American History
Chapter 10
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Overview
Americans had overthrown King George
III and the Articles of Confederation
 Basic distrust of central authority--but
saw it as a necessary evil
 In debt and revenues limited
 Skeptical world doubted the upstart
United States

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Growing Pains

Constitution launched in 1789 amid
growth
 Population doubling each 25 years
 Population about 90% rural
 All but 5% lived east of Appalachian
Mountains
 Foreign visitors looked down their noses at
the roughness of pioneering life
 Further west were Spanish and British
agents moved freely among the settlers
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Growing Pains
America had done something no other
nation in history had ever done—free its
people from tyranny, told its people they
were all equal, and gave the people the
power to govern themselves
 The Virginia constitution was the first
constitution adopted by the people’s
representatives in the history of the world
 The rest of the world looked with awe upon
America

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Washington for President

George Washington unanimously drafted
as first president by Electoral College
 Only nominee in history so honored
 6’ 2”, 175 pounds, broad sloping shoulder,
strongly pointed chin, pockmarks (from
smallpox) on nose and checks
 Didn’t seek the office—preferred Mount Vernon
 Balanced, not brilliant
 Strength of character, but not politically artful
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Washington for President
Temporary capital was New York City
 Took oath of office April 30, 1789
 Washington’s first cabinet

 Secretary of State: Thomas Jefferson
 Secretary of the Treasury: Alexander
Hamilton
 Secretary of War: Henry Knox
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The Bill of Rights

Unfinished of Bill of Rights
 Promised when states were ratifying
constitution
 Particular concern of anti-federalists
 Would be amendments to constitution
 Two ways to amend
○ Constitutional convention requested by two-
thirds of states, or by
○ Two-thirds of both houses
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The Bill of Rights

First 10 amendments are the Bill of Rights
 Freedom of religion, speech, and the press
 Right to bear arms
 Right to be tried by a jury
 Right to assemble
 Right to petition government to redress
grievances
 Freedom from cruel and unusual punishments
 Freedom from arbitrary government seizure of
private property
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The Bill of Rights

Madison inserted two more—the 9th and
10th
 9th: Certain rights “shall not be construed to
deny or disparage others retained by the
people
 10th: All rights not explicitly delegated or
prohibited by the federal Constitution “to the
States respectively, or to the people”
 Brought the constitution back to more antifederalist stance
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The Bill of Rights

First congress also created
 Federal courts under the Judiciary Act of
1789
○ Organized the Supreme Court
○ Federal district and circuit courts
○ Established Office of Attorney General

John Jay became first Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court
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Hamilton Revives the Corpse of
Public Credit

Alexander Hamilton
 First Secretary of the Treasury
 Big central government
 Native of West Indies
 Doubts about his character and loyalty to
republican government—thought that British
government was the “best in the world”
 Financial wizard
 Archrival of Thomas Jefferson
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Hamilton Revives the Corpse of
Public Credit

How to shape fiscal
policies to get
America credit
 Favor wealthier
groups
 Wealthy would lend
monetary and political
support to the
government
 Money would trickle
down from wealthy
classes
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Alexander Hamilton
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Hamilton Revives the Corpse of
Public Credit

The was little confidence in the
government
 Hamilton could not secure funds to support
his risky schemes
 Urged congress to “fund” the entire national
debt “at par”—face value of debt, plus
interest
○ At that time: $54 million
○ People didn’t think the government capable of
the funding
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Hamilton Revives the Corpse of
Public Credit

Hamilton’s plan was to have the federal
government assume the debts for all the
country—even the debts of the states
 He would tie together the states more
closely under the federal government
 He got Jefferson to buy in—Virginia was
promised the District of Columbia would be
on the Potomac River
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Customs Duties and Excise Taxes

Behind Hamilton’s plan, the United
States owed $75 million
 Hamilton: “Father of the National Debt”
 Hamilton believed national debt was uniting
for a nation and a “national blessing”
 The more creditors of the nation, the more to
support the national enterprise
 Making debt an asset, not a liability
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Customs Duties and Excise Taxes

Hamilton—as part of the plan—would
use tariffs to help pay the debt
 To pay for the debt
 To build a protection wall around American
goods

