Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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QUIDS (IN U. S. HISTORY), the name applied to the Randolph faction, in 1805-11. The quarrel in which it originated was really only a Virginia difficulty, a contest as to which of the two Virginia aspirants should be the successor of Jefferson. The politicians of that state had been in open antagonism to Washington, had yielded grudgingly to the overwhelming national strength of Jefferson, and many of them were disposed to nominate Monroe for the presidency in 1808, in order at one blow to satisfy their dislike to Jefferson and to Madison, who was Jefferson's choice for the succession. The ostensible opposition to Madison was grounded on the latter's incapacity, his cowardice, his political heresies in the "Federalist," (see that title), and his general lack of energy. The first breach in the dominant party occurred on the reference of the president's message in December, 1805. That part which related to the unfriendly actions of Spain in Florida was referred in the house to Randolph's committee, as he had been the administration leader, and he reported in flat opposition to the president's views. March 5, 1806, he formally declared war upon the administration as governing congress by "back-stairs influence," by "men who bring messages to this house which govern its decisions, although they do not appear on the journals," and by "the pages of the presidential water-closet." From that time the name "quid," meaning either a tertium quid, as distinguished from the two great parties, or a cast-out faction, was given to Randolph and a half-dozen supporters in congress. They opposed the restrictive system (see EMBARGO) and Madison's nomination in 1808 (see CAUCUS, CONGRESSIONAL), and nominated Monroe through a caucus of part of the Virginia legislature. Monroe's entrance into Madison's cabinet, April 2, 1811, ended the existence of the faction.


—See 3 Benton's Debates of Congress, 426; 1 Garland's Life of Randolph, 215, 277; 4 Jefferson's Works (edit. 1829), 44; 5 Hildreth's United States, 566.


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