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His fears were well-grounded, for the letters were reprinted in newspapers throughout the country, and their powerful and temperate arguments made converts and strengthened the friends of the administration everywhere. The approaching surrender of the posts gratified the western people when they at last stopped to think about it. The obnoxious provision order was revoked, and the traders and merchants found that security and commerce even under unpleasant restrictions were a great deal better than the uncertainty and the vexatious hostilities to which they had before been exposed. Those who had been silent, although friendly to the policy of the government, now began to meet in their turn and send addresses to Congress; for in the House of Representatives the last battle was to be fought. That body came together under the impression of the agitation and excitement which had been going on all through the summer. There was a little wrangling at the opening over the terms to be employed in the answer to the President's message, and then the House relapsed into quiet, awaiting the formal announcement of the treaty. At last the treaty arrived with the addition of the suspending article, and the President proclaimed it to be the law of the land, and sent a copy to the House, Livingston, of New York, at once moved a resolution, asking the President to send in all the papers relating to the negotiation, and boldly placed the motion on the ground that the House was vested with a discretionary power as to carrying the treaty into execution. On this principle the debate went on for three weeks, and then the resolution passed by 62 to 37. A great constitutional question was thus raised, for there was no pretence that the papers were really needed, inasmuch as committees had seen them all, and they contained practically nothing which was not already known. Washington took the request into consideration, and asked his cabinet whether the House had the right, as set forth in the resolutions, to call for the papers, and if not, whether it was expedient to furnish them. Both questions were unanimously answered in the negative. The inquiry was largely formal, and Washington had no real doubts on the point involved. He wrote to Hamilton: “I had from the first moment, and from the fullest conviction in my own mind, resolved to resist the principle, which was evidently intended to be established by the call of the House of Representatives; and only deliberated on the manner in which this could be done with the least bad consequences.” His only question was as to the method of resistance, and he finally decided to refuse absolutely, and did so in a message setting forth his reasons. He said that the intention of the constitutional convention was known to him, and that they had intended to vest the treaty-making power exclusively in the Executive and Senate. On that principle he had acted, and in that belief foreign nations had negotiated, and the House had hitherto acquiesced. He declared

further that the assent of the House was not necessary to the validity of treaties; that they had all necessary information; and “as it is essential to the due administration of the government that the boundaries fixed by the Constitution should be preserved, a just regard to the Constitution and to the duty of my office, under all the circumstances of this case, forbid a compliance with your request.” The question was a difficult one, but there could be no doubt as to Washington's opinion, and the weight of authority has sustained his view. From the practical and political side there can be little question that his position was extremely sound. In a letter to Carrington he gave the reasons for his action, and no better statement of the argument in a general way has ever been made. He wrote : —

“No candid man in the least degree acquainted with the progress of this business will believe for a moment , that the ostensible dispute was about papers, or whether the British treaty was a good one or a bad one, but whether there should be a treaty at all without the concurrence of the House of Representatives. This was striking at once, and that boldly, too, at the fundamental orinciples of the Constitution; and, if it were established, would render the treaty-making power not only a nullity, but such an absolute absurdity as to reflect disgrace on the framers of it. For will any one suppose that they who framed, or those who adopted, that instrument ever intended to give the power to the President and Senate to make treaties, and, declaring that when made and ratified they should be the supreme law of the land

would in the same breath place it in the power of the House of Representatives to fix their vote on them, unless apparent marks of fraud or corruption (which in equity would set aside any contract) accompanied the measure, or such striking evidence of national injury attended their adoption as to make a war or any other evil preferable 2 Every unbiased mind will answer in the negative. “What the source and what the object of all this struggle is, I submit to my fellow-citizens. Charity would lead me to hope that the motives to it would be pure. Suspicions, however, speak a different language, and my tongue for the present shall be silent.”

No man who has ever held high office in this country had a more real deference for the popular will than Washington. But he also had always a keen sensitiveness to the dignity and the prerogatives of the office which he happened to hold, whether it was that of president or general of the armies. This arose from no personal feeling, for he was too great a man ever to worry about his own dignity; but he esteemed the great offices to which he was called to be trusts, which were to suffer no injury while in his hands. He regarded the present attempt of the House of Representatives as an encroachment on the rights of the Executive Department, and he therefore resisted it at once, and after his fashion left no one in any doubt as to his views. So far as the President was concerned, the struggle ended here; but it was continued for some time longer in the House, where the debate went on for a fortnight, with the hostile majority surely and steadily declining. The current out-doors ran more and more strongly every day in favor of the administration, until at last the contest ended with Ames's great speech, and then the resolution to carry out the treaty prevailed. Washington's policy had triumphed, and was accepted by the country. The Jay treaty and its ratification had, however, other results than mere domestic conflicts. Spain, acting under French influence, threatened to rescind the Pinckney treaty which had just been made so advantageously to the United States; but, like most Spanish performances at that time, these threats evaporated in words, and the Mississippi remained open. With France, however, the case was very different. Our demand for the recall of Genet had been met by a counter-demand for the recall of Morris, to which, of course, we were obliged to accede, and the question as to the latter's successor was a difficult and important one. Washington himself had been perfectly satisfied with the conduct of Morris, but he was also aware that the known dislike of that brilliant diplomatist to the revolutionary methods had seriously complicated our relations with France. He wished by all fair means to keep France in good humor, and he therefore determined that Morris's successor should be a man whose friendship toward the French republic was well known. His first choice was Madison, which would have answered admirably, for Madi

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