Page:Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.djvu/20

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4 Introduction.

fact. There were many men, indeed, who were for strengthening the federal head, who yet refused assent to the constitution offered them, but this was on specific not on general grounds.

When once the youthful nation was launched on her voyage with the new Constitution, there was a rapid and radical shifting on the part of many. The terms Federalist and Anti-Federalist were applied to very different men at dates so near together as 1788 and 1790; and in a few more years there were fewer still who retained their old party-name, and this without any change of principles. Some of those who on various grounds had made the most determined fight in their several States against ratification, be- came under the new order of things devoted to the party of the administration, which claimed for itself the right to live under the honorable symbol of their late victory, the name of Federalist. No more no- table instance of this class could be cited than the leader of the Virginia minority, the eloquent Henry. Once committed to the new form, he became one of the President's staunchest coadjutors. On the other hand, Madison and Jefferson, who had been so instrumental in bringing about the Annapolis convention, and the former of whom had played such an able part in the Philadelphia conven- tion, drifted in the opposite direction. Jef- ferson who had wavered somewhat at first, was all for the Constitution if the amendments which were eventually secured could be obtained. But by all the dictates of his taste and temper he favored the least centralized form of government that would