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angry mutterings amongst the disappointed after each Presidential election. The scope of the law had been enlarged by Harrison, and further still by Cleveland. during his second term. There was quite an outbreak of hostility to the law soon after Congress met. Although the President was committed to the law, General Gros. venor, his intimate friend, made a fierce onslaught upon the law and the practice under it. He was seconded by a number from each side of the House.
The elections in 1898 produced some surprise; Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming, which had cast their votes for Bryan in 1896, returned to the Republican fold, although in their States the silver question and the Chicago platform were prominent elements in the contest. In the Middle and Eastern States generally, these issues were ignored. In New York, Colonel Roosevelt was nominated by the Republicans for governor. He had made a brilliant record leading the Rough Riders in the battle near Santiago; before which he had become conspicuous as a bold, independent, and aggressive Republican. The "machine " element was inclined to oppose him, but they were swept aside by the popular enthusiasm, which is always evoked by the glamour surrounding a military hero. The Democrats nominated Judge Van Wyck,-an upright and able man,- but he had to bear the odium of being the choice of Tammany. Roosevelt conducted a picturesque and somewhat sensational campaign — taking with him through the States some of his famous Rough Riders. Tammany's strength was impaired by its refusal to renominate Judge Daly, a clean and able Democrat. So, notwithstanding the perfect organization of that great society, Roosevelt was elected by 21,000 majority. The Democrats, however, elected nineteen representatives to Congress, where they had but seven in the fifty-fifth Congress.
In North Carolina the race issue predominated, causing much excitement and bloodshed. There was but one avowed Republican elected to Congress.
Different local questions determined the results in other States; the total effect being that the Republican majority of 47 in the fifty-fifth Congress was reduced to 21 in the fifty-sixth Congress.
In Minnesota the Democrats elected the governor, which they had not done before for many years. The net result of all the elections showed that, for the head of the ticket, or control of the legislature, the Republicans had carried twenty-one States and the Democrats had carried twenty; the other States not having held general elections. But the Democrats were left without a single governor in the north, northwest, or on the Pacific coast.
The legislatures chosen in the various States made certain the election of Republicans to several seats in the United States Senate held by Democrats; so that, on March 4, 1899, that body consisted of 51 Republicans, 26 Democrats, 4 Populists, 2 Silver Republicans, 2 Silver, and 4 vacancies; giving the dominant party a clear majority of 16.
The elections of 1898 produced another exception to the general rule that, during the second half of every administration the President has been confronted with an opposition majority in the House.
In some States there was a protracted and spirited contest before an election was effected, and in four StatesDelaware, Utah, California, and Pennsylvania - the struggle was so stubborn and angry that the legislatures of these several States adjourned without electing a senator. In several States charges of bribery were boldly made, and investigations and even prosecutions ordered.
The difficulty in some States, and the impossibility in four, in the matter of the election of senators by the
legislatures, and the frequent accusation of corruption in such elections, has produced a growing sentiment in favor of having the senators chosen by popular votes. This is a new phase in our political history, which may lead to a new issue between parties, difficult, almost impossible, as the alignment may at present appear to be.
WITHER the American people are very fickle, or their chosen leaders have failed to understand the popular desire, or, understanding, failed to respond, and endeavored to bring the masses to their standpoint. Since the days of Jackson, the rule has been that the party which secured the Presidency, at the same election chose Congressmen of the same political faith, but two years thereafter sent a majority to the House of Representatives who were hostile to the administration in power. So that in every second term of Congress, in nearly every instance, the political control of legislation was transferred from one party to the other. The exceptions to this rule were during the period of the Civil War, when patriotism was stronger than partisanship; and during both of Lincoln's terms the Republicans were in the ascendancy in Congress. Or perhaps it was not so much the supremacy of patriotism which secured this result as the absence of representatives from the insurgent States. Another variance from the rule occurred in Cleveland's first term, when the House was Democratic for four years; the Senate, however, was Republican; and during the second half of McKinley's, when the elections were to some extent influenced by the war with Spain, and a majority in both Houses was Republican. Prior to Jackson's election there had been entire political harmony between the administration and Congress, except during two years of the elder Adams's term, when there was an
adverse House, and during the full term of John Quincy Adams, when both branches of Congress were antagonistic.
These regular changes of public sentiment, or withdrawal of confidence once bestowed, are not always easy of explanation. It is no doubt true that during Presidential elections party spirit runs higher and party lines are more closely drawn, and the popular candidate at the head of the ticket, by his personal strength, carries the Congressional candidates with him to success. Then follows a calmer and more reflective period, when the character and qualifications of the representatives are more carefully weighed, and the verdict of disapproval is more unerringly recorded. It is a fortunate thing for the country that there should be this independence in voting, and a consequent transition of parties. It is quite as salutary and effectual as the English system and that of other limited monarchies: of the resignation of the Cabinet when any of its measures are defeated in Parliament. In our case, the people must register their judgment every two years. In England, this right can only be enforced every seven years.
Another explanation of the biennial changes may be found in the fact that the parties every four years formulate and promulgate the measures which they respectively propose to carry out. Appeals to the people are made to enlist their support of these principles as represented by the candidates. The principles are accepted as a frank statement of the policy to be pursued. After the election the voters find that they have been deceived, or have misread the platform, or else that those elected to advance its theories have put a different construction upon the tenets, or perchance have proved recreant.
Parties are founded on certain fundamental doctrines, to which they adhere with more or less fixity of purpose. At the same time, when their conventions meet they take