The American Journey, Chapter 5: The Federalist Era

Section 1: The First President
Hamilton vs. Jefferson
Look back at pg. 277.
 Now
that you have historical context, what do you think
these quotes mean?
 Why do these men feel as they do?
 Whom do you agree with? Why?
Washington Becomes President
Did Washington want to be president?
 No.
He wanted to retire.
 Remember, he was 57 (old for the day) and had
already served as general and Congress member.
 Everyone was suspicious that he’d try to be king.
 He
insisted upon “Mr. President,” which we still use today.
 He
was afraid that if he messed up, he’d set a terrible
precedent (tradition) for others to follow.
 But he knew being president would be good for his
 Washington
was self-conscious and a bit vain.
Washington’s Advisors
John Adams was vice president.
The first ever presidential cabinet:
 Thomas
Jefferson: secretary of state (2010: Hillary
 Alexander Hamilton: secretary of treasury (watch
Hamilton—he becomes very influential!)
 These
two quickly begin to disagree on everything!
 Henry
Knox: secretary of war
 Edmund Randolph: attorney general
Washington is granted authority to dismiss anyone
from his cabinet, even if Senate confirmed them.
Supreme Court & Bill of Rights
1789: Congress passes the Judiciary Act, which
creates a Supreme Court and lower courts.
 John
Jay is made chief justice of the Supreme Court
(2010: John Roberts).
Also in 1789, James Madison proposed, and
Congress passed, the Bill of Rights.
 12
amendments approved, 10 passed by states
 One
of the two that weren’t passed in 1789 ended up
becoming Amendment 27 in 1992!
 The
Bill of Rights protects our liberties
 Like
what? [discuss]
Hamilton & the Financial Crisis
In 1789, the U.S. was seriously in debt.
 Millions
owed to France & Netherlands from Rev. War
Washington allowed Hamilton to make most of the
decisions about finances.
 Hamilton
wanted the national government to pay back
the nations, states, and individuals who had loaned $$.
 This fight was very complicated, but Southerners were
opposed, and Northerners were generally in favor.
 Hamilton compromised with the South: vote for my plan,
and we’ll set the capitol in the South.
 That’s
how Washington, D.C. was created!
Hamilton & the Financial Crisis
Hamilton went further: he wanted a national bank.
 Here
is where Jefferson and Madison began to
disagree strongly with Hamilton.
 Remember:
Hamilton and Madison wrote the Federalist
Papers together, and all three fought for the Constitution.
 Republicans
thought a national bank gave the federal
government and the rich too much power.
 They said it was unconstitutional.
 Washington sided, as always, with Hamilton, and a
national bank was created.
 What can you see about Hamilton? About Jefferson?
Hamilton & the Financial Crisis
One more disagreement between Hamilton and
Jefferson/Madison: Hamilton wanted to encourage
more industry and less agriculture.
 So
he proposed a tariff, or import tax, on foreign
products to encourage Americans to make and buy
their own products.
 This would also raise money when it was desperately
Hamilton also proposed some national taxes, like
the one on whiskey.
Hamilton vs. Jefferson/Madison
By this point, it should be clear where each side
What was Hamilton (and thus Washington) for?
 More
industry and merchants
 Bigger central government/less state power
 More Northern-related interests
What were Jefferson and Madison for?
 More
agriculture and farming
 Smaller central government/more state power
 More Southern-related interests
Section 2: Early Challenges
The Whiskey Rebellion
Hamilton’s whiskey tax was too much for some.
 Seems
funny now, but it sure wasn’t then!
 A tax on whiskey meant a tax on Western farmers’
primary barter (trade) item.
Washington sent in 15,000 troops to dispel the
Whiskey Rebellion.
 What
sort of message did that send?
 Do you think this was good or bad for Washington?
Native Americans and Ohio
What do you think of how the U.S. gained the Ohio
Let’s discuss U.S./Native relations for a second here,
and let’s see if we can gain a fair, realistic idea of
what Washington, et al, were really like. [discuss]
Trouble in Europe
Which American statesmen would naturally cheer
the French Revolution? Why?
 Jefferson
& his colleagues, because they cheered for
the common person against the oppressive ruler (King
Louis XVI & his wife, Marie Antoinette).
