Federalists vs. Republicans – Ch. 8, “A New Republic” – Ch. 9, “The Triumph and Collapse,” pgs. 205-224
Overall main idea:Between 1789 and 1800, Federalist policies of the Washington and Adams administrations provided stability and peace to the new United States but also brought about division and discord, resulting in Republicans taking control of the national government in 1800. The Emergence of Parties
During the 1790s, divisions over Hamilton’s economic and governmental plans led to the first political parties in the United States, the Federalists and the Republicans.
Federalists – those who supported Hamilton’s program; those most integrated and benefiting from it, like speculators, creditors, merchants, manufacturers, and commercial farmers; urban, more upper-class; loose constructionist interpretation of the Constitution
Republicans, aka Democratic-Republicans, Democrats, Jeffersonians (note: not Antifederalists) – those against Hamilton’s program; supported individual liberties and independence of farmers and planters; agrarian, more lower class; strict interpretation of the Constitution
The French Revolution
The French Revolution leads to a polarization of American partisan politics between Federalists and Republicans.
French Revolution breaks out in 1789, in part because of American Revolution influence
By 1792, revolution becomes radical under the Reign of Terror, in which suspected non-revolutionaries are often violently harassed and executed
Federalists are against the radical revolution, as it was too bold, violent, and unstable, much more so than the American version; it also will interfere with European trade (esp. British) that is important to Hamilton’s financial programs
Republicans are usually for the radical revolution, though not necessarily for its violence, as it represented the cause of the common person and Republican values that created the American Revolution and government
French ambassador Edmond Genet wanted to pull the U.S. into the revolution/wars on the French side, but Washington and the Americans are resistant
Hamilton urges Washington to declare neutrality to avoid war, despite the Constitution not specifically allowing it; only Congress can declare war and make peace
Jefferson and other Republicans claim that the President has no such power, that it is only delegated to Congress under the Constitution
Washington goes with Hamilton; political opinions shift further apart and Democratic-Republican societies are formed to push for Republican and pro-French ideas
Federalists become more apparent as a party of the rich and pro-British; the Republicans appear to be the party of the common people and pro-French
Securing the Frontier
Under Washington’s presidency, American soldiers finally defeated Native Americans in the Northwest (Ohio country), making it open to white settlement.
Americans lost numerous battles to the Indians (Miami Confederacy) in the NW
Westerners feel abandoned by Federalist government, turn to Republicans for support
Army sent west and defeat Natives at Battle of Fallen Timbers, 1794
Natives sign Treaty of Greenville, 1795, in which twelve tribes turn over most of Ohio to U.S.
The Whiskey Rebellion
Washington and the central government under the Federalists show their authority by organizing troops to put down the Whiskey Rebellion in the Republican stronghold of western Pennsylvania.
Hamilton is determined to show the power of the national government and enforce national laws
Federalists feel the rebellion is identified with Republican/radical revolutionaries
Yet no rebellion is found by huge army; Republicans maintain that Whiskey Rebellion is an example of American revolutionary values and the Federalists are acting like the British aristocracy
Federalists intend to show that rebellions are not acceptable means of expressing grievances in American society; problems should be fixed through normal governmental means
Treaties with Britain and Spain
To avoid war and solve disputes between nations, the United States signed Jay’s Treaty with Britain and Pinckney’s Treaty with Spain around 1795, causing disputes between American political parties.
Britain and US still have issues leftover from Revolutionary War, including debts owed, slaves never confiscated, forts still occupied, and limited trade
Britain is seizing American ships to prevent French trade
John Jay, Chief Justice and former negotiator, is sent to negotiate – Jay’s Treaty gives Britain “most favored nation” status in trade, halts French trade during their revolution, reconfirms commitment to repay debts; Britain must compensate for seized shipping, to abandon forts in NW, and allow US trade in British empire
Republicans and westerners oppose, as it strengthened Federalist interests and British relations
Treaty of San Lorenzo / Pinckney’s Treaty is signed with Spanish – solves dispute over boundaries and gives American farmers the right to trade on MS River through New Orleans
First Partisan Election
In 1796, Washington retires from the presidency after two terms, leading to John Adams winning the first partisan election in American history.
