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A New Nation 1789-1800. Brought about a new Constitution Moving forward: The task ahead of Washington and Congress was to build a government around the ideas of the Constitution. Philadelphia Convention. Establish federal laws, courts, & law enforcement officers

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philadelphia convention

Brought about a new Constitution

Moving forward: The task ahead of Washington and Congress was to build a government around the ideas of the Constitution

Philadelphia Convention
key concerns

Establish federal laws, courts, & law enforcement officers

Solve financial problems, establish a federal treasury, & a method for collecting taxes

Key Concerns

George Washington was elected the first U.S. President & served two terms

Was their a term limit established by the U.S. Constitution at this time?

John Adams became Vice President


Amendment 22 (1951) established the two-term limit of a president

What U.S. President was elected to the most terms prior to this Amendment?


Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR)


Inauguration ceremonies were held in NYC on April 30th 1789

After this Presidential Inaugurations were held in March

Amendment 20 (1933), also known as the “Lame Duck” Amendment changed Presidential Inaugurations to January 20th

questions to consider

What is a Lame Duck?

Why may the framers of the Constitution have specified a longer lame duck period?

Questions To Consider

Political office holder reaching the end of their term either because of a lack of desire to run again, a loss in re-election, term limits, or the termination of their office. They often have less political power at this time.

Hint: think technology and transportation

Transportation and Technology were less advanced causing information to travel slower


In 1789, Congress recognized a need for a bureaucracy

  • Congress create the following Departments:
    • The Department of State
    • The Department of the Treasury
    • The Department of War
    • The office of the Attorney General
selecting leaders

Washington wanted men who were “disposed to measure matters on a continental scale” rather than their home states to head the departments.

What does this quote mean?

Selecting leaders

-Disposition-inclination or a tendency

-Washington wanted men who acted in interest of the country rather than their own individual state.

the cabinet

Washington chose the following men to lead the Departments:

    • Secretary of State-Thomas Jefferson
    • Secretary of the Treasury-Alexander Hamilton
    • Secretary of war –General Henry Knox
    • Attorney General –Edmund Randolph
  • These department heads became known as the cabinet
  • Cabinet- a group of advisers to the president
The Cabinet
presidential cabinet incumbents
Presidential Cabinet(Incumbents)




John Kerry

Jack Lew

Chuck Hagel

important measures taken by congress
Important Measures taken by Congress
  • Other Cabinet Posts:
    • Attorney General – heads the Department of Justice today & the first was Edmund Randolph





federal judiciary

Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789

    • 13 district courts
    • 3 courts of appeal
    • 1 Supreme Court
      • Washington selected five associate judges and one chief justice
        • Appointed John Jay to Chief Justice
  • Stressed the power of Judicial Review (constitutionality of legislation)
Federal Judiciary
judicial structure

(1) Supreme Court (1)

(3) Courts of Appeal (12)

(13) District Courts (94)

Judicial Structure

President appoints Supreme Court justices if one retires or is removed from office

    • However, the Senate must approve the president’s choice

How many Supreme Court justices are their today?



bill of rights

James Madison- Pushed for the passage of a Bill of Rights

-Drafted the Bill of Rights

    • Congress agreed on 12 amendments

-States ratified ten of twelve

    • One through eight protect individuals from certain government actions
    • Nine and ten limit the powers of the federal government
Bill of Rights

Which two rights are the only ones unique to the American Bill of Rights, and why do you think that is?


