Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/233

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
222
Ch. 8.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

relations with Jefferson were intimate. Robert Smith was a Baltimore gentleman, easy and cordial, glad to oblige and fond of power and show, popular in the navy, yielding in the Cabinet, but as little fitted as Jefferson himself for the task of administering with severe economy an unpopular service. The navy was wholly Federalist in tendencies and composition. The Republican party had always denounced this Federalist creation; and that a navy caused more dangers than it prevented or corrected, was one of the deepest convictions that underlay the policy of Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin. In theory they had no use for a sea-going navy; at the utmost they wanted only coast and harbor defences, sloops-of-war and gunboats. During the four years of the last Administration, of a total expenditure averaging about $11,000,000 per annum, not less than $2,500,000 had been annually spent on the navy. The public debt itself required only about $4,500,000, and the army less than $3,000,000. Economies in the debt were impossible; on the contrary, a mass of deferred annuities was to be met, and some provision must be made for more rapid discharge of the principal. Economies in the civil list were equally impossible; for the Federalists had there wasted little money, and salaries were low. The army and navy could alone be cut down; and since the Western people required regular troops for their defence against the Indians, the most radical reformers hardly ventured to recommend that the army should be reduced much below