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   Chapter 100 1809). No.100

Formation of the Union By Albert Bushnell Hart Characters: 3026

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


[Sidenote: Anger of the Federalists.]

[Sidenote: Arguments for annexation.]

The annexation of Louisiana aroused a storm in both hemispheres. The Spanish government vehemently protested, the more because the promised kingdom of Etruria proved to be but a mock principality. In the United States the Federalists attacked both the annexation and the method of annexation with equal violence. The treaty promised that the people should as soon as possible be admitted as a State into the Union; the balance of power in the government was thus disturbed, and the Federalists foresaw that the influence of New England must diminish. Their constitutional arguments were just such as had been heard from the Republican writers and legislatures in 1798: the constitution, they said, nowhere gives express power to annex territory, and therefore there is no such power; the Union is a partnership, and new members cannot be admitted except by unanimous consent. The Republicans furnished themselves with arguments drawn from the Federal arsenal: the right to annex territory, they said could be implied from the power to make treaties, from the power to regulate territory, and from the "necessary and proper" clause. Jefferson was not so ready to give up his cherished principles, and proposed a constitutional amendment to approve and confirm the cession. His party friends scouted the idea. The treaty was duly ratified, fifteen millions were appropriated for the purchase, and on Dec. 20, 1803, possession of the

territory was given,

[Sidenote: Intrigues with Burr.]

The cup of the Federalists was now full, and a few violent spirits, of whom Timothy Pickering was the leader, suggested that the time had come to withdraw from the Union. They found no hearing among the party at large. In 1804, therefore, they tried to form a combination with a wing of the New York Republicans controlled by Burr, who had been read out of his party by the Jeffersonian wing. He came forward as an independent candidate for Governor, and asked for the support of the New York Federalists. Hamilton stood out against this movement, and wrote a letter urging his friends not to vote for him. Burr received the Federalist vote, but was defeated, and in his humiliation sent Hamilton a challenge, and killed him in the duel. The affair still further weakened the Federalists; in the national election of 1804 they cast but fourteen votes,-those of Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland. Even Massachusetts voted for Jefferson.

[Sidenote: The Federalists weakened.]

Commerce was still increasing; the Union was growing in extent and importance; neither the interests nor the principles of the people had suffered. The Federalist predictions of danger from Jefferson had not been fulfilled. There were still a few leaders who brooded over a plan of separation; but the strength of the Federalists was now so broken that in 1807 John Quincy Adams, son of the ex-President, and senator from Massachusetts, went over to the Republican party.

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