 194;
  recommends war taxes, 208;
  commissioner at Ghent, 227, 229;
  and the Convention of 1818, 259;
  on equality in Pennsylvania, 300.

Gardoqui, Don Diego de, Spanish Minister to United States, 16.

Genet, E. C., French Minister to United States, 71-72;
  designs on Florida and Louisiana, 73;
  sets up prize courts, 73-74;
  revolutionary activities, 73-75;
  discredited, 76;
  recalled, 76.

Georgia, ratifies the Constitution, 41;
  and the Yazoo land grants, 168-70;
  and the Creek Indians, 324;
  protests against the Treaty of Washington, 325;
  and the Indian lands, 325-26;
  protests against the tariff, 327.

Gerry, Elbridge, commissioner to France, 96;
  and the X Y Z affair, 98-100;
  elected Vice-President (1812), 216.

Ghent, Treaty of, preliminary negotiations, 227-29;
  terms of, 229-30.

Gibbons _v._ Ogden, 343-45.

Giles, William, resolution censuring Hamilton, 66;
  on the reform of the judiciary, 134-35;
  on impeachment, 140.

Gray, Captain Robert, of the Columbia, 47.

Great Britain, imposes restriction on American commerce, 3;
  refuses commercial treaty, 7;
  retains Western posts, 7;
  Nootka Sound affair, 69;
  policy in the Northwest, 68-70;
  and the Rule of 1756, 76-77;
  preys on neutral commerce, 77-78;
  and the Jay Treaty, 84-88;
  and the Blount conspiracy, 97;
  and the case of the Essex, 180;
  exercises right of search, 182;
  condones impressment, 182;
  evades reparation for the Chesapeake affair, 186;
  demands recall of proclamation, 186;
  retaliates for French decrees, 188;
  and the embargo, 191;
  repudiates Erskine Treaty, 197;
  recalls Jackson, 198;
  and the withdrawal of French decrees, 200;
  offers reparation for the Chesapeake affair, 201;
  blockades New York, 201;
  incurs American hostility, 208-10;
  withdraws orders in council, 210;
  and the War of 1812, 212-30;
  declines Russian mediation, 227;
  negotiates for peace, 227;
  concludes Treaty of Ghent, 228-29;
  concludes Convention of 1818, 259;
  aroused by Jackson's Florida campaign, 262;
  and the European congresses, 291;
  protests against intervention, 292;
  overtures to the United States, 292-94.

Green _v._ Biddle, 340.

Greenville, Treaty of, 87;
  disregarded by settlers, 205.

Grenville, Lord, negotiates with Jay, 79, 85.

Griswold, Roger, on the treaty-making power, 90;
  and the project of a New England confederacy, 164;
  on the office of Vice-President, 167.

Grundy, Felix, 207.

Guerrière, British frigate, 202, 215.

Hamilton, Alexander, defends Waddington, 4;
  drafts Annapolis report, 28;
  on the opposition to the Constitution, 41;
  contributes to the _Federalist_ papers, 43;
  and the bill to establish the Treasury Department, 52;
  Secretary of the Treasury, 54;
  first Report on the Public Credit, 56-60;
  alleged deal with Jefferson, 61-62;
  second Report, 61-62;
  on the National Bank Bill, 62-63;
  on the French treaties, 73;
  defends Jay's Treaty, 86;
  retires from the Treasury, 89;
  and the Presidency, 92;
  advises recall of Monroe, 95;
  major-general, 102;
  urges enforcement of Alien Act, 113;
  hostility to John Adams, 116;
  opposes Federalist alliance with Burr, 165;
  duel with Burr, 166.

Hard times, under the Confederation, 2-3;
  in 1819-20, 268-69.

Harmar, Fort, seat of government in the Northwest, 14.

Harrisburg Convention, 327-28.

Harrison, William Henry, concludes Indian treaties, 205-06;
  wins battle of Tippecanoe, 200;
  in the War of 1812, 217-18.

Hartford Convention, origin of, 224-25;
  journal of, 225;
  report of, 225-27.

Harvard College, 287.