Problems solved:

    • Federal courts (the Supreme Court, 3 courts of appeal, 13 district courts)
    • Bill of Rights (ten amendments)
    • Cabinet (to advise president)
  • Existing problems:
    • Revenue -a source of income
the price of freedom

The American revolution cost the newly independent U.S. government about 50 million dollars

    • $40 million to American citizens (Bonds)
      • Bonds-a piece of paper/document that promises to repay borrowed money by a certain time with interest
    • $11.7 million to France, Spain, and the Netherlands
    • 21.5 million state debt the federal government agreed to pay (gain trust)
  • Note: There was an annual interest on these debts
The Price of Freedom
tariff of 1789

Hamilton suggested taxing imports to raise money & protect American businesses from unfair foreign competition

  • Congress passed the Tariff of 1789
    • Required importers to pay a rate/percentage of the total value of goods brought into the United States
    • Shippers paid tonnage –tax on amount their ships carried
    • Also, levied an excise tax on distilled liquors, which led to the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania
Tariff of 1789
southern response

Southern planters were angry because:

    • Tariff= raise prices of European and other goods that Southerners either wanted or needed
    • Tonnage tax= more expensive to ship their rice, tobacco, and other common cash crops
Southern Response
hamilton s economic plan

Pay off national debt ($50 million):

    • Incurred by the Revolutionary War & debts owed to private citizens
  • Pay off state debts ($24 million):
    • Compromise between Hamilton & Jefferson
    • Nation’s capital was moved to the banks of the Potomac River
    • Washington, District of Columbia
Hamilton’s Economic Plan
hamilton s economic plan1

Create a National Bank

  • Hamilton argued to congress a national bank was necessary to:
    • Manage debts
    • Establish a national currency - Bank notes-paper money
      • Promote trade
      • Encourage investment
      • Stimulate economic growth
Hamilton’s Economic Plan

Southerners opposed plan

    • Felt Northern merchants would own most of bank’s stock
  • James Madison argued congress could not create a national bank
    • It was not among the enumerated powers
      • Powers specifically mentioned in the Constitution
the national bank

Hamilton argued that the elastic clause (AKA necessary and proper clause, art.1 sect.8 ) gave Congress this power

  • Washington knew his choice to veto or sign this bank bill set a precedent
    • Created implied powers
The national Bank
the rise of political parties

Group of people that share the same ideology (platform)

Two-party system-two main political parties of today (Democrats and Republicans)

Can we name some of today’s political parties?

The Rise of Political Parties

Democratic, Republican, Boston Tea Party, Libertarian, Prohibition Party, many others

choosing sides

Washington’s first term in office

  • Hamilton’s financial plan
    • Congress divided based on view of federal governments role
  • Nation’s first political parties
    • Hamilton’s supporters-Federalists
    • Madison and Jefferson –Democratic-Republicans
Choosing Sides
hamilton and the federalists

Favored strong national government

    • “democracy was dangerous to liberty”
      • Distrust of “the people”
      • Wanted government in hands of the elite (“rich, well-born, and able”)
    • Loose construction of Constitution
Hamilton and the Federalists
federalists economics

Manufacturing and trade = national wealth and power

  • Federalists supporters- often artisans, merchants, manufacturers, and bankers
  • Some urban workers and eastern farmers (trade benefit)
Federalists (economics)
jefferson and the republicans

Jefferson led the Democratic-republicans

    • Called Republicans (not the same as today’s republican party)
    • Thought Hamilton’s policies favored the North
    • Became party that protected right of states vs. federal government
Jefferson and the Republicans
republicans economics

Believed strength of U.S. was independent farmers

  • Most people own land they would fight to keep preserve republic (agrarianism-favored rural farming over urban industry)
  • Believed North’s industries= sharply divide rich and poor
    • And wealthy would corrupt government and threaten ordinary people’s liberties
    • Thought Hamilton’s policies favored the North
Republicans (Economics)
a geographic divide

Rural South & West supported the Republicans

More Urban Northeast typically supported the Federalists

Conflict between France and Britain would widen the divide

A Geographic Divide

1789, the French Revolution began

    • At first most Americans supported the cause
  • 1793, more radical group seized power
    • Took property from wealthy, executed 1000’s(including king and queen )
        • Federalist-horrified by chaos and violence
        • Republicans-many still supported revolutionaries because it seemed to be for freedom and liberty
france vs england

In 1789, the French people revolted against their King, England attacked France, and France asked for assistance from the United States.

