Washington Administration/Parties


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Washington Administration/Parties

  1. 1. The Early Republic, 1789–1800 • Expecting consensus within new government, Americans are shocked by disagreement • Disagreements over domestic (especially economic) policy and foreign policy cause factions (not yet parties) to develop • All see factions as negative • Key era of defining Constitution: how much central authority does Republic need to survive
  2. 2. Building a Workable Government • Almost all members of US Government are Federalists, and again Madison (House) is key • Revenue Act (1789): tariff on some imports • Bill of Rights (1791) • Organize executive branch w/ War, State, Treasury, etc. (Cabinet); allow president to fire appointees • Judiciary Act (1789) allows appeal of some state cases to new federal courts
  3. 3. Washington’s First Steps • Presidency created w/ Washington in mind • Aware of creating precedents, Washington acts cautiously (forms cabinet, wary of veto) • Tours nation in elaborate, nationalistic rituals • Hamilton (Treasury Secretary) is brilliant and ambitious; not tied to any state; assumes people driven by self-interest
  5. 5. Emergence of the Two Party System Today the two party system of government seems natural- We are used to having two major parties compete for the presidency. Constitution says nothing about political parties. Most founders hoped we would never have any.
  6. 6. Original Ideas on Factions The framers did not like parties, which they called factions. • They wanted people to act in their self interest. People would form groups, but change groups with different issues. • This is called pluralism.
  7. 7. Early divisions about government: The National Bank Splits within the Washington Administration emerged almost immediately over the issue of a national bank. • Hamilton: Wanted a bank to put the Administration on sound financial footing. • Jefferson: Thought a bank unconstitutional.
  8. 8. Hamilton’s Financial Plan Hamilton wanted to pay off the substantial national debt from the Revolution. Some was owed to other nations, some to soldiers. He believed this necessary to restore domestic and foreign confidence in the U.S. Paying off the debt at face value could restore confidence. A national bank was proposed by Hamilton as a key to his plan. It would keep tax receipts, print money, loan money, etc..
  9. 9. First Bank of the United States (1791) • Hamilton pushes charter of a private/public bank to solve shortage of exchange • Will release bank notes as nation’s currency • Madison and Jefferson assert no authorization in Constitution (strict construction) • Hamilton counters w/ broad construction: if end (goal) is constitutional, and means not banned, then can do it (Washington agrees)
  10. 10. Report on Manufactures (1791) • Assumption of state debts and national bank contributes to economic stability and growth • Hamilton asserts need to foster domestic manufacturing w/ protective tariffs; will reduce dependence on European imports • Opponents argue mainstay of republic is small farmers; US future is agrarian, not industrial; defeat Hamilton’s tariffs
  11. 11. Whiskey Rebellion (1791–1794) • To fund state debt assumption, Hamilton gets Congress (1791) to tax whiskey production • Affects farmers on frontier, and they protest • When protests turn violent (1794); President sends in militia (fear Shay’s Rebellion) • Demonstrates protest should come through political system, not allow extralegal acts of 1760s and 1770s
  12. 12. Opposition to Hamilton’s Plan • Many opposed Hamilton’s plan because it favored the rich. Speculators had bought the debt owed soldiers, so soldiers would get nothing. Soldiers had sold bonds to speculators at less that face value because they doubted the government would pay them. • Southern states disliked the plan because they had already paid their debts. • Jefferson and others argued that the bank plan was unconstitutional.
  13. 13. Development of Partisan Politics (1792-94) • Hamilton’s opponents begin to coalesce; call themselves Democratic-Republicans • Fear Hamilton’s support of commerce will create a corrupt, aristocratic government • Hamilton and allies then form Federalists • Each accuse other of being an illicit faction out to destroy republican ideals and USA • Each claim they are seeking the public good
  14. 14. Key Issue: The Necessary and Proper Clause • The Constitution says the Congress has the power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to execute the powers given it. • This clause is also called the “elastic clause.”
  15. 15. Dispute over the Elastic Clause Hamilton • Emphasized “proper”. • Commerce, taxing, printing money, etc.., all powers given to Congress, therefore, it was proper to establish a bank. • Read between the lines of the Constitution. “Loose construction.” Jefferson • Emphasized “necessary.” • A bank was not necessary for the Congress to do its job, so it was not constitutional. • Follow the Constitution exactly. “Strict construction.”
  16. 16. Federalist Democratic- Republicans Leader Appealed to Alexander Hamilton John Adams Thomas Jefferson James Madison -Manufacturers, merchants, wealthy and educated…. -Favored seaboard cities -Farmers and Planters common man -Favored the South and West Ideas of Govt. •Strong government over states •Loose Construction Implied powers •Wealthy and educated involved •Limit freedoms of speech & press •More ‘elite’ rule •State’s rights over National Govt. Strict construction Expressed/Enumerated powers •Common man but educated •Bill of Rights is sacred •Less govt. is best. political
  17. 17. Federalist Democratic-Republicans Domestic Policy Supported National Bank—BUS Supported excise tax/ Tariffs National debt good for country National govt. assume state debts •Against BUS •Against excise tax •Against National debt •States pay their own debts •Tariffs should be low Foreign Policy •Opposed French Revolution •Favored the British over French •Supported French Revolution •Favored the French over British. political