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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    as the only expedient for baffling the policy of the particular States

    Does "as the only expedient for baffling the policy of the particular States which had set the example" mean "(the general ticket simply makes the policy of the particular states confusing to the public. Such states set the example (of the general ticket). And now, they have to face the music - to face the difficult situation - violating the spirit of the Constitution )"?

    ————————————————————————

    I agree entirely with you in thinking that the election of Presidential Electors by districts, is an amendment very proper to be brought forward at the same time with that relating to the eventual choice of President by the H. of Reps. The district mode was mostly, if not exclusively in view when the Constitution was framed & adopted; and was exchanged for the general ticket & the Legislative election, as the only expedient for baffling the policy of the particular States which had set the example. A constitutional establishment of that mode will doubtless aid in reconciling the smaller States to the other change which they will regard as a concession on their part. And it may not be without a value in another important respect. The States when voting for President by general tickets or by their Legislatures, are a string of beeds: When they make their elections by districts, some of these differing in sentiment from others, and sympathizing with that of districts in other States, they are so knit together as to break the force of those Geographical & other noxious parties which might render the repulsive too strong for the cohesive tendencies within the political System.

    (The fifth passage of)
    -
    James Madison to George Hay, 23 August 1823

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    Last edited by GoodTaste; 24-Nov-2016 at 20:08.

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: as the only expedient for baffling the policy of the particular States

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in the early 19th century baffle could mean to disgrace, to subject to public disgrace, to speak in terms of contempt. I think in the quoted text it could mean "to argue convincingly against".
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: as the only expedient for baffling the policy of the particular States

    To 'baffle' also means to restrain, reduce, or regulate the unwanted noise of something. Thus if you considered a particular policy irritating or harmful, it makes sense to try and 'baffle' it, i.e. reduce or insulate against its effects.

    Thus, he's saying that the general ticket and legislative election was seen as way off reducing the policies of certain states which had already adopted the district mode.
    Last edited by Skrej; 25-Nov-2016 at 03:58. Reason: clarifying
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