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of all, be "Republican." That would set it off sharply against Federalism. In order to group all elements within it, it should be "Democratic." What therefore so comprehensive, popular and imposing as "Democratic—Republican." for that because the new party name, symbol of all opposition to Federal, crystalization of everything Anti-Federal.
Then began party ism as we have known it ever since. The Federals denounced Democratic Republicans as Jacobins, held their pretensions up to contempt, and so ridiculed their compound title as to force abandonment of its first part, leaving only the word " Republican " as the distinctive and popular name. Nor was abuse wholly on the side of the Federals. The Republicans countered bitterly, denouncing their opponents as aristocrats and monarchists, and stirring all the fires of partisan animosity in the bosom of the masses. Such was the antagonism that Washington openly complained of it as a substitution of unjust suspicion and personal antipathy for the old spirit of friendly compromise.
As already intimated this alignment of parties did not affect Washington's second election, though it brought the wrath of the Republicans on him and all Federals for their policy of neutrality between England and France. Jefferson left Washington's cabinet. and retired to his Virginia plantation to further develop, by writing and plan, the new Republican party of which he was the acknowledged founder. His master hand became visible in promoting attacks on the administration. The Republicans opposed indirect taxes with direct taxes, the liability of state to suit with the eleventh amendment to the Constitution, the Jay treaty with denunciation of Washington as Hd embezzler and usurper.
The expiration of Washington's second term brought the two parlies into square contentious for that national supremacy indicated by the choice of a presidential candidate.
Federal And Republican Parties.
In the national convention of 1796, the Federals, with John Adams as candidate, and with no platform, except the claim to represent Washington's policy of peace, neutrality, finance, progress and safety, won a victory over the Republicans, with Thomas Jefferson as candidate, and with no platform except the claim to economy, enlarged liberty, rights of man and rights of states. But this victory was rendered incomplete and partially barren by the choice of a Republican Vice President in the person of Thomas Jefferson, the election at that time being held through the state legislatures, and the candidate receiving next to the highest number of votes becoming the Vice President.
During Adams' administration the Republicans gained ground by their opposition to the Alien and Sedition lawsBut their most substantial gain was that indirect one which grew out of division in the Federal ranks. Adams had estranged such advisors as Hamilton, and had ignored his entire cabinet in his change of policy toward France. Though nominated for the Presidency by the Federals in 1800, the Republicans won a victory with Jefferson and Burr, the contest between these two beiny settled in the House of Representatives.
The Republican victory was nothing in its bearing on party lines as compared with the permanent breach in the Federal ranks. The strength and glory of Federalism seemed to have expended itself in placing the government on a firm basis, in giving it such power as would make it respected at home and abroad, in restraining French Republican influence and in establishing a permanent policy of neutrality. The unanimity and boldnesss which had been equal to the solution of most intricate financial problems, to the provision of ample revenue, and to the building up of an enduring national credit, were in strange contrast with its divisions and weaknesses at the time the Republicans won their first national victory.
Jefferson was supported by Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress. He mapped a vigorous policy for his party, and in his choice of officials, showed little mercy for the Federals. The act repealing the establishment of circuit courts drove the Federals from their last hold on the government, and they never recovered their lost ground. Though they.largely typed the wealth, intellect and culture of the country, there seemed to be no escape from the blow of 1800. In 1804 they were vanquished in every state" except Connecticut, Delaware and part of Maryland. Jefferson adroitly turned every new (Situation to popular account, and as he had the entire confidence of the masses, he kept his party on a happy vantage ground with a vigor that was well-nigh autocratic. He gave to Republicanism a decided affirmative in action, and kept the Federals on a distractive defensive but little removed from the sharp agony that presaged a not distant death.
The unpopular Embargo Act of 1807 proved to be a Republican boomerang, by which the Federals profited to the extent of greatly reducing Republican majorities for Madison as President and in the House. But threats of war with England, and finally the war of 1812, served to vender Madison's reflection sure. Just here a notable change came over the spirit of the Republican party. The ordeal of war had taught it the necessity of doing many titings for the safety of the country it had before repudiated as Federal measures. If Federalism was dying, Republicanism was honoring it by occupying its ground on most of the questions relating to national preservation. While dire emergency was the excuse, the same excuse had not been accepted as geod Federal logic. But more than this, a new school of thought had sprung up within Republican ranks. It was critical, independent, largely Federal in that it found in the preservation of our commerce grounds for opposition to the war, progressive, in that it favored internal improvement, liberal in that it ob' jected to the Republican idea of strict construction. It did not dread the title Jacobin, and was rather pleased with the title Democrat. Indeed, as Clintonian Democrats, it made its presence and strength felt in the national election of 1812, when it nominated De Witt Clinton for the presidency, which nomination was accepted by the Federals as the best that then offered.
President Madison felt that the peace of 1814, meaning less though it was, was a narrow escape for him and the Republican party. The war, unpopular though it was, had proven another nail in the Federal coffin. Inflamed partisanship formed in the Hartford convention a weapon both keen for cutting and blunt for beating. The Federal decay was thenceforth rapid. The party nominated Rufus King for the presidency in 1816, but carried only Massachusetts, Connecticut and Delaware.
Upon the election of Monroe, in 1816, came what was called "The era of good feeling." Organized Federal opposition had nearly ceased. The Republican House organized by the unanimous election of Henry Clay as Speaker. He was one of the liberal and advanced Republicans, able to carry his party with him as to protection, internal improvement, and even the establishment of a national bank, all favorite Federal measures. Calhoun belonged to his school of thought. President Monroe favored it. The old, or strict construction, school of Republicans looked with alarm on the daily growing strength, number and boldness of the new element in their ranks. Tiie movement, so ably led, so aggressive, so fully supported by Federal aid as to absorb the remains of that party and stamp its extinction as complete, proved to be the germ of a new party, whose growth was hastened by the slavery discussions over the entry of Missouri as a State in 1818-20, and by the distinct affirmation of the protective doctrine in the same years. The latter doctrine fairly divided the Republican ranks.
There were really no political parties in 1820, Monroe being chosen President without opposition, and without even a nomination by the Republicans. In the 16th Congress, Nov. 1820, Clay resigned the Speakership of the House. The election of his successor showed that the new and liberal wing of the Republican party was now the stronger, for Taylor of New York, the successful candidate, was equally, if not further, advanced than Clay in his advocacy of a protective tariff and internal improvements, and in his opposition to the extension of slavery in the territories.
During Monroe's second term, 1821-25, the contention between the old school element of the Republican party and the new, or liberal, school, grew bitter, and the breach rapidly widened. Monroe broke with the liberals, and opposed internal improvement. The contention reached down to the masses. The election of Clay as Speaker of