The first twelve years for an independent America were full of turmoil. A decade oflawbreaking (rebellion) and constitution smashing (Articles of Confederation) were notthe best training for govt. making. Americans had come to regard a central authority asa necessary evil – something to be distrusted, watched, and curbed.Finances of the infant govt. were likewise precarious. Revenue declined, whereas thepublic debt was mountainous. Worthless paper money was as plentiful as metallic moneywas scarce.The eyes of a skeptical world were on the upstart United States.
GROWING PAINSWhen the Constitution was launched in 1789, the Republic was continuing to grow at an amazing rate.1. What was the population doubling time? Population in 1790?2. What percent of the population was rural? What percent lived east of the Appalachian Mts.3. How loyal were the frontiersmen?
WASHINGTON for PRESIDENTGeneral Washington was unanimously drafted as president by the Electoral College in1789. His long journey from Mount Vernon to New York City, the temporary capital, wasa triumphal procession.
Identify and describe Washington’s strengths and weaknesses as a politician. Describe thepurpose of the cabinet? What were the original cabinet positions? And who held them?
THE BILL of RIGHTSThe new country faced some unfinished business – namely, guaranteeing individual rights such asfreedom of speech, religion, and trial by jury. Many states had ratified the Constitution on theunderstanding that it would be amended to include such guarantees.What were the two routes considered for adding amendments to the Constitution? Which routedid James Madison seize? And why did he pick this route? Adopted by the necessary number of states in 1791, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, popularly known as the Bill of Rights, safeguarded some of the most precious American principles (examples)?
Explain the purposes of both the9th and 10th Amendments.Describe the significance of theJudiciary Act of 1789. Who wasthe first chief justice of the U.S.?
HAMILTON REVIVES the CORPSE of PUBLIC CREDIT The key figure in the new govt. was Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton’s genius was unquestioned, but his opponents questioned his character and loyalty. How did Hamilton view himself?
A financial wizard, Hamilton set out to correct the economic vexations that had crippledthe Articles of Confederation. His plan was to shape the fiscal policies to favor thewealthier groups – why?The financier’s first objective was to bolster the national credit. He therefore boldlyurged Congress to “fund” the entire national debt through the process of “funding atpar” – explain. How did speculators exploit Hamilton’s program?Explain Hamilton’s convincing case for “assumption.” What states were delightedby his proposal? What states opposed this idea? What deal was made to ensurepassage of Hamilton’s fiscal policies?
CUSTOM DUTIES and EXCISE TAXESWith Congress passing Hamilton’s measure in 1790, the new country was dangerouslyoverloaded with debt. But Hamilton, “Father of the National Debt,” was not worried.He believed that within limits, a national debt was a “national blessing” – why? The money necessary to pay interest on this huge debt and run the govt. would come from custom duties (tariffs) and internal revenue (taxes). The first tariff (8%) was passed in 1789. It was designed to raise revenue and to protect infant American industries. What groups opposed this tariff? In 1791, Hamilton secured from Congress an excise tax on a few domestic items, notably whiskey (7 cents per gallon). The tax hit backcountry distillers particularly hard.
HAMILTON BATTLES JEFFERSON for a BANKAs the capstone for his financial system, Hamilton proposed a Bank of the UnitedStates. He took as his model the Bank of England. He proposed a powerful institution,of which the govt. would be the major stockholder. According to Hamilton, what werethe key benefits to this bank? The key issue would be whether the bank wasconstitutional.Jefferson, whose opinion Washington requested, argued vehemently against the bank. He insisted thatHamilton’s proposed bank was unconstitutional – explain Jefferson’s argument. Hamilton, also at Washington’s request, prepared a brilliantly reasoned reply to Jefferson’s argument. Explain his rationale in stating that the bank was constitutional.
Hamilton’s financial views prevailed. Washington reluctantly signed the bank measureinto law. Where was the strongest support for the bank? Where was the strongestopposition?The Bank of the U.S., as created by Congress in 1791, was chartered for 20 years. Itwas located in Philadelphia.
MUTINOUS MOONSHINERS in PENNSYLVANIAThe Whiskey Rebellion, which erupted in western Pennsylvania in 1794, sharplychallenged the new national govt. Hamilton’s high excise tax bore harshly on homespunpioneer folk. Resistance to the tax was swift, distillers boldly tarring and featheringrevenue officers. Tax collections ground to a halt.President Washington, once a revolutionist, was alarmed by the tax rebellion. With theencouragement of Hamilton, he summoned the militia of several states. What was hisbiggest fear with calling up the militia?The troops quickly put-down the ill-organized rebellion, and Washington was quick tomend bad feelings. Daniel Morgan
THE EMERGENCE of POLITICAL PARTIESAlmost overnight, Hamilton’s fiscal feats established the government’s sound creditrating. But his financial successes created political liabilities. All these schemesencroached sharply upon states’ rights.Out of resentment against Hamilton’s revenue-raising and centralizing policies, anorganized opposition began to build. What once was a personal feud between Hamiltonand Jefferson developed into a full-blown and bitter political rivalry.
The Founders at Philadelphia had not envisioned the existence of permanent political parties.Organized opposition to a democratic govt. seemed disloyal. When Jefferson and Madison firstorganized their opposition to the Hamiltonian program, they did not anticipate creating a long-livedand popular party.
The two-party system has existed in the U.S. since 1793. Ironically for the FoundingFathers, the competition created by multiple parties has proved to be among theindispensable ingredients of a sound democracy.
