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 reputation • 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 Clinton) • 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 needed. • 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 stood. • 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
The American Journey,Chapter 5:The Federalist Era 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 area? • 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.
The American Journey,Chapter 5:The Federalist Era 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, anti-French/ 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 Ultrafederalists. • 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 inWashington’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 open-ended 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)
The 2nd President • Now that Washington retired, we needed a new executive. • 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 president. • 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 statesman.
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 French.
The XYZ Affair • Adams did not want to release the names (nicknamed X, Y, & Z) because he feared a public demand for war. • 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 1798-1800 (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 hypocritical. • 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 unconstitutional. • Was it?
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.