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John Adams and Political Dissent. A. XYZ Affair When Americans learned that French agents had demanded a bribe of American negotiators, anti-French sentiment swept the United States. Minster Y claimed “French party” in US B. Quasi-War with France

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John Adams and Political Dissent

  • A. XYZ Affair

  • When Americans learned that French agents had demanded a bribe of American negotiators, anti-French sentiment swept the United States.

    • Minster Y claimed “French party” in US

  • B. Quasi-War with France

  • The U.S. fought an undeclared naval war with France, mostly in Caribbean waters.

  • C. Alien and Sedition Acts

  • Federalists hoped to capitalize politically on Americans’ anger toward France by passing four laws to suppress dissent and limit the growth of the Republican party.


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  • D. Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

  • Jefferson and Madison responded to the Alien and Sedition Acts by claiming that since a compact among the states created the Constitution, the states could judge the constitutionality of federal actions.

    • Nullification

  • E. Convention of 1800

  • Negotiations between French and American diplomats ended the Quasi-War and freed the United States from its alliance with France.

    • Adams told to use war for political advantage; fires advisers; loses 1800


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Indians and African Americans at the End of the Century

  • A. “Civilizing” the Indians

  • The Indian Trade and Intercourse Act of 1793 was a well-intentioned plan to “civilize” Native Americans, but the plan ignored the cultural traditions of the eastern Indian peoples.

  • B. Iroquois and Cherokees

  • The Cherokees adapted some of the teachings of Quaker missionaries to their own culture. Iroquois culture, due largely to the influence of Handsome Lake, adapted to European patterns to survive in the midst of changed circumstances.


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  • C. African Americans and Ideas of Freedom

  • Africans Americans took the revolutionary ideas of liberty and equality seriously. They learned the benefits of fighting collectively from the slave revolt in St. Domingue (Haiti) in 1793.

  • D. Gabriel’s Rebellion

  • Gabriel Prosser led an unsuccessful revolt in Virginia in 1800 that he hoped would bring equality for African Americans.

    • Thought poor whites would join w/them

  • Sancho revived the plan for revolt in 1802, but the plan disintegrated when the plot was revealed prematurely.


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Jefferson

  • Introduction: Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration heralded a change from the Federalist-controlled government that had preceded. The nation’s political system became better defined and its nationalistic and international positions grew clearer over the next fifteen years.


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Indian Resistance

  • A. The Prophet

  • Before the War of 1812, Shawnee brothers Tecumseh and Prophet attempted to create an Indian federation. Prophet (Lalawethika) claimed to have returned from the dead, and he encouraged Indians to abandon white culture and return to their traditional ways.

  • B. Tecumseh

  • Prophet and Tecumseh encouraged resistance. Tecumseh turned Prophet’s religious message into a political one and traveled widely in an attempt to unify northern and southern Indians to resist white occupation.

  • In the Battle of Tippecanoe, the supporters of Prophet and Tecumseh were dispersed. Their movement for Indian unity ended with Tecumseh’s death in 1813.


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American Shipping Imperiled

  • A. U.S. Commerce

  • The U.S. economy relied heavily on shipping in the early years of the republic. The United States paid a heavy price when France and Britain blockaded each other’s trade in their commercial war.

  • B. Impressment of American Sailors

  • Britain resorted to stopping American ships to remove deserters, although many of them had become American citizens.

  • C. Neutral Rights

  • Britain blocked goods the U.S. believed were part of neutral trade. Congress passed the Non-Importation Act in 1806, which barred British manufactured goods from entering American ports.

  • D. Chesapeake Affair

  • In 1807, the crew of the H.M.S. Leopard attacked and boarded the U.S.S. Chesapeake in American waters. The incident led many Americans to demand war, but Jefferson responded instead with “peaceable coercion.”


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  • E. Embargo Act

  • The Embargo of 1807 forbade virtually all exports from the United States and became extremely unpopular as the American economy collapsed.

  • F. Domestic Manufacturing

  • Domestic manufacturing was made profitable by the embargo, and merchants began to shift capital from shipping to manufacturing.

  • G. Election of 1808

  • Jefferson, emulating Washington, declined a third term. This led to the contested nomination of Democratic-Republican James Madison, who later won the election.

  • H. Non-Intercourse Act

  • The Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 resumed trade with all countries except Britain and France. In 1810, Congress substituted Macon’s Bill Number 2, which Napoleon used to trick the United States into declaring non-intercourse with Great Britain (claimed he would respect US neutrality).


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Jefferson: American Sphnix

  • From strict to loose

  • Louisiana Purchase

  • Barbary Pirates

  • Sally Hemings


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A. Thomas Paine: Quill Mightier than the Sword

  • Thomas Paine: born England to corset-maker father, many jobs including tax collector, teacher, servant, etc. financial failure (throughout life)‏

  • On advice Ben Franklin emigrates America 1774 (w/letter of rec)‏

  • B. Rush suggests title change Plain TruthCommon Sense

    • J. Adams writes Thoughts on Government as more moderate answer to Paine

  • 1776: The Crisis

    • J. Adams: “Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense,’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain”

    • JA (angrily): “History is to ascribe the American Revolution to Thomas Paine.”

      • Paine did also serve in the Army as aide to Nathaniel Greene


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B. A Missionary of World Revolution

  • BF: “Where liberty is, there is my country”

  • TP: “Where liberty is not, there is my country.”

  • 1787 leaves US England, 1791: The Rights of Man

    • 1) age of hereditary monarchy and aristocracy was over

    • 2) people citizens, not subjects, born w/equal natural rights

    • 3) people write constitutions to define + limit their governments;

    • 4) written constitutions could not be changed by the governments but only by the sovereign people themselves;

    • 5) rulers had no rights of their own, only temp’y agents of the people (must continually watch + empower them through elections);

    • 6) people are naturally sociable society is practically autonomous and self-regulating;

    • 7) people independent + free pursue happiness in own way

  • Essentially the summation of American political thought (esp. TJ)‏

  • Part 1: 50,000 copies 3 months; Part 2: outsold only by Bible


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C. “Filthy Little Atheist”

  • Goes to France, elected to National Assembly 1792

  • Arrested by French Revolution, held in jail for year (goes insane?)‏

  • Age of Reason: “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

  • Probably the thinking of most educated, but not a belief that should be shared with the masses

  • Banned as blasphemous; Philadelphia printer 100,000 copies (London: sold in vending machines to avoid prison/fine for selling)‏

  • 1802: Federalists use against the other Tom


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