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New Constitution, Its Administrations; War with Great Britain, Peace.

Incompetency of the National Government-Meeting of deputies ⚫ at Annapolis-National Convention to form a new constitutionConstitution adopted by the states-Washington elected President -Meeting of Congress at New-York-Government organized→ Funding of the national, and assumption of the state debts-Internal taxes-National Bank-Cause of parties-Indian war-apportionment of Representatives-Defeat of St. Clair by the Indians— Forces raised-Washington rechosen President-War on the continent of Europe-Proclamation of neutrality-Arrival of Genet~ His deportment-Democratic societies-Commercial resolutions→→→→ Algerine captures-The building of frigates-Difficulties with En -gland-Genet recalled-Wayne's victory-Pennsylvania insurrection-Treaty with England-with Algiers-with the Indians-and with Spain-Ministers sent to France-Death of Washington-Mr. Jefferson's administration-Tripolitan war-Burr's conspiracyChesapeak and Leopard-French and British Edicts-Arrange. ment with Erskine-Mr. Jackson's correspondence-Measures preparatory to a war with Great Britain-Declaration of war-Mob in Baltimore-Capture of the Guerriere-Hull's surrender-Battle of Queenston-Capture of the Frolic-the Macedonian-and JavaBattle at the Raisin---Capture of the Peacock-Battle and taking of York-Fort Meigs-Loss of the Chesapeak-Victory on Lake Erie -Loss of the Essex-Capture of the Epervier-Battle of Chippewa-Possession of Washington by the British-Plunder of Alexandria-Fort Erie defended-Naval victory on Lake Champlain— Defeat of the British at Plattsburg-Fleets on Lake Ontario-Hartford Convention-Loss of the President-Battle of New-OrleansPeace.

THE debt of the United States, at the close of the war, was about forty millions of dollars. Congress had power to make war and to create debts, but no power to carry on the war, nor ability to pay debts, but by appeals or recommendations to thirteen independent sovereignties, whose unanimity alone, seldom to be expected, could support public credit, orgive efficacy to the proceedings of Congress. For the payment of the public debt, a proposal was made by congress to the several states to lay a duty of five per cent, on all goods imported from foreign countries, till the national debt should be paid,


This plan failed: some states adopting it altogether, some agreeing to it in part; and some totally rejecting it. Thus, no efficient funds being provided, the evidences of public debt began to decrease in value, till they were sold at length for two shillings on the pound.

In January, 1786, the Legislature of Virginia adopted a proposition for the appointment of Commissioners, who were to meet, with such as might be appointed by the other states, to take into consideration the trade of the United States, and establish a uniform system of commercial relations; reporting to the several states such an act as shall be agreed upon, for their ratification.

Annapolis was appointed for the place of meeting. The convention was attended by commissioners from five states only. So small a number of states being represented, the commissioners rose without coming to any specific resolutions on the subjects referred to them. They, however, before they adjourned, made a report to the several states, and recommended that deputies be appointed by the legislatures, to meet in Philadelphia the next May.

1787. On the nineteenth of May, agreeable to the recomendation of the deputies at Annapolis, the representatives of twelve states appeared in convention, at Philadelphia, the next May, for the purpose of revising and enlarging the powers of Congress, &c. RhodeIsland refused to send.

General Washington was unanimously chosen President; and the convention proceeded to the important business before them with closed doors. On the 17th of September, the present Constitution of the U. States was laid before Congress, and sent to the different States. The convention recommended that conventions be called in the different states to discuss its merits, and agree to its adoption or rejection; the new constitution to go into operation provided it should be adopted by nine


The friends and foes of the new constitution, were extremely active for its adoption and rejection. Conventions were successively called in the different states

the new system of government discussed, and eleven states agreed to it; North Carolina and Rhode-Island not at first adopting it.

However discordant were the opinions of people in relation to the rejection or acceptance of the new constitution, there was but one sentiment with regard to the man who should be the first President. Washington was unanimously chosen President, and John Adams was chosen Vice-President.

