BIBLIOGRAPHIES. - W. E. Foster, References to Presidential Administrations, 1-8; Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, VII. 294-314, 319, 320, 329-336, 454-456, 513-519; Channing and Hart, Guide, secs. 162, 166.

HISTORICAL MAPS. - Nos. 1, 4, this volume (Epoch Maps, Nos. 7, 9); MacCoun, Historical Geography; Scribner, Statistical Atlas, Plate 13; J. Morse, American Geography.

GENERAL ACCOUNTS. - J. B McMaster, United States, II. 89-557; H. Von Holst, Constitutional History, I. 112-167; J. Schouler, United States, I. 221-501; R. Hildreth, United States, IV. 411-704; V. 25-418; T. Pitkin, United States, II. 356-500 (to 1797); George Tucker, United States, I. 504-628, II. 21-145; Bryant and Gay, Popular History, IV. 123-144; Bradford, Constitutional History, 125-201.

SPECIAL HISTORIES. - Standard lives of Washington, especially Sparks, Marshall, and Irving; C. F. Adams, Life of John Adams; Henry Adams, Albert Gallatin; H. C. Lodge, Washington, II. 129-269; J. T. Morse, Jefferson, 146-208, and John Adams, 241-310; G. Pellew, John Jay, 262-339; S. H. Gay, Madison, 193-251; George Gibbs, Administrations of Washington and Adams, I., II.; W. H. Trescott, Diplomatic History; T. Lyman, Diplomacy; J. C. Hamilton, Republic, V., VI.

CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS. - Thomas Jefferson, Anas (Works, IX. 185-203); William Sullivan, Familiar Letters on Public Characters, 48-187 (written in reply to Jefferson); Works of Washington, Jefferson, Fisher Ames, John Jay, Rufus King, Arthur St. Clair, John Adams, Madison, and Gallatin; Abigail Adams, Letters ; W. Winterbotham, Historical View (1795); T. Cooper, Some Information respecting America (1793, 1794); Rochefoucault-Liancourt, Voyage dans les Etats-Unis (1795-1797) (also in translation); J. Weld, Travels through the States (1795-1797); newspapers, especially General Advertiser and Aurora, Boston Gazette. - Reprints in Alexander Johnston, American Orations, I.; American History told by Contemporaries, III.


[Origin of parties.]

During the four uneventful years from 1789 to 1793 two political parties had been slowly developed. Some writers have imagined that these two parties were a survival of the Revolutionary Whigs and Tories; some have traced them back to the debate on the assumption of State debts. John Adams, years later, went to the heart of the matter when he said: "You say our divisions began with Federalism and anti-Federalism. Alas! they began with human nature." The foundation for the first two great national parties was a difference of opinion as to the nature and proper functions of the new government.

During the second Congress, from 1791 to 1793, arose an opposition to Hamilton which gradually consolidated into a party. It came chiefly from the Southern and Middle States, and represented districts in which there was little capital or trade. Arrayed among his supporters were most of the representatives from New England, and many from the Middle States and South Carolina: they represented the commercial interests of the country; they desired to see the debt funded and the State debts assumed; they began to act together as another party.

[Hamilton and Jefferson.]

The final form taken by these two parties depended much upon the character of their leaders. Hamilton, a man of great personal force and of strong aristocratic feeling, represented the principle of authority, of government framed and administered by a select few for the benefit of their fellows. Jefferson, an advocate of popular government extended to a point never before reached, declared that his party was made up of those "who identified themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interest." Between two such men controversies were certain to arise. In May, 1792, Jefferson wrote that Hamilton had introduced speculation and a dangerous construction of the constitution; and Hamilton wrote that Jefferson was at the head of a hostile faction dangerous to the Union. Washington attempted to make himself an arbiter of this quarrel, but was unable to reconcile the two men. They both urged him to accept a second term for the presidency, and he was again unanimously elected in 1792. The quarrel between the two great chiefs had by this time got abroad. Hamilton was said to be a monarchist. His administration of the Treasury was attacked, and an investigation was held early in 1793; but no one was able to find any irregularity.

[Party names.]

