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Anne Soulard, Paul Wenker, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed
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THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
IN TWO PARTS
PART I
1783-1830

BY EDWIN ERLE SPARKS, PH. D.




PREFACE



The story of the United States has frequently been told. It has been
told in the spirit of boasting, as a marvel of local accomplishment.
It has been told in the spirit of reverence, as the work of a chosen
people under a special dispensation of Providence. Its glory has been
ascribed now to one political party and now to another. Its success
has been attributed to various statesmen and to different sections.

The Union has been viewed from one point as originally the creature
of the States, whose powers it afterward ungratefully usurped and whose
intent it wilfully perverted to its own aggrandisement. It has been
regarded from another viewpoint as something inherent in the soil of
a new world, manifest in various colonial functions, and brought fully
to life and supremacy at the time of separation from England. An effort
is made in this narrative to find truth in a medium ground; to trace
the gradual evolution of a confederated republic under the laws of
necessity; to acknowledge that radical departures have been made from
first ideals as a result of progress; to take into constant
consideration the underlying forces of heredity and environment. It
will be necessary to omit many of the details commonly found in a
history of the United States for the sake of considering only those
centralising or decentralising factors which have aided or hindered
the unification of the States. In brief, an attempt is made in these
two volumes to tell the story of the _United_ States; to show how the
phrase "The United States is" has been slowly and unconsciously evolved
in the process of time from the early practice of saying "The United
States are."




CONTENTS



CHAPTER

I. A UNION IN FORM ONLY

II. THE PROBLEMS OF THE BACK LANDS

III. THE CARE OF THE PUBLIC LANDS

IV. FAILURE OF THE CONFEDERACY

V. REFORMING THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT

VI. ADOPTING A NATIONAL CONSTITUTION

VII. BEGINNING AN EFFICIENT GOVERNMENT

VIII. SUMMONING THE GENII OF THE IMPLIED POWERS

IX. NATIONAL CENTRALISATION

X. FIRST LESSONS IN NATIONAL OBEDIENCE

XI. NATIONAL PARTIES ON FOREIGN ISSUES

XII. SUPPRESSING THE FRENCH SYMPATHISERS

XIII. THE FIRST STATE PROTESTS

XIV. THE ADVENT OF DEMOCRACY

XV. STRICT CONSTRUCTION AN IMPOSSIBILITY

XVI. AMERICAN NEUTRALITY LOST IN WAR

XVII. TRANSFER OF PARTY POLICIES

XVIII. SECTIONAL DISCORD OVER TERRITORY

XIX. ANNOUNCEMENT OF NATIONAL INDIVIDUALITY

XX. FULL FRUITS OF AMERICANISM




ILLUSTRATIONS


SIGNATURES TO THE DEFINITE TREATY OF 1783
Original in the Department of State.

TITLE-PAGE OF A COPY OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
This copy was printed in 1777.

THE OLD BLOCKHOUSE AT MACKINAC, 1780

MAP SHOWING WESTERN LAND

MAP SHOWING THE PROPOSED WESTERN STATES
From Morse's American Gazetteer.

NATHAN DANE'S DRAFT OF THE ANTI-SLAVERY CLAUSE IN THE ORDINANCE OF 1787

DR. CUTLER'S CHURCH AND PARSONAGE AT IPSWICH HAMLET, 1787
The place from which the first company started for the Ohio, December 3,
1787.

A PETITION FROM CONGRESS TO THE STATES

SIGNATURES TO AN ADDRESS OF THE INHABITANTS OF PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY
Now in the archives of the Department of State.

SIGNATURES OF DELEGATES TO ANNAPOLIS CONVENTION

MANASSEH CUTLER

COPY OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND THE CONSTITUTION IN PARALLEL
COLUMNS
The foot-notes show that it is an Anti-Federal print.

FIRST DRAFT OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

LAST PAGE OF THE MINUTES OF THE OLD CONGRESS
Preserved in the archives of the Department of State.

HEADING OF THE FIRST LAW PASSED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION

FEDERAL HALL, NEW YORK CITY

THE PRESIDENTIAL MANSION, FRANKLIN SQUARE, NEW YORK CITY, 1789

CERTIFICATE OF DEBT AGAINST THE UNITED STATES
From the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.

A HALF-PAGE OF THE X Y Z DISPATCHES
From the original in the Department of State.

THE CITY OF WASHINGTON
From a drawing made about 1800, before the site was graded.

WESTERN ARKS AT NEW ORLEANS
From Hall's "Etchings in America."

TAKING POSSESSION OF THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE

WRITTEN LAW OF THE NORTH-WEST TERRITORY
A law passed at Vincennes, now Indiana, against gambling..

