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Launching the New Ship of State Chapter 10
Growing Pains • When the Constitution was launched in 1789, The Republic was doubling in population every 25 years. • The first official consensus in 1790, recorded almost 4 million people. • Philadelphia- 42,000 • New York- 33,000 • Boston- 18,000 • Charleston- 16,000 • Baltimore- 13,000
Growing Pains • The population was still about 90% rural. • All but 5% of the people lived east of the Appalachian Mountains. • 4 new states were welcomed into the union; • Vermont in 1791 • Kentucky in 1792 • Tennessee in 1796 • Ohio in 1803 (1st entered under Northwest Ordinance)
Washington for President • Washington was elected unanimously as President by the Electoral College in 1789. • He commanded his followers by strength of character rather than by the arts of the politician. • He took the oath of office on April 30, 1789 on a crowded balcony overlooking Wall Street in New York (the temporary capital).
Washington for President • Washington established the cabinet, but there were only 3 full-fledged department heads under him; Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, and Secretary of War Henry Knox.
The Bill of Rights • Many antifederalists sharply criticized the Constitution for its failure to provide guarantees on individual rights. • Amendments to the Constitution could be provided in 1 of 2 ways; • Constitutional convention requested by 2/3 of the states • By 2/3 vote of both houses of Congress.
The Bill of Rights • Fearing that the new convention might unravel the narrow federalist ratification victory, James Madison drafted the amendments himself and guided them through Congress. • The first ten amendments, known commonly as the Bill of Rights, were adopted in 1791 by the necessary number of states. • The amendments safeguard precious American principles such as; • Freedom of religion, speech, and the press • The right to bear arms and to be tried by a jury.
The Bill of Rights • The 10th Amendment, which reserves all rights not explicitly delegated or prohibited by the federal Constitution “to the States respectively, or to the people.” • This was done to appease the states’ righters. • Congress also put into place the Judiciary Act of 1789, which organized the Supreme Court, with a chief justice and 5 associates, as well as federal district and circuit courts, and the office of attorney general.
Hamilton Revives the Corpse of Public Credit • Alexander Hamilton was the key figure in the new government as Sec. of Treasury. • Hamilton regarded himself as a kind of prime minister in Washington’s cabinet and sometimes over stepped his bounds and got into affairs of other departments (big rival of Jefferson).
Hamilton Revives the Corpse of Public Credit • Hamilton set out to change the economic issues that plagued the Articles. • He wanted economic policies to favor the wealthier groups who would, in turn, gratefully lend the government monetary and political support. • The new federal regime would thrive, the propertied classes would fatten, and prosperity would trickle down to the masses.
Hamilton Revives the Corpse of Public Credit • To raise capital, Hamilton asked the government to fund at par, which meant that the federal government would pay off its debts at face value, plus accumulated interest ($54 million). • Hamilton’s plan was to move the backing of wealthy creditors from the states to the federal government and help strengthen the federal government.
Customs Duties and Excise Taxes • The bottom line was that Hamilton was purposely trying to increase the national debt because there would be more people with a personal stake in the success of the United States. • Hamilton is known as “Father of the National Debt”. • The question was, where was the money going to come from to pay off the $75 million debt?
Customs Duties and Excise Taxes • Hamilton’s first answer was customs duties, derived from a tariffs, which were dependent upon foreign trade. • The first tariff law imposed an 8% tariff on dutiable imports. • This was imposed to raise revenue, but also protect the infant industries in the U.S. from the British. • Hamilton had the foresight to realize that the Industrial Revolution was soon to move across the Atlantic to America.
Customs Duties and Excise Taxes • The only problem was the Congress was still looking out for the agrarian farmers (still majority) and only voted 2 slight increases in the tariff during Washington’s presidency. • In 1791, Hamilton secured from Congress an excise tax on some domestic items, most notably whiskey.
Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a Bank • Hamilton pushed hard for a bank of the United States (modeled off of the Bank of England). • He wanted the federal government to be a major stockholder and wished for the federal Treasury to deposit its surplus monies. • The idea of having newly minted paper money was useful, but was it Constitutional?
Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a Bank • Jefferson wrote to Washington that he was vehemently against the bank, arguing that it was not within the boundaries of the Constitution. • Jefferson generally believed that what the Constitution did not permit it forbade. • Jefferson felt that the states could charter banks, but not the federal government.
Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a Bank • Hamilton, on the other hand, believed that what the Constitution did not forbid it permitted. • Hamilton was invoking the “necessary and proper” clause and that a national bank would fall under “implied power”. • Hamilton was successful in convincing Washington, who reluctantly signed the measure into law.
Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a Bank • The support came from the industrialized North, whereas the strongest opposition came from the agrarian South. • The Bank of the United States was created in 1791 and was chartered for 20 years. • Located in Philadelphia, it was to have capital of $10 million, one-fifth owned by the federal government. • Stock was open to public sale, which went very quickly.