Hayne, Robert Y., on the Panama Mission, 322-23.

Henry of Prussia, Prince, and the regency of the United States, 24.

Hicks, Elias, 288.

Holy Alliance, designs of the so-called, 291.

Hopkinson, Joseph, 101.

Horseshoe Bend, battle of, 220.

Hudson's Bay Company, 259.

Hull, Captain Isaac, captures the Guerrière, 215.

Hull, General William, surrenders Detroit, 214.

Ildefonso, Treaty of, 146.

Illinois, settlement of, 248;
  admitted as a State, 251.

Immigration into the United States, 245.

Impeachment, of Senator Blount, 97;
  of Judge Pickering, 138-39;
  of Justice Chase, 139-41.

Impressment of American seamen, in 1793-94, 77-78;
  not mentioned in the Jay Treaty, 84-85;
  condoned by the British Admiralty, 182;
  deeply resented in United States in 1806, 183;
  abolition demanded by Monroe, 186;
  as a cause of the War of 1812, 209;
  in the negotiations at Ghent, 228
  and the Treaty of Ghent, 229-30.

Imprisonment for debt, 269.

Indiana, settlement of, 245;
  admitted as a State, 251.

Indian Treaties in the Northwest, 205-06.

Industry, during the Revolution, 2;
  revival of, 47;
  protection of, in the tariff of 1789, 51;
  growth of, 124.
  _See also_ special industries, and Tariff Acts.

Ingersoll, Jared, 216.

Internal improvements, popular demand for, 255;
  carried on by States, 255-56;
  proposed by Gallatin in 1806, 256;
  Calhoun's Bonus Bill, 257;
  Madison on, 257;
  Monroe on, 258;
  in Congress, 258, 309;
  Survey Bill, 309.

Intervention of the Great Powers, in Italy, 292;
  in Spain, 292.

Irving, Washington, 284, 285.

Jackson, Andrew, wins battle of Horseshoe Bend, 220;
  concludes treaty with the Creeks, 220;
  wins the battle of New Orleans, 227;
  invades East Florida, 261-62;
  on precedent, 268;
  on rotation in office, 304;
  candidate for the Presidency (1824), 307-08;
  favors Survey Bill, 310;
  favors protective policy, 312;
  his electoral vote (1824), 312;
  his vote in the House election, 314;
  and Clay, 315;
  significance of his popular vote, 316;
  candidate for the Presidency (1828), 318.

Jackson, F. J., British Minister to United States, 198.

Jacobinism, 107, 114, 161.

Jay, John, diplomatic agent of United States, 16;
  contributes to the _Federalist_ papers, 43;
  appointed Chief justice, 54;
  envoy extraordinary to England, 79;
  drafts treaty, 84;
  declines appointment as Chief Justice, 331-32.

Jay Treaty, negotiated, 84;
  discussed in Senate, 84-85;
  evaluation of, 85-86;
  popular opinion of, 86;
  amended in Senate, 86-87;
  promulgated by President, 88;
  debated in the House, 90-91;
  gives offense to France, 92-93.

Jefferson, Thomas, Ordinance of 1784, 8;
  Secretary of State, 54;
  on speculation in government paper, 58;
  on assumption, 60-61;
  on the excise, 62;
  on the Bank Bill, 62-63;
  his distrust of Hamilton, 64;
  fears British designs on Louisiana, 69;
  on the French treaties, 73;
  proposes retaliatory legislation against England, 78;
  candidate for the Presidency (1796), 92;
  elected Vice-President, 93;
  on war message of Adams, 98;
  drafts Kentucky Resolutions, 110;
  candidate for the Presidency (1800), 110;
  directs political campaign of 1800, 112;
  elected President, 118;
  on the Revolution of 1800, 119;
  personal appearance, 128;
  on husbandry, 128;
  on commerce and coercion, 129;
  inaugural address, 129-30;
  on the work of the general Government, 130;
  and the patronage, 131-33;
  mastery of Congress, 132, 133-34;
  on retrenchment, 132-33;
  on the judiciary, 134-35, 141, 331;
  on impeachment, 141;
  on the navy, 143;
  on the retrocession of Louisiana, 147;
  instructions to Livingston, 148;
  his information about Louisiana, 152;
  authorizes Lewis and Clark expedition, 152;
  on the acquisition of Louisiana, 153-54;
  on New England Federalism, 162-63;
  reëlected President (1804), 167;
  attempts to acquire the Floridas, 170-71;
  his proclamation against Burr, 175;
  sends Pinkney to England, 181;
  and the Chesapeake affair, 186;
  recommends embargo, 190;
  abdicates, 194;
  favors protection of manufactures, 236;
  on Canning's overtures, 294;
  on internal improvements, 319.

