You are on page 1of 9

Chapter 10 Notes

Chapter 10 Notes:
Launching the New Ship of State
1789 - 1800

Introduction:
• The new country faced “teething troubles”
Finances and national debt
Many Americans regarded the central government as a necessary evil

Growing Pains
• America was growing at an amazing rate
Population was shooting up (doubling every 25 years)
Cities were beginning to flourish, but the country was 90% rural
• Problems
Foreigners looked down on the rough American people
Spanish and British-owned/occupied lands were an issue for new settlers

Washington for President


• Unanimously drafted as president by the Electoral College (only presidential
nominee ever)
Esteemed war hero, imposing presence
Only president who did not angle in some way for the office
Triumphal procession leading from Mount Vernon to New York City
(temporary capital)
• Set precedent through formation of a cabinet
Constitution only says that the president may require written opinions of
heads of the executive branches
At first only 3 department heads: Jefferson (Secretary of State),
Hamilton (Secretary of the Treasury), & Henry Knox (Secretary of War)

The Bill of Rights


• Many states had ratified the federal Constitution based on the
understanding that it would be amended to include individual rights
• Madison drafted the first 10 amendments (the Bill of Rights)
Include freedom of religion, speech, and press
Right to bear arms and be tried by jury are also included
• Ninth Amendment – rights not stated are not denied
• Tenth Amendment – all rights not specifically given by the Constitution are
reserved to the states or to the people

Hamilton Revives the Corpse of Public Credit


• Set out to correct the economic troubles that plagued the Articles of
Confederation
• Plan was to shape the economic and financial policies in a way that favored
the wealthy (who would, in turn, give the government monetary and
political support)
Chapter 10 Notes

• First objective was to bolster national credit to ensure public confidence in


the government
Urged Congress to “fund” the entire national debt and assume debts
resulting from the American Revolution
Federal government paid off its debts at face value and accumulated
interest
Government bonds fell to 10-15 cents on the dollar: great for
speculators
• Encouraged Congress to assume state debts
Said state debts could be regarded as national obligation because they
had been incurred during the nation’s war for independence
• States burdened with heavy debts (Massachusetts) were delighted by
Hamilton’s proposal
• States with small debts (Virginia) were not as happy
Compromise – District of Columbia (capital) to be located on the
Potomac River

Custom Duties & Excise Taxes


• National debt had risen to $75 million
• Where was the money to come from?
• Custom duties – tariff
First tariff law (low 8%) was speedily passed even before Hamilton was
sworn in
Also designed to protect infant industries and well-to-do manufacturing
groups
Congress still dominated by agricultural interests – only 2 slight
increases in tariff
• Excise tax passed through Congress
On a few domestic items, notably whiskey
Whiskey flowed freely on the frontier – was used for money

Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a Bank


• Hamilton proposed a national bank as the capstone for his financial system
Federal funds would stimulate business by remaining in circulation
Would print urgently needed money and provide a national currency
• Jefferson said it was unconstitutional
No specific authorization in the Constitution – all powers not specifically
granted are reserved for states: strict interpretation
Hamilton cited the “necessary and proper clause” – loose interpretation
• Regional difference
North – commercial and financial centers – favored the national bank
South – agriculture and farming – against the national bank
• Hamilton wins – bank created in 1791

Mutinous Moonshiners in Pennsylvania


• Whiskey Rebellion in 1749 in W. Pennsylvania
• Whiskey was an economic necessity for the rebels so the excise tax
affected them greatly
Chapter 10 Notes

• Washington called forth a militia and led them


Washington commanded more respect
Some condemned the brutal display of power

The Emergence of Political Parties


• Hamilton’s plans encroached on states’ rights – some fearful of federal
government
Organized opposition began to build
• Political rivalry between Hamilton & Jefferson didn’t help
Used newspapers to attack and convey messages
• Party out of power plays a crucial role – ensure that politics never drifts too
far away from the wishes of the people

The Impact of the French Revolution


• Early stages of the French Revolution
People generally supportive of liberty-seeking French (continuation of
their revolution)
Only a few federalists were cautious
• 1792 – France declared war on Austria, proclaimed itself a republic
Americans very supportive
• 1793 – Reign of Terror begins – King is beheaded
All Federalists now fearful of French violence
Some Jeffersonians regretted the violence, but most believed it was
necessary

Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation


• Old treaty with France from times of the old king
Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans favored honoring the alliance
Hamiltonian Federalists thought that the treaty was old (old ruler) –
believed that the alliance should not be honored
Washington didn’t enter war because he wanted peace at all costs
• Precedent – strategy of delay to avoid war
• Jeffersonians enraged, Federalists heartened
• Genêt Affair – comes for financial aid, starts trying to recruit, thrown out of
the U.S.