Mutinous Moonshiners in Pennsylvania • The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, flared up in southwestern Pennsylvania and heavily challenged the new national government. • People of this region did not see whiskey was a luxury, but an economic necessity and medium of exchange (preachers were paid in whiskey in some cases). • Washington summoned the militias to put down the rebellion without much trouble. • Though a minor insurrection, the Whiskey Rebellion showed that the new government commanded respect.
The Emergence of Political Parties • Even though Hamilton’s financial successes were great, all of his schemes heavily encroached on states’ rights. • Out of this, an organized opposition began to build and the Hamilton/Jefferson personal feud turned into a full-blown and frequently bitter political rivalry. • Until this time, there were no political parties, only factions (Tories/Whigs, Federalists/anti-Federalists).
The Emergence of Political Parties • The notion of a formal party system was a novel idea in the 1790s when Jefferson and Madison organized their opposition to Hamilton. • As the newspapers began to spread the ideas of Jefferson and Hamilton, people began to take sides. • Since this time, there has been a two party system in the U.S. (pg. 206)
The Impact of the French Revolution • By the time that Washington’s first administration ended in 1793, there was a divide between the people based on the two newly emerged political parties; the Jeffersonian Democratic- Republicans and the Hamiltonian Federalists. • The French Revolution, most aptly a historic, global revolution, was one of the few non-American events that has left a deeper scar on American political and social life.
The Impact of the French Revolution • As the Reign of Terror started and the king was beheaded, Federalist aristocrats began to feel nervous as they eyed the Jeffersonian masses more nervously. • The nervousness continued to grow as the British entered the fray and the fighting spread to the New World.
Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation • The Franco-American alliance of 1778 was still on the books, but the question was whether or not the U.S. should help defend their West Indies from England. • Many Jeffersonians favored honoring the alliance because they felt they owed France for their freedom. • Backed by Hamilton, Washington knew that the nation was militarily feeble, economically wobbly, and politically disunited.
Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation • Washington felt that the U.S. needed to avoid trouble in Europe for a generation or so until the population could increase and they could assert themselves militarily. • In 1793, Washington asserted his Neutrality Proclamation shortly after the outbreak of war between France and England. • The Pro-French Jeffersonians were enraged in part because Washington did not consult Congress and the Pro-British Federalists were pleased.
Jay’s Treaty and Washington’s Farewell • In a desperate gamble to avoid war with the British, Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to London in 1794. • Even though Jay had weak cards to negotiate with, he was able to convince the British to evacuate their chain of trading posts on U.S. soil (even though it had been promised to him in Paris before).
Jay’s Treaty and Washington’s Farewell • Britain consented to pay damages for the seizure of American ships, but never promised to stop and future maritime seizures nor did they promise to stop supplying weapons to the Natives. • They also forced Jay to give binding word that they U.S. would repay debts owed to British merchants on pre-Rev. accounts.
Jay’s Treaty and Washington’s Farewell • Jay’s unpopular pact further strengthened the Jeffersonians when they learned of Jay’s concessions. • Southern Jeffersonians would have to repay most of the debts to the British while the wealthy Federalists shippers collected damages for recent British seizures. • Jay’s Treaty lead to Pinckney’s Treaty of 1795 with Spain that granted the U.S. free navigation of the Mississippi, the right of deposit at New Orleans, and the disputed territory of western FL.
Jay’s Treaty and Washington’s Farewell • Washington decided to retire following the tension filled 2nd term (setting the unofficial standard of a 2 term President). • In his printed Farewell Address, Washington urged “temporary treaties” instead of permanent alliances.
John Adams Becomes President • Hamilton, years before, would have been the obvious successor to Washington, but his financial policies had made him so unpopular that he could no longer hope to be elected. • The Democratic-Republicans naturally rallied behind their master organizer and leader Thomas Jefferson. • Adams, who was supported greatly in New England, won by the narrow margin of 71 to 68 Electoral College votes.
John Adams Becomes President • Adams was seen as an intellectual aristocrat who stepped into a role that no one could succeed in; filling Washington’s shoes. • Adams was hated by Hamilton who resigned his position in the Treasury to head the war faction of the Federalist party, the “High Federalists”.
Unofficial Fighting with France • The French were upset at Jay’s Treaty and considered it a violation of the Franco-American Treaty of 1778. • French warships began to seize defenseless American merchant vessels in the Atlantic. • President Adams sent John Marshall (future chief justice) and others to Paris to meet with French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Tallyrand.
Unofficial Fighting with France • They were secretly approached by 3 go-between, later referred by as X, Y, and Z. • The French anonymous spokesmen demanded a loan of 32 million florins and a bribe of $250,000 to merely talk to Tallyrand. • The Americans knew that bribes were common in Europe, but the Americans refused to pay a quarter million dollars and returned home as heroes for their steadfastness.
