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for France, and by his dislike of the Federalists and of their British proclivities. It is true that the bribe demanded by Talleyrand's agents might be considered, to use Mr. Jefferson's words, as “the turpitude of private swindlers ;” but the demand for a loan and for a retraction could be regarded only as national acts, being acts of the French government, although the bulk of the French people might repudiate them.

Whether Jefferson was right or wrong in the position which he took, he maintained it with superb self-confidence and aplomb. For the moment, the Federalists had everything their own way. They carried the election. Hamilton's oft-anticipated “crisis” seemed to have arrived at last. But Jefferson coolly waited till the storm should blow over. “ Our countrymen,” he wrote to a friend, " are essentially Republicans. They retain unadulterated the principles of ’76, and those who are conscious of no change in themselves have nothing to fear in the long run."

And so it proved. The ascendency of the Federalists was soon destroyed, and de


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stroyed forever, by the political crimes and follies which they committed ; and especially by the alien and sedition laws. The reader

. need hardly be reminded that the alien law gave the President authority to banish from the country “all such aliens as he should judge dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States,” – a despotic power which no king of England ever possessed. The sedition act made it a crime, punishable by fine and imprisonment, to speak or write anything “ false, scandalous, and malicious,” with intent to excite against either House of Congress or against the President," the hatred of the good people of the United States.” It can readily be seen what gross oppression was possible under this elastic law, interpreted by judges who, to a man, were members of the Federal party. Matthew Lyon, of Vermont, ventured to read aloud at a political meeting a letter which he had received expressing astonishment that the President's recent address to the House of Representatives had not been answered by “an order to send him to a mad-house.” For this Mr.

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