Washington is disgusted with partisan politics; also warns against foreign alliances and geographical divisions in farewell address
John Adams (Federalist) vs. Thomas Jefferson (Republican) in election of 1796 – Hamilton tries to manipulate the electors to allow Pinckney, the other Federalist, to win over Adams; Adams is elected with Jefferson (second-most votes) as vice president in a divided administration
Adams struggled as president, but ruled out of virtuous public interest, avoiding war with France and within the U.S.
The French Crisis and the XYZ Affair
France was angered with the U.S. over Jay’s Treaty, erupting into a Quasi-War after negotiations broke down in the XYZ Affair.
France took Jay’s Treaty to be an alliance between US and Britain; France began attacking American shipping and stopped trading
1797, Adams sent three negotiators to France, who met with French officials X, Y and Z – X, Y and Z refused to even begin negotiations without a bribe and loan of $12 million to help with the war effort
Americans learn of the XYZ Affair and are insulted by French; French and American relations break down and naval war breaks out in the Caribbean between US and France – Quasi-War, as there was no direct, official declarations of war by either side
Anti-French opinions become popular, as well as Federalism; army and navy expand and taxes are enacted
Crisis at Home
In the wake of the Quasi-War and increased Federalist support, Adams and the Federalists issued the Alien and Sedition Acts and the Direct Tax of 1798, which met with resistance in some states.
Alien and Sedition Acts limited freedom of speech and foreigners in the U.S. during the Quasi-War, especially targeted against Republican criticism
Jefferson, Madison, and Republicans respond to the acts with the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, advocating states’ rights, compact theory of government, interposition, and nullification
Compact theory – states do not give up their sovereignty and authority to the union, but are only a part of the national government as part of a compact (like an agreement, or contract) under the Constitution; states have rights that are just as important, if not more so than, the national government’s rights; if the national government infringes on states’ rights or goes beyond their Constitutional delegated powers, states have the right to interpose their authority between the people and the national government and nullify any unconstitutional laws the national government passes
These theories will become more popular closer to the Civil War, but are already proposed as early as the 1790s
Few echo the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, but the Direct Tax of 1798 led to widespread resentment and some rebellion; Adams and the Federalists’ armed response causes a loss of much support, especially in PA
The End of the Federalists
Federalist policies and Adams’ negotiations with France helped resolve internal political tensions and led to a Republican victory in the presidential election of 1800.
Federalists lost popularity with Direct Tax, military force against resisters, Alien and Sedition Acts, increased army and navy, etc. Civil war seems possible between Federalists and Republicans if official war with France breaks out
Adams negotiates for the Franco-American Accord of 1800 – negates 1778 French-American alliance, surrenders claims to American shipping seized by French
Peace with French causes Federalists to lose support, break up; Republicans have aggressive organization and effective campaigning strategies
Federalists and some Christians fear Jefferson (and other founding fathers’) belief in Deism – religious philosophy of the Enlightenment that views God as a “cosmic watchmaker,” who created the Earth to be governed by natural laws, but rarely intervenes in its affairs
Republicans Jefferson and Burr win the presidential election of 1800
Hamilton’s finances, neutrality in the French revolutionary wars, treaties with Britain and Spain led to a decade of peace and prosperity between 1790-1800
Overall main idea:Between 1789 and 1800, Federalist policies of the Washington and Adams administrations provided stability and peace to the new United States but also brought about division and discord, resulting in Republicans taking control of the national government in 1800.
Chapter 9 – Triumph and Collapse of Jeffersonian Republicanism Overall main idea:Between 1800 and 1809, U.S. national government under Jefferson’s presidency retrenched to Republican values in domestic affairs, expanded the territory of the U.S., and grew unpopular in foreign affairs with trade restrictions. Jefferson’s Presidency
Thomas Jefferson’s presidency was at first a success under Democratic-Republican values, then a disappointment that left divisions in politics.
Jefferson called the election of 1800 the “Revolution of 1800”, a peaceful transition of parties from Federalist to Democratic-Republicans, who believed they best represented Republican ideals of the American Revolution.
