The Early Republic 1789-1829

The Early
The New Government
• George Washington is elected the 1st president
by the Electoral College in 1788
• Inaugurated in 1789
George Washington 1789-1797
• Many precedents, or traditions, were established
during Washington’s term as President.
• These are also known as the unwritten constitution.
• Examples the Cabinet, political parties, serving two
terms as president.
• These came about in order to help the government
run better.
Establishing U.S. Foreign Policy
• In 1789, the French Revolution broke out
• By 1792, the British were at war with France to
stop the spread of the French Revolution
• Who should the U.S. support?
• Alexander Hamilton Support Great Britain
• Thomas Jefferson Support France
Proclamation of Neutrality
• 1793 President Washington issues the
Proclamation of Neutrality
• The U.S. will not take sides in the war in Europe
• Why does the U.S. proclaim neutrality?
• Too weak to defend itself
• Atlantic Ocean separates us, and allows us to stay
• Allows the U.S. to focus on domestic issues
(economy, westward expansion, etc)
Impact of the Proclamation of Neutrality
• “the duty and interest of the United States
require, that they should with sincerity and
good faith adopt and pursue a conduct friendly
and impartial toward the belligerent Powers”
• Washington does what is best for the United
• Neutrality/Isolationism becomes the U.S.
foreign policy until World War I in 1917.
Hamilton’s Economic Plan
• Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton proposed a 4-part
plan to stimulate the American economy
• It was a very controversial plan
• 1. Assumption Plan
• The Federal government would take over (or assume)
the debt of the states in order to establish credit for
the U.S.
• Northerners supported this, Southerners didn’t
Hamilton and James Madison agreed to pass this law if
the capital moved to the South (Washington, D.C. is
Hamilton’s Economic Plan
• 2. Protective Tariff
• Hamilton wanted to pass a tariff to help pay off this
• Southerners objected (they thought it would raise
prices for all goods), and it does not pass Congress
• 3. Excise Tax (Tax on domestic goods)
• Hamilton also wanted to tax some domestic goods
• A tax on whiskey was passed, that led farmers in
Pennsylvania to revolt in 1794 (Whiskey Rebellion).
This rebellion was put down by Washington, and
proved the new government was stronger than it was
under the Articles of Confederation
Hamilton’s Economic Plan
• 4. National Bank
• He also proposed a national bank
• The bank would be able to lend the government
money, print currency, and extend credit to business
(regulate the nation’s money supply)
• It passed in Congress, and was chartered for 20 years
• It would put the U.S. on a strong financial footing
Opposition to the National Bank
• Thomas Jefferson led the opposition to the bank
• He believed it gave the government too much power,
and was unconstitutional
• His opposition led to the formation of the first political
Formation of Political Parties
• Led by Jefferson
• Opposed to the national
• Wanted a weaker federal
government, and stronger
• Strict interpretation of the
• --If the Constitution does not
mention something, then it is
• Led by Hamilton
• Supported the national bank
• Favored a stronger federal
• Loose interpretation of the
Constitution (elastic clause)
• --If the Constitution does not
ban something, then it is
Washington’s Farewell Address
• In 1796 Washington retired after two terms
• He issued a Farewell Address
• Avoid political parties (create disunity)
• The U.S. should continue its neutrality policy with
• 1796—V.P. John Adams is elected the 2nd president
• 2 terms in office becomes a tradition, proves the U.S.
won’t become a dictatorship
The Election of 1800
• Adams
• Neither candidate won a majority in the Electoral
• House of Representatives decided the election—
elected Jefferson over Adams and Aaron Burr
• Impactfirst peaceful transfer of power (from
Federalists to Democratic-Republicans)
Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809
• Brought a new ideology (set of beliefs) to the
• Wanted a smaller, weaker federal government
• Believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution
• Thought the United States should be a nation of small
• 1803Marbury v. Madison—establishes Supreme
Court’s ability of judicial review
Louisiana Purchase 1803
• Jefferson wanted to ensure U.S. access to the
Mississippi River and New Orleans for trade
• Napoleon offers all of Louisiana to the U.S. for
$15 million (3 cents an acre)
• Constitutional issue Can the U.S. buy
Louisiana if Jefferson follows belief of strict
Impact of Louisiana Purchase
• Doubles the size of the United States
• Access to rivers for trade and westward expansion
• Many natural resources
The War of 1812
• Causes of the War of 1812
• 1. Impressment of US sailors by British navy
• 1807—Embargo Act—US bans trade w/Great Britain; fails to
stop the British
• 2. British support of Native American attacks on western
• “War Hawks” western congressmen in favor of war
• President James Madison asks Congress to declare war—1st
declared war in US history
• The US has major disadvantages against Great Britain:
• Smaller, untrained army and navy
The War of 1812
• Great Britain wins most of the battles
• 1814—Washington, D.C. invaded and the White House burned
• Treaty of Ghent (1814)
• The U.S. and Great Britain agree to
return to the borders before the
• Treaty is beneficial to the United
• Battle of New Orleans (1815)
• Fought after the treaty (slow communication); the United States
wins; leads to the rise of Andrew Jackson and begins a period of
Nationalism/Era of Good Feelings
• The War of 1812 led to a period of nationalism
• “Era of Good Feelings”—only one political party
(Democratic-Republicans) and little disunity
• Pride in US because of Battle of New Orleans
• New policies that strengthened the government
• Supreme Court Decisions
• 1819—McCulloch vs. Maryland
• 1824—Gibbons vs. Ogden
• Foreign Policy
• Monroe Doctrine (1823)US will continue policy of
neutrality in Europe if European countries stay out of
the Western Hemisphere (the Americas)

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