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By Cecil Chesterton

Writer: George H. Doran corporation booklet date: 1919 matters: usa background usa Fiction / Classics heritage / basic background / usa / normal heritage / usa / nation

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North and South differed so conspicuously not only in their social organization but in every habit of life and thought that neither would tamely bear to be engulfed in a union in which the other was to be predominant. To keep an even balance between them was long the principal effort of American statesmanship. That effort began in the Convention which framed the Constitution. It did not cease till the very eve of the Civil War. The problem with which the Convention had to deal was defined within certain well-understood limits.

At the close of the year 1793, Jefferson, weary of endless contests with Hamilton, whom he accused, not without some justification, of constantly encroaching on his colleague's proper department, not wholly satisfied with the policy of the Government and perhaps feeling that Genet's indiscretions had made his difficult task for the moment impossible, resigned his office. He would have done so long before had not Washington, sincerely anxious throughout these troubled years to hold the balance even between the parties, repeatedly exerted all his influence to dissuade him.

Of these the most important was the creation of the first United States Bank. Here Hamilton was quite certainly inspired by the example of the English Whigs. He knew how much the stability of the settlement made in 1689 had owed to the skill and foresight with which Montague, through the creation of the Bank of England, had attached to it the great moneyed interests of the City. He wished, through the United States Bank, to attach the powerful moneyed interests of the Eastern and Middle States in the same fashion to the Federal Government.

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