Chapter 6: Establishing National Institutions



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Louis Pisha AP US History
Chapter 6: Establishing National Institutions
Launching the New Government

A Strong Executive

The Bill of Rights

The Shaping of Domestic Policy

National Credit and National Debt

The Hamiltonian Program

Foreign Affairs under Washington

Jeffersonian Neutrality

A Hamiltonian Treaty

The Winning of the West

Federalists vs. Republicans

The Republican Challenge

The Federalist Response

The Election of 1796

The Presidency of John Adams

The President and the Politicians

The End of the French Alliance

The Alien and Sedition Laws

The Election of 1800

▪ Opportunity to fill in the details that were not included in the framing of the US government



Launching the New Government

▪ Washington elected president,

▪ Adams VP—talented but vain and sometimes a bit crazy—stayed in background

▪ Madison elected to House and Washington’s principal adviser

▪ Also Hamilton and Jefferson

A Strong Executive

▪ Washington strong because of simplicity of mind, singleness of purpose to country—believed it was his job to limit extent of executive power and establish respect for his office

▪ Surrounded himself with honor but just title “President of the United States”—Madison guided policy

▪ Congress provided for departments of Treasury (Hamilton), State (Jefferson), and War (Knox), as well as attorney general (Randolph) and postmaster general—but didn’t center around Congress, rather Prez

▪ Washington took no part in forming legislation and rarely used veto

▪ Madison, Hamilton, and Jefferson guided Congress, Hamilton’s office more connected with legislation



The Bill of Rights

▪ States suggested amendments to guarantee rights

▪ Madison had originally opposed this because thought people made laws anyway and feared any statement of rights would be taken as only rights

▪ But he drew them up and they were ratified as first 10 amendments to Constitution

▪ The Ninth protects against denial of other rights, and the tenth gives all rights not of federal government to states and people

▪ Madison had changed his mind because the amendments could be used by people, executive, judicial, and maybe even the state governments

▪ Judiciary Act of 1789 provided for Supreme Court, 13 district and circuit courts, and that Supreme Court had judicial review

The Shaping of Domestic Policy

National Credit and National Debt

▪ Congress established import duties for income

▪ Much of debt in form of certificates (IOUs)—were sold mainly to speculators so most people expected not redeeming them at face value

▪ Hamilton proposed to fund all of them at face value, even though it meant speculators (which included some congressmen) would get rich

▪ Madison objected; said pay speculators back what they paid and the rest to the original holders—but defeated

▪ Also the issue of assumption of state debts by federal government—the problem was, some states had already paid most of their debt, and they would be taxed again to pay for the other states

▪ But some wouldn’t vote for funding unless they got assumption, so compromise bill passed with both—but sectional divide N-S Hamilton-Madison

The Hamiltonian Program

▪ Hamilton purposely set off speculation to start large-scale expansion of industry and commerce—this provided capital in the hands of people willing to risk it

▪ Also wanted to increase power of national government at expense of states, and his methods were hard to resist

▪ Next objective was a national bank, but investors could pay partly in government bonds, so would rest on national debt (make it an advantage)—also would issue notes instead of specie (gold and sometimes silver)

▪ Madison attacked the Bank bill with strict interpretationist arguments, but Congress loose so passed it, and Washington signed it after much consideration

▪ Hamilton now presented Report on Manufactures, scheme of protective tariffs and bounties—but farmers and merchants preferred free competition—Congress defeated his proposal

▪ Now Madison and Jefferson wary of increasing power as brought by Hamilton—believed fed government should ally with farmers, not industry—also saw that Hamilton’s programs driving a wedge N-S

▪ However, slavery was not in danger, so there wasn’t too much tension (All of Congress passed fugitive slave law)

▪ But dissention none too small—fortunately, Washington stood above the quarrels

Foreign Affairs under Washington

▪ Washington gave Jefferson no free hand in foreign affairs, and started calling together all Cabinet for advice—Hamilton and Jefferson again disagreed



Jeffersonian Neutrality

▪ 1790 imminent war between Spain and England

▪ Everyone in US said neutral, but what if Br marched through Am territory? Hamilton said proclaim neutrality, Jefferson wanted Br to bargain (for Am trading rights)

▪ No war, so no trading rights—Br sent minister to Am (Hammond) and Am did the same (Pinckney)

▪ Jefferson was a France sympathizer (had been minister to Fr)—while Hamilton detested the overturning of society and Br had a better navy

▪ So he said scrap Fr alliance and not recognize Genêt (minister from Fr)—Jefferson said no and no declaration of neutrality—Washington issued proclamation of neutrality to American people and accepted Genêt

▪ Genêt overstepped his power, nobody liked him, and then Washington demanded his recall

▪ Am claimed right to carry non-contraband goods to belligerents (France), Br said no and started seizing our ships to Fr W Indies—also US had not had much luck with Indians, and then Br made a speech to them to do their worst to US

▪ House debating whether restrictions on Br trade would cause retaliation, then this news and war hysteria started so Wash sent Jay to England on diplomatic mission

A Hamiltonian Treaty

▪ Jay had experience, but unsuccessful experience—in the past he didn’t have anything to negotiate with, but now he said England had to make concessions to keep Am neutrality

▪ But now Denmark and Sweden invited US to join alliance of neutrals, but Hamilton didn’t want this so told Hammond we wouldn’t

▪ Then Britain conceded little—especially would not stop impressment, required US give up own view of neutral shipping rights, restrict Am trade with other countries, especially in West Indies

▪ Hamilton tried to keep treaty secret so public opinion would not go against it, but public outrage—senate passed it after taking out West Indies clause

▪ Public said Washington don’t sign it, Cabinet said yes, bribery revealed between Fauchet and Randolph, Washington signed it



The Winning of the West

▪ Greenville defeated the Indians in W and pushed them out of their lands

▪ Spain afraid US would join Britain, so US got free navigation of Miss, Am traders deposit goods at mouth of river, Am S boundary at 31st parallel and W at Miss, each prevent Indians from attacking the other—Senate ratified the treaty

Federalists vs. Republicans

▪ Hamilton dictated policy mostly, but Madison and Jefferson started a political party to oppose him



The Republican Challenge

▪ Parties had been thought of as factions, groups to procure selfish advantages at expense of rest of community, so regularly denounced

▪ But Madison and Jefferson didn’t want to do this—rather consolidate their strength against Hamilton’s plan

▪ Jefferson tried to get more influence in Cabinet, but that didn’t work well

▪ Madison often defeated in House, but more successful, and had friends like Giles, Beckley—began to use the name Republicans

▪ The opponents started using the name Federalists to identify Republicans with Anti-federalists (even though not really true)

▪ Madison and Jefferson believed they were on the people’s side and the Federalists were a faction to use funding and assumption to their own advantage

▪ Newspaper The Gazette of the United States was Federalist, so Republicans started The National Gazette

▪ Democratic Clubs sprang up all over the country in the style of the Jacobin societies in France, and they supported Republicans

The Federalist Response

▪ Excise tax on whiskey angered Pennsylvania farmers who turned their grain into it—started a rebellion—Washington marched militia to Pennsylvania and dissolved the rebellion, arresting the leaders

▪ Washington made a speech connecting Democratic Clubs with rebellion and denouncing both, so most of the clubs dissolved

▪ Neither the Republicans nor Washington realized the extent of Washington’s influence as a Federalist weapon, but Hamilton did and used it—Washington increasingly supporting Hamilton so choosing the Federalist side

▪ The Republicans continued the fight against Jay’s Treaty in the House (because they could examine it before granting money for its carrying-out)—House demanded copies of Jay’s papers, Washington refused, Hamilton got petitions against it, Madison’s majority dwindled and House supported it

The Election of 1796

▪ Republican attack on the treaty lost them popularity

▪ Republicans didn’t want to name a new prez candidate until they found out that Washington was retiring—finally he did and his farewell address warned against relations with foreign countries (i.e. France) and political parties (i.e. Republicans)

▪ Hamilton tried to pick a more flexible candidate than the popular Adams

▪ The weird electoral system might cause a tie between president and vice president for the same party, or mixed-party prez-VP, or both parties’ VP becomes president

▪ So Hamilton arranged for putting Pinckney on the ticket, but Republicans foiled the plan so Adams prez, Jefferson VP



The Presidency of John Adams

▪ Sometimes angry, sometimes patient, but nobody wanted the presidency more

▪ Believed in a strong executive

The President and the Politicians

▪ Didn’t like either party—tried to minimize party differences—assured Republicans he was not anti-French or monarchical

▪ So Republicans suddenly liked him—but each party worried they were getting too cozy: Jefferson avoided getting too close and Federalists blocking Madison’s appointment to France

▪ Then relations deteriorated b/w prez and VP

▪ Adams had inherited Washington’s poor cabinet, including Wolcott, McHenry, and Pickering, who all took orders from Hamilton though Adams didn’t know this

▪ Meanwhile, he let them make policy, and only got out of it at the expense of his career



The End of the French Alliance

▪ Although US was supposed to favor France, Congress kept passing laws favoring Britain—France got mad and started treating Am ships like the English were

▪ So Adams sent Marshall, Pinckney, and Gerry to France—meanwhile Congress strengthened US defenses

▪ Talleyrand, Fr foreign minister, said bribe me $250 grand and loan millions to France, then we can talk—Pinckney and Marshall left—America found out about the asking for bribe, and Congress retaliated just short of war (actually undeclared war on the seas)

▪ Government couldn’t agree on what kinds of preparations for war: Federalists wanted strengthening of their own power including large army

▪ Adams said small army because not much chance of Fr invasion, but good navy—so got Dept of the Navy

▪ High Federalists continued to build up the army, and put Hamilton second in command to Washington after some infighting

▪ Then they pressed harder for declaration of war against France, but their motives were domestic, not foreign—France softening and finally said would accept an envoy

▪ So Adams got Murray to go to France to negotiate, without consulting his cabinet first—Murray, Ellsworth, and Davie went over and got Napoleon to recognize “free-ships free-goods”

The Alien and Sedition Laws

▪ Adams still regarded himself and the Federalists as impartial patriots and the Republicans as criminals—began to want to destroy all Republican opposition

▪ Alien Enemies Act provided for restraint of enemy aliens in war (no war in Adams’ time so not put into effect)

▪ Naturalization Act required alien wanting citizenship must have lived in US 14 years

▪ Alien Friends Act (only for 2 years) gave prez power to deport any alien he thought dangerous

▪ The Sedition Act of 1798 was one of the most repressive measures ever in the US—illegal to oppose any measure of the government (explicitly including the President), or doing anything to help such opposition—set to expire the day the next prez would be inaugurated, in case a Republican was elected

▪ Sedition Act used against Lyon, Repub rep from Vermont, during his campaign for reelection (he was elected while in jail)

▪ Republicans alarmed—Supreme Court would probably not help because it tended to side with the national government

▪ 11th Amendment adopted to deny federal jurisdiction against a state by citizens of another state—reduced the courts’ prestige, and they didn’t have any scruples about Alien and Sedition Acts

▪ Madison got state legislation passed saying states could judge constitutionality of federal legislation and declared the acts unconstitutional

▪ Kentucky did same thing but also said the acts were void, and “nullification” was the right way to undo unconstitutional acts

The Election of 1800

▪ Republicans appointed county committees to tell voters how Federalists bad, also state committees, also plenty of Republican newspapers in violation of the Sedition Act—said monarchical pretensions and too-high taxes

▪ This was true, because there was a new unpopular tax that the army had been called out to collect, so Republicans accused them of tyranny

▪ Federalists tried to consolidate support but divided over whether to approve of Adams (normal Federalists) or dump support of Adams (High Federalists, including Hamilton)

▪ Adams still had a strong showing for reelection

▪ Burr just managed to get NY to swing Republican (NY had previously been Hamilton’s—Adams fired McHenry and Pickering because he had enough of High Federalism)

▪ Hamilton chose Pinckney as VP for Adams but planned to get him in first—but both Jefferson and Burr (his VP) pulled ahead and tied each other

In House, Federalists supported Burr, but finally Jefferson elected

▪ Republicans also got control of House and Senate, but new judiciary act created more courts, and Adams filled the positions with loyal Federalists, including Marshall

▪ More important than Jefferson’s win was Adams’ break with High Federalism—Hamilton had threatened to divide the nation, but Adams ensured peace for the nation



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