The First U.S. Party System: Events, Issues, and Positions — http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=557
To the Electors of the Southern District of the State of New York
Annotated excerpts from the EDSITEment resource American Memory [http://memory.loc.gov/
recNum=0]. NOTE: The language in the following is from the original. However, some spelling
and punctuation has been standardized to avoid confusion. Words in italics are defined in the
parentheses that follow. Periods of ellipsis represent gaps in the text.
Being responsible means having a program. The paragraph beginning with “Examine the history
of the general Government for the last four years” implies the Republican program through its
criticism of Federalist policies. The author goes on to outline the general Republican program in
the second paragraph.
Examine the history of the general Government for the last four years. What does it
exhibit but a series of usurpation (power grabs) and extravagance? Nothing was heard of
but war or preparations for war. A navy was established to protect our commerce against
the attacks of one power, but permitted to yield to the insolence, rapacity and arbitrary
pretensions of another. Army establishments were introduced—the public debt
accumulated—offices multiplied, and those who possessed the patriotism and firmness to
disapprove of their pernicious measures, reproached & treated as enemies of their
country. Taxes were increased--monies borrowed at an exorbitant interest—monarchical
doctrines countenanced (tolerated) & encouraged—republican principles censured &
traduced (criticized)—the powers of the President augmented beyond the limits of the
constitution—Alien and Sedition laws enacted, and our citizens prosecuted and
imprisoned for censuring the encroachments of the administration, and advocating with
fidelity and firmness, the rights of the people.
Happily for the United States, the good se