The Federalist, number 10: Madison, in the Federalist number ten, rejected the Antifederalist argument that establishing a republic in United States would lead to a struggle for power. He also argued that the Constitution would prevent the formation of national factions and parties.
implied powers, elastic clause, necessary and proper clause: An implied power is one not granted in a job description, yet is meant to be taken. The elastic clause was included into the Constitution to allow flexibility. Congress was granted the right to make all laws which they deemed necessary and proper thus expanding their power.
loose, strict interpretation of the Constitution: The strict interpretation of the constitution meant that it was to be followed exactly to the word, a philosophy adopted by Jefferson. Hamilton believed in a loose interpretation, or that powers implied within the Constitution should be included in the new government to fit changes over time.
•RESERVED AND DELEGATED POWERS: Delegated powers were specifically enumerated rights granted to Congress and the President. The delegated powers of Congress included the ability to tax, issue currency, borrow money, declare war and sustain an army. All powers not stated specifically in the Constitution were reserved to the states as stated in the Tenth Amendment. These reserved powers were the result of flexibility in the Constitution to adapt over time.
Undemocratic Elements in the Constitution: According to Charles Beard, the Constitution was written to the advantage of the elite in the United States. The founding fathers did not believe in total democracy, or mob rule, and so used state legislatures and the electoral college to elect senators and the president, respectively.
Flexibility in the Constitution: The flexibility in the Constitution enabled it to adapt over time; there have only been sixteen amendments since 1791. Our founding fathers used vague language, and so Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution changed over time; the Elastic clause and the reserved powers are examples of this ambiguity.
Upper and Lower House: The senate was seen as the upper house because there were less delegates, the age requirement was higher, and the term limits were six years as opposed to two for the House of Representatives. As a result the Senate was seen as more of an elitist institution while the House was viewed as reflective of the common people.
Electoral College: In order to protect the interests of the elite, land owning class, the framers of the Constitution added the electoral college as a safeguard against the majority opinion. As a result, electors could elect a presidential candidate without considering the popular vote and elections could be won without a majority in the popular vote.
Washington and Hamilton
As the first president of the newly formed United States, George Washington played a largely passive role, suggesting few laws to Congress, attempting to reassure the public he was above favoritism and sectional interests. Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, took advantage of Washington’s reluctance to be involved with domestic issues, and, as secretary of the treasury, attempted to restore American credit by advocating a perpetual debt.
Post Revolutionary America—West: In the late eighteenth century, masses of people had moved into the trans-Appalachian frontier to escape post-revolutionary depression, despite the risk of violence presented by Indians and the British in their Northwest posts. Congress aided the expansion with the Land and Northwest Ordinances
Post Revolutionary America—South: Many of the southern citizens had bought land in the west and watched the price of land eagerly. Aside from the unstable land speculation, the south had recovered from the war. It had diversified its crops and exported them at prewar levels.
Post Revolutionary America—North: Plagued by high taxes, overpopulation, and rebellion, the North’s efforts at postwar recovery was impeded by the depression of the 1780s. Manufacturing and merchant marine industries were also, negatively affected by independence; the British imposed new embargoes and tariffs on the United States.
•President George Washington: George Washington was elected president in 1788 and again in 1792. Washington’s two terms set the precedent for being President of the United States. He tended to shy away from the affairs of Congress and also formed the first Presidential cabinet, appointing two of the ablest men into high positions of responsibility into his cabinet. His farewell address cautioned the American people to stay out of international affairs, remain isolationist, and to beware of impending bipartisanship.
Washington’s Definition of the Presidency: George Washington set the precedent for being the President of the United States. He humbly served two terms and appointed the first cabinet. Washington stayed out of Congress’ way and supported the United States’ isolationist stance in world affairs.
Vice President John Adams: Because he ran second to George Washington in the elections of 1788 and 1792, he became the nation’s first Vice President, limiting himself to presiding over the senate. Prior to his term as Vice President, he was a diplomat to European nations such as France, Britain, and the Dutch Republic.
Judiciary Act, 1789: The Congress passed the Judiciary Act in 1789, in an effort to create a federal-court system and replace the old system, in which the courts varied from state to state. They were burdened with filling in the holes of the judiciary system left by the Constitution.
Secretary of Treasury Hamilton: Hamilton was appointed in 1789, when the nation’s economy was in shambles. In 1790, he submitted to Congress a Report of the Public Credit that provided for the payments of all debts assumed during the war. He wanted a national bank and encouraged manufacturing through financial government protection.
Secretary of State Jefferson: As Secretary of State for Washington’s first term, Thomas Jefferson wanted to establish reciprocal trade agreements with European nations and deny it to the British. This plan, in 1783, died in Congress, along with his other plans to try to manipulate the European countries. He resigned after the Citizen Genet scandal.
