Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/297

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Chapter 11: The Judiciary Debate

The bill repealing the new Judiciary Act, having passed the Senate, February 3, was taken into consideration by the House, in Committee of the Whole, February 4, and caused the chief debate of the session. By common consent Giles and Bayard were accepted as the champions of the two parties, and their speeches were taken as the official arguments on either side. The men were equal to their tasks. For ten years William Branch Giles had been the most active leader of the extreme Republicans. A Virginian, born in 1762, he began his career as Member of Congress in 1791, by opposing the creation of a national bank. In 1793 he distinguished himself by an attack on Secretary Hamilton, charging him with peculation. In 1796 he led the opposition to Jay's Treaty. After opposing Washington's administration with consistency and severity during six years, he retired from Congress in 1798 in order to oppose Washington's successor with more effect in the legislature of Virginia. With James Madison, John Taylor of Caroline, and Wilson Cary Nicholas, he had taken an active part in the Resolutions of 1798, and his remarks in the debate of December, 1798, showed that he carried the extreme conclusions