Johnson, R. M., 271.

Judicial review, power of, 4, 19, 137-38.

Judiciary Act, _of 1789_, passed, 53-54;
    tested, 335-37;
  _of 1801_, passed, 121-22;
    repealed, 134-35.

Judiciary, federal, organized, 53-54;
  reorganized, 121-22;
  and Republican reforms, 134-35;
  feared by Jefferson, 331;
  influence in 1800, 331-32;
  controversy with Pennsylvania, 333-35;
  controversy with Virginia, 336-37, 338-39;
  expands the Constitution, 341-45;
  nationalizing influence, 345.

Kent, James, on universal suffrage, 305;
  his appointment to the Supreme Court urged, 345.

Kentucky, separatist movement in, 16;
  admitted as a State, 55;
  intrigues in, 68;
  radical legislation in, 268;
  protests against the decision of court in Green _v._ Biddle, 340.

King, Rufus, candidate for the Vice-Presidency, 167, 194;
  elected Vice-President, 244;
  on slavery in Missouri, 277.

Kirby, Ephraim, 332.

Knox, Henry, refuses to serve in the provisional army, 10;
  Secretary of War, 22, 55;
  and Shays' Rebellion, 22.

Kremer, George, 314.

L'Ambuscade, French frigate, 74.

Land Act of 1820, 269.

Land Ordinance of 1785, 10.

Lands, disposal of the public, 10-12, 269-70.

Latrobe, Benjamin H., 123, 236.

Leander, British frigate, 181-82.

Leclerc, V. E., expedition against Santo Domingo, 146-47, 149.

Lee, Henry, and the Whiskey Insurrection, 83.

Leopard-Chesapeake affair, 184-86.

Lewis and Clark expedition, 152-53.

Lincoln, Abraham, father of, 249;
  education of, 303.

Lincoln, Levi, 130-31.

L'Insurgente, French frigate, 101.

Little Belt, British sloop-of-war, 202.

Little Sarah affair, 75.

Livingston, Robert, Minister to France, 148-49;
  negotiates for Louisiana, 150-51;
  on the bounds of Louisiana, 151, 158-59.

Louisiana, Spanish province, threatened by France, 71;
  retroceded to France, 146;
  acquired by the United States, 149-51;
  Senate opposition to, 155-56;
  provision for the government of, 156-58;
  transfer of, 157;
  bounds of, 158-59;
  western boundary settled, 264.

Lowndes, William, 307.

Lundy's Lane, battle of, 220.

Lyon, Matthew, prosecution of, 110.

M'Culloch _v._ Maryland, 268, 337-38.

Macdonough, Thomas, wins battle of Plattsburg, 221-22.

McHenry, James, Secretary of War, 101, 103.

Maclay, William, on the President's address, 50;
  on the Judiciary Act, 54.

Macon bills, 199.

Macon, Nathaniel, Speaker of the House, 133-34;
  on non-intercourse, 199.

