By his casting vote at a critical period during the debate in the Senate on the tariff bill of 1846, he irretrievably lost his influence with the protectionist element of his native state, to whom he had given assurances of his support of the Tyler tariff of 1842.
The elected members under the leadership of Dr Mizzi clamoured for more power, opposed reforms and protested against the carrying of government measures by the casting vote of a military governor as president of the council.
If this be true, it follows that the office of polemarch must have lost its military importance, which was not the case, inasmuch as the polemarch at Marathon gave the casting vote in favour of immediate battle.
On the 28th of April 1796, when the Republicans, hostile to the Jay Treaty, were on the point of holding up the appropriation necessary for its execution, Ames, who had just arisen from a sick-bed, made what has been considered the greatest speech of his life; before the delivery of his speech his opponents had claimed a majority of six, but the appropriation was finally passed, in the committee of the whole, by the casting vote of the chairman.
Thereupon Washington, fearing that war might result, appointed Jay minister extraordinary to Great Britain to negotiate a new treaty, and the Senate confirmed the appointment by a vote of 18 to 8, although the non-intercourse resolution which came from the house a few days later was defeated in the senate only by the casting vote of Vice-President John Adams. Jay landed a Falmouth in June 1794, signed a treaty with Lord Grenville on the 19th of November, and disembarked again at New York on the 28th of May 1795.