The presidency of john adams

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Chapter 8 Section 4 Prentice Hall American Nation
John Adams' Presidency

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The presidency of john adams

  1. 1. The Presidency of John Adams Chapter 8 Section 4
  2. 2. Troubles with France • France did not like the fact that America had decided to have a treaty with Britain. They thought that showed partiality. To them, America was not being neutral the way that Washington had said they would be. • France continued to take ships, and then snubbed the new U.S. diplomat, Charles Pinckney.
  3. 3. XYZ Affair Adams sent Elbridge Gerry and John Marshall to join Charles Pinckney in October 1797 to negotiate a new treaty with France. • France’s Prime Minister Talleyrand sent three diplomats to meet them, but they would not negotiate until these terms were met:  pay a bribe(tribute) of $250,000 to Talleyrand himself  provide a $10 million low-interest loan to France *When the American negotiators gave their reports, they called the Frenchmen by the names X, Y, and Z.
  4. 4. XYZ Affair (continued) • The American negotiators refused the bribe, and talks failed. • Jefferson, who was partial to the French, thought perhaps Adams was just spinning this story in some way to make the French look bad. He insisted that Adams make public the messages that were sent from the U.S. diplomats. • Little did Jefferson know, but now people would be really mad at France. Many said, “Millions for defense, but not a sixpence for tribute.”
  5. 5. War Fever • Adams took advantage of the negative publicity for the French. With Federalists calling for war, Adams convinced Congress to instead beef up the navy with more frigates and increase the size of the army. He made his own party mad at him. • Adams successfully avoided all-out war. The U.S. and France fought only a quasi-war at sea between 1798 and 1800. • When Napoleon came to power in France in 1800, he had enough going on with England; he agreed to stop seizing American ships.
  6. 6. Alien Acts • Federalists had begun to fear that new immigrants might side with Republicans. • Federalists in Congress created laws called the Alien Acts in 1798 that said:  Aliens must be here 14 years (no longer only five) to become a citizen.  The President has the power to deport or imprison any alien that he thinks is dangerous.
  7. 7. Sedition Act • Republicans strongly criticized the Federalists in government positions. • The Federalists in Congress pushed through a law making it illegal to insult the President, any other government official, or the government in general. • Within a year, at least 10 people were imprisoned. A political cartoon is just one of many ways that people exercise free speech to criticize the government today. Which Amendment went against the Sedition Act?
  8. 8. Republican Reaction to Alien and Sedition Acts • • James Madison and Thomas Jefferson anonymously helped Virginia and Kentucky legislatures write resolutions saying the A & S Acts were unconstitutional. Jefferson wrote the resolution for KY. Although the A & S Acts had expiration dates and died out soon, Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions opened the door for future debates about nullification of federal laws by the states. Madison wrote the resolution for VA.

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