Unofficial Fighting with France • The XYZ Affair sent a wave of hysteria sweeping through the U.S. • The Federalists were delighted at this unexpected turn of events, whereas only the most strident Jeffersonians kept their heads up over the misbehavior of their French friends. • War preparation moved on at a fever pitch.
Unofficial Fighting with France • The Navy Department was created; • The three-ship navy was expanded • The Marine Corps was reestablished (created in 1775 and disbanded at the end of the war) • A new army of 10,000 men was authorized.
Unofficial Fighting with France • Bloodshed was confined to the seas, principally the West Indies. • Over two years (1798-1800) an undeclared war cost the U.S. several hundred ships and they were able to capture 80 French ships. • It seemed that only a slight push was needed to force the 2 into a full-dress war.
Adams Puts Patriotism Above Party • France wanted no war with the U.S. as that would only add one more foe to the enemy roster for Tallyrand. • The British, who were lending the U.S. cannons and other war supplies, were actually closer with the Americans than they would be for many years. • In 1799, Adams submitted to Congress 3 new names to send to France for one last attempt at peace.
Adams Puts Patriotism Above Party • Hamilton and the rest of the Federalists were enraged that Adams would try the diplomatic approach over starting a war. • As the 3 American ambassadors reached France, they were happy to see that Napoleon Bonaparte had taken dictatorial rule over France. • Napoleon was quick to squash the problems with the U.S. so he could concentrate on redrawing the map of Europe.
Adams Puts Patriotism Above Party • The Convention of 1800 paved the way for peace and 3 years later, it paved the way for the Louisiana Purchase. • If there had been full blown war between France and the U.S. there is no way that Napoleon would have sold the Louisiana Territory to Thomas Jefferson in 1803.
The Federalist Witch Hunt • During the anti-French time, the Federalists used their power and influence to push a number of anti-Jeffersonian laws through Congress. • Because of their scorn for European immigrants who were poor, and often Jeffersonian, the Federalists upped the age of residence from 5 years living in America to 14 years living in America. • This law violated the American policy of open door hospitality and speedy assimilation.
The Federalist Witch Hunt • The Alien Laws allowed the President to deport dangerous foreigners in times of peace and deport or imprison them in time of hostilities. • This was a grant of executive power that was contrary to the Constitution and it was never enforced.
The Federalist Witch Hunt • The Sedition Act was an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. • It said that anyone who stood in the way of policy or defamed any government officials, including the President, would be liable of heavy fine and imprisonment. • Many outspoken Jeffersonians were charged and 10 were brought to trial.
The Federalist Witch Hunt • All 10 were convicted by juries serving heavily biased Federalist judges. • Even though it was in direct violation of the Constitution, the Sedition Act was upheld by a Federalist friendly Supreme Court (law expired in 1801). • In the congressional elections of 1798-1799 the Federalists won a sweeping victory.
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions • Fearing prosecution for sedition, Jefferson secretly penned a series of resolutions, which the Kentucky legislature approved in 1798 and 1799. • James Madison penned similar but less extreme statements that were adopted by the VA legislature in 1798.
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions • The Kentucky resolutions concluded that the federal regime had exceeded its constitutional powers and that with regard to the Alien and Sedition Acts- nullification was the only “rightful remedy”. • The other states refused to fall in line with Jefferson’s thinking. • Federalists states added that since the people, not the states had made the original constitution, the question of whether to nullify was up to the Supreme Court.
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions • The Virginia and Kentucky resolutions were more sweeping in their implications than most people could have dreamed and were used by southerners to support nullification and ultimately secession. • Jefferson and Madison were using the resolutions to drum up Jeffersonian support for the upcoming Presidential election of 1800.
Federalists Vs. Democratic-Republicans • The Federalists distrusted full blown democracy and often said that, “those who own the country ought to govern it.” (Jay) • Hamiltonian Federalists wanted a strong central government with the power to; • Crush democratic excesses like Shay’s Rebellion • Protect the lives and estates of the wealthy • Subordinate the sovereignty loving states • And promote foreign trade
Federalists Vs. Democratic-Republicans • They believed that government should support private enterprise, but not interfere with it (remember who they are).
Federalists Vs. Democratic-Republicans • Jefferson by all accounts should have been a Federalist. He was a member of the VA aristocracy and slave owner. • Jefferson believed in uncommon sympathy for the common people, especially the oppressed and downtrodden. • Jefferson favored government for the people, but not by all people- only by white males who were literate enough to inform themselves.
Federalists Vs. Democratic-Republicans • The Republicans demanded; • A weak central government • Power in the states • The national debt paid off or it would be passed down to the next generation.