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.But the winning argument proved to be Hamilton’s, which cited the “necessary and proper” clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) to sanction congressional authority as one of the implied powers inherent in the Constitution.Hamilton quoted, almost verbatim, the argument made in Federalist 44, which everyone presumed he had written: “No axiom is more clearly established in law, or in reason, than that wherever a general power to do a thing is given, every particular power necessary for doing it, is included.”17This argument not only won the day, but also established an expansive precedent for federal power with almost limitless implications and applications.Madison must have cringed as Hamilton’s argument was read out loud in the House, because he, not Hamilton, was the author of Federalist 44.His earlier incarnation as an unbridled nationalist was now being thrown in his face.It was not just the bank itself, then, that terrified Madison and his fellow Virginians, though that source of dread was real enough.It was the open-ended definition of federal power on which the bank was authorized, which in effect gave the federal government a roving mandate to extend its authority wherever it wished, to include the thoroughly vulnerable issue of slavery.In the Republican vision of the current political situation, most especially its distinctive Virginia version, corrupt “money-men” were making fortunes by shuffling pieces of paper while whispering insulting jokes about the unknowing yeoman farmers they were fleecing.But neither Jefferson nor Madison was really a farmer.(Neither man ever did a full day’s work in the fields.) They and the Virginia constituency they represented were planters, and the labor source on which the plantation economy rested, ever so precariously it turned out, was slavery.So the whisperings they detected among the Federalist conspirators made perfect sense because they mirrored their own whisperings about the subject that could not be talked about openly.Indeed, apart from its obvious economic and moral significance, the slavery issue created an environment conducive to a conspiratorial mentality, a political world in which the unspoken was all-important, secrecy was an essential attribute for success, suspicion was wholly justified, mutual trust was foolishly naive, and one’s deepest motives were presumed to be hidden.In that sense, the Republican view of the Federalists enjoyed such credibility in Virginia because it was a projection onto their enemies of a deceptive agenda with which they had a deep and intimate experience.CULTIVATING THE COVERTEXPLAINING MADISON’S conversion to the Republican camp is a tricky business, in part because Madison’s thought process was always more serpentine than simple, in part because the switch was almost breathtakingly dramatic, from the leader of the ultra-nationalists at the Constitutional Convention and the Virginia ratifying convention to the leader of the opposition that challenged the legitimacy of everything he had previously advocated.One obvious explanation is Jefferson’s influence.Upon Jefferson’s return from France, so the story goes, Madison resumed his customary position as acolyte to his Monticello mentor, a subordinate posture in which he remained perfectly comfortable for the next thirty years, even during his own presidency, ending only with Jefferson’s death.This explanation fits the folds of Madison’s personality, which instinctively recoiled from the glare at center stage, relished performing the essential behind-the-scenes tasks for which others received the credit, and genuinely worshipped the ground that Jefferson walked on.On the other hand, the explanation is not only too neat and simple, it is historically, or at least chronologically, incorrect.For Madison’s conversion began in the winter and spring of 1790, before Jefferson arrived on the scene in New York.A second explanation, not wholly incompatible with the first, is that Hamilton’s Report on Public Credit (1790) truly stunned Madison with its aggressive projection of federal control over fiscal policy, for this was not a version of the national ethos that Madison had in mind two years earlier.A corollary to this explanation, which surfaced most explicitly during the debate over the Quaker petitions against slavery, is that he felt obliged to represent the interests of his Virginia constituents, for whom control over what he called “that species of property” was not a negotiable issue [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]