By this time the followers of Jefferson had begun to take upon themselves the name of Republicans. They held that the government ought to raise and spend as little money as possible; beyond that they rested upon the principles first definitely stated in Jefferson's opinion on the bank (sec. 96) that Congress was confined in its powers to the letter of the Constitution; and that the States were the depositary of most of the powers of government. The other party took upon itself the name of Federal, or Federalist, which had proved so valuable in the struggle over the Constitution. Among its most eminent members were Hamilton, John Jay, Vice-President John Adams, and President Washington.

[Newspaper organs.]

Both parties now began to set in motion new political machinery. The "Gazette of the United States" became the recognized mouthpiece of the Federalists, and the "National Gazette," edited by Philip Freneau, translating clerk in Jefferson's department, began to attack Hamilton and other leading Federalists, and even the President. At a cabinet meeting Washington complained that "that rascal Freneau sent him three copies of his paper every day, as though he thought he would become a distributer of them. He could see in this nothing but an impudent design to insult him."


[French Revolution.] [War.]

So far the parties had been little more than personal followings; the mighty movements in Europe were now to crystallize them. Early in 1789 a revolution had come about in France; in 1791 a constitution was put in force under which the king became a limited monarch; in 1792 war broke out between France and a Prussian-Austrian alliance. Disasters on the frontier were followed by the overthrow of the monarchy, and in January, 1793, Louis the Sixteenth was executed. The anarchical movement, once begun, hurried on until the government of France fell into the hands of men controlled by the populace of Paris. On Feb. 3, 1793, the French Republic declared war against England: the issue was instantly accepted. As the two powers were unable conveniently to reach each other on land, great efforts were made on both sides to fit out fleets. The colonies of each power were exposed to attack, and colonial trade was in danger.

[Interest of America.]

From the first the sympathy of the United States had naturally been with France. The republic seemed due to American example; Jefferson was our minister at Paris in 1789, and saw his favorite principles of human liberty extending to Europe. The excesses of the Revolution, however, startled the Federalists, who saw in them a sufficient proof that Jefferson's "people" could not be trusted. The war brought up the question of the treaty of 1778 with France, by which the Americans bound themselves to guarantee the colonial possessions of France in case of defensive war.

[Danger to America.]

For the United States to enter the war as ally of either side meant to lose most of the advantages gained by the new Constitution: the Indians on the frontier had opposed and defeated a large body of United States troops; the revenue of the country derived from imports would cease as soon as war was declared; American ships would be exposed to capture on every sea. Trade with the West Indies, which proceeded irregularly and illegally, was now likely to be broken up altogether. The question was no longer one of international law, but of American politics: the Democrats were inclined to aid France, by war or by indirect aid, - such as we had received from France at the beginning of the Revolutionary War; the Federalists leaned toward England, because they wished English trade, and because they feared the spread of anarchical principles in America.


[Neutrality proclamation.]

On April 5, 1793, the news of the outbreak of war was received at Philadelphia. Washington at once summoned his cabinet for the most important discussion which it had yet held. Was the United States to consider itself bound to enter the war and to defend the French West Indies against Great Britain? Should the President declare that the United States stood neutral in this contest? The question was new. For the first time in history there was an independent American power, - a nation so far removed by distance and by interest from European conflicts that it might reasonably ask that it should not be drawn into the struggle. Hamilton was inclined to hold the treaties abrogated by the change of government in France; Jefferson insisted that they were binding; both agreed that the President ought to issue a proclamation announcing that the United States would take no part on either side. The neutrality proclamation, issued April 22, was therefore an announcement to the world that the United States stood outside the European system, and might continue friendly relations with both belligerent powers.

[Genet's mission.]

This attitude was anything but what France had expected. On April 8 a French minister, Genet, landed in Charleston, armed with a quantity of blank commissions for privateers. He was a man twenty-eight years old, whose diplomatic experience had culminated in the disruption of one of the weaker neighbors of France. He had no doubt that the sympathy of the American people was with his country. He proposed, therefore, to act as though he stood upon his own soil: men were enlisted; privateers were commissioned; prizes were taken in American waters and brought into American ports for condemnation. Genet advanced northward in a kind of triumphal procession. Throughout the South and West, Democratic clubs were organized, modelled on the French Jacobin and other revolutionary clubs.

[Genet and Washington.]