Madison, James, on affairs in Georgia, 7;
  on state jealousies, 8;
  in the Federal Convention, 29-30;
  contributes to the _Federalist_ papers, 43;
  proposes constitutional amendments, 55;
  on stock-jobbing, 63-64;
  on Hamilton's financial policy, 64;
  proposes retaliatory legislation (1793), 78;
  drafts Virginia Resolutions, 110-11;
  Secretary of State, 130;
  on the Yazoo commission, 169;
  favors peaceable coercion, 180-81;
  on impressments, 186;
  and George Rose, 187;
  elected President, 194;
  and Erskine, 197;
  and Jackson, 198;
  issues proclamation against England, 200;
  authorizes occupation of West Florida, 204;
  and the war party, 208-09;
  recommends an embargo, 209;
  his war message, 209-10;
  his proclamation of war, 210;
  reëlected President (1812), 216-17;
  and New England, 223, 225;
  his estimate of the war, 231-32;
  favors mild protection of industries, 236;
  vetoes Bank Bill, 239;
  signs second Bank Bill, 239;
  message of 1815, 241;
  his farewell address, 243, 257;
  on Canning's overtures, 294.

Magazines as literature, 1815-30, 284.

Mahan, Admiral A. T., on the War of 1812, 231.

Maine, the admission of, 275-77;
  suffrage in, 304.

Malbone, Edward G., 286.

Manufactures, beginnings of, 46, 124.
  _See_ special industries.

Marbury _v._ Madison, case of, 136-37;
  constitutional importance of, 333.

Marietta, founding of, 13.

Marshall, John, on the Constitution as the expression of the will of
  the people, 43;
  commissioner to France, 96;
  and the X Y Z affair, 98-100;
  appointed Chief Justice, 136;
  and Jefferson, 136;
  opinion in Marbury _v._ Madison, 136-37, 333;
  at the trial of Burr, 177-78;
  influence of, 332-33;
  opinion in United States _v._ Peters, 334;
  opinion in Cohens _v._ Virginia, 336-37;
  opinion in M'Culloch _v._ Maryland, 337-38;
  opinion in United States _v._ Fisher, 338;
  opinion in American Insurance Company _v._ Canter, 341-42;
  opinion in Fletcher _v._ Peck, 342;
  opinion in Dartmouth College Case, 342-43;
  opinion in Gibbons _v._ Ogden, 343-45.

Martin, Luther, 18, 177.

Martin _v._ Hunter's Lessee, 335-36.

Maryland, commercial differences with Virginia, 27-28;
  ratifies the Constitution, 41;
  taxes branch bank, 337.

Mason, George, 34.

Massachusetts, disorders in, 19-20;
  Shays' Rebellion, 20-22;
  ratifies the Constitution, 41;
  refuses call for militia, 213;
  calls Hartford Convention, 224;
  dispatches commissioners to Washington, 227;
  suffrage in, 305.

Mediterranean Fund, 144.

Methodism, in New England, 247;
  in the West, 301-02.

Metternich, Prince, and the Holy Alliance, 291-92.

Migration, inter-state, after the Revolution, 13-14;
  after the War of 1812, 246-47.

Milan Decree, issued by Napoleon, 188;
  withdrawn, 200.

Militia question, in Massachusetts, 213, 223.

Miranda, Francisco, 70.

Missionary enterprises, 288.

Mississippi, admitted as a State, 25;
  suffrage in, 303.

Mississippi River, navigation of, 16, 87, 229.

Missouri, admission as a State, 277, 279;
  electoral vote in 1820, 280.

Missouri Compromise, the, 277.

Missouri controversy, political aspects, 274-75;
  and public opinion, 275;
  constitutional aspects, 276-77;
  settlement, 277, 279.

Monroe, James, Minister to France, 94-95;
  recalled, 95;
  and the purchase of Louisiana, 149-50;
  Minister to England, 183-84;
  candidate for the Presidency (1808), 194;
  elected President (1816), 244;
  on internal improvements, 258;
  and General Jackson, 260-63;
  reëlected President (1820), 280;
  on recognition of South American republics, 290;
  on Canning's overtures, 294;
  re-drafts message, 295;
  message of 1823, 295-96;
  vetoes Cumberland Road Bill, 309;
  pardons Pennsylvania militiamen, 334-35.

Monroe Doctrine, genesis of, 289-95;
  in the President's message, 295-96;
  Canning on, 296;
  implications of, 296-97, 322.

Moore, Thomas, on American letters, 123.

Morfontaine, Treaty of, 104, 146.

Mormonism, rise of, 302.

