The French Question

Chapter 7 Lesson 3
Challenges for a New Nation (Summaries)
Remaining Neutral:
The French Revolution is when the French people overthrew their
government beginning in 1789, and they created a republican government.
This caused concern for some Americans because traditional authority was
being attacked. King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were
beheaded in 1793. Soon after war breaks out between France and Britain.
Americans take different sides.
Neutrality Proclamation:
George Washington issued the Neutrality Proclamation stating the United
States would not interfere with wars in Europe. James Madison thought this
was an abuse of power because it violated the Constitution because
Congress did not approve it.
The French Question:
France’s ambassador asked American privateers to aid France. Privateers
were private ships hired to help another country who was at war.
Washington said this violated the Neutrality Proclamation. Jefferson wanted
to help France because of the aid the Americans received from them during
the American Revolution. Hamilton was pro-British and wanted to
strengthen trading ties with them. Because of the continuation of
differences, Jefferson resigned as Secretary of State in 1793.
Jay’s Treaty:
American Merchant ships were being seized by the British. The British
were also supplying Native Americans with weapons to use to help the
British take back lands in the United States. Jay’s Treaty stated the British
would pay for damages to the American ships, and abandon their forts in
the United States. The Americans would have to pay back the debts owed
to the British. Some Americans thought this would hurt trade with the
British. The Southern Planters wanted Britain to pay them for the slaves
that were set free during the American Revolution.
Pinckney’s Treaty:
Spain closed the Mississippi River to Americans. This hurt trade within the
United States. There was also a dispute about the border of Florida.
Pinckney’s Treaty of 1795 stated the border of Florida was at the 31st
parallel from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean. Spain’s
government reopened the port of New Orleans and gave them the right of
deposit. Most thought it was a successful compromise because it opened
the western frontier for the United States to expand.
Conflict in the West:
Americans were settling on the Northwest Territory despite protests from
Native Americans. In 1790, war broke out between the Native Americans
and the Americans. Miami chief, Little Turtle defeated United States forces
under the command of General Josiah Harmar. In 1791 Native Americans
defeated General Arthur St. Clair’s troops.
General Wayne Takes Command:
General Anthony Wayne is given the command of the troops by President
Washington. In the summer of 1794, Little Turtle attacked a supply train
near the U. S. fort. Wayne and his men retaliated by attacking the Native
American villages and burning their crops. Aid of weapons from the British
stopped. Little Turtle knew his people would never win against the U.S.
troops. He encouraged his people to seek peace.
Battle of Fallen Timbers:
August 20, 1794 the Battle of Fallen Timbers was fought. The Native
Americans were defeated. Wayne’s forces again burned the Native
American villages and fields. The Indians surrendered. Treaty of Greenville
was signed on in August 1795 giving the United States claim to many of the
Native American lands in the Northwest Territory. The treaty also
guaranteed the safety of the people there. The Native Americans were
given $20,000 worth of goods and the acknowledgement of their claim to
the lands they still held.
The Whiskey Rebellion:
In March of 1791, Congress passed a tax on American-made whiskey to
help pay off the federal debt. This also tested the power of the federal
government over state governments.
Reaction to the Tax:
Pennsylvania farmers protested the tax. Trading had declined, so turning
corn into whiskey was a easy way for farmers to make money, and it was
easier to transport.
Whiskey Rebellion is Crushed:
By 1794, farmers lashed out against the tax – they refused to pay the tax
and even tarred and feathered tax collectors. President Washington led
13,000 troops against the rebels. When the farmers heard Washington was
leading the army, many fled. This was the first and only time a president led
troops into a battle. The rebellion ended without a battle however.
Washington’s Farewell:
Washington’s Farewell Address to the nation stated the dangers of the
American Republic. Washington warned against forming permanent ties
with foreign countries because other countries would think the United
States was forming alliances. He also worried about the political conflicts
within the nation. He believed these conflicts would weaken the
government. He said. “Political unity was the key to national success.” He
wanted future generations to be protected from debt. He felt the national
government should not borrow money.