Hamilton started a tax on domestic
items, most notably whiskey
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Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a
Bank

Hamilton argued that America needed a
national bank to conduct business and
have a location to keep its assets
 Federal would help business
 Paper money would be printed
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Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a
Bank

Jefferson disagreed with Hamilton
 Believed that banks were a state’s
responsibility
 The constitution didn’t authorize banks
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Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a
Bank

Washington asked Jefferson for a
written opinion—Jefferson responded
 No constitutional authority
 All powers not granted to the federal
government were reserved for the states
○ The states, not congress, could charter banks
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Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a
Bank

Jefferson believed
the constitution
should be
interpreted literally
 Very strictly
 Based on concern for
states’ rights
 Theory of “strict
construction”
Thomas Jefferson
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Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a
Bank

Hamilton replied
 What the constitution
did not forbid, it
permitted
 Hamilton invoked Art
I, Sec VIII, para 18—
Congress may pass
laws “necessary and
proper” to carry out
the powers vested in
the various
government agencies
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Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a
Bank

Hamilton continues his argument
 Government must collect taxes and regulate




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trade
Basic national functions require a bank
By virtue of “inference”—implied powers—
congress is justified in establishing a bank
A “loose” or “broad” interpretation of the
Constitution is necessary
“Loose construction”—through the “elastic
clause”
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Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a
Bank

Washington accepted Hamilton’s
arguments and signed the banking bill
into law
 The commercial north had been for the bill
 The agricultural south had been against it
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Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a
Bank

The Bank of the United States
 Created by congress in 1791
 Chartered for 25 years
 Capital of $10 million
 Stock sale to the public was sold out in two
hours
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Mutinous Moonshiners in
Pennsylvania

The Whiskey Rebellion in 1794
 Southwestern Pennsylvania
 Rebellion against Hamilton’s whiskey tax
 Tax collectors tarred and feathered
 Washington sent troops
 “Whiskey Boys” dispersed
 Administration criticized for sending a
sledgehammer to crush a gnat
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The Emergence of political
Parties

Hamilton had established good credit
rating in America
 Netherlands loaned America at low rates

The tax, the bank, the Whiskey
Rebellion suppression, etc. created
some states rights enemies
 The central government was “mistreating”
states
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The Emergence of Political
Parties
The Hamilton-Jefferson feud became
bitter political rivalry
 Founders had not envisioned political
parties

 Democratic government based on popular
consent shouldn’t need opposition voices
○ Seemed disloyal and an affront to the
revolutionary effort
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The Emergence of political
Parties

Jefferson/Madison face Hamilton
 Voices grew louder
 Political messages were publicized
 Jefferson and Madison formed the
Democratic-Republican party in 1792
 Hamilton led the Federalists
 The two-party system has worked ever since
○ The party out of power is the “loyal opposition”
○ Ensures politics never drifts too far one way
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The Impact of the French
Revolution

Foreign policy issues bring Jefferson’s
Democratic –Republicans and
Hamilton’s Federalists to a pitch
 Jeffersonians watched the bloody French
Revolution with interest
 Hamilton’s Federalists feared it
 Jefferson: can’t expect “despotism to liberty
in a feather bed”
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Washington’s Neutrality
Proclamation
Britain had entered the conflict against
France
 Many Jeffersonians wanted to help
France and live up to America’s alliance
 Washington had different thoughts, even
though America owed France

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Washington’s Neutrality
Proclamation
The Founding Fathers were in
agreement that America needed a
generation to grow its population
 Washington issued his Neutrality
Proclamation in 1793

 Claimed America’s neutrality in the
European war
 Warned Americans to remain neutral
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Washington’s Neutrality
Proclamation

Washington’s proclamation
 Started a history of isolationist tradition
 Became controversial
 Angered pro-Jeffersonians
 Had been announced without consulting
congress
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Washington’s Neutrality
Proclamation
A representative from the French
Republic, Edmond Genet, tried to recruit
an American army to help France—he
was replaced
 As it turns out, American neutrality
helped France anyway

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Washington’s Neutrality
Proclamation