Morris, Gouverneur, in Federal Convention, 35-36;
  on the Constitution, 331.

Morris, Robert, Superintendent of Finance, 5.

Napoleon Bonaparte, concludes convention with United States, 146;
  acquires Louisiana, 146;
  sends Leclerc against Santo Domingo, 146;
  sells Louisiana to United States, 149-50;
  his Berlin Decree, 187;
  his Milan Decree, 188;
  sequesters American vessels, 189-200;
  and the embargo, 191-92;
  revokes decrees, 200.

_National Gazette_, Republican newspaper, 65.

National Road, construction of, 256;
  appropriations for, 258;
  bill for collection of tolls on, 309.

Naturalization Act, _of 1798_, 109;
  _of 1801_, 135-36.

Navigation laws, want of power in Congress to pass, 7;
  of the States, 8;
  passed by Congress (1789), 51;
  and shipping, 124.

Navy of the United States, in 1798-99, 101;
  under Jefferson, 133;
  in Tripolitan War, 144-45;
  in the War of 1812, 212-30, _passim_.

Navy Department, established, 101.

Neutrality, proclamation of, 72-73.

Neutral trade. _See_ Commerce.

New England Confederacy, projected in 1804, 163-66.

New England Federalism, characteristics of, 161-63;
  and the embargo, 192-93, 195-96.

New Hampshire, ratifies the Constitution, 41;
  on assumption, 60;
  and the Hartford Convention, 224.

New Jersey, and its neighbors under the Confederation, 8;
  ratifies the Constitution, 41.

New Orleans, battle of, 227.

Newspapers, character of, in 1800, 107, 110, 112;
  founding of, 112.

New York, treatment of the Tories in, 4;
  ratifies the Constitution, 42-43;
  settlement of western, 248;
  constitution of 1821, 304-05.

New York City, and Western trade, 255-56;
  as a literary center, 286.

Nicholson, Joseph, and the impeachment of Pickering, 139;
  on the nature of impeachable offenses, 140.

Nominating methods, changes in, 305, 307, 308.

Non-Importation Act of 1806, 181, 188.

Non-Intercourse Act of 1809, 196;
  evasions of, 198-99;
  enforcement of, 198-99;
  revived against England, 201.

Nootka Sound affair, 69.

_North American Review_, founded 283-84.

North Carolina, and the Watauga settlers, 14-15;
  rejects the Constitution, 44;
  ratifies the Constitution, 55.

Northwest, receives settlers from New England, 13-14, 247;
  from the Middle States, 248;
  from the South, 248-49;
  commerce of, 252-54.

Ohio Company, origin of, 10-11;
  concessions of Congress to, 11-12;
  begins colonization, 13.

Ohio, taxes branch Bank of the United States, 268;
  seizes funds, 340;
  forced to make restitution, 341.

Olmstead, Gideon, claimant in federal courts, 333-34.

Onis, Luis de, Spanish Minister to the United States, 262-64.

Orders in council, _of 1783_, 3;
  _of 1793-94_, 77-78;
  _of 1807_, 188;
  withdrawal in 1812, 210.

Ordinance of 1784, 9;
  _of 1785_, 10;
  _of 1787_, 12-13.

Oregon, joint occupation of, 259.

Otis, Harrison Gray, 225.

Palfrey, John G., 287.

Panama, Congress, invitation to, 320-21;
  opposition in Congress to, 322-23;
  fate of the mission, 323.

Paper money, continental, 5;
  state, 17-18.

Paris, Treaty of, aftermath of, 1-2.

Parsons, Samuel, 11.

Party, deprecated by Washington, 108;
  identified with faction, 108-09;
  rights of, in opposition, 114;
  place of, in popular government, 119.

Party organization, 107, 305, 307.

Pasha of Tripoli, 143, 145.

Paterson, William, in the Federal Convention, 31-32.

Patronage. _See_ Appointments.

Pennsylvania, and the Federal judiciary, 333-35.

Perry, Oliver H., wins naval supremacy of Lake Erie, 217.

Philadelphia, as the seat of government, 119-20;
  as a literary center, 123;
  and Western trade, 254, 256.