Reform at Home
The national government under Jefferson was a retrenchment to egalitarian and Republican policies.
Jefferson sought to be egalitarian (all people are treated as equal) and non-aristocratic as possible – he walked to his inauguration in unadorned clothes and fashion, he had relaxed weekly meetings at a circular table, and he wrote his messages to Congress instead of proclaiming them from above
Jefferson and the Republicans pushed for retrenchment in domestic politics – a return to the simplicities of a limited national government that only did what was necessary in a strict constructionist viewpoint
Spent little and taxed little – debt shrunk, even without internal taxes (repealed Whiskey tax)
Appointed Republican officials
“Midnight Appointments/Judges” – Adams and the Federalists, just before leaving office, pushed through the Judiciary Act of 1801, which increased the size of the federal judicial system and appointed many new Federalist judges
Jefferson and the Republicans refuse to deliver some of the appointments and repeal the Judiciary Act of 1801 to return to the original Act of 1789
One of the appointments, Marbury, sues for his position as judge that Secretary of State Madison (under Jefferson) refused to deliver – it goes to the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803)
In the case, Supreme Court justice John Marshall rules that the court can not force Madison to hand over the appointment, as the law it is based on is unconstitutional – thus establishing the principle of judicial review – the ability of the judicial branch to declare laws that Congress makes to be unconstitutional, an important check and balance that gives the judicial branch more power in the national government
The Louisiana Purchase
The Jefferson administration was lucky in foreign affairs because of conditions of peace and prosperity, including the Louisiana Purchase from France.
Jefferson refuses to pay high tribute to African pirates in the Mediterranean, sending warships to enforce his decision
France reacquired the Louisiana Territory from the Spanish in 1800 and proposed to sell it to Jefferson and the US to help pay for more European war possibilities – despite no Constitutional power delegated to the President to do so, Jefferson steps outside his strict constructionist viewpoint and purchases the land for only $15 million—the Louisiana Purchase. He fears being hemmed in by European powers and a loss of access to the Mississippi River.
Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806 explores the newly purchased Louisiana Territory
Florida and the Western Schemes
The Jefferson administration continues to seek expansion along the Gulf Coast while Aaron Burr is involved in a conspiracy to possibly seize territory himself.
Jefferson wants access to the Gulf of Mexico for future Alabama and Mississippi farmer plantations, and attempts to negotiate for it behind the scenes – this angers many Congressmen, even Republicans.
In 1804, former Vice President Aaron Burr runs for governor in New York, but is defeated because of heavy influence of Alexander Hamilton, who denounces him in the media. Burr, fed up with Hamilton, challenges him to a duel and kills him.
Burr flees to the West and was involved in some sort of plot to seize western territory and possibly create a new empire with westerners. He is caught but not convicted on treason.
Embargo and a Crippled Presidency
Jefferson loses popular support when he supports an embargo on European shipping as a response to European trade restrictions and attacks against American shipping.
France and Britain continued fighting in 1803 and so threatened to pull the U.S. into war again
American shipping was the world’s largest carrier of goods to other countries between 1793-1807, bringing in lots of money and prosperity
Cheasapeake Incident – 1807, British ship opens fire on US ship Chesapeake, killing three Americans; in response, Jefferson bans British warships from American ports, calls for compensation, an end to impressment of Americans into European navies, and pushes for an embargo of European shipping as punishment until Britain and France repeal trade restrictions
Embargo Act of 1807 – prohibits American ships from shipping goods to other countries until Britain and France repeal trade restrictions
Embargo does hurt Europeans, but not as much as it does the growing American economy, whose foundation is the prosperous exporting and shipping industry; Americans are angered against Jefferson and Federalism slightly gains more popularity
Republicans in Congress repeal the Embargo Act, replacing it with Nonintercourse Act of 1809, prohibiting American trade only with Britain and France
Despite revived Federalism, Republican James Madison is elected President
Overall main idea:Between 1800 and 1809, U.S. national government under Jefferson’s presidency retrenched to Republican values in domestic affairs, expanded the territory of the U.S., and grew unpopular in foreign affairs with trade restrictions.