France never ask America to live up to its
alliance
The alliance favored France, not America
In helping America, both France and
America were helped
In helping France now, only France would
be helped
America helped with foodstuffs to West
Indies
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Embroilments with Britain

Britain had kept outposts in Great Lakes
Region
 Had alliance with Miami Confederation, 8
tribes
 Little Turtle, Miami chief, warned that the
Ohio River was the border
 His braves defeated American forces, killing
hundreds—1790-1791
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Embroilments with Britain

General “Mad Anthony” Wayne’s
America forces defeat the Miami
Confederacy
 The British refuse to help their Indian friends
 The Treaty of Greenville gave up vast tracts
of land—most of Ohio and Indiana
 The Indians believed the treaty put limits on
control over the Indians
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Embroilments with Britain
Britain’s navy attacked hundreds of
American merchant ships and placed
navy personnel into service for the Brits
 Still, Hamilton wanted trade with Britain
and thus America didn’t respond by
getting into the war

 Hamilton’s financial system depended on
trade with the British
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Jay’s Treaty and Washington’s
Farewell

Washington dispatched John Jay to
Britain to try to avoid war
 Jay’s negotiations were weak and angered
many Jeffersonians
 British promised to evacuate outposts, but
they had promised that before
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Jay’s Treaty and Washington’s
Farewell

Spain moved to chore-up relations—
fearing an Anglo-American alliance
 Pinckney’s Treaty of 1795
○ Free navigation of the Mississippi
○ Land in north Florida
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Jay’s treaty and Washington’s
Farewell

Washington had served two terms
 Decided to retire
 Started a trend
 In farewell address, advised against
permanent alliances
 Did not oppose all alliances
 Favored temporary alliances for specific
purposes
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Jay’s Treaty and Washington’s
Farewell

Washington’s contributions enormous
 Good economic foundation (Hamilton)
 Expanding nation
 International trade
 Kept out of foreign wars

Some still threw “brick bats” at him for
the weak “Jay’s Treaty” and not helping
France
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John Adams Becomes President

The presidential campaign of 1796
featured Jefferson and Adams
 Jefferson: Democratic-Republican
 Adams: Federalist
 Followers of each refused to drink in the
same tavern
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John Adams becomes President

John Adams beats Jefferson in Electoral
College 71 to 68
 Jefferson becomes vice president
 Adams was intellectual, but tough and had a
prickly manner about him—”respectful
irritation”
 Hamilton and Adams hated each other
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John Adams Become President

Adams had problems
 Hamilton as an enemy
 France—who had a grudge against the
America for not helping when needed
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Unofficial fighting with France

France angry about Jay’s Treaty





Refused to received the American minister
Saw it as moving toward Britain
Violation of Franco-American Treaty of 1778
Seized American ships
Adams sent diplomats who were bribed—
John Marshall, future Chief Justice,
refused—the XYZ Affair
 War preparations against France began
 Unofficial war confined to the sea
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Adams Puts Patriotism Above
Party
France, wanting to avoid war with
America (it was fighting others on the
continent) suddenly permitted the
American minister to be received
 Adams won much acclaim—remained
cool

 Had avoided war while nation was weak
 Could have won popularity through war by
seizing Florida and Louisiana outright
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Adams Puts Patriotism Above
Party

France received American envoys and
signed a new treaty with America
 The Convention of 1800
 Deleted the old treaty—alliance
 America agreed to pay damage claims on
shippers
 Last of “foreign entanglements” for a long
time
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Adams puts patriotism Above
Party

Adams given much credit
 Kept peace with France
 Led to Napoleon selling Louisiana Purchase
to America while Jefferson was president
(1803)
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The Federalist Witch Hunt

Federalists wrote laws to muffle
Jeffersonians—riding high on antiFrench feelings
 New aliens from Europe were poor
○ Scorned by Federalists
○ Welcomed by Jeffersonians
 Laws written to require 14 year wait verses
the usual 5 to citizenship
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The Federalist Witch Hunt

The Federalists also enacted the
Sedition Act
 Anyone impeding the policies of government
or defaming its officials could be tried on
court
 Very anti-free speech
 Many Jeffersonians put in jail
 Federalists felt the law was justified due to
the “verbal violence of the day
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The Federalist Witch Hunt

