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Senate, all Federalists; in the House were fifty-three Federalists, twelve Democrat-Republicans,
Vermont was admitted in 1791; Kentucky in 1792.
During the second session of the first Congress, Ham. ilton proposed the establishment of a National Bank to act as the financial agent of the United States. The Anti-Federalists denied the power of Congress, under the Constitution, to create such a corporation. Besides the opposition upon constitutional grounds, it was strenuously urged that there was no necessity for the creation of such an institution; that it would subject the government to the money power. That there was a basis for this
apprehension will appear when we consider the application for a new charter for the bank. In 1791 the bill was vigor. ously fought, but was finally carried.
Another of Hamilton's schemes was assumption by the general government of debts of the several States contracted during the Revolution. These and other matters roused the hostility of the strict constructionists. The contest over this proposition was so stubborn and ani. mated that it was first adopted, then reconsidered, and then defeated. Its adoption was finally secured by one of those . parliamentary bargains which condone incon. sistency; and from which custom has removed the smirch of dishonesty. Hamilton secured enough votes to pass his scheme, by agreeing to support the proposition to locate the Federal capital on the bank of the Potomac.
As many of the Anti-Federalists had surrendered their į views in order to secure the adoption of the Constitution,
so now many of the leading Federalists joined with their former opponents to resist the aggrandizement of power in the general government. Under the leadership of Mr. Jefferson, they formed the new and distinctive organiza. tion called the Democratic Republican party, which name has been retained through all the succeeding years, except that in 1825. the co-title, Republican, was dropped ;
and thenceforward the simpler name – Deinocratic – designated the party of strict constructionists founded by Jefferson. The original name, “ Democratic Republi. can" continued in use in some States, notably in Penn. sylvania, until about 1840.
The second Congress had in the Senate seventeen Federalists, thirteen Democrat-Republicans. The House had fifty-five Federalists, fourteen Democrat. Republicans.
One feature of Hamilton's financial policy brought the country to the very verge of civil war. Having assumed the debts of the States, it was found that the revenues of the government were not sufficient for its needs; especially as wars with the Indians were being prosecuted. In 1791 Hamilton proposed and secured the passage of a law im. posing an excise tax. This aroused furious opposition. The hardy frontiersmen, who had to defend themselves and their families from constantly threatened Indian attacks, while clearing their land and cultivating their crops, considered this tax extremely oppressive. Far removed from any market for their grain, their only means of transportation being by pack-horses over the mountains an extensive and dangerous journeymor by river to New Orleans, a longer journey, and exposed to the double danger of navigating uncharted rivers, and of attacks by the Indians who lined the river banks, it was found more remunerative to distil the grain into whiskey, carry it by Aoats to New Orleans, and convert its proceeds into groceries and other domestic necessities. Under this excise law, the farmers were compelled to pay a double tax-one as excise, and the other as impost on the goods purchased with their whiskey. This aggra. vated thcir hostility, for they considered that unequal burdens were loaded upon them, as people in the east, far better able than they, had no excise tax to pay, being chiefly inerchants, manufacturers, shippers, and professional men.
The feeling of hostility to the law was widespread and intense, especially in western Pennsylvania. Excise officers were ostracized, as were all who aided them, even by renting them office room. Occasionally, one of the more officious and exasperating was ridden on a rail by his neighbors. As the people grew more reckless, the mails were tampered with to discover the tactics of the officers. Finally a collision occurred and blood was shed. It is a very general but very great mistake to believe that those people were innately lawless. There were amongst them demagogues and desperadoes. But the mass of the community was orderly, respectable, churchgoing, and religious. They were suffering under what they considered a great wrong.
The revolt was very forinidable. At a mass meeting held on Braddock's Field – where Washington had won his spurs — inany thousands attended. The President called out fifteen thousand Eastern troops, and marched with them to Bedford. Hamilton continued with them to Pittsburg. The bubble of revolution burst. But Hamilton remained to superintend the prosecution of the . malcontents. The bitterness felt against him solidified the opposition to his party in all that section.