PRESIDENT JEFFERSON'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS

BLANK COMMISSION FOR PRIVATEER IN WAR OF 1812

DISLOYALTY OF NEW ENGLAND DURING THE WAR

THE PRESIDENT'S TEMPORARY RESIDENCE, 1815

MAP SHOWING ADVANCE OF POPULATION

THE CAPITOL BURNED BY THE BRITISH ARMY
From Torrey's "American Slave Trader."

WASHINGTON IRVING
From the etching by Jacques Reich.

JOHN MARSHALL
Chief Justice of the United States, 1801-1836.

WESTERN END OF THE GREAT ERIE CANAL
Drawn with the Camera Lucida for Hairs "Etchings of the West."




CHAPTER I

A UNION IN FORM ONLY



When did the sovereign nation of the United States begin? From one
point of view, it was called into existence by the motion for
Independence passed by the Continental Congress on the second day of
July, 1776, when the people of the rebelling British colonies in
America, by action of their representatives, assumed a free and
independent position. But a motion is intangible. It is an act, of
which the announcement is the visible result. "A decent respect to the
opinions of mankind" prompted the Congress on July 4, 1776, to "declare
the causes" which impelled it to separation. This date is accepted in
the popular mind, as well as by official action, as the beginning of
national existence. If recognition by other powers be assumed as the
criterion, the sovereignty began in 1778, when treaties of alliance
and commerce were signed with France. But if the actions indicated
above were incidental steps to the commencement of sovereignty, if a
general recognition by nations be necessary, together with the consent
of the former owner, and a restoration of peace and order, then the
real story of the United States begins on September 3, 1783. This
conclusion is reached by considering fact as well as form.

[Illustration: SIGNATURES TO THE DEFINITIVE TREATY OF 1783. Original in
the Department of State Washington. D. Hartey was given power by the King
of England and Adams, Franklin, and Jay by the Congress of the United
States. Individual seals were used.]

A few days after that date, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John
Jay wrote from Paris to the president of the Continental Congress at
Philadelphia:

"On the 3d instant, definite treaties were concluded between all the
late belligerent powers except the Dutch, who the day before settled and
signed preliminary articles of peace with Britain. We most sincerely and
cordially congratulate Congress and our country in general on this happy
event; and we hope that the same kind Providence which has led us
through a vigorous war to an honourable peace will enable us to make a
wise and moderate use of that inestimable blessing."

Thus happily ended more than eight years of warfare and almost two
years of negotiation. The disturbed conditions of war gave way rapidly
to the normal condition of peace. The four European powers, which had
been drawn into war by the American cause, adjusted their disturbed
relations. The King of England, at the next opening of Parliament,
acknowledged the loss of a portion of his American possessions. John
Adams with his family crossed from France to England to represent the
new nation. The archives of the republic showed treaties with France,
the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Sweden, soon to be followed by
similar acknowledgments from Prussia and Morocco. A national frame of
government had been adopted by the new power. Peace prevailed throughout
the land. Local government was established in every State. In external
appearance as well as internal form the career of the independent
republic of the United States had most auspiciously begun.

But the course of events was soon to dispel the illusion; to show that
it was a union in form only and not in affection. Conversion from
provincial colonists into liberal-minded unionists was not to be so
easily effected. A feeling of true nationality must await years of
growth. Confidence in each other had not yet replaced fear and
suspicion. That the first attempt to come into a union could have been
a success, that a sacrifice to the god Provincialism could have been
avoided, seems in retrospect impossible.

This period of fear of centralisation, which began even before the
close of the Revolutionary War, a time of mutual distrust, of paramount
individualism, is little known and rarely dwelt upon at present. Perhaps
the omission is due to a happy nature, which recalls only the pleasant
events of the past. The school-texts dismiss it with a few paragraphs;
statesmen rarely turn to its valuable lessons of experience; and to
the larger number of the American people, the statement that we have
lived since our independence under a national frame of government other
than the Constitution is a matter of surprise. A writer of fiction
somewhere describes two maiden sisters, one of whom had a happy and
the other a melancholy disposition. In recalling the family history,
one could remember all the marriages and the other all the deaths. To
recall only national successes is undoubtedly most pleasant; but
posterity sitting ever at the feet of History gains a more valuable
lesson by including the failures of the past.

Criticism of the Confederation which our fathers framed to take the
place of British rule must be tempered by the reflection that the
action was taken while the land was in the chaos of war. Praise is due
their genius for organisation, inherited from the mother country they
were warring against, which enabled them to contemplate a new form of
government while engaged in dissolving the old. The Government is dead;
long live the Government. According to the intention, there was to be
no interregnum in which Anarchy might rear his ugly head, and destroy
existing forms and instincts of government.



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