Pickering, John, impeachment of, 138-39.

Pickering, Timothy, Secretary of State, 103, 113;
  on the Louisiana Treaty, 156;
  plots a New England confederacy, 164;
  opposes the embargo, 193;
  secessionist in 1814, 225.

Pike, Zebulon M., expeditions of, 153.

Pinckney, Charles, and the election of 1800, 117.

Pinckney, Charles C, Minister to France, 95;
  commissioner to France, 96;
  and the X Y Z affair, 98-99;
  appointed major-general, 102;
  candidate for the Vice-Presidency (1800), 116;
  candidate for the Presidency (1804), 167;
  candidate for the Presidency (1808), 194.

Pinckney, Thomas, concludes Treaty of San Lorenzo, 87;
  candidate for the Vice-Presidency (1800), 92-93.

Pinkney, William, Envoy to England, 181;
  negotiates treaty, 184;
  takes abrupt leave, 201;
  on the admission of Missouri, 276-77;
  influence at the federal bar, 333.

Pittsburg, distributing center in the West, 254.

Plattsburg, battle of, 221-22.

_Port Folio_, Dennie's, 283.

Postal service in 1800, 106.

Posts, retention of Western, 17, 68, 79, 84.

Potomac, navigation of, 16, 27-28;
  location of the capital on, 60-61.

Preble, Edward, and the Tripolitan War, 145.

Prescott, William H., 287.

Presidency, created in the Federal Convention, 34-35.

President, appointing and removing power of, 52.

President, American frigate, 202.

Presidential elections, _of 1788_, 48;
  _of 1792_, 66-67;
  _of 1796_, 92-94;
  _of 1800_, 115-17;
  _of 1801_, 118-19;
  _of 1804_, 167;
  _of 1808_, 193-94;
  _of 1812_, 216-17;
  _of 1816_, 243-44;
  _of 1820_, 280;
  _of 1824_, 312-13, 316;
  _of 1825_, 314.

Prevost, Sir George, 221-22.

Privateers, in the War of 1812, 218-19.

Prophet, the, 205.

Public domain, origin of, 8.

Quids, followers of Randolph, 170.

Rambouillet, decree of, 199-200.

Randolph, Edmund, in the Federal Convention, 30-31;
  Attorney-General, 55;
  on the French treaties of 1778, 73.

Randolph, John, position in the House, 134;
  in the Chase impeachment, 139-41;
  and the Yazoo controversy, 169-70;
  and the purchase of Florida, 171;
  and the indictment of Burr, 177;
  derides the Non-Importation Bill, 181;
  on the cause of the War of 1812, 213;
  on the Tariff of 1816, 237;
  on state rights, 243;
  on the Tariff of 1828, 330.

Rapp, George, 302.

Relief Act of 1821, 269.

Republican court at Philadelphia, 119-20.

Republican party, origin of, 64-67.
  _See also_ Presidential elections.

Revivals in New England, 288.

Rhea letter to General Jackson, 261.

Rhode Island, opposes changes in the Articles of Confederation, 6;
  paper money craze, 18-19;
  out of the new Union, 44;
  ratifies the Constitution, 55;
  and the Hartford Convention, 224.

Right of deposit at New Orleans, 87;
  withdrawn, 148.

Roane, Spencer, resists judgment in the case of Martin _v._ Hunter's
  Lessee, 336;
  attacks the federal judiciary, 338-39.

Robertson, James, 14, 68.

Rodgers, John, 201, 202.

Rose, George, 186-87.

Rule of 1756, 76-77, 179-80.

Rush, Benjamin, Minister to England, 259;
  Canning's overtures to, 294.

Russell, Jonathan, commissioner at Ghent, 227.

Russia, offers to mediate in 1813, 227;
  and the Holy Alliance, 291;
  and intervention, 292;
  claims on the Pacific Coast, 293;
  concludes the Treaty of 1824, 296.

Rutgers _v._ Waddington, 4.

Rutledge, John, 54.

St. Clair, Arthur, Governor of Northwest Territory, 14;
  defeated by the Indians, 70.