What is Britain concerned about?

France vs. England

At this time, Britain and France were both monarchs and the British Crown hoped to prevent any future rebellions within their own borders.

opposing american views
Opposing American views

North (Hamilton) favored England because both were industrial and had strong economic ties

South (Jefferson and Madison) favored France because both were agricultural, and also to repay the help they lent during the American Revolution (Yorktown)


Washington issued the Proclamation of Neutrality of 1793.

-Impartial to Britain and France

Why would someone (in this case Washington) choose to be neutral?


Both Britain and France traded with the United States (economic interests)

jay s treaty background

Congress almost declared war because of British aggression at sea and at home (“inciting Native Americans”)

Britain at war with France but knew U.S. relied on Britain for trade

In an effort to avoid war Washington sent John Jay to negotiate with Britain

Jay’s treaty (Background)
jay s treaty continued


  • Jay had to agree that Britain had the right to seize American Ships bound for France
  • Britain did not have to compensate U.S. Merchants whose goods were seized
  • Pros:
  • Britain gave up forts in American territory
  • Granted U.S. most-favored nation status
    • Meant American merchants could trade without being subjected to British discrimination
  • Note: Many Americans were angered by the conditions
Jay’s treaty (continued)
pinckney s treaty

Prior to Jay’s treaty Spain allied with France

Spain feared U.S. would join Britain in order to obtain Spain’s North American territories (Florida)

1795 Spain signed Treaty of San Lorenzo (Pinckney’s Treaty)

Americans happy-gained access to the Mississippi River

Pinckney’s Treaty
washington retires
Washington Retires

Washington refused to serve a third term, retired at Mount Vernon, and warned against foreign alliances & political parties in the future.

xyz affair

3 French agents representing Charles Maurice de Talleyrand requested bribe($250,000) to initiate talks and a 12million dollar loan

Americans called for war

Congress banned trade with France

Navy began capturing French ships

“XYZ” Affair
quasi war

President John Adams won first contested election(in U.S. Hist) against Thomas Jefferson

France began seizing American Ships

U.S. & France began Quasi-War (undeclared)


-Napoleon seized power in France and quickly reached an agreement with Adams.

- Signed Convention of 1800

alien sedition acts

Purpose- Four laws passed by a Federalist (dominated) Congress to reduce the power of the Democratic-Republicans

  • 1-3 directed towards aliens- people who were not citizens living in the country
  • 4thSedition- illegal print anything “false, scandalous, or malicious” about the federal government
    • Many immigrants were French and Irish (both anti-British and voted for the Republicans)
Alien & Sedition Acts

Democratic-Republicans responded with the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions

    • Both secretly written by Jefferson and Madison
    • Both said that since the states formed the Constitution they had the right to declare federal laws unconstitutional
  • Threatened secession if the Acts were not revoked
key terms

The Virginia Resolutions

    • interposition ; if the federal government did something unconstitutional the state could intervene for the people and stop the illegal action
  • The Kentucky Resolution
    • nullification; if the federal government pass an unconstitutional law the states could declare the law invalid
  • Neither resolution successful in 1800, however, states used both of these to “defend regional interests” in future
Key terms
election of 1800

In 1800, Federalists controlled the army, presidency, and the Congress

Adams (Federalist)- Alien and Sedition Acts angered too many Americans

With a tie vote in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives with help from Alexander Hamilton(Federalist), chose Jefferson over Burr on the thirty-sixth ballot

12th amendment-vote pres and vice pres same ballot , they must be from different states

Election of 1800

What made the election of 1800 so significant in American political history?

The first contested election in U.S. history went through a peaceful transition of power: the losing party accepted the choice of the people despite often strongly opposing ideologies (views) between the Democratic-Republicans and Federalists.