Washington and adams
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Presidents Washington & Adams

Presidents Washington & Adams

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Washington and adams Washington and adams Presentation Transcript

  • Washington and Adams: Our First Two Presidents 1788-1800
  • Washington: The Obvious Choice     Acc. To Constitution, president was to be chosen by “electors” named by state legislatures Each elector had two ballots Washington was unanimous 1st choice (69 electoral votes) Under this system, the winner was president & person with secondgreatest number of votes became VP (it was Adams with 34 electoral votes) Washington takes the Oath of Office
  • Washington’s challenges Everything Washington did was a precedent  “We are in a wilderness without a single footstep to guide us.” -- Washington  US at the time easy prey US army < 700 officers and soldiers; no navy  Inaugural Address
  • The First “Cabinet”     Secretary of State: Thomas Jefferson Secretary of the Treasury: Alexander Hamilton Secretary of War: Henry Knox Attorney General: Edmund Randolph
  • Judiciary Act of 1789     Provided more details about Judicial Branch 6 Supreme Court justices (John Jay is first Chief Justice) (#s went up over time) Other lower federal courts Affirmed “supremacy clause” of Constitution (Article 6, Section 2): states could appeal to a federal court if constitutional issues were raised (e.g./ election results in Florida in 2000)
  • Hamilton v. Jefferson     Deep philosophical differences Both men greatly respected by Washington Become leaders of first political parties in US: Jefferson of DemocraticRepublicans, Hamilton of Federalists; the two-party system becomes wellentrenched after just a few years This despite Washington’s pleas to avoid partisanship in private and public comments (such as his Farewell Address)
  • Bank of the United States     Hamilton wanted a national Bank of the United States to issue paper money and handle tax receipts and other government funds A problem: not called for directly in Constitution A debate: strict vs. loose interpretation (see Article I, Section 8 – “elastic clause” Hamilton gets his Bank, by…
  • Our Nation’s Capital        Had been Philadelphia In 1789, it’s New York City (then back to Philly) Plans are made to create a new city centrally located to appeal to Northerners and Southerners: the District of Columbia Built on a swamp along Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia Pierre L’Enfant and Benjamin Banneker (African American) are among the engineers whose grand vision is realized Becomes nation’s capital in 1800 (Adams the first president to live in White House – the “President’s House”) To this day, unique relationship to US; not a state
  • The Whiskey Rebellion • • • • • The federal government needed money The first federal tax on Americans was an excise tax on distilleries (alcohol producers) Farmers in Western Pennsylvania distilled corn into whiskey; more profitable & practical Some attacked tax collectors and many refused to pay the tax In 1794. Washington called up 15,000 militiamen and personally led them over Allegheny Mountains in show of force; rebellion ended with no loss of life
  • Meanwhile, in Europe…         In summer of 1789, as new US government is forming, French Revolution begins French citizens demand “liberte, egalite, fraternite” During Reign of Terror , the guillotine becomes a symbol of the mob out of control; in fight against tyranny, the mob becomes tyrannical The rest of Europe (Old Order) is scared revolutionary ideas will spread and fight France Most radical leaders in France are Jacobins ; their supporters in US are labeled Jacobins, too Jefferson (& Democratic-Republicans) a strong supporter of France; Hamilton (& Federalists) of Great Britain Washington decides in 1793 to remain neutral Jefferson soon resigns from Cabinet
  •    War with Native Americans, Britain? American settlers continue to move west of the Appalachian Mountains into lands US “won” in American Revolution in Northwest Territory Native Americans disagree that their lands were won by anyone and resist Native Americans successful at first but eventually suffer great losses at Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794
  • Jay’s Treaty The Jay Treaty signed between US and Great Britain in 1794 after Battle of Fallen Timbers; many Americans angry with details: no assurance that Americans could not be “pressed” into service in British navy, British allowed to continue fur trade along Canadian border; but Britain did agree to leave Northwest territory and war had been averted
  • Pinckney’s Treaty
  • Adams’ turn     Adams as VP: active as President of the Senate (more tiebreaking votes – 31 -- than any other VP & spent more time in Senate presiding than any other VP) But greatly frustrated by the job: “Gentlemen, I feel a great difficulty how to act. I am Vice President. In this I am nothing, but I may be everything.” Washington decides not to seek a third term, retires to Mount Vernon (where he dies three years later) In Washington’s Farewell Address , he warns against entangling alliances with European countries
  • Election of 1796       Parties… Negative campaign ads (Adams is called “His Rotundity”, Jefferson labeled a coward and atheist) Adams (a Federalist) receives 71 electoral votes, Jefferson (a Democratic-Republican) receives 68 A problem: Pres and VP from different parties sectionalism 16 states (incl. Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee)
  • War with France?   French upset about the Jay Treaty French navy begins seizing American ships bound for Britain
  • XYZ Affair and undeclared war     Pinckney, Marshall and Elbridge Gerry to France on secret peace mission “X, Y, and Z”; they demand payment (bribe) of $250,000 to let the Americans meet with top French foreign minister War seems imminent; in fact, it’s an undeclared war for 2 years as Congress creates navy and authorizes American ships to seize French vessels; Washington called out of retirement to lead army Official war is averted – Adams considers it one of greatest accomplishments, in part because he denies Hamilton power to become an American “Bonaparte” (army is disbanded since there’s no one to fight)
  • Alien and Sedition Acts         Idea emerged out of anti-French sentiment In 1798, Federalists pushed through Congress four measures that became known as the Alien and Sedition Acts (& Adams signed into law) Alien acts gave president power to deport or jail any alien considered undesirable Sedition Act prohibited any expression of “false, scandalous, and malicious statements” against the government Still law when Adams ran for re-election in 1800 12 had been charged and convicted under the law (incl. NJ man who made fun of Adams posterior – arrested and fined $150) Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: states’ rights??? Madison and Jefferson (leading Democratic-Republicans) secretly wrote these resolutions proposing nullification Sedition Act terminated in 1801