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• Colonel Hamilton was placed at the head of the treasury. This gentleman was, at a very early period of life, placed by his friends at New-York. Possessing an ardent temper, he caught fire from the concussions of the moment, and, with all the enthusiasm of youth, engaged first his pen, and afterwards his sword, in the stern contest between the colonies and their parent state. Soon after the war was transferred to the Hudson, his superior endowments recommended him to the attention of the Commander in Chief, into whose family, before completing his twenty-first year, he was invited to enter. Equally brave and intelligent, he continued, in this situa tion, to display a degree of firmness and capacity which commanded the confidence and esteem of his general, and of the principal officers in the army. In all the important acts of the day he performed a conspicuous part, and was greatly distinguished among those eminent characters whom the crisis had attracted to the councils of their country. In the distinguished part he had performed, both in the military and civil transactions of his country, he had acquired a degree of well-merited fame; and the frankness of his manners, the openness of his temper, the warmth of his feelings, and the sincerity of his heart, had secured him many valuable friends. To talents of the highest order, he united a patient industry, not always the companion of genius, which fitted him, in a peculiar manner, for the difficulties to be encountered at the head of the American finances. V. 180-1.

These two distinguished characters became, though members of the same cabinet, leaders of two opposite parties, which now divide every quarter of the American Union; and threaten, by the acrimony and intensity of their opposition, to occasion, at no distant era, some decisive change in the federal system. Colonel Hamilton was regarded as the head of the Federalist party, as Mr Jefferson was of the Antifederalists. These parties may in the rudest shape of the Union; but it is not very easy, either to indicate the precise point from which they diverge, or to assign the limits of their opposite tendencies. Both, notwithstanding the appellations which distinguish them, affect to hold a federal government essential to their welfare. Their difference is with regard to the extent of the powers with which the federal head should be invested. The French revolution seems greatly to have widened their aims, as well as exasperated their animosity. M. Volney indeed asserts, that the ultimate objects of the Federalists are nothing short of absolute monarchy, and the politico-religious doctrines of our antient Tories. The Duke de la Rochefoucault, perhaps, comes nearer the truth in stating it to be their desire to give a monarchical tendency, and that of their opponents a democratic tendency, to the general government. Mr Marshall gives no connected or comprehensive account of

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their views; but we shall extract what he says were the opinions of their first leaders, that our readers may be able to form some estimate of the very opposite principles of policy by which their conduct was regulated.


Mr Hamilton is understood to have advanced opinions in the convention favourable to a system, in which the executive and senate, though elective, were to be rather more permanent than they were rendered in that which was actually adopted. He openly avowed the opinion, that the greatest hazards to which the constitution was exposed, arose from its weakness; and that American liberty and happiness had much more to fear from the encroachments of the great states, than from those of the general government.

Mr Jefferson seems to have entertained no apprehensions from the debility of the government, no jealousy of the state sovereignties, and no suspicion of their encroachments. His fears took a different direction; and all his precautions were used to limit the authorities claimed by the government of the United States. Neither could he perceive danger to liberty, except from the constituted authorites, especially the executive,

Although affection for France and jealousy of Britain, were sentiments common to the people of America, the same unanimity did not exist respecting the influence which ought to be allowed to these sentiments over the political conduct of the nation. While many · favoured such discriminations as might eventually turn the commerce of the United States into new channels, others maintained, that on this subject equality ought to be observed; that trade ought to be guided by the judgment of individuals; and that no sufficient motive existed for that sacrifice of interests which was involved in the discrimination proposed. The former opinion was taken up with warmth by Mr Jefferson, the latter by Mr Hamilton; and this contrariety of sentiment respecting commercial regulations extended to all the relations which might subsist between America and these two great powers. V. 310, &c.

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The French revolution, as we have already said, widened all these party divisions; and turned not only against the administration of Washington, but the constitution itself, a torrent of opinions which it required all his characteristic firmness and prudence to withstand. Viewed through the deceitful lights of French liberty and equality, the Federal government appeared to the zealots to bear obviously to monarchy; and the prudent system of neutrality, upon which the President had wisely decided, was stigmatized as an inglorious and treacherous subservience to the interests and politics of England. Washington, in common with his countrymen, felt a bias towards France; but as he had given no ear to the foolish schemes for diverting American commerce from its natural channels into others favourable to that power, so he was now equally decided against any conduct

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which her enemies might interpret into a warmer regard for her interests than was compatible with the duties of rigid neutrality. In this prudent policy he was supported by the Federalists; who, in consequence, obtained the opprobrious appellation of the English party.

The austere spirit of democracy was, we find, sorely scandalized by the President's levees, simple and unostentatious as they certainly were; and drew forth many doleful predictions, that, by such assimilations to the ways of kings, America would gradually be defrauded of her liberty. The President's own account of the portentous ceremonial which excited these lugubrious speculations, will perhaps amuse our readers.

