CHAPTER IX. REPUBLICAN SUPREMACY (1801-1806).
Throughout his whole administration Jefferson had never before been confronted with an offensive bill. He had been practically the leader in both houses of Congress, and until this moment his followers had never deserted him. He could not end his administration with a veto, and he signed the act, although it was a tacit condemnation of his whole policy with reference to neutral trade. The defence of the embargo was that it prevented war: but it had inflicted on the country the material losses and excited the factional spirit which would have resulted from war; and the danger of war was greater at the end than at the beginning of the experiment.