The senators and representatives being elected, though the time appointed for the first meeting was the 4th of March, the house of representatives was not formed till the first, nor the senate till the sixth of April. On the 14th, Washington was officially informed of his appointment; and two days after he left Mount Vernon for New-York, where Congress first convened. On the 30th of April he took the oath prescribed by the constitution, in presence of an immense number of spectators; after which he made his first speech to both houses of Congress.

Business of high importance was now before Congress; provision to be made for funding the public debt, a revenue system to be digested, departments to be organized, a judiciary to be established, &c.

After much discussion, at length the government was completely organized. It now became the duty of the President to select proper persons to fill the various offices that had been created. In performing this important duty, he was influenced neither by consanguinity nor undue attachments. For so many, and many them offices of emolument and honour, the number of candidates was great, and the disappointments of course



Mr. Jefferson was selected for the Department of State; Colonel Hamilton was appointed Secretary of the Treasury; General Knox Secretary at War, and Mr. Edmund Randolph Attorney General of the United States. Such was the first cabinet counsel of the President. John Jay, Esq. was made Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; John Rut

ledge, James Wilson, William Cushing, Robert Harrison and John Blair, were nominated Associate Judges.


On the 29th of September, the first session closed the Secretary of the Treasury being previously directed to prepare a plan for providing adequate support of the public credit, and to report the same at the next meeting of Congress. The second session of Congress was to be held on the first Monday in January.

During this recess, the President made the tour of the eastern states, through Connecticut and Masssachusetts as far as Portsmouth, N. H. In this rout it is impossible to describe the emotions of joy and gratitude on the part of the citizens, wherever the President went. He returned to New-York, by a different rout from that in which he went, on the 13th of November.

A second convention of North Carolina, (Nov.) agreed to adopt the constitution by a large majority. The second session of the first Congress, began the 8th of January, 1790. On the 9th, Mr. Hamilton made his report with respect to the maintenance of public credit.

With regard to the foreign debt, he remarked that no difference of opinion existed; all agreed that provision should be made for its discharge according to the terms. of contract. With regard to the domestic debt, opinions were entirely opposite; some advocating a discrimination between the present holders of public securities, and those to whom the debt was originally due.

Mr. Hamilton himself, was opposed to any discrimination; considering such distinction as unjust and impolitic, ruinous to public credit, and injurious even to original holders of public securities. He proposed several terms for funding the public debt, to be left at the option of the creditors.

The subject was delayed till February, when a long and most animated discussion took place; in which the interest of a large portion of the community, and of course their feelings, were strongly engaged. The principle was of this amount :-Shall the present holders of public securities, who have given but two or three shillings on the pound, receive the full value o

what appears on the face of the obligations, or only the amount they gave?

After much debate, Mr. Madison proposed that the present holder of assignable paper, should receive the highest price such paper had borue in the market, and the original holder receive the residue; the original creditor having never parted with his claim, to receive the whole. After a long and animated argument, these propositions were rejected by a large majority.

During the war the states had frequently exerted their resources, under their own authority, independent of Congress. Some had funded their debts, some had paid the interest; some had done neither. All looked forward to the new Congress to assume the state debts: and this was a measure recommended by the Secretary of the Treasury.

After a warm debate of many days, a resolution for this purpose was carried in the house by a small majority. The delegates from North Carolina soon after taking their seats, the resolution was recommitted, and subsequently negatived.

Much dispute had taken place with respect to the temporary as well as permanent seat of government. The dispute at length was principally confined to the Delaware and the Potomac. A bill was at this time passed, fixing the temporary seat of government, for ten years, at Philadelphia, after which the permanent seat of government was to be established on the Poto


This bill had an effect on some members from the Potomac, who now changed their votes in relation to the assumption of the state debts. A bill having come from the Senate for that purpose, and for funding the national debt, was carried in the house by a small majority. On the 12th of August, Congress adjourned, to meet in Philadelphia the first Monday in the following December.

Soon after the commencement of the third session of Congress, a bill was introduced in the house for laying a tax on domestic distilled spirits, agreeably to the re

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