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Between the hours of three and four every Tuesday, I am pre◄ pared to receive visits. Gentlemen, often in great numbers, come and go, chat with each other, and act as they please. At their first entrance, they salute me, and I them; and as many as I can talk to, I do. What pomp there is in all this, I am unable to disL cover. Perhaps it consists in not sitting. To this two reasons are opposed first, it is unusual; secondly, (which is a more substan'tial reason) because I have no room large enough to contain a third of the chairs which would be necessary. Similar to these, but of a more familiar and sociable kind, are the visits every Friday afternoon to Mrs Washington, where I always am. These public meetings, and a dinner once a week to as many as my table will hold, is as much, if not more, than I have leisure for. '. Notwithstanding the opposition which most of Washington's measures encountered, the reverence in which he was held was such, that, in March 1793, when a new election became necessary, he was again unanimously called to the presidency. He had, at one period, proposed to retire; but the critical situation of affairs, and pressing entreaties from all quarters of the Union, induced him to undertake, for another four years, the duties of first magistrate. During this latter period, both Jefferson and Hamilton resigned. The enemics of the President often insinuated, that he had been too much guided by the latter, whose opinions they regarded as peculiarly heterodox. In allusion to this charge, he took occasion to state, in a letter to Mr Jefferson, that he was no believer in the infallibility of the politics or measures of any man living;'an assertion, which every view of his character tends to corroborate. In fact, the characteristic feature of Washington's mind, was a certain cold and steady firmness, founded upon the previous deliberations of a judgment, too powerful to submit to influence, and too active to be guided by faith. When the four years were about to expire, he took leave of his countrymen in a valedictory address, which contains, at large, his maxims of government, and certain precepts, by the observance of which,

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he thought, America might flourish, and her institutions be rendered indestructible by time.

The duties of Washington's civil administration, though far less arduous than those of his military command, yet required much of that fortitude and sagacity which that command so conspicuously displayed. To reestablish credit, and provide for the debts of the Union, when there was every desire to profit by injustice, and where taxation was both difficult and odious—to give stability and energy to a new government, encountered in its first operations by the jealousies of thirteen separate states-and to preserve the blessings of peace to a rising community, when the misguided feelings of the people would have precipitated a war, were efforts which statesmen are seldom called to make, and which but few, would have been equal to perform. In his public conduct, we look in vain for any of those vices which oppose the prosperity of nations, and the peace of the world. His addresses to the people, and to Congress, afford indubitable proofs of the purity, as well as the solidity of his principles; and it is impossible to read them, and to trace them, as exemplified in the' whole course of his public career, without admitting, that he performed justly, skilfully, and magnanimously, all the offices, both public and private, of peace and war.'

But, will the constitution, established under his auspices, have that endurance of which he seems to have thought it capable? Is there no danger that it will be found, as he himself observed of the confederation which preceded it, that its founders have proceeded upon a view of human nature by far too favourable?' We confess, we think, the era of this discovery is not very distant. We have little hopes of a system of polity, which, in an advancing society, offers no prizes to talents, and no distinctions to wealth-which takes no aids from the great extrinsic sources of individual power and authority. This, however, is an inquiry which, in all its extent, we have not now either leisure or space to pursue; but which we hope, hereafter, to find occasion to resume. Meantime, it may be asked, what political aspect will America present, should the feeble and shadowy texture of the federal government be dissolved? Will she separate into two or three consolidated masses? Or, will the states, more nearly con- . nected, still preserve a certain federal connexion ? Will the natives of the new world, like those of antient Greece, form a cluster of independent and rival republics, connected by language, and, with an emulation warmed by liberty, at last deprive Europe of her boasted superiority in the sciences and arts? Or, is it more likely, that, by some grand revolutionary effort, they will be finally incorporated into one nation, with one name, and one government?

government? Our readers must speculate for themselves upon these, and other, perhaps equally probable, hypotheses; for we do not affect to see clearly through the revolutions which, we are afraid, still await our American kindred.

General Washington survived his retirement from the presidency only two years. He died on the 14th December 1799, of an inflammation in the throat, occasioned by a slight rain to which he had been exposed the preceding day. Soon after the disease commenced, he foresaw he should die; and he met his fate with his characteristic fortitude.-Washington's appearance, we are told, was noble and commanding; and it has been frequently remarked, that the impression of awe which it was calculated to produce, was never effaced by frequency of intercourse. He was reserved in his manners, and unaffectedly modest. He was hospitable, and his establishment expensive, but under exact regulation. He spoke with diffidence; but his letters to Congress, and his written addresses, are admirable for clearness and solidity. His personal habits were exceedingly temperate; and the purity, of his morals was never questioned. In short, to use the words of a very great man, a character, of virtues so happily tempered by one another, and so wholly unalloyed with any vices, is hardly to be found in the pages of history.'*

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Mr Marshall is steady in his approbation of the measures of the great man whose history he writes; but, so far as we can discover, he is not unduly influenced in his strictures upon those who opposed them. This last volume is loaded with speeches, which clumsily and indistinctly supply the place of comprehensive views of the subjects to which they relate. Many of these speeches display great commercial knowledge, and a forcible and keen style of argument. But we have never yet seen any specimen of American eloquence, that did not grievously sin against the canons of taste; and, indeed, oratory is not to be looked for in a country which has none of the kindred arts. The consideration which absorbs every other, in a country situated like America, is that of acquiring wealth. Every particle of intellect, therefore, is attracted to active occupations. Now, it is written in a wise old book, that learning cometh by opportunity of leisure, and that he that hath uttle business shall become wise. When America, then, shall have reached that more advanced stage,-when a greater accumulation of wealth shall have given leisure to a larger portion of her inhabitants-she will then nourish a class, new in her population, that of men of letters-then she will have orators, and poets, and historians,--and then she will look back with

* Mr Fox's Introductory chapter.

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