San Lorenzo, Treaty of, 87.

Santo Domingo, negro republic, 146;
  resists French expedition, 146-47.

Scioto Company, land grants to, 11-12.

Scott, Winfield, 220.

Sedition Act, prosecutions under, 114.

Seminole War, 260-262.

Sevier, John, 15, 68.

Shaker Societies, 302.

Shays' Rebellion, 20-22.

Shipping, of the United States, during the European wars, 124, 126;
  after the Treaty of Ghent, 234.

Simcoe, J. G., 80.

Slater, Samuel, 124.

Slavery, debated in Congress, 270-271, 277;
  in Missouri, 270;
  extent in 1789, 271-272;
  decrease in North, 272;
  recognized by the Constitution, 272-73;
  congressional legislation on, 273-74;
  and the Missouri Compromise, 277.

Slave trade, acts relating to, 273;
  extent of, 273;
  forbidden by the Act of 1807, 273-74;
  extent of, after 1808, 274.

Smith, Joseph, 302.

Smith, Robert, 140, 198.

Smith, William, 105.

Somers, Richard, 145.

South, effect of cotton gin upon, 250;
  extention of cotton growing in, 251-52;
  becomes the market for Northwest, 252-53.

South American republics, recognition of, 289-91.

South Carolina, ratifies the Constitution, 41.

Southwest, colonization of, 14-15, 249-52;
  commerce of, 15-16;
  a frontier society, 251-52;
  diverges from Northwest, 252.

Spain, disputes the line of 1783, 16-17;
  in the Southwest, 68, 70;
  concludes Treaty of San Lorenzo, 87;
  withholds posts, 97;
  cedes Louisiana to France, 146;
  retains the Floridas, 159;
  menaced by the United States, 170-72;
  threatens hostilities, 173-74;
  in East Florida, 260;
  protests against Jackson's invasion, 262;
  cedes the Floridas to the United States, 264;
  loses her American colonies, 289-90;
  invaded by France, 292.

Specie payment, suspension of, 239;
  resumption of, 240-41.

Speculation, in Western lands, 10-12, 26-27;
  in government paper, 58;
  in bank stock, 63-64.

Squatter, the, 251-52.

State banks, increase of, 239;
  notes of, 266.

Steamboat, on Western waters, 253-54.

Story, Joseph, and Marshall, 333;
  appointed Associate Justice, 335;
  on criticism of the judiciary, 339-40;
  opinion in Martin _v._ Hunter's Lessee, 335-36.

Stuart, Gilbert, 285.

Supreme Court. _See_ Federal judiciary.

Survey Bill, vote in Congress on, 309.

Symmes, John C., land grants to, 11, 12;
  begins colony, 14.

Talleyrand-Périgord, C. M., urges acquisition of Louisiana, 98;
  and the X Y Z affair, 98-99;
  to the American commissioners, 100;
  and the retrocession of Louisiana, 146;
  and the cession of Louisiana to the United States, 149-50;
  on the boundaries of the province, 159.

Tallmadge, James, 270, 271.

Tariff Act, _of 1789_, 50-51;
  _of 1816_, 237-38;
  _of 1824_, 310-13;
  _of 1828_, 328-30;

Tariff of Abominations. _See_ Tariff Act, of 1828.

Taylor, John, on agriculture at the South, 126;
  on the Louisiana Treaty, 156;
  on state rights, 339.

Taylor, John W., 271.

Tecumseh, 205, 218, 219.

Tennessee, settlement of, 14;
  intrigues in, 68;
  admitted as a State, 92.

Thames, battle of the, 218.

Thomas, Jesse B., 275-76.

Ticknor, George, 287.

Tippecanoe, battle of, 206.

Tocqueville, De, on equality in America, 300;
  on the character of Western society, 301.

Tonnage dues, 51, 124.

Tories, persecution of, 3-5.

Toussaint L'Ouverture, 146.

Tracy, Uriah, on the Louisiana Treaty, 155-56;
  on a New England confederacy, 164.

Trade. _See_ Commerce.

