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George Nicholas, and Chancellor Pendleton, and only after some delay Governor Edmund Randolph, earnestly supported it. Jefferson was absent from the country. His position on this great question is elsewhere set forth. Much apprehension was removed when the matchless orator, Patrick Henry, declared in favor of submitting the Constitution to a popular convention; although in the convention, when called, he firmly but fruitlessly opposed the ratification. In South Carolina Rawlins Lowndes, with great force and earnestness, opposed the calling of a popular convention to act upon the matter. He was opposed by a distinguished array of great men, such as Pierce Butler, the two Pinckneys, two Rutledges, and others, whose position was sustained after a threedays' debate. Luther Martin strenuously opposed the Constitution in Maryland. In New York, Yates and Lansing, who had been members of the Constitutional convention, retired from that body before its work was completed, and came out against its ratification. With them was Clinton. But, by the essays in The Federalist and other arguments, the friends of the Con. stitution prevailed. It was, however, by a very small majority.
In Pennsylvania the debate was led by James Wilson, who had been one of the ablest of the immortal group who framed the Constitution. Less known than many of his compatriots, he was nevertheless their peer in wis. dom and political sagacity. Chief Justice McKean ably seconded Wilson's efforts, and Pennsylvania was made secure for the Constitution. The ratification by Con. necticut was secured by the influence and arguments of Oliver Ellsworth, Oliver Wolcott, Governor Hunting. ton, and Richard Law. Samuel Adams, brave, blunt, and patriotic, opposed the ratification in Massachu. setts. When the convention met, a majority of its members stood with Adams. But the opposition to the Constitution abated under the persuasive and convincing eloquence of Fisher Ames, Dana, Bowdoin, Sedgwick, and a number of Revolutionary officers and distinguished clergymen; and the ratification was carried by a small majority. There was friction elsewhere; but at last the Constitution was ratified.
But the contest for, and ultimate adoption of the Federal theory developed marked differences of opinion amongst its advocates; some of which were so funda. mental as to cause the formation of another party, or rather a re-aligninent of the existing parties. Many who had supported the Federal theory took alarm at the ex. treme views of some of their colleagues, and commenced to affiliate with the Anti-Federalists; which designation took on a new mcaning, signifying opposition to the tendency to the centralization of power in the general government. Those retaining the name of " Federalist were extremists, and inclined to favor the cstablishment of a monarchy. John Adams declared that the British Constitution would be the most perfect if some of its de. sects and abuses were corrected. llamilton went farther, and expressed his conviction that, as it stood, the British system was the most perfect ever devised, and that the correction of its vices would impair its power. He may not have wished a monarchy to be established here, -as many believed, but he certainly advocated incorporat. ing in the Constitution monarchic features.
The class of statesmen of which thesc two were, in a great measure, the representatives, wanted the new gov. erninent to be modelled largely after that of the mother country. Truc, we had rebelled against her rule in this country; but, it was said, the revolt had not been against the form of government, but against the manner of its administration.
in after years Adams disclaimed having ever desired to have a monarchy established here. But it is quite certain
that his long residence at foreign courts had biased his mind in favor of pomp and ceremony, and high-sounding titles. He rejoiced in an escort of horsemen on his way to be inaugurated as VicePresident. He tried to impress Washington with his views of official etiquette. He talked a great deal of dress and undress, of attendants, gentlemen in waiting, chamberlains, etc. In the chair as Vice-President he designated Washington's address as
inost gracious," which words bluff, blunt William McClay insisted should be stricken from the minutes; and it was done.
There were many with Adams who, if not inonarchists, were earnestly in favor of perpetuating an aristocracy, and their action in forming the Constitution was colored by those views. They wanted the President to be called
Excellency," or " His Highness, President of the United States and Protector of their liberties." Jeffer. son, Samuel Adains, - John's cousin,-and those of their school, were opposed to all titles-even that of Esquire. What might seem to be unimportant differences were magnified by the Constitution over weightier matters. Two theories of government were struggling for the mastery: one in favor of the largest civil liberty and local self-governinent. On the other hand, Hamilton's plan was to give the general government power to make laws governing the States in all cases whatsoever; to have the President and Senators hold office during good behavior; and the governors of States should be ap. pointed under authority of the United States. This de. sire to perpetuate an aristocracy, and to centralize power in the general government, was strenuously and success. fully combated by those holding more democratic views; and by those who, while willing to surrender some of the prerogatives of independent States, were utterly unwill. ing to be denied the right of selecting their own rulers, and making laws for their local government.
•They were also opposed to long terms of office-hold. ing, insisting upon the President's being ineligible for re-election after eight years of service.
The differences were finally adjusted; but, in the crea. tion of a representative republic, care was sought to be taken to limit its powers. These limitations became a fruitful source of discussion from that day to this, one side contending for a strict construction, and the other insisting that the Constitution should be liberally and loosely interpreted.
These differences of opinion did not immediately result in arraying the opposing forces against each other; for, by universal agreement, Washington was to be the first Pic ident; and all the people felt unbounded confidence in his unselfish patriotism, his impregnable integrity, his unequalled sagacity; and they knew that under his administration the new government would be firmly established without either faction acquiring any great predominance.
The debate upon the manner in which the President should be chosen showed the same confict of views as has already been referred to. On the one side it was urged that Congress should make the election. The other side opposed this concentration of power, and in. sisted that the choice should be as nearly a direct expression of the popular will as was consistent with the dignity, deliberation, and orderly proceeding which the impor. tance of the issue demanded. It was determined that the people in each State should vote for a body of electors, and that the electors so chosen should elect the Presi. dent and Vice-President; the person having the largest number, and a majority, of electoral votes should be the President, and the one having the next highest number of votes should be the Vice-President. Under this sys. tem, when parties became well defined, it was proba. ble, and perhaps was so intended (and several times so
resulted), that the President and Vice-President would be of opposing political parties.
There was no uniformity at first, in the method of choosing electors. In Massachusetts and Virginia they were chosen by districts. In Pennsylvania, New Hamp. shire, and Maryland the electors were chosen on a general ticket. In New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Georgia, and South Carolina the selection was made by the legis. latures. North Carolina and Rhode Island, not having ratified the Constitution, did not vote at the first election; and New York's vote was lost by a deadlock, the Senate being in control of the Federalists, and the Assembly dominated by the Anti-Federalists. The electoral votes were to be cast by the legislature; the Senate demanded a concurrent vote; the Assembly insisted upon a joint ballot. Neither would yield, and hence the vote of the State was lost.
Washington was elected President by a unanimous vote, and John Adams was associated with him as VicePresident."
In the first Congress there were twenty-two in the
· Electoral votes for George Washington were : New Hampshire, 5; Massachusetts, 10; Connecticut, 7; New Jersey, 6; Pennsylvania, 10; Delaware, 3; Maryland, 6; Virginia, 10; South Carolina, 7; Georgia, stotal, 69.
For Adams: New Hampshire, 5; Massachusetts, 10; Connecticut, 5;
For Huntington : Connecticut, 2-total, 2.
New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island did not vote, as explained above.