Page:Contemporary Opinion of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, p2.djvu/20

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244
F. M. Anderson

the right to judge for themselves whether the constitutional compact had been violated. Addison was concerned only to prove that the remedy hinted at by the third Virginia resolution and Madison's defense of it were incorrect. In this he succeeded beyond all question, but at the same time he unwittingly supplied one piece of conclusive evidence that many of the Federalists saw nothing out of the way in agreeing with their Republican opponents in the fundamental doctrine of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, that the Union is the result of a compact to which the states are the parties.

It only remains to add a few words upon one important question. How far were the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions influential in determining the presidential election of 1800? It has been often asserted that the principles of these resolutions were accepted by the American people in that election. Unless one can show by documentary evidence, as I have tried to do for the discussions of 1799, that these resolutions were discussed in the campaign of 1800 and their principles clearly made an issue, this amounts to nothing more than assertion. I have not been able to find any such documentary evidence. Invective against the Alien and Sedition Laws can be found in great plenty, but of direct allusions to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions or to their constitutional doctrines, I can find outside of Virginia only the very little that has been indicated in the two preceding paragraphs. From this evidence I am forced to conclude that the verdict of 1800, while a conclusive endorsement of the protest of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, was not, so far as can be shown, an endorsement of either the remedy hinted at or the principles upon which it was founded. In a word, the remedy and its principles were not an issue in that campaign.

Frank Maloy Anderson.   
Appendix.

For contemporary opinion of the Resolutions of 1798, Elliot's Debates (IV. 558–565), contains only the replies sent by six state legislatures and the Senate of New York to Virginia. The collection fails to represent adequately even the opinion of the state legislatures, since it does not include the replies sent to Kentucky and the resolutions which in several states were adopted by one or both houses of the legislature but not officially transmitted to Virginia and Kentucky. So far as I know no attempt has ever yet been made to supply the omissions in Elliot's collection. The following constitute all of the necessary supplement which I have been able to