Page:Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.djvu/17

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THE KENTUCKY RESOLUTIONS OF 1798.


CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.

The history of the Resolutions of 1798, of the causes which led to them, their authorship, and their influence upon the history of the United States, involves so many problems, and those problems are of so nice a character, that any one must needs feel the greatest hesitancy in undertaking to write it. Questions that have divided men into parties and factions, especially if bitter feelings have been engendered and conflicts provoked by them, must always afford difficult fields for the historian. The partisan finds little to commend in the conclusions of the most righteous judge, and if the doctrinaire has preëmpted the domain, his judgments are apt to prevail with those whose natural inclinations lead in the direction which he has pursued. Party passion on each side has done its worst to make the history of these resolutions difficult, and doctrinaires have appeared to represent almost every possible point of view. Much as

I