THE IMPACT of the FRENCH REVOLUTIONAs Washington’s second term began, foreign-policy issues brought the differencesbetween Hamilton and Jefferson to a fever pitch. The French Revolution began in1789, and few non-American events have left a deeper scar on American political andsocial life. Both Federalists and Jeffersonians supported the early stages of theFrench Revolution.
As the conflict turned bloody in 1793, lukewarm Federalist support turned to opposition(“mobocracy” was eliminating the aristocracy). Jeffersonians regretted thebloodshed, but they felt that one could nto expect to be carried from “despotism toliberty in a feather bed.” A few thousand aristocratic heads were a cheap price to payfor human freedom.The French Revolution would directly affect the U.S. when Britain became involved in theconflict. And as history would record to the present, the U.S. would inevitably becomeinvolved in European conflicts.
WASHINGTON’S NEUTRALITY PROCLAMATIONOminously, the Franco-American alliance of 1778 was still on the books, and this boundthe U.S. to help the French defend their West Indies against future foes. ManyJeffersonian Democratic-Republicans favored honoring the alliance. What was theirrationale? Level-headed Pres. Washington was not swayed by those wanting to openly support France. Backed by Hamilton, he believed that war had to be avoided at all costs. Why did he feel this way? Accordingly, Washington boldly issued his Neutrality Proclamation of 1793, shortly after the outbreak of war between Britain & France. This policy proved to be the seed of America’s isolationist tradition that would endure until the mid- 20th century. Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation clearly illustrates the truism that self interest is the basic cement of alliances. In 1778 both France & America stood to gain; in 1793, only France stood to gain.
EMBROILMENTS with BRITAINPresident Washington’s policy of neutrality was sorely tried by the British. Identify andexplain British infractions against American sovereignty and neutrality. Jeffersonians wanted to fight George III in defense of America’s liberties. But the Federalist stoutly resisted all demands for drastic action – why?
Explain the Treaty of Greenville and its significance.“Mad” Anthony Wayne
JAY’S TREATY and WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL President Washington, in a last desperate gamble to avert war, sent Chief Justice John Jay to London in 1794. Why were the Jeffersonians angry over the choice?
Unhappily, Jay entered the negotiations with weak cards. How did Hamilton furthersabotage the negotiations?Describe the concessions made by the British and theAmericans. Who appears to have “won” in the negotiation? What was the reactionto the treaty in the different U.S. regions? Jay’s Treaty did induce Spain to sign a deal with the U.S. because they feared a future Anglo-American alliance. Pinckney’s Treaty of 1795 included free navigation of the Mississippi and the large disputed territory north of Florida.
JOHN ADAMS BECOMES PRESIDENT Who should succeed Washington? Hamilton was too unpopular, so the Federalists were forced to turn to Washington’s vice president, John Adams. The Democratic-Republicans rallied around Thomas Jefferson. Adam’s squeezed through by the narrowest of margins. Jefferson, as the runner-up, became vice president. Describe Adam’s personal & political attributes. Identify the formidable political handicaps confronting Adams as he began his tenure.
UNOFFICIAL FIGHTING with FRANCEThe French were infuriated with Jay’s Treaty. They assailed the pact as a flagrantviolation of the Franco-American Treaty of 1778. French warships, in retaliation, beganto seize American merchant ships, and the Paris govt. refused to receive America’snewly appointed envoy and even threatened him with arrest. In response, Adams appointed a diplomatic commission of 3 men, including John Marshall, the future chief justice.
War preparations in the U.S. were pushed along at a feverish pace, despite Jeffersonian opposition inCongress. The slogan of the hour became “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.” TheFederalists were delighted. The Navy Department was created; the 3 ship navy was expanded; theU.S. Marine Corps was established. And, a new army of 10,000 men was authorized (but never fullyraised). Bloodshed was confined to the sea, and principally to the West Indies. In 2 ½ years of undeclared hostilities (1798-1800), American privateers and naval vessels captured more than 80 French merchant ships. The U.S. lost several hundred merchant ships. Full-scale war was the next step.
ADAMS PUTS PATRIOTISM ABOVE PARTY Embattled France wanted no war. Talleyrand realized a fight with the U.S. would make his country’s position worse. The British were aiding the U.S. and this alarmed the French. Talleyrand let it be known that if the Americans sent a new minister, he would be received with proper respect.
Adams could have been a hero at home by taking a tough stance against France, but he alsoknew that the U.S. was not in a strong position to fight France. Therefore, in 1793, hesent 3 envoys to France to meet with the new dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte. Why was heeager for peace with the U.S.?
THE FEDERALIST WITCH HUNTExulting Federalists capitalized on the anti-French frenzy to drive through Congress in1798 a sheaf of laws designed to muffle or minimize their Jeffersonian foes. Identifyand describe the controversial Alien Laws. How popular were these laws, despitebeing in direct conflict with the Constitution?
THE VIRGINIA AND KENTUCKY RESOLUTIONSResentful Jeffersonians refused to take the Alien and Sedition Laws lying down. Theyviewed these laws as a beginning to rolling back other Constitutional freedoms. Worseyet, the country might slide into a dangerous one-party dictatorship.Identify the authors of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. Why were theywritten? What did the Resolutions state? Explain the significance of theresolutions.
PRESIDENTIAL CONTEST of 1800John Adams (Federalist) v. Thomas Jefferson (Dem.-Rep.)* Explain the competing platforms•Americans would be making a clear choice for the first time.•This would be the first true political test for the young democracy.
CHAPTERS 8 & 9 MINI UNIT QUIZZEShttp://www.historyteacher.net/USProjects/USQuizzes/EarlyRepublic1.htmhttp://www.historyteacher.net/USProjects/USQuizzes/EarlyRepublic2.htm