He reached Philadelphia, to be confronted by the Neutrality Proclamation and by the firmness of the President. His privateers were checked. He does not appear to have demanded of the United States a fulfilment of the treaty of 1778, but he did ask for advance payment of money due to France, and for other favors. To his chagrin, Congress was not to meet until December, and he insisted in vain that there should be an extra session. In July Genet proceeded to fit out a captured British vessel, the "Little Sarah," as a privateer; and, contrary to the remonstrances of the government and his own implied promise, she was sent to sea. Encouraged by this success, he determined to make a public appeal to the people to override the President. His purpose was made known, and his career was at an end. When the United States asked for his recall, it was cheerfully accorded by the French government. In three months Genet had contrived to offend the principal officers of government and to insult the nation. The current of feeling was thus set toward England.

85. THE JAY TREATY (1794-1796).

[American grievances.] [Neutral rights.]

Once more the English government neglected the favorable moment for securing the friendship of the United States. The grievances so much resented under the Confederation (sec. 56) were continued: the Western posts were still occupied by the British; American vessels still paid unreasonable duties in British ports; the West India trade was still withheld. The war at once led to new aggressions. France and England throughout sought to limit American commerce by capturing vessels for violations of four disputed principles of international law. The first was that provisions are "contraband of war," and hence that American vessels carrying breadstuffs, the principal export of the United States, were engaged in an unlawful trade: the United States insisted that only military stores were "contraband of war." The second limiting principle was that, after notice of the blockade of a port, vessels bound to it might be taken anywhere on the high seas: the United States held that the notice had no validity unless there was an actual blockading force outside the port. The third principle was the so-called "Rule of 1756," that where a European country forbade trade with its colonies in time of peace it should not open it to neutrals in time of war: the United States denied the right of Great Britain to interfere in their trade with the French and Spanish colonies. The fourth principle was that a ship might be captured if it had upon it goods which were the property of an enemy. The United States asserted that "Free ships make free goods," that a neutral vessel was not subject to capture, no matter whose property she carried.

[Aggressions on the United States.] [Sidenote: Impressment.] [Danger of war.]

On May 9, 1793, the French ordered the capture of vessels loaded with provisions, although expressly excepted by the treaty of 1778. On June 8 the British issued a similar order; and in November the rule of 1756 was again put in force by the British government. Captures at once began by both powers; but the British cruisers were more numerous, did more damage, and thus inclined public sentiment in the United States against England. The pacific Jefferson now came forward as the defender of American interests: Sept. 16, 1793, he sent to Congress a report in which he set forth the aggressions upon American commerce, and recommended a policy of retaliation. Meantime a new grievance had arisen, which was destined to be a cause of the War of 1812. In time of war the commanders of British naval vessels were authorized to "impress" British seamen, even out of British merchant vessels. The search of American merchantmen on the same errand at once began, and was felt by the United States government to be humiliating to the national dignity. The whole country was outraged by the frequent seizure of native Americans, on the pretext that they were English born. Public feeling rose until on March 26, 1794, a temporary embargo was laid, forbidding vessels to depart from American ports. On April 17, a motion was introduced to cut off commercial intercourse with Great Britain. On April 19, therefore, the President appointed John Jay, Chief Justice of the United States, as a special envoy to make a last effort to adjust matters in England. Nevertheless, the non-inter course bill passed the House, and was defeated only by Adams's casting vote in the Senate.

[Jay's Treaty.]

Fortunately it was a time when communication with Europe was slow. Not until June did Jay reach England. A treaty was negotiated on November 19, but was not received by Washington until after the adjournment of Congress in March, 1795. The treaty had indeed removed some old grievances: the posts were to be evacuated; commissions were to settle the northeast boundary, and to adjust the claims for the British debts; but Jay got no indemnity for the negroes carried away by the British in 1783. The commercial clauses were far less favorable: the discriminating taxes against American shipping were at last withdrawn; but Jay was unable to secure any suitable guarantee for neutral trade, and could obtain no promise to refrain from searching American merchantmen, or seizing English-born sailors found thereon. Above all, the West India trade, which the United States so much desired, was granted only with the proviso that it should be carried on in vessels of less than seventy tons burden. In return for these meagre concessions, granted only for twelve years, the United States agreed not to export to any part of the world "molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa, or cotton."

[Excitement in the United States.]