Who would have been against the French
Revolution? Why?
 Hamilton
& his colleagues (including Washington, to an
extent), because they somewhat feared the common
person and were worried about the violence, including
the beheading of Louis and Marie at the guillotine.
Trouble in Europe
Washington wanted to retire in 1793, but he was called
upon for four more years once things got scary.
Washington wanted neutrality in the Britain-France war,
but Jefferson and his company backed France, while
Hamilton and his company backed Britain.
French ambassador Edmond Genêt was extremely rude,
even to Washington himself.
 He even got some Americans to fight with the French against
the British, against Washington’s orders.
 Britain responded by capturing some American merchant
ships and making the merchants fight for Britain, a process
called impressment.
Divisions at Home
Those who backed the French revolution (Jefferson/
Madison) began to insult those who backed Britain
(Hamilton/Adams/Washington, to an extent), and
vice versa.
 Jefferson’s
crew called Hamilton’s crew “Anglophiles”
(English-lovers), monarchists, and false Americans
 Hamilton’s crew responded by calling Jefferson’s crew
frog-eaters and Jacobins (a term used in France for a
French resistance fighter under a man named Jacob).
 This may sound funny, but it’s at the root of a serious
division in American politics that hasn’t ended to this day.
Trouble in Europe
Washington tried a peace deal with Britain by
sending John Jay, the chief justice of the Supreme
Court to England.
 In
what ways was the Jay Treaty successful?
 It
got the British off American soil, opened up trade, and
demanded the British pay for the ships they seized.
 Most importantly, it stopped a possible war between Britain
and the United States.
 Hamilton & Co. backed the treaty.
 Why
would the U.S. want to avoid war with Britain?
Didn’t they just beat Britain, and didn’t they hate them?
Trouble in Europe
 In
what ways was the Jay Treaty unsuccessful?
 It
didn’t mention impressment or interference in trade.
 Few supported it, especially not Jefferson & Madison.
 Again
(as usual) Washington went with Hamilton and
the treaty was signed.
Thomas Pinckney also signed a treaty with Spain,
finally granting the U.S. access to the Mississippi
River and the port of New Orleans.
Washington Retires
After two terms (eight years), Washington stepped
down in 1796.
 Why?
Do you feel this was a good decision?
Washington’s two biggest concerns:
 1.
His reputation
 Again,
he was quite vain, and even though Americans adore
him, Washington was far from universally admired in 1796.
 2.
Political “factions” (parties)
 He
saw that Hamilton and Jefferson/Madison were going
very different ways, and it worried him.
 But in truth, Washington himself almost always sided with
Hamilton, meaning he was somewhat hypocritical.
Section 3: The First Political Parties
The Birth of Political Parties
By now you already know that Hamilton and
Jefferson/Madison were bitter political enemies.
Let’s review:
 Hamilton:
stronger federal government/weaker state
power/more emphasis on industry, banking & business
(especially the wealthy Northeast)/pro-British, antiFrench/ feared too much power with the people.
 Jefferson/Madison: weaker federal government/
stronger state power/more emphasis on agriculture
(especially the South)/anti-British, pro-French/feared
the government having too much power over people
The Birth of Political Parties
By this time, Jefferson and his allies had long been
calling Hamilton, Washington, and Adams (among
others) Federalists.
 Why?
 Now
they began calling Hamilton and his closest allies
Jefferson and his allies took for themselves the
party name of Democratic-Republicans, usually
just called Republicans.
 Why?
The Birth of Political Parties
Washington is sometimes loosely regarded as
having been our first Federalist president.
Jefferson is widely regarded as the founder of the
Republican Party.
 He
used newspapers like the National Gazette to band
his people together against Hamilton and Washington.
 Remember, Jefferson was in Washington’s cabinet!
 Sound familiar?
Interpreting the Constitution
Why does it matter how the Constitution is read?
 Because
it’s the “supreme law of the land.”
Federalists felt that the Constitution was openended and should change with the times.
 Government
should be allowed to get more powers as
it needs them to keep the country running.
Republicans disagreed. They felt the Constitution
clearly limited the federal government to a stricter
series of powers.
 Anything
else was in the states’ and people’s hands.
Interpreting the Role of People
Again, go back to those two quotes.