Embroilments with Britain


• British tried the American position of neutrality
Attack American ships and force sailors to serve
Trade weapons to Indians who, in turn, fight Americans
• Outcry from the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans
• Hamiltonians warn against fast action – trade with Britain crucial for his
economic plans

Jay’s Treaty
• British promise to evacuate a chain of posts on U.S. soil
Had already promised that before, but failed to evacuate
Chapter 10 Notes

• British to pay damages for seizures of U.S. ships owned by commercial


traders
Nothing of future treaties or trade with Native Americans
• U.S. to pay debts to British merchants from before the revolution
• Democratic-Republicans hate Jay’s treaty: S. have to pay more debts, N.
traders paid back for seized ships. Also, they saw the treaty as a surrender
to Britain
• Positive result – opened up NW part of country for expansion
• Led to Pinckney’s treaty (with Spain) – allows trade on Mississippi R. –
encourages people to move west for trade
• Treaty of Greenville (unrelated) – Native Americans give up some Western
land in return for money and promise of rights and annual payment

Washington’s Farewell Address


• Advised the avoidance of permanent alliances (such as treaty with France) –
favored temporary alliances for emergency purposes
• Good advice for a weak & divided nation – what about when it grows
stronger?

John Adams Becomes President


• Candidates
Federalists - Adams
• Wanted Hamilton (most well-known) but his financial policies were
very unpopular
• Picked John Adams – experienced but ungracious
Democratic Republicans – Jefferson
• Political passions
Earlier, Washington’s presence had suppressed these passionate
displays
Mudslinging – Federalists insult Jeffersonians (Democratic-Republicans)
Jeffersonians attack forceful crush of Whiskey Rebellion & Jay’s Treaty
• Adams wins
Wins by very narrow margin (71 to 68 electoral votes)
Jefferson became the vice-president
Short, bald, man of stern disciplines – no appeal to the masses (most
people)
Tactless and intelligent aristocrat
• Handicaps that Adams faced
Not popular with the masses
Could not hope to fill Washington’s shoes after he had just stepped
down
Hamilton (in charge of “High Federalist” faction of Federalists) hated
Adams
• Conspired with members of the Cabinet against the president
• Adams thought Hamilton was ruthless, impatient, and unprincipled
Inherited an argument with France
Chapter 10 Notes

Unofficial Fighting with France


• French upset by Jay’s treaty – considered it an alliance with Britain and
violation of the Franco-American treaty
French warships began to seize American merchant ships
• Adams tried to reach an agreement with France – sent three men as a
diplomatic commission including John Marshall (future chief justice)
• The XYZ Affair
Envoys were met by 3 go-betweens (called X, Y, & Z)
Demanded huge loan and bribe just to talk to Talleyrand
Too much money ($250,000 bribe) just to talk (no promise of
negotiation)
Returned to America – Marshall hailed as a hero
• War preparations began – Federalists happy, Jeffersonians ashamed of the
French
Navy Department and US Marine Corps established & navy expanded
New army authorized
• Fighting began in the sea and the W. Indies

Adams Puts Patriotism Above Party


• France didn’t want a war with the US – already fighting in Europe
• Talleyrand made it be known that a new American minister would be
received with respect
• If Adams went to war, the Federalists would become even more popular and
he would probably be elected for a second term
Instead, he realized that war wasn’t what the country needed
Sent another minister to France
Public opinion favorable to one more shot at peace
• Napoleon took control of France – eager to make peace with America
• The Convention of 1800
France agreed to end treaty
US agreed to pay damage claims of American ships
• Adams credited with peace
Also ensured Louisiana Purchase (if he had gone to war with France,
Napoleon wouldn’t have sold Louisiana)

The Federalist Witch Hunt


• Federalists capitalized on anti-French sentiment to take over Congress
Used laws to minimize impact of Jeffersonians in Congress (and
government)
• First law directed against European immigrants
Immigrants usually more accepted by Jeffersonians
Federalists raised residence requirements for aliens to become citizens
from 5 to 14 years
• Gave President power to deport dangerous foreigners during peace and
imprison/deport during war
Not used, but was a grant of power against the spirit of the Constitution
Chapter 10 Notes

• “Lockjaw” Sedition Act – anyone impeding the policies of gov’t or falsely


defaming gov’t officials subject to heavy fine & prison
Included verbal violence – against freedom of speech and freedom of
press
Many Jeffersonian writers indicted & convicted (sometimes because of
prejudiced Federalist judges)
Supreme Court was comprised of Federalists – weren’t going to make
law unconstitutional

