Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/32

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
Ch. 1.

nearly where President Washington had stood ten years before.

The New England hierarchy might grumble, but at heart Massachusetts was already converted. Only with the utmost difficulty, and at the cost of avoiding every aggressive movement, could the Federalists keep control of their State governments. John Randolph flattered himself that if Jefferson's personal authority were removed from the scale, Virginia would again incline to her old principles; but he was mistaken. So long as Virginia held power, she was certain to use it. At no time since the Declaration of Independence had the prospects of nationality seemed so promising as in the spring of 1805. With the stride of the last four years as a standard for the future, no man could measure the possible effects of the coming four years in extending the powers of the government and developing the prosperity of the nation. Gallatin already meditated schemes of internal improvements, which included four great thoroughfares across the Alleghanies, while Fulton was nearly ready with the steamboat. The Floridas could not escape the government's grasp. Even New England must at last yield her prejudices to the spirit of democratic nationality.

No one could wonder if Jefferson's head was somewhat turned by the splendors of such a promise. Sanguine by nature, he felt that every day made more secure the grandeur of his destiny. He could scarcely be blamed for putting a high estimate on the value