Though the Federalist-written Sedition
Act seemed unconstitutional
 The Supreme Court was packed with
Federalists
 Despite all this, the Federalists win the next
election
 The Federalists wrote the law to expire in
1801 so it wouldn’t be used against them if
they lost the election
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The Virginia (Madison) and Kentucky
(Jefferson) Resolutions

Jefferson would not ignore the Sedition
and Alien acts
 Free speech was at stake
 His party might be eliminated
 Secretly wrote resolutions approved by
Kentucky
 Madison did the same in Virginia
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The Virginia (Madison) and Kentucky
(Jefferson) Resolutions

The logic behind the resolutions
 The 13 sovereign states created the federal
government
○ The states had created a contract in forming
the federal government
○ The federal government was the agent (or
creation) of the states
○ Since water goes no high than its source, the
states were the final judges of whether the
federal government had broke this pact
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The Virginia (Madison) and Kentucky
(Jefferson) Resolutions

The Kentucky resolution determined that
the federal government had exceeded
its powers with reference to the Alien
and sedition acts
 Nullification—a refusal to accept them—was
the rightful remedy
 But no other states would follow
 Many debated Jefferson saying the people
not the states had created the federal
government
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The Virginia (Madison) and Kentucky
(Jefferson) Resolutions
The determination was made that it was
the Supreme Court which must nullify
legislation passed by the federal
government
 Nullification resolutions were later used
by southern states to secede from the
Union

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The Virginia (Madison) and Kentucky
(Jefferson) Resolutions

The efforts by Jefferson and Madison
were not to break up the union but to
preserve it
 They were trying to crystallize their
opposition to the Federalist Party and
unseat it in the upcoming election
 Jefferson was trying to nullify Federalist
abuses
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Federalists Versus DemocraticRepublicans

The Federalists believed the few should
run the country
 Hamilton said only the “best people” should
be in control
 John Jay: ”Those who won the country
ought to govern it”
 Intellectual arrogance and Tory tastes
 Feared the “swayability” of the untutored
common folk
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Federalists Versus DemocraticRepublicans

Hamiltonian Federalists
 Strong central government
 Power to crush rebellions like “Shays”
 Protect the property of the wealthy
 Support private enterprise—no interference
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Federalists Versus DemocraticRepublican

Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans,
often referred to as “Republicans”
 Hinterland was anti-federalist territory

Jefferson and Hamilton had different
theories of society, politics, and
diplomacy
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Federalists Versus DemocraticRepublicans

Thomas Jefferson
 Weak-voiced
 Not able to deliver rabble-rousing speech
 Great organizer
 Able to lead people—not drive them
 Appealed to the middle class and under
privileged—”dirt” farmers, laborers, artisans,
small shopkeepers
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Federalists Versus DemocraticRepublicans

Thomas Jefferson
 A contradiction
 An aristocrat with sympathy for the
downtrodden
 “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal
hostility against every form of tyranny over
the mind of man”
 Best government was the one that governed
least
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Federalists Versus DemocraticRepublicans

Thomas Jefferson
 Bulk of power to the states—people, in
intimate contact with local affairs, could keep
an eye on the public servants
 Leery of a dictatorship developing
 Strict interpretation of the constitution
 National debt, bequeathed to later
generations, should be paid off
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Federalists Versus DemocraticRepublicans

Thomas Jefferson
 No special privileges for upper class
 Most support came from farming community
 “Those who labor in the earth are the
chosen people of God”
 Favored government by the people
 Not by all the people—only literate white
men who could inform themselves and wear
the mantle of American citizenship worthily
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Federalists Versus DemocraticRepublicans
Jefferson had profound respect for the
ability of the masses, in their collective
wisdom, when taught
 Feared landless dependents would be
political pawns in the hand of their
landowning supervisors
 Tortuously reconciled slavery by offering
that cheap labor would free poor farmer
to learn and vote

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Federalists Versus DemocraticRepublicans
Jefferson once said that he would rather
have “newspapers without government
than government without newspapers
 Hamilton respected the British, Jefferson
the French

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