The result of this ugly episode demonstrated the abil. ity of the government to enforce its laws; this most crit. ical juncture in the early days of the Republic leaving it more respected at home and abroad.
Knox - whom Madison called Hamilton's shadow proposed that the insurgents should be disfranchised, and the Pennsylvania Legislature, passed an act to that effect. It was charged that the purpose of this act was to enable the Federalists to secure a Senator from Pennsylvania, and to exclude Albert Gallatin from the House of Representatives. The lesson in partisan tactics thus' early resorted to was well learned, and effectively prac. tised in later years
Questions of foreign policy then, as now, had much to do in determining party affiliations, temporarily or per. manently. In view of her invaluable aid in our struggle for independence, as well as her effort to establish a republic, popular sympathy was strongly with France and against England, who had failed to comply with some of the terms of the treaty of 1783. She had not surrendered her military posts on our soil; and it was believed that she continued to incite the Indians to com. mit depredations and murder. Our seamen were im. pressed; and British vessels seized our ships laden with grain en route to France. Hence the old-tiine hostility to England was kept at fever heat. In 1793, Jay was sent to England to negotiate a new treaty, which, when made public, aroused a storm of indignation which was only allayed by the powerful influence of Washington.
Our cordial relations with France were somewhat im. paired by the insolent and illegal acts of Genet, a French envoy to this country, and so diplomacy entered into politics, or politics into diplomacy.
The Federalists, who sympathized with England, sup. ported Jay's treaty. The Democrats, who were friendly to France, denounced the treaty as an infamous surrender to England, and a base betrayal of our commercial interests. Deinocratic societies were organized throughout the country to resist the growing influence of the British policy, and to cultivate a closer alliance with France. But for the wisdom and firmness of Washington, this country would probably have been involved in the war between England and France. But, although this calam. ity was averted, the discussion and contention had a great effect on party affiliations.
At the second election Washington was again chosen without opposition. But already parties were being só. lidified. Adams, Federalist, received 77 votes. Clinton, Democrat-Republican, 50 votes. Jefferson, Democrat. Republican, 4 votes. Burr, Democrat - Republican, i vote.'
The third Congress had in the Senate 18 Federalists, 13 Democrat-Republicans; the House had 51 Federalists, 54 Democrat-Republicans.
The fourth Congress had in the Senate 19 Federalists, 13 Democrat-Republicans; the House 46 Federalists, 59 Democrat. Republicans. This indicates something of the ebb and flow of political sentiment.
Tennessee was admitted in 1796.
Jefferson was an Ambassador to France while the Con. stitution was being framed. But he anxiously watched its progress, and wrote many earnest letters to his friends at home, urging that all possible safeguards be incorpo. rated in the instrument to limit the power of the Federal Government, and to protect the States in the enjoyment of their freedom and autonomy. Nor did these efforts cease with the adoption of the Constitution. He con. tinued to insist on the necessity for amendments in the nature of a Bill of Rights, and under the able leadership of Madison-Jefferson's most trusted friend-ten amend. ments to the Constitution were adopted. It was sup: posed that these amendments would effectually serve the purpose contemplated, and free the Constitution from any doubtful interpretation. But the loose construction. ists contended that many powers not specifically granted
'For Washington: New Hampshire, 6; Massachusetts, 16: Rhode Island, 4; Connecticut, 9; Vermont, 3; New York, 12; New Jersey, 7; Pennsylvania, 15; Delaware, 3: Maryland, 8; Virginia, 21; Kentucky, 4; North Carolina, 12 ; South Carolina, 8; Georgia, 4-total, 132.
For Adams : New Hampshire, 6; Massachusetts, 16; Rhode Island, 4; Connecticut, 9; Vermont, 3: New Jersey, 7; Pennsylvania, 14; Delaware, 3; Maryland, 8; South Carolina, 7-total, 77.
For Geo. Clinton : New York, 12 ; Pennsylvania, 1 ; Virginia, 21; North Carolina, 12; Georgia, 4-total, 5o.
For Jefferson : Kentucky, 4-total, 4.