A special session of the Senate was summoned in June, 1795. and with great difficulty the necessary two-thirds majority was obtained. The twelfth article, containing the West India and the export clauses, was particularly objectionable, and the Senate struck it out. During the remainder of the year there was the fiercest popular opposition; the commercial and ship-building interest felt that it had been betrayed; Jay was burned in effigy; Hamilton was stoned at a public meeting; State legislatures declared the treaty unconstitutional. Washington was attacked so fiercely that he said the language used "could scarcely be applied to a Nero, to a notorious defaulter, or even to a common pickpocket." When Congress met in 1795 an effort was made to prevent the necessary appropriations for carrying out the treaty. It was only the great personal popularity of Washington that saved the country from a repudiation of the treaty and a war with England. Once in force, the treaty was found moderately favorable. Our commerce increased, and captures were much diminished.


[The excise unpopular.] [Outbreak.]

During this year of excitement a serious outbreak had occurred in Pennsylvania. Ever since the first Excise Act in 1791 (sec. 76), there had been determined opposition to the collection of the whiskey tax. The people of southwestern Pennsylvania were three hundred miles from tide- water; and whiskey was the only commodity of considerable value, in small bulk, with which they could purchase goods. The tax, therefore, affected the whole community. In 1792 the policy pursued at the beginning of the Revolution was brought into action: mobs and public meetings began to intimidate the tax-collectors. In 1794 the difficulties broke out afresh, and on July 17 the house of Inspector-General Neville was attacked by a band of armed men; one man was killed, and the house was burned. Great popular mass meetings followed, and a few days later the United States mail was robbed.


As this violence was directed against the revenue laws, Hamilton made it his special task to suppress it. On September 25 the President called out the militia from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. Hamilton himself accompanied the troops, fifteen thousand in number; they marched over the mountains, and reached the disaffected country at the end of October. The insurgents made no stand in the field, and the troops returned, after making a few arrests.

The matter now went to the courts. Six persons were indicted for treason, of whom two, Vigol and Mitchell, were convicted. They were rough and ignorant men, who had been led into the outbreak without understanding their own responsibility, and Washington pardoned them both. In July, 1795, a general amnesty was proclaimed.


The effect of the whole movement was to make it evident throughout the nation that the United States had at its disposal a military force sufficient to put down any ordinary insurrection. In his message on the subject on Nov. 19, 1794, Washington alluded to "combinations of men who have disseminated suspicions, jealousies, and accusations of the whole government." The Senate applied these words to "self-created societies." The allusion was to the Democratic clubs, founded in 1793 when Genet came to the country (sec. 84), and still in existence. The effect of Washington's criticism was to break down the societies and to check a movement which looked toward resistance to all constituted government. The opposition were compelled to take a less objectionable party name, and began to call themselves Republicans.


[Washington retires.] [Nominations.]

On Sept. 17, 1796, Washington, in a public address, announced that he should not accept a re-election. The presidency had been irksome to Washington, and the personal attacks upon himself had grieved him; but he retired with the admiration and respect of the whole country. The selection of a successor at once became a party question. Jefferson, who had resigned the office of Secretary of State at the end of 1793, was the natural leader of the Republicans. John Adams, then Vice-President, had the largest Federalist following; but Hamilton hoped, by an electoral trick, to bring T. Pinckney, the candidate for Vice-President, in over his head. Adams candidly expressed his opinion of this intrigue: "That must be a sordid people indeed, a people destitute of a sense of honor, equity, and character, that could submit to be governed and see hundreds of its most meritorious public men governed by a Pinckney under an elective government."

[Adams and Jefferson.]

The danger was not, however, from Pinckney, but from Jefferson. When the votes were counted it was found that Adams had received the vote of the Northern States, with Delaware and a part of Maryland; but that Jefferson had received almost the whole vote of the South and of Pennsylvania. Adams became President by a vote of seventy-one, and Jefferson Vice-President by a vote of sixty-eight. The two men had been associated in early years, and were not unfriendly to each other. There was even a hint that Jefferson was to be taken into the cabinet. As soon as the administration began, all confidence between them was at an end. The same set of elections decided the membership of Congress to serve from 1797 to 1799; the Senate remained decidedly Federalist; in the House the balance of power was held by a few moderate Republicans.

[Adams's cabinet.]

Adams considered himself the successor to the policy of Washington, and committed the serious mistake of taking over his predecessor's cabinet. Hamilton retired in 1795; he had been replaced by his friend and admirer, Oliver Wolcott; the Secretary of State was Timothy Pickering of Pennsylvania: both these men looked upon Hamilton as their party chief. The administration began, therefore, with divided counsels, and with jealousy in the President's official household.