Transportation, in 1800, 105.
  _See also_ National Road, Canals, Internal improvements, etc.

Travel, difficulties of, about 1800, 105-06;
  improvement after the War of 1812, 255.

Treasury, Secretary of, bill to establish, 52;
  reports of, 56-62.

Treaty-making power, debated in House, 90-91.

Treaty of Paris (1783), 1;
    (1794), 84-88;
  of Greenville (1795), 87;
  of San Lorenzo (1795), 87-88;
  of Morfontaine (1800), 104, 146;
  of Louisiana (1803), 150;
  with Tripoli (1805), 145;
    (1806), 184;
    (1809), 197;
  of Ghent (1814), 229-30;
  with Spain (1819), 264.

Trespass Act of New York, 4.

Trevett _v._ Weeden, 19.

Tripolitan War, 143-45.

Troup, George M., 325-26.

Trumbull, John, 236-37, 286.

Tudor, William, 283.

Turnpikes, construction of, 255.

Unitarianism, rise of, 287-88.

United States, frigate, 215.

_United States Gazette_, Federalist newspaper, 66.

United States _v._ Peters, 333-34.

Universalism, rise of, 288.

Van Buren, Martin, 243-44, 316, 323.

Vans Murray, William, 103.

Vermont, admitted as a State, 55;
  refuses the call for militia, 224;
  and the Hartford Convention, 224.

Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, 110-12.

Virginia, commercial difficulties with Maryland, 27-28;
  ratifies the Constitution, 41;
  protests against internal improvements, 319-20;
  on the Supreme Court (1809), 335;
  protests against decisions of federal courts, 336-37;
  proposes constitutional amendment, 339.

War of 1812, preparations for, 208-09;
  motives for, 208-10;
  vote for, 210;
  political aspects of, 212-13, 216-17, 223-27;
  land operations of, 213-14, 217-18, 220-23;
  naval operations, 215-16, 218-19, 221-22;
  in the Southwest, 219-20;
  end of, 228;
  results of, 231-244, 282.

Washington, George, on the prospects of the United States, 1;
  on Tories, 3;
  resigns commission, 6;
  on the West, 16;
  on Shays' Rebellion, 23;
  in the Federal Convention, 29;
  on the growth of industry, 46-47;
  elected President, 48;
  inauguration, 48-50;
  appointments of, 54-55;
  and the Bank Bill, 62-63;
  levees of, 65;
  reëlected President, 66-67;
  proclaims neutrality, 73;
  sends Jay on mission to England, 79;
  and the Whiskey Insurrection, 82-83;
  censures Democratic Clubs, 83-84;
  and the Jay Treaty, 86-88;
  Farewell Address, 91-92;
  appointed head of provisional army, 102.

Wasp, American sloop-of-war, 215.

Watauga settlement, 14.

Wayne, Anthony, wins battle of Fallen Timber, 80-81;
  secures Treaty of Greenville, 87.

Webster, Daniel, on the principle of protection, 237;
  on universal suffrage, 305;
  and the Tariff of 1828, 330;
  influence at the federal bar, 333;
  counsel for Dartmouth College, 342.

Wellington, Duke of, 214, 228-29.

West, Benjamin, 285.

West, the, social aspects, 252, 299-300;
  political aspects, 298, 303-04;
  intellectual aspects, 300-01, 302;
  religious aspects, 301-02;
  education in, 302-03.

Western lands, speculation in, 26.

West Florida, claimed by the United States, 151, 158-59;
  revolt in, 203-04;
  annexed in part, 204.

Whiskey Insurrection, the, 81-83.

Whitney, Eli, 127.

Wilkinson, James, in Kentucky, 68;
  his relation to Burr's conspiracy, 172-75, 177;
  in the campaign of 1813, 218;
  occupies West Florida, 219.

Wilson, James, in the Federal Convention, 31;
  appointed Associate Justice, 54.

Wirt, William, 333, 345.

Wolcott, Oliver, 89.

Woolen manufacturing, beginnings of, 235;
  after the War of 1812, 235-36.

X Y Z affair, 98-100.

Yazoo land controversy, 168-70, 342.

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