ained under it neither dignity, consideration, security, nor even solvency.
The central or national authority, left dependent on the concurrent action of the several States for the very means of existence, was exhibited often in the attitude of a genteel beggar, rather than of a sovereign.
Congress attempted to impose a very moderate tariff for the payment of interest on the general or foreign debt, contracted in support of the Revolutionary armies, but was baffled by the Legislature of Rhode Island-then a State of relatively extensive foreign commerce — which interposed its paralyzing veto.
Political impotence, commercial embarrassment, and general distress, finally overbore or temporarily silenced sectional jealousies and State pride, to such an extent that a Convention of delegates from a quorum of the States, called together rather to amend than to supersede the Articles of Confederation, was legally assembled at Philadelphia in 1787, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexan
00 votes — the totals being, Clay, 232,482, Polk, 237,588, Birney, 15,812;--one-third of the intensely anti-Slavery votes thrown away on Birney would have given the State to Mr. Clay, and elected him. The vote of Michigan was, in like manner, given to Polk by the diversion of anti-Slavery suffrages to Birney; but New York alone would have secured Mr. Clay's election, giving him 141 electoral votes to 134 for his opponent.
As it was, Mr. Clay received the electoral votes of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee--105 in all, being those of eleven States; while Mr. Polk was supported by Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Arkansas--fifteen States, casting 170 electoral votes.
The popular votes throughout the country, as returned, were, for Clay, 1,288,533; for Polk, 1,327,325; f