Secretary of War Knox: Henry Knox was the Secretary of War from 1789-1794, the first one under the United States Constitution. Prior to this, he fought in major Revolutionary battles, was in command of the West Point fortress in New York, and was the Secretary of War under the Articles of Confederation.
Attorney General Randolph: Edmund Jennings Randolph was the Attorney General under the Washington Administration from 1789-1794; before which he was the head of the Virginia delegation at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and submitted the Virginia Plan.
•Hamilton’s program: ideas, proposals, reasons for it: Alexander Hamilton wrote to Congress a Report on Public Credit which proposed a way in which the national and foreign debts could be funded and how the federal government would take charge of the debts left by states from the resolution in 1790. The plans attempted to end wartime debt problems. Hamilton believed that constant deficit was necessary to stimulate the nation’s economy, and also believed that the U.S. should immediately repay its foreign debt.
Hamilton’s Legacy: Hamilton’s devices for restoring the credit of the nation led to great monetary gains for merchants, speculators, and others working in the port cities. The government’s takeover of state debts freed those of New England, New Jersey, and South Carolina from harsh taxes.
Tariff of 1789: A revenue raising tariff enacted by Congress, it encouraged the people of the U.S. to manufacture earthenware, glass, and other products in their home in order to avoid importation. With a duty of 8.5%, the tariff succeeded in raising much needed funds for Congress
Bank of the U.S.: Chartered by the newly formed federal government, the bank was established in Philadelphia in 1791, and was permitted by the government to issue legal tender bank notes that could be exchanged for gold. The bank successfully established a national currency, but the charter ended in 1811, for economic and political reasons.
national debt, state debt, foreign debt: National debt accumulated by the US during the Revolutionary war continued to plague Americans. The states were also in debt after borrowing heavily from the government. Hamilton, in his Report on Public Credit, wanted to pay off foreign debt immediately and then through tariffs repay the national debt.
excise taxes: A fixed charge on items of consumption, usually used for revenue raising. The first excise tax placed upon the United States in 1791, by Parliament was one which taxed all domestic distilled spirits. Anger towards this excise tax led directly to the Whiskey Rebellion.
Report on Manufacturers: Presented to Congress in 1791, by Alexander Hamilton, the report suggested that protective tariffs on imports from foreign lands would lead Americans to produce more in their homelands, thus building national wealth and attracting foreigners.
Report on Public Credit: Hamilton submitted his report to Congress in 1790, hoping to seize it as an opportunity to rebuild the country’s credit base. He reported that the US was 54 million dollars in debt: 12 million to foreigners, and the rest to Americans. On top of that, he estimated that the states held debts of over 25 million dollars.
location of the capital: logrolling, D.C.: The nation’s capital was originally located in New York, but later was transferred to Washington D.C.. Originally planned by Charles L’Enfant, the city consisted of beautiful walkways, tree lined streets, and masterfully architecture buildings.
Indian Decline: The frontier warfare during the post-revolutionary era combined with the continuing penetration of western ways into Indian culture caused severe reductions in Indian population and territory. An increasing amount of hatred towards the "redskins" further encouraged the violence towards Indians.
Residence Act: Determined that a ten mile square area for the capital of the United States would be chosen along the Potomac River along the Virginia-Maryland boarder. The area was to be named the District of Columbia, after Christopher Columbus, and was selected by George Washington.
Major L’Enfant, Benjamin Banneker: Pierre Charles L’Enfant was the French architect who, in 1791, drew the plans for the nations capital in Washington D.C., on which the city is now based. Benjamin Banneker was appointed in 1791, by President Washington to assist L’Enfant in surveying the land where the capital city was to be built.
Whiskey Rebellion: An organized resistance in 1794, to the excise tax on whiskey in which federal revenue officials were tarred and feathered, riots were conducted, and mobs burned homes of excise inspectors. The federal militia captured many of the protesters, but most were released.
French Alliance of 1778: Alliance made between France and the United Sates during America’s civil war in 1778. The alliance was used to convince French citizens living in United States territory to become citizens of American, and therefore to bear arms or participate in the war.
French Revolution: The revolution was a period consisting of social and political upheaval from 1789-1799. Caused by the inability of the ruling class and clergy to solve the states problems, the hunger of the workers, the taxation of the poor, and the American Revolution, it led to the establishment of the First Republic and the end of the monarchy.
Citizen Genet: Sent to the United States by the French in 1793 to find soldiers to attack British ships and conquer the territories held by the Spanish, Edmund Genet founded the American Foreign Legion despite Washington’s April 22 proclamation of American neutrality.
