Constitution and New Republic, 1776-1800

Report
Constitution and New Republic,
1776-1800
Setting up the New Republic
Presidential Cabinet, Court System,
Finances, and Political Parties
Washington takes the oath of office
April 30, 1789
Federal Hall Washington
Washington’s Presidency
 Received all electoral votes
– Electors wrote down 2 names
– Top winner became President, runner-up became Vice President
 Adams (Federalist) becomes VP
 Remained neutral in politics
– Neutral: not taking a side
 Inaugurated on April 30, 1789
– Inaugurated: sworn in
 His every action was seen as a precedent since he was the
first president
– Precedent: an example
Setting Up the Courts & Cabinet
 Constitution created the Supreme
Court BUT left lots of decisions up to
Congress
– Federal Judiciary Act (1789)
• 6 member court
• Created lower federal courts
 Congress also had the job of creating
departments to help the President run
the U.S.
– The heads of the departments became
Washington’s cabinet
– Washington was able to select the men
who led each department
Forming the First Cabinet
 Sec. of Treasury
– Hamilton
– Managed the country’s money
 Sec. of War
– Knox
– Oversaw the country’s defenses
 Sec. of State
– Jefferson
– Oversaw relations between the U.S.
and other countries
 Constitution never mentioned a
cabinet, but Wash set the
precedent for the cabinet to
advise the president
Economic Problems
 War debt
– Owed money to foreign countries, merchants,
AND private citizens
– More than 52 million dollars
• About $1,291,836,000 today! (1.3 billion)
– Government leaders saw it as a requirement for
the U.S. to pay this money back
• Wanted to maintain business relationship with those
foreign countries
• Also wanted to be able to borrow money in the
future
Hamilton’s Financial Program
 Tried to gain support of the elite
 Showed his belief in a strong central government
– 1. Govt should pay public debt and state debt
– 2. