Chapter 6 The Age of Jefferson Lesson 1
The Republicans Take Power
Jefferson Becomes President
The nation’s new capital, Washington D.C., was located on the Potomac River.
The city contained only two prominent buildings:
The unfinished Capitol building
In the election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson was the Republican nominee for president, and Aaron Burr was the Republican vice-presidential candidate.
John Adams was the Federalist candidate for president, and Charles Pinckney of South Carolina was the vice-presidential candidate.
Jefferson and Burr tied for the most votes, so the House of Representatives had to decide the election.
One Federalist in the House decided not to vote for Burr, so Jefferson became president and Burr became vice president.
Congress ratified the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, which requires electors to vote for president and vice president on separate ballots.
This amendment would prevent another tie between a presidential and a vice-presidential candidate.
Jefferson tried to reach out to the Federalists in his Inaugural Address.
He also emphasized reducing the power of the federal government.
This idea is similar to the French philosophy laissez-faire, which means “let people do as they choose.”
Jefferson’s administration was small compared to those of today.
This followed his idea of limited national government.
Jefferson appointed James Madison as secretary of state and Albert Gallatin as secretary of treasury.
Jefferson and Gallatin wanted to reduce the national debt and they cut military expenses to do so.
The Judiciary Act of 1801 increased the number of federal judges.
Before leaving office, Adams filled many of the judicial positions with Federalists so that Federalists could control the courts.
These judges were known as “midnight judges.”
After Jefferson was elected, he told Secretary of State Madison not to deliver the outstanding commissions.
To force the delivery of his commission, William Marbury took the case to the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John Marshall turned down Marbury’s claim.
With his decision, Marshall set out three principals of judicial review:
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land
When there is a conflict between the Constitution and any other law, the Constitution must be followed
The judicial branch has an obligation to uphold the Constitution
In several court cases, Marshall broadened the power of the federal government at the expense of the states.
The Louisiana Purchase
During the early 1800s more people moved west in search of land and adventure.
Most of these pioneers were farmers who loaded their possessions on Conestoga wagons - sturdy vehicles topped with white canvas - for the journey across the Appalachian Mountains.
U.S. territory extended only to the Mississippi River.
Land west of the river belonged to Spain.
This land was enormous, extending south to the city of New Orleans and west to the Rocky Mountains.
The Spanish allowed pioneers who established farms along the rivers that fed into the Mississippi River to travel the river to New Orleans to trade.
In 1802 Jefferson learned that Spain and France had made an agreement that transferred the Louisiana Territory to France.
He sent Robert Livingston to negotiate the purchase of New Orleans and other French territory.
Napoleon Bonaparte, France’s leader, wanted Santo Domingo as a naval base.
However, enslaved plantation workers led by Toussaint-Louverture, revolted and declared the colony independent.
French troops tried to regain control, but they were defeated.
Santo Domingo then became the republic of Haiti.
The Nation Expands
Napoleon had little use for Louisiana without Santo Domingo, so he offered to sell it.
Jefferson decided that the government’s treaty-making power allowed him to purchase territory, and the Senate approved.
The United States purchased the Louisiana Territory for $15 million.
Jefferson persuaded Congress to sponsor an expedition west into the new territory.
Jefferson chose Meriweather Lewis and William Clark to lead the journey.
The expedition left St. Louis in 1804 and worked its way up the Missouri River.
Along the way, the crew encountered a Shoshone woman named Sacagawea who joined their group as a guide.
The group traveled for 18 months, returning with valuable information about plants, people, and animals they encountered.
Jefferson sent Zebulon Pike on two expeditions into the upper Mississippi River Valley and the region now known as the state of Colorado.
Federalists in Massachusetts planned to secede, or withdraw, from the United States because they disagreed with the Louisiana Purchase.
To succeed, the Federalists needed New York to support them, so they gave Burr their support when he ran for governor of New York.
Hamilton called Burr “a dangerous man,” and Burr blamed Hamilton when he lost the governor’s election.
Hamilton and Burr met for a duel.
Burr shot Hamilton, who died the next day.
Burr fled to avoid being arrested for murder.
The Federalists’ plans for a Northern Confederacy failed, and the Federalists lost the 1804 election.
Creating a Democratic Society
During Jefferson’s presidency, nationalism, a feeling of pride in a nation and loyalty to its goals, spread throughout the country.
Many Americans came to believe a strong democracy depended on education.
The success of public schools in Massachusetts and Philadelphia increased demands for a nationwide system of public schools.
A religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening stressed the equality of all believers before God and the promise of salvation for all who believed.
Many African Americans formed their own churches and denominations at this time.
An American Culture
American writers began using settings and characters that were typically American.
Washington Irving wrote The Sketch book, a collection of short stories set in America.
James Fenimore Cooper wrote novels about American folk-heroes.
William Cullen Bryant wrote poems about nature.
American artists began focusing on American subjects.
George Caleb Bingham painted fur traders, riverboat workers, and political speakers.
George Catlin painted scenes of Native American daily life.
Thomas Doughty painted views of the Catskill Mountains.
Americans developed their own forms of music and instruments such as banjos and pianos.
Stephen C. Foster composed songs about the American South.
American architects created their own forms of building based on classical Greek and Roman styles.
These styles became the models for public buildings.
People in the North lived in villages and towns, with farm communities on the outskirts.
Farming was the major economic activity in the North.
People in the South lived on widely separated farms, and their economy depended on slavery.
Slavery set the South apart from the rest of the country.
Planters, or large landowners, became the South’s economic and social leaders.
They began farming cotton as a cash crop.
It was very successful and the growth of the textile industry led to increased demand for enslaved people to work in the cotton fields.
Most enslaved people worked on farms and plantations.
Enslaved men generally worked in the fields, and enslaved women generally performed housekeeping chores.
Some enslaved people worked in the South’s towns and cities as coach drivers, household servants, and artisans.
More Americans began living in cities.
Cities in the North were booming.
The South had fewer towns and cities.
Mills and factories in the North grew in the 1800s, and the rise in industry increased the gap between the rich and the poor.
Wealthy merchants controlled urban economic and social life.
A middle class of artisans, shopkeepers, and professionals had some prosperity.
A growing working class had to struggle to survive.
Northern cities drew many free African Americans.
Although many Northerners opposed slavery, free African Americans faced many barriers to full equality.
Settlers moved West to escape growing populations and taxes in the East and to claim land.
Settlers cut down trees to build log cabins and clear land for farming.
Pioneers met with many struggles on the frontier, including an uncertain climate, limited supplies, crops that failed, loneliness, and difficult transportation conditions.
Westward-moving settlers came into conflict with Native Americans, who developed ways to resist and survive the settlers.
Some Native Americans, such as the Cherokee, tried to adjust peacefully, but others, such as the Shawnee and Creek, prepared for armed resistance.
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