88. BREACH WITH FRANCE (1795-1798).

[Monroe's mission.]

While the war-cloud with England was gathering and disappearing, new complications had arisen with France. The Jay treaty was received by that power as an insult, partly because it was favorable to her rival, partly because it removed the danger of war between England and the United States. In 1795 the first period of the Revolution was over, and an efficient government was constituted, with an executive directory of five. James Monroe, appointed minister to France, had begun his mission in September, 1794, just after the fall of Robespierre; he appeared in the National Convention, and the president of that body adjured him to "let this spectacle complete the annihilation of an impious coalition of tyrants." During Jay's negotiations he continued to assure the French of the friendship of America, although the Directory speedily declared that Jay's treaty had released France from the treaty of 1778. As Monroe made no effort to push the American claims for captured vessels, he was recalled in disgrace in 1796, and C. C. Pinckney was appointed as his successor.

[Pinckney rebuffed.]

Three weeks after his inauguration Adams received a despatch from Pinckney announcing that he had been treated as a suspected foreigner, and that official notice had been given that the Directory would not receive another minister from the United States until the French grievances had been redressed. A special session of Congress was at once summoned, and the President declared that "the action of France 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." Headstrong behavior on the President's part would have immediately brought on war; but he had already made up his mind to send a special mission to France. In June, 1797, John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry, a Republican, but a personal friend of the President, were sent out to join Pinckney in a final representation.

[X. Y. Z. affair.]

It was nearly a year before news of the result was received. On April 2, 1798, the President communicated the despatches revealing the so-called "X. Y. Z. affair." It appeared that the envoys on reaching Paris, in October, 1797, had been denied an official interview, but that three persons, whose names were clouded under the initials X. Y. Z., had approached them with vague suggestions of loans and advances; these were finally crystallized into a demand for fifty thousand pounds "for the pockets of the Directory." The despatch described one conversation. "'Gentlemen,' said X., 'you do not speak to the point. It is money. It is expected that you will offer money.' We said that we had spoken to that point very explicitly, that we had given an answer. 'No,' he replied, 'you have not. What is your answer?' We replied, 'It is No, no, no; not a sixpence.'" The President concluded with a ringing paragraph which summed up the indignation of the American people at this insult. "I will never send another minister to France without assurances that he will be received, respected, and honored as the representative of a great, free, powerful, and independent nation."

[Naval war with France.]

The Republican opposition in Congress was overwhelmed and almost silenced. A succession of statutes in April, May, and June hurried on military and naval preparations, and on July 7, 1798, American vessels of war were authorized to attack French cruisers. On Feb. 9, 1799, the "Constellation" took the French frigate "Insurgente," and American cruisers and privateers had the satisfaction of retaliating for the numerous captures of American vessels by preying on French commerce. Measures were taken to raise land forces; but here again the rift in the Federal party appeared. Washington was made titular commander-in-chief. It was expected that operations would be directed by the second in command, and Hamilton's friends insisted that he should receive that appointment. With great reluctance Adams granted the commission, the result of which was the resignation of Knox, who had been third on the list.


[Triumph of the Federalists.] [Alien Act.]

For the first and last time in his administration John Adams found himself popular. From all parts of the country addresses were sent to the President approving his patriotic stand. The moderate Republicans in the House were swept away by the current, and thus there was built up a compact Federalist majority in both houses. It proceeded deliberately to destroy its own party. The newspapers had now reached an extraordinary degree of violence; attacks upon the Federalists, and particularly upon Adams, were numerous, and keenly felt. Many of the journalists were foreigners, Englishmen and Frenchmen. To the excited imagination of the Federalists, these men seemed leagued with France in an attempt to destroy the liberties of the country; to get rid of the most violent of these writers, and at the same time to punish American-born editors who too freely criticised the administration, seemed to them essential. This purpose they proposed to carry out by a series of measures known as the Alien and Sedition Acts. A naturalization law, requiring fourteen years residence, was hurried through. On April 25 a Federalist introduced a temporary Alien Act, for the removal of "such aliens born, not entitled by the constitution and laws to the rights of citizenship, as may be dangerous to its peace and safety." The opposition, headed by Albert Gallatin, made a strong appeal against legislation so unnecessary, sweeping, and severe. The Federalists replied in panic fear: "Without such an act," said one member, "an army might be imported, and could be excluded only after a trial." To the details of the bill there was even greater objection. It conferred upon the President the power to order the withdrawal of any alien; if he refused to go, he might be imprisoned at the President's discretion, Nevertheless, the act, limited to two years, was passed on June 25, 1798. Adams seems to have had little interest in it, and never made use of the powers thus conferred.

