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Experience seems to have fully proved that the permanence of our institutions is in no danger from

any of the causes which have in other climes embarrassed popular governments. We have no ambitious royal neighbour possessed of power sufficient to conquer and destroy our freedom, as Philip and Alexander did that of the Grecian republics. Fond as we are of military renown and grateful for martial service, the army, as a body, can never control our elections or prevent their occurrence. The military establishment, so far from being the probable instrument of a tyranny, is the most independent of executive influence of all the departments of national organization. We need, therefore, never apprehend the appearance of a Cæsar, a Cromwell, or a Napoleon. The breaking up of entails, and the division of property at every new generation, will for ever prevent the formation of an aristocracy, and the utmost sway which it can attain is that over the fashionable world of our cities, which experience has shown to be without the pale of political influence. Nay, could any one of these causes influence the general government, the sovereignty of the states furnishes a secure barrier against any actual encroachment on popular liberty.

Party spirit has, however, erected a tyranny which may, in the semblance of respect for the popular will, end in rendering that will nugatory.

Political men now no longer dare to avow their real sentiments, or are compelled to act in opposition to them. The members of a defeated party are often, to all intents and purposes, disfranchised unless they abandon the principles for which they may have conscientiously contended.

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After the State Convention adjourned, the popular voice speedily confirmed its decision. The opponents of the federal Union; who had previously enjoyed the entire confidence of the people, lost much of their influence, and would have been deprived of it altogether had they not joined in the popular feeling. This was strongest in the city, and the final ratification by the required number of states was celebrated there with demonstrations of joy such as have never been surpassed. these, the very persons who had lately prided themselves in the name of anti-federalist, and were shortly to be arrayed against the administration of the federal government upon new questions of policy, bore their full share. Many were sincere converts; and, either in the hopes of personal advantage under the new government, or influenced by more pure motives, gave to its early steps their devoted support. There were, however, others, who had been influenced in their support of the proceedings of the Convention, and in urging the ratification of the Constitution by the states, by motives of ambition or desire of emolu

ment, who were disappointed in its action upon their interests, and stood ready to seize any opportunity which might present itself to form an opposition to its administration.

CHAPTER X.

Washington is chosen President.-Organization of the Executive Departments.-Hamilton is appointed Secretary of the Treasury.— His Report on Public Credit, in which he recommends the funding of the Debt and the laying of an Excise.-Opposition to the Funding System, which is, however, carried.-The Excise is also opposed, but carried.-Plan of a National Bank, which receives a Charter.Constitutional Question raised in relation to it.

THE advanced age of Franklin rendered it inexpedient that he should be a candidate for the presidency, nor is it probable that he would have permitted himself to be proposed. Washington was, in consequence, the only person who would be likely to unite all suffrages. He had, however, on resigning his commission at the close of the war, announced his intention of retiring from public business, and had been with difficulty induced to act as a member of the Convention. To abandon his retirement for the labours of the office of president was even more repugnant to his wishes. Still, in the minds of all the friends of the new

Constitution, the belief was universal, that the only chance of its receiving a fair trial depended upon his acceptance of that office.

The opposition to the Constitution was so strong, and had been so violent, that the authority of any name less potent than his would have been insufficient to prevent acts which might have been fatal to the success of the experiment. His repugnance was such that it became necessary that he should be strongly urged to allow his being proposed as a candidate for the presidency; and, among others, we find Hamilton writing to him on the subject, and pressing him to undertake this important office. Washington, convinced by these arguments, no longer attempted to shun the responsibilities involved in the executive duties of the new Constitution, and his name was proposed to the electoral colleges.

It was speedily known that his election had been effected with no other want of unanimity than was sufficient to obtain a choice of vice-president. So much apathy, however, existed, and so little hope of improvement in the prosperity of the country, that a month elapsed from the day appointed for the meeting before a quorum of both houses could be formed for the purpose of counting the votes, and giving official notice to Washington of his election.

The president having assumed his duties, the

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