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The 1 st Party System

The 1 st Party System

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The 1 st Party System

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  1. The 1st Party System

  2. 1. Between 1783 and 1800, the new government of the United States faced the same political, economic , and constitutional issues that troubled the British government’s relations with the colonies prior to the Revolution. Assess the validity of this generalization. (80) • 2. “ Our prevailing passions are ambition and interest; and it will be the duty of a wise government to avail itself of those passions, in order to make them subservient to the public good.” -Alexander Hamilton, 1787 • How was this viewpoint manifested in Hamilton’s financial program as Secretary of the Treasury? ( 71) • 3. Evaluate the relative importance of domestic and foreign affairs in shaping American politics in the 1790’s. (94)

  3. I. Washington and the 18th Century View of Party • April 14, 1789: GW receives word of (unanimous) election processions and parades followed trip to NYC (capital) public expressions of unity

  4. GW symbol of nation and unity above political party • Parties = faction = discord and confusion • Parties reflect and foment disunity • No concept of legitimate political opposition: parties tool of tyranny • Doc C • Const. intended to diminish/abolish factions; Ams painfully accept parties as necessary

  5. II. Hamilton and the Emerging Republican Opposition A. An Energetic Government • AH believed “energy” of Fed required to transform US from rural + agrarian urban + industrial • Reverse “excesses” of democracy through strong central gov

  6. B. Hamilton’s Reports • 1790 +1: 3 position papers laying out program • 1) Public CreditI (1790) Establish secure credit + pay off debt (yes) • 2) 2nd Public Credit: Create Bank of the United States (yes) • 3) Manufactures (1791): Stimulate manufacturing through protective tariffs, bounties, encourage immigration, internal improvements (no; but eventually)

  7. Hamiltonian policies (esp. #3) push TJ and JM to active opposition • Doc E • Increasingly saw AH and Feds as aristocratic + monocrats attempting to recreate England in Am • Came to see GW as senile pawn of younger AH (aide de camp in Rev) • To cleanse Fed threat mobilize organized opposition despite hatred of parties: temp. coalition to stop AH menace that would dissolve after success • Doc F and G

  8. JM took point in House, TJ behind scenes in Cabinet (Sec’y State) • GW limited polarization: most unwilling to believe his administration could be evil with the great hero at its head • But, increasingly GW was an AH partisan + divisions about how US should look grew • Doc H

  9. III. Anglomen and Gallomen A. The French Revolution • F Rev (was FR heir to AR?) and renewed B-F war ignited divide • GW declares neutrality • 1793: TJ resigns bc GW too pro-Brit • Anglomen and Gallomen fight over meaning AR • Doc D • Neutrality easy to declare, diff maintain: B+ F willing step on young, weak US

  10. B. Genet • Citizen Edmond Genet (1793) sent to US: acts as if US F satellite + staging ground for attacks on B and S appoints George Rogers Clark commander of army attempting to raise; demands GW call special session Congress to resolve Am policy toward F; threatens to go over GW’s head to Am people • Some success in raising money + troops, esp. among those who want to take more land

  11. C. British Provocation and Jay’s Treaty • B extend embargo to Carib, seize 250 Am ships, claim right to stop all AM ships on high seas to search for deserters (grab all sorts people) John Jay sent to negotiate • Jay has no cards to play basically gives up Am rights to high seas + allows B same power to regulate Am trade as under Navigation Acts (but gets withdrawal Western forts) • Jay burned in effigy

  12. GW throws weight behind Treaty, narrowly passes (evidence sectionalism and partisanship) • GW attack as partisan + corrupt • Va DR toast: call for speedy death • Still powerful enough guarantee JA election • Relations w/F disintegrate: revocation F-Am pact, negotiators sent to F XYZ Affair calls for war; even greater pol’l division (parties and society)

  13. IV. Alien and Sedition Acts (1798) • Increasingly paranoid style of politics: not just opponents but enemies of nation (traitors) • Doc S • War imminent, worst enemies w/in: Gallic devotees, supposed F armies in West, and immigrants sent by F to start a rev (esp. Catholic Irish) • Naturalized Irish voting DR Alien Act • Lengthened residency req from 5 to 14 yrs, empowered Pres to imprison or deport “enemy aliens” in case of war

  14. Sedition Act • Speak or print or write scandalous or malicious criticism of gov’t (even if true) heavy fine or prison • Used as weapon against DR papers • Mathew Lyon (Spitting Lyon): July ’98: libel vs. Adams pleads unconstitutionality: imprisoned, kept writing, elected to House (from jail), and in 1800 cast deciding vote for TJ • Enforcement of sedition loose (only 10 of 25 convicted), and # DR papers doubles

  15. V. Revolution of 1800 • Election of 1800 broke hold of Feds (except Judiciary) and rise of DRs • Successful, nonviolent transition of power from one party to another during period intense partisan rancor • Produced legitimacy of political opp. + opp. entitled to gain reins of power if established a strong following (although F and DR still hate + fear each other) • How? Deep belief and faith in Const. (and otherwise) checks on excessive power • Party now an additional check on power of gov: necessary evil