Chapter 6 The Age of Jefferson Lesson 1



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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 White House

  • 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 Policies

  • 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.

Lesson 2

The Louisiana Purchase

Western Territory

  • 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.

Lesson 3

Daily Life in Early America

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.




A Rural Nation

  • 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.

Westward Movement

  • 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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