Neutrality Proclamation: Issued by President George Washington on April 22, 1793, the Neutrality Proclamation stated that the United States would remain a neutral faction in the war with France against Britain and Spain despite heavy French pressures to join their forces. Many Americans felt the war to be a violation of their neutrality.
XYZ Affair, Talleyrand: When a commission was sent to France in 1797 in order to negotiate problems between the two countries, they were told by the French foreign minister Talleyrand that the agents X, Y, Z, three officials who did not take the process seriously, would only negotiate for a lend of $10 million to the French government.
undeclared naval war with France: Otherwise known as the Quasi-War, the undeclared conflict between the two nations lasted from 1798 to 1800. In the conflict, the United States managed to capture ninety-three French ships while France captured just one U.S. ship.
British seizure of American ships: The Privy Council issued a secret order on November 6, 1793, to confiscate any foreign ships trading with French Caribbean islands. In this decision, they seized over 250 American ships which were conducting trade with the islands.
Royal Navy: They navy of the British empire, the Royal Navy began to inspect American ships in 1793 for suspected defects of the British Navy, who they then forcibly placed back into their own navy. These bold actions commonly referred to as impressment, further strengthened hostilities between the two countries.
"Rule of 1756": The French opened colonial trade to the Dutch, who were a neutral party. British prize courts, in response, stated that neutrals could not engage in wartime trade with a country if they were not permitted to trade with that country at times of peace.
Jay’s Treaty: Negotiated between the United States and France in 1794, the treaty evacuated British posts in the West, appointed a committee to set up the U.S.-French boundary, and named a commission to determine how much the British should pay for illegally seizing American ships. It did not resolve the British West Indies trade dispute.
Pinckney’s Treaty, right of deposit at New Orleans: Ratified in 1796, the treaty gave westerners the right to access the world markets duty-free through the Mississippi River. Spain promised to recognize the thirty-first parallel, to end U.S. camps, and to discourage Indian attacks on western settlers.
Spanish intrigue in the Southwest: Spain attempted, in many cases, to detach the West from the United States, hoping to further expand their territory into the vast land. Washington’s attempts at a failed alliance with the Creek Indians to expand into their lands only led to further conflicts between America and Spain.
James Wilkinson: An American soldier who participated in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Wilkinson was the man who reported Burr’s conspiracy to access Louisiana to President Jefferson. He served as Secretary to the Board of War and was a brigadier general under Anthony Wayne.
"Mad" Anthony Wayne: Known as Mad Anthony due to his quick temper and his bravery, Wayne was a General during the American Revolution. He began his service with the Pennsylvania militia. He participated in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown and distinguished himself in the Battle of Monmouth.
Battle of Fallen Timbers: At the Battle of Fallen Timbers, in 1794, Anthony Wayne defeated a coalition of Native American tribes as the major general and commander in chief of the troops. The battle took place around present day Toledo and led to the Treaty of Greenville which opened up the Northwest to American settlers.
Treaty of Greenville, 1795: This treaty, which was drafted in 1795, opened the Northwest Territory to settlement by white United States citizens. The territory had formerly only been inhabited by Indians, so therefore the treaty between the two races was an important one. The treaty served to end white-Indian hostilities for sixteen years.
Barbary Pirates: Following the American Revolution, the Barbary pirates began to raid the ships of the United States. The United States therefore formed treaties with Morocco, Tripoli, and Tunis, as European nations already had, that gave them immunity from these attacks.
Tripolitan War: From 1801-1805, the war was a battle between the North African state Tripoli and the United States. The Tripolitans had seized U.S. ships in the U.S. refusal to pay in increase in the tribute paid to the pasha of Tripoli. In the end, the demand for payment was ended and the U.S. paid $60,000 to free Americans caught captive.
Washington’s Farewell Address: In his realization of the important role that he had take in developing the role of the president of the United States, Washington’s farewell address asked the citizens of the United States to avoid involvement in political problems between foreign nations.
Federalists and Republicans
By the election of 1796, the United States political system had become bipartisan, largely a result of the disagreements over Hamilton’s programs and foreign policies. The split in the Federalist party became official with Jefferson’s resignation from Washington’s cabinet in 1793, upon which he formed the Republicans, whose ideology claimed that the Federalists had become a party geared toward enriching the wealthy at the expense of the poor.
election of 1796: President Adams, Vice-president Jefferson: Jefferson was supported by the Republicans, while Adams was supported by the Federalists. Adams was victorious in the election, Jefferson was made Vice-president, as a constitutional law stated that the candidate with the second highest number of electoral votes got that position.
new states: Vt, Ky, Tenn: Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee were all admitted into the United States between 1791 and 1796 by the federal government. Their admission was spurred by the hope that they would then become completely loyal to the Union, as they had not been before.
