GHIST 225: US History Kevin R. Hardwick Spring 2012 LECTURE 14 The First Party System: American Politics in the 1790s
Part I: The French Revolution Part II: The Whiskey Rebellion Part III: The Alien and Sedition Acts
1792: French Revolution turns Radical; the “terror” begins 1796: John Adams, Second President of US Federalist ________________________________________________________________ 1794: Whiskey Rebellion 1789: French Revolution Establishes Constitutional Monarchy 1798: Alien and Sedition Acts Response to this (I will discuss on Monday): Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions
Thomas Jefferson, 1793: "Rather than it [the French Revolution] should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolate; were there but an Adam and Eve left in every country, and left free, it would be better than it now is."
Fisher Ames [a Federalist Congressman from Massachusetts], 1793: “It is a fact, that the talk of Jacobins, and even their printed threats are to demolish bank property and funded debt, and to wreak vengeance on the aristocrats, meaning the possessors of property.” “France has confessedly lost liberty, and the spirit and love of it, and has become infatuated with the passion for rapine and conquest.”
Jonathan Maxcy [A New England Minister] , 1799 The French Revolution was a “cavalcade of death.” The French revolutionaries were “enemies of our own and all other established governments,” who were engaged in an effort to “exterminate all religious and moral principles.” “Hence it is that cargoes of infidelity have been imported into our country, and industriously circulated to corrupt the minds and morals of the rising generation.”
Whiskey Rebellion: A great name for a band! Not to mention a source of some Amusement and merriment!
In 1794 this was serious business: United States soldiers marching west to put down the Whiskey Rebellion, 1794
Fisher Ames, 1798: The Democratic-Republicans were “the party who thus labor to destroy all that we have toiled and fought for.” “If we allow ourselves any respite from the assaults of the French faction, it is by animating the zeal of the friends of virtue and government.”
Alexander Addison, a judge on Pennsylvania's fifth circuit, 1799: "Liberty without limit is licentiousness, it is the worst kind of tyranny." "The exercise of those faculties of opinion . . . must be limited, so that it never represents a solemn truth or exercise of religion as false or ridiculous, an established and useful principle or form of government as odious and detestable; a regular or salutary act or motive of the authorities as unlawful or pernicious; or an upright man as corrupt."