With whom do you agree? [discuss]
 Are
people too dangerous and unwise to be allowed to
directly influence government? (Federalist view)
 Is it insulting and unfair to have the smartest (and often
richest) calling all the shots? (Republican view)
Now that Washington retired, we needed a new
 First
election that included political parties
 Federalist: Adams/Charles Pinckney
 Republican: Jefferson/Aaron Burr
 These
choices were determined in party meetings called
caucuses, which still happen in many states today.
 This
election was very dirty, and Adams and Jefferson,
formerly close friends, became bitter enemies.
 Just
like today, name-calling, mud-slinging, lies, and unfair
accusations in the news were all common.
Adams Is Elected…But Wait!
Adams carried the election…
 …but
unlike today, in 1796 the runner-up became vice
 This meant that Federalist (though independent-minded)
President Adams had to work side-by-side with firmly
Republican enemy Vice President Jefferson.
John & Abigail Adams
John Adams got his start in Boston as a young
lawyer defending the British troops after the
“Boston Massacre.”
 This
spirit of justice and independent thought carried
with him through his presidency.
He was minister to France and England before
becoming president, and he helped write the
Declaration of Independence.
Abigail and John were apart for long periods of
time (up to six years!) during his time as a
John & Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams was one of the first women to ever
advocate for women’s rights.
 She
wrote, “Remember the Ladies, and be more generous
and favourable to them than your ancestors,” indicating that
women would revolt if not given the vote.
 They
did not gain suffrage, the right to vote, until 1920, however.
By all accounts John and Abigail were very much in love,
and John especially was completely lost without her.
His presidency was filled with misfortune and error (much
of it not his fault), but we are beginning to realize now
how wise and successful he actually was in many cases.
The Adams Presidency
Adams’ first error was keeping Washington’s
“Ultrafederalist” cabinet (Hamilton’s friends).
 Adams
was very independent, so the cabinet was
unwilling to work with him once they realized he could
not be controlled the way Washington was by Hamilton.
Why were the French upset about the Jay Treaty?
 They
thought it was an attempt to side with Britain, so
they seized American ships, and three French diplomats
demanded money and an apology from Adams.
 How
The XYZ Affair
Adams did not want to release the names (nicknamed
X, Y, & Z) because he feared a public demand for
 Jefferson
and Republicans thought he was making it all up
and demanded the names be made public.
 He obliged (a mistake), and once it got out, the whole
nation demanded war with France.
 This
is how the Navy came about, and the Army was increased.
 This
began what was called the Quasi War from 17981800 (quasi means sort of).
 It
wasn’t a real war, but just barely.
Only Adams’ success as a negotiator stopped war.
The Alien and Sedition Act
The XYZ Affair was good for Federalists, because it
made the Republicans look impulsive and
 In
1798, many more Federalists were voted into office.
But Adams made a HUGE mistake by signing the
Alien and Sedition Act.
 It
forever marred his presidency, and he later called it
his greatest error.
 Does it sound familiar?
 Why do we sign such bills? [discuss]
 Philadelphia
(the capitol) was worried about huge influx of
French that lived there.
The Federalists Weaken
The Alien and Sedition Acts hurt the Federalists and
made Republicans look really good.
 In
truth, Adams didn’t much like the idea, but he
allowed himself to be bullied by the “Ultras.”
 After this, he got rid of many of his Ultrafederalist
advisors and showed his true independent spirit.
 Adams never again trusted Hamilton, and vice versa.
Many, especially Jefferson and Madison, felt the
federal government had overstepped its bounds.
 What
do you think? Think especially in light of the
recent Arizona immigration debate.
States’ Rights
Jefferson and Madison believed that the states had
the power of nullification, making a federal law
invalid if it violated states’ rights.
 They
believed the Alien and Sedition Act was
 Was
Peace With France
Why in the world would Federalists want to continue
the Quasi War with France?
 People
would re-elect a Federalist rather than change
parties during a war.
 If France looked bad, so did Republicans.
However, Adams was unwilling to put America at risk
for his own re-election.
 This
hurt his chances of being elected, but it proved that
he loved his country more than his title.
 He sent peace negotiators to France, but Republicans
stalled them long enough (many months) that peace
came too late in the election to make Adams look good.
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