•Federalists: The Federalist party was the starting point of the movement to draft and later ratify the new Constitution. It urged for a stronger national government to take shape after 1781. Its leaders included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison, and George Washington rose to power between 1789-1801. Under Hamilton, the Federalists solved the problem of revolutionary debt, created Jay’s Treaty and also the Alien and Sedition Acts.
•Democratic-Republicans: The first political party in the United States, the Democratic-Republican party was created by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in opposition to the views of Alexander Hamilton. It arose to power in the 1790s and opposed the Federalist party, while advocating states rights and an agricultural society. The party expressed sympathy towards the French Revolution but opposed close ties with the British.
Society of the Cincinnati: A post-war organization of veteran officers from the Continental Army, the Society of the Cincinnati was feared by many because its charter had the possibility of becoming a hereditary aristocracy, as it gave membership to descendants.
Democratic Societies: An organization in which the wealthy are on a level of equality with the poor. This is best exemplified by the Philadelphia Democratic Society, in which Republicans were united by wealth rather then by status, as well as believed that those with talent and ambition should not forget their dreams.
•Alien and Sedition Acts: In 1798, the Neutralization Act said residence must remain in the United States for five years before becoming naturalized while the Alien Act allowed the exportation of any alien believed to be a threat to national security. The Alien Enemies Act allowed the President to export aliens during times of war and the Sedition Act made it a criminal offense to plot against government. These acts were criticized because they oppressed the people’s First Amendment rights.
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: Written by Jefferson and Madison in protest to the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Virginia Resolution stated that states possessed the right to intervene in unconstitutional acts in government, and the Kentucky Resolution stated that federal government could not extend powers outside of constitutionally granted powers.
Fries Rebellion: Pennsylvanian German farmers, in 1799, rebelled against the government after it released debtors and citizens who did not pay taxes. This action infuriated the farmers because the money was needed to fund the expansion of the nation’s army. This rebellion alerted those in power to the general disgruntlement of much of the nation.
doctrine of nullification: A group of Kentucky Resolutions adopted in 1799, the Doctrine of Nullification stated that any federal laws considered by the people to be "objectionable" may be nullified by the states. The passage of these resolutions proved the probability of upcoming violent disagreements of how the law should be interpreted.
Convention of 1800: The Federalist party split into two factions during the Convention of 1800, as the party was undecided as to who their presidential candidate should be. The Federalists wanted to nominate Adams, while the "High Federalists," led by Alexander Hamilton, denounced his candidacy.
•Second Great Awakening: Occurring mainly in the frontier states, the Second Great Awakening began in the 1790s and was characterized by "camp meetings," or open air revivals which lasted for weeks at a time where revivalists spoke of the second coming of Jesus. Charles Finney, an especially prominent preacher of the time, preached not only the second coming of Jesus, but also the gospel of free will, which lead to a greater democratic power commonly seen in the ideals of Jacksonian democracy.
Fugitive Slave Law: Enacted by congress in 1793, the law required judges to give a slave back to its owner or his representative if caught after running away. This law indicated tightening racial tensions, as well as stripped slaves of the right to trial by jury or presentation of evidence of freedom.
Gabriel’s Rebellion: Led by Gabriel Prosser in August 1800, the rebellion broke out near Richmond, Virginia when 1,000 slaves marched to the capital. Thirty five slaves were executed by a swift state militia, but whites still feared what many occur in the future with slave uprisings. The rebellion increased tensions between the North and the South.
Logan Act: Enacted in 1795 by the legislative assembly, the Logan Act allowed city councils the power to establish, as well as to support and to regulate, a system consisting schools for the general public. This act led to the establishment of school systems throughout the U.S.
Legal equality for free blacks: These measures first appeared in the 1780s and 1790s, when states dropped restrictions on freedom of movement, protected the property of blacks, and allowed them to enroll in the state militia. By 1796, all but three states allowed blacks voting rights.
Alexander McGillivray: The leader of the Creek Indians, who in 1790 signed a peace treaty with the United States that allowed whites to occupy lands in the Georgia piedmont, but spared the rest of the Creek lands from white settlement. He received a large bribe for signing the treaty.
Gilbert Stuart: An American painter who is particularly well known for his many portraits of wartime hero and President George Washington. His three styles of portrait painting: the "Vaughan" half-length, the "Lansdowne" full-length, and the "Athenaeum" head have often been mimicked.
Charles Wilson Peale: As a portrait painter of the Federalist period, Peale is best known for his fourteen portraits of George Washington. In 1786, Peale began a museum of parts of nature in Independence Hall, Philadelphia of portraits and helped to found the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1805.