The Virginia (Madison) and Kentucky (Jefferson) Resolutions


• Jefferson was very fearful of the rising power of federalists and of
prosecution for sedition
Drafted a series of resolutions for the Kentucky government in 1798 &
1799 and they approved them
Madison drafted a similar, less extreme statement that the Virginia gov’t
accepted (1798)
• Stressed the compact theory – meant that 13 sovereign states had
entered a “compact” (contract) by creating a federal gov’t
Individual states the judges of the federal gov’t: “water can rise no
higher than its source”
The resolutions stated that the federal gov’t had exceeded its
constitutional powers (with the Alien and Sedition Acts)
Nullification – a refusal to accept something (in this case, the Alien &
Sedition Acts)
Popular among English political philosophers in the 17th and 18th century
• No other state legislatures published resolutions like those of Virginia and
Kentucky
Some refused to endorse them; some Federalist states condemned them
Many Federalist states argued that people, not states made the
compact, so only the Supreme Court could nullify unconstitutional
legislation passed by Congress
• Represented extreme states’ rights views
• Later used by southerners to support nullification and succession
• Jefferson & Madison weren’t trying to break up the Union – they were trying
to preserve it
Trying to crystallize opposition to the Federalist party to prevent them
from taking over the president’s role again in the 1800 presidential
election

Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans


• Differences between the parties was more pronounced as the presidential
elections of 1800 approached
• Federalists
Most federalists of the pre-Constitution period became Federalists under
Hamilton
Intelligent, arrogant, wealthy
Distrust full-blown democracy – unintelligent common folk are
“swayable”
Chapter 10 Notes

Strong, central government with enough power to crush democratic


excesses (Shay’s Rebellion), protect lives & property of wealthy,
promote trade, and subordinate states
Government should support private enterprise but not interfere in it
Similar attitude as merchants, manufacturers, and shippers living more
on the coast
Sought a strong national state to assert & expand America’s commercial
interests
• Especially trade with Britain
• Democratic-Republicans
Live more inland, previously called anti-Federalists
Jefferson – lanky, relaxed, not aggressive, weak-voiced, not a passionate
speaker
• Ability to lead rather than drive people
• Strong appeal to middle class and underprivileged (farmers, laborers,
artisans, etc)
• Was a Virginia aristocrat and slave-owner (perfect for Federalist)
• Abused by newspapers
Weak central regime (government) – best to govern least
Bulk of the power should be with the states – with a closer contact to
local affairs, they could keep a better eye on public servants
Believed national debt should just be paid off
No special privileges for certain classes (ex. Manufacturers)
Agriculture was the favored branch of the economy – most followers
were farmers from the south and southwest
People who vote should be literate (not all white men should be able to
vote)
Slavery okay – important for whites to work at certain wages, keep land,
maintain income
Freedom of speech and the press
Pro-French rather than pro-British

Federalists Democratic-Republicans

Rule by the “best people” (intelligent) Rule by the informed (literate) masses
Didn’t want to open democracy up fully Favored near-complete democracy
Powerful central gov’t over state power Weak central gov’t to preserve states’
rights
Loose interpretation of the Constitution Strict interpretation of the Constitution
Gov’t to foster business Agriculture preferred to business
Protective tariffs No special favors for manufacturers
Pro-British (conservative Brit tradition) Pro-French (radical revolutionary
tradition)
National debt is good if properly funded National debt bad – rigid economy better
Expanding bureaucracy Smaller bureaucracy (fewer federal
office holders)
Powerful central bank Encouragement to state banks
Chapter 10 Notes

Restrictions on free speech & press Relatively free speech and press
Concentration in seacoast area South & southwest: inland & agricultural
areas
Strong navy to protect shippers Minimal navy for coastal defense

Chronology

1789 Constitution formally put into effect

Judiciary Act of 1789

Washington elected President

French Revolution begins

1790 First official census

1791 Bill of Rights adopted

Vermont becomes the 14th state

US Bank created

Excise tax passed

1792 Washington re-elected President

1792- Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties formed


1793
1793 Louis XVI beheaded – radical phase of French
Revolution

France declares war on Britain and Spain

Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation

Citizen Genêt affair

1794 Whiskey Rebellion

Battle of Fallen Timbers

Jay’s Treaty with Britain


Chapter 10 Notes

1795 Treaty of Greenville: Indians cede Ohio

Pinckney’s Treaty with Spain

1796 Washington’s Farewell Address

1797 Adams becomes President

XYZ Affair

1798 Alien Sedition Acts

1798- Virginia and Kentucky resolutions


1799
1799- Undeclared war with France
1800
1800 Convention of 1800 – peace with France