The Early Republic: 1788-1800

The Early Republic: 17881800
Chapter 4 Sections 1 and 2
Early Republic: Washington and
Adams Presidencies
How would the new government work?
Many day-to-day issues weren’t explicitly talked about in the
Many important precedents established during this time
Washington 1789-1796
Constitution took effect: 1788, first Presidential election 1789
Washington won unanimously=1st President, John Adams finished
second=1st Vice President
Important precedents of the Washington administration
The cabinet: President’s advisors, head the major executive
1st fourcabinet members:
Secretary of State: Thomas Jefferson
Secretary of War: Henry Knox
Secretary of the Treasury: Alexander Hamilton
Attorney General: Edmund Randolph
The federal courts:
District courtscircuit courtsSupreme Court
John Jay=1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Finances and interpreting the Constitution. . . .
Washington Presidency:
Hamilton and his Policies
Alexander Hamilton: quintessential Federalist
Secretary of Treasury, had to fix the country’s finances
States and Congress couldn’t pay off debts under the Articles,
nobody trusted the financial problems of the US
Hamilton’s economic policies, pay off the debt, get people to
trust the credit of the US government
Pay off all government debt “at par”, controversial, why?
Pay off all state debt left over from the revolution (assumption
of state debt), controversial, why?
Debt could be a good thing. . . . how? Controversial, why?
Southern States didn’t like Hamilton’s policies: DC bargain
Hamilton’s Policies: Paying for
the Debt
3 part plan to pay for the debt/fund the government/restart economic activity
Part 1: Tariffs
Tariff=a tax on imports, would raise money, and would raise the price of
imported goods (would it raise the price of goods made in the US?)
Part 2: Excise taxes
Excise tax=a tax on goods produced/sold inside a country
Excise tax on whiskey=major money maker
Part 3: The National Bank
Private bank chartered by the federal government, with major government
Would provide loan money to help stimulate economic growth
Would provide paper currency backed up in gold to help stimulate economic
Debate over Hamilton’s Policies:
The Bank Debate
Bank Debate: was it constitutional?
No: nowhere in the Constitution did it authorize the federal
government to charter a bank
What’s the big deal? If the government could ignore the
Constitution on a seemingly unimportant issue like the bank then it
could ignore the Constitution on bigger issues
Yes: Article I Sect 8 Clause 18 (elastic clause) gave Congress
(the federal govt) the power to make all laws “necessary and
proper” for carrying out its other powers (taxation, coining
money, etc)
Strict (or narrow) vs Loose (or broad) interpretation of the
Washington approved the Bank: important precedent!!!!!
Debate over Hamilton’s Policies:
The Whiskey Rebellion
Farmers in Pennsylvania produced a lot of whiskey
Excise tax hurt them
1794 farmers refused to pay the tax, harassed tax collectors,
took up arms, threatened to march to Philadelphia
Sound familiar?
Washington and Hamilton assembled a massive federal army
rebellion defeated easily
Why the different reaction from 1765 (Stamp Act) to 1794
(Whiskey Excise Tax)? What had changed in that time?
Political Parties Emerge
Another important precedent of the Washington administration
Divide centered around Hamilton’s policies: some in favor, some
opposed—(broad interpretation of Constitution, assumption of
states debts, national bank, tariffs, excise taxes, strong govt
response to Whiskey Rebellion)
Those in favor: Federalists
Hamilton, Washington, Adams
New England, cities, merchants, factory owners, wealthy
Those opposed: (Anti-Federalists) (Democratic-Republicans)
Jefferson, Madison
South, West, rural areas, farmers, poor
Foreign Policy Under the
Jay’s Treaty 1795 US-Britain
What did the US get?
What did the British get?
What was the opinion of the treaty in the US?
Pinckney’s Treaty 1795 US-Spain
What did the US get?
What did the Spanish get?
What was the opinion of the treaty in the US?
Treaty of Fort Greenville 1795 US-Indians
What did the US get?
Successes/Criticisms: Recap
Domestic Problems
International/interstate trade problems
Internal rebellions
Worthless money
Defaulting on state/federal debts
Foreign Problems
British occupation of Northwest
Spanish occupation of Southwest/lack of access to Mississippi
Indian attacks
Constitution was undemocratic
Constitution favored the wealthy/powerful
Problems with France
French Revolution 1789-1815
France at war with Britain 1793
US still technically allied with the French (Revolutionary War
1778), what should the US do?
1793—Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation
US would not get involved
1796—Farewell Address
Washington leaves office after 2 terms (another precedent)
Farewell address warns about “entangling alliances”
Us won’t want to get involved in international affairs until
John Adams as President
Adams wins election of 1796 becomes 2nd President
Jefferson finished 2nd, becomes VP
What party was Adams from? Jefferson??
More Problems with France
Quasi War—French/American ships shooting at one another
XYZ affair—French diplomats insulted US ambassadors
Full-scale war with France seemed likely
Preparations for War: Federalist
Adams/Federalists in Congress voted to increase the size of
the navy and the army
Problems—philosophically? (Why might a standing army look
Alien and Sedition Acts
What excuse/reason did the Federalists give for passing these
What did they allow the government to do?
In reality how were these acts actually used? To protect the
country during a war, or for something else . . . .?
Election of 1800: Jefferson
Federalists looked bad by 1800, why?
High taxes for army and navy
Alien and Sedition Acts
Republicans elected 73 electors in the election of 1800, Federalists
only 65
All 73 Republican electors cast their 2 votes for Jefferson and
Aaron Burr—who had the most electoral votes?
What happens in the event of a tie in the electoral college?
Jefferson won the tie breaker, became President, Burr=VP
12th Amendment made separate elections for President and VP

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