[Sedition Act.] [Sedition prosecutions.]

The Sedition Act was resisted with even greater stubbornness. It proposed to punish persons who should conspire to oppose measures of the government, or to intimidate any office-holder. The publishing of libels upon the government, or either house, or the President, was likewise made a crime. Against this proposition there were abundant arguments, on grounds both of constitutionality and expediency. It introduced the new principle of law that the United States should undertake the regulation of the press, which up to this time had been left solely to the States. That its main purpose was to silence the Republican journalists is plain from the argument of a leading Federalist: the "Aurora," a Republican organ, had said that "there is more safety and liberty to be found in Constantinople than in Philadelphia;" and the "Timepiece" had said of Adams that "to tears and execrations he added derision and contempt." It is impossible to agree with the member who quoted these extracts that "they are indeed terrible. They are calculated to freeze the blood in the veins." The Sedition Act was to expire in 1801. It was quickly put into operation, and one of the prosecutions was against Callender, known to be a friend of Jefferson; he was indicted and convicted for asserting among other things that "Mr. Adams has only completed the scene of ignominy which Mr. Washington began." So far from silencing the ribald journalists, the Act and its execution simply drew down worse criticism. On the other hand, the Federalist press, which had been hardly inferior in violence, was permitted to thunder unchecked. The Alien and Sedition Acts were party measures, passed for party purposes; they did not accomplish the purposes intended, and they did the party irreparable harm.


[Danger of disunion.] [Madison's and Jefferson's resolutions.]

The elections of 1798 in the excited state of public feeling assured a Federalist majority in the Congress to sit from 1799 to 1801. The Republicans felt that their adversaries were using the power of the federal government to destroy the rights of the people. June 1, 1798, Jefferson wrote to a friend who thought that the time was come to withdraw from the Union; "If on the temporary superiority of one party the other is to resort to a scission of the Union, no federal government can exist." The remedy which lay in his mind was an appeal to the people through the State legislatures. In November and December, 1798, two series of resolutions were introduced, - one in the Virginia legislature, the other in the Kentucky legislature; the first drawn by Madison, and the second by Jefferson's own hand. They set forth that the Constitution was a compact to which the States were parties, and that "each party has an equal right to judge for itself as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress." The Alien and Sedition Acts and some other statutes were declared by Kentucky "not law ... void and of no effect;" and the other States were called upon to unite in so declaring them void, and in protesting to Congress. For the first time since the Constitution had been formed, a clear statement of the "compact" theory of government was now put forth. It was a reasonable implication from these resolutions that if the Federalist majority continued to override the Constitution, the States must take more decisive action; but the only distinct suggestion of an attack on the Union is found in a second series of Kentucky resolutions, passed in 1799, in which it is declared that "nullification ... of all unauthorized acts ... is the rightful remedy."

[Purpose of the resolutions.]

The constitutional doctrine in these resolutions was secondary. The real purpose was to arouse the public to the dangerous character of the Federalist legislation. Madison, many years afterward, explained that he meant only an appeal to the other States to unite in deprecation of the measures. The immediate effect was to set up a sort of political platform, about which the opponents of the Federalists might rally, and by the presentation of a definite issue to keep up the Republican organization against the electoral year 1800.

91. ELECTION OF 1800-1801.

[Peace with France.] [Breach in the party.]

The Alien and Sedition Acts had quickly destroyed all Adams's popularity in the Republican party; his later action deprived him of the united support of the Federalists. War with France was pleasing to them as an assertion of national dignity, as a protest against the growth of dangerous democracy in France, and as a step toward friendship or eventual alliance with England. Early in 1799 Talleyrand intimated that a minister would now be received from the American government. Without consulting his cabinet, with whom Adams was not on good terms, the President appointed an embassy to France. Early in 1800 they made a favorable treaty with France: better guarantees were secured for American neutral trade; the old treaties of 1778 were practically set aside; and the claims of American merchants for captures since 1793 were abandoned, This last action gave rise to the French Spoliation Claims, which remained unsettled for nearly a century thereafter, Adams's determination to make peace was statesmanlike and patriotic, but it gave bitter offence to the warlike Federalists. In May, 1800, Adams found his cabinet so out of sympathy that he removed Pickering, Secretary of State, and appointed John Marshall. This meant a formal breach between the Adams and the Hamilton wings of the party.

[Republicans successful.]

The campaign of 1800 thus began with the Federalists divided, and the Republicans hopeful. Hamilton was determined to force Adams from the headship, and prepared a pamphlet, for which materials were furnished by Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury. Aaron Burr, a wily Republican leader, managed to get a copy, published it, and spread it broadcast. Adams was re-nominated by a caucus of Federalist members, and C. C. Pinckney was put on the ticket with him. Jefferson was, as in 1796, the candidate of his party for President. For Vice-President there was associated with him Burr, who was able to control the important vote of the State of New York. The result of this coalition was seen in May, 1800, when a New York legislature was elected with a Republican majority; and that legislature would, in the autumn, cast the vote of the State. The Federalists persevered, but South Carolina deserted them, so that both Jefferson and Burr received seventy-three votes, and Adams had only sixty- five. The Federalist supremacy was broken.

[Election by the House.]

Now arose an unexpected complication. There being a tie between Jefferson and Burr, the House of Representatives was called upon to decide between them, its vote being cast by States. Had the majority of the House been Republican, Jefferson would, of course, have received their votes; it was, however, Federalist, and the Federalists thought themselves entitled to choose that one of their enemies who was least likely to do them harm. Obscure intrigues were entered upon both with Jefferson and Burr. Neither would make definite promises, although Burr held out hopes of alliance with the Federalists. Hamilton now came forward with a letter in which he declared that of the two men Jefferson was less dangerous. "To my mind," said he, "a true estimate of Mr. Jefferson's character warrants the expectation of a temporizing rather than of a violent system." After a long struggle the deadlock was broken; Jefferson was chosen President of the United States, and Burr Vice-President.


[Unpopularity of the Federalists.] [Judiciary Act.]

The electoral majority was small; the Federalists preserved their organization, and had the prestige of twelve years of administration; it was impossible to realize that there never again would be a Federalist president. In the election of 1804, however, they received but fourteen electoral votes altogether (sec. 100). The reasons for this downfall are many, However popular the French war had been, the taxes made necessary by it had provoked great dissatisfaction; and in 1799 a little insurrection, the so-called Fries Rebellion, had broken out in Pennsylvania. The Sedition prosecutions were exceedingly unpopular, The last acts of the party left a violent resentment. In 1801, after it was known that there would be a Republican President with a large majority in both houses of Congress, the Federalists resolved to bolster up their power in the third department of government. A Judiciary Act was therefore passed, creating new courts, new judges, and new salaried officials. All the resulting appointments were made by Adams, and duly confirmed by the Senate, thus anticipating by many years any real needs of the country. A vacancy occurring in the chief-justiceship, Adams appointed John Marshall, one of the few Virginia Federalists; he had made his reputation as a politician and statesman: even Adams himself scarcely foresaw that he was to be the greatest of American jurists.

[Internal dissensions.]

Still more fatal were the internal dissensions in the party. In 1799 Washington died, and no man in the country possessed his moderating influence, The cabinet, by adhering to Hamilton and corresponding with him upon important public matters, had weakened the dignity of the President and of the party. In the election of 1800 Hamilton, besides his open attack on Adams, had again tried to reduce his vote sufficiently to bring Pinckney in over his head. Adams himself, although a man of strong national spirit, was in some respects too moderate for his party. Yet his own vanity and vehemence made him unfit to be a party leader.

[Republican theories.]

While these reasons may account for the defeat of the Federalists, they do not explain their failure to rise again. They had governed well: they had built up the credit of the country; they had taken a dignified and effective stand against the aggressions both of England and of France. Yet their theory was of a government by leaders. Jefferson, on the other hand, represented the rising spirit of democracy. It was not his protest against the over-government of the Federalists that made him popular, it was his assertion that the people at large were the best depositaries of power. Jefferson had taken hold of the "great wheel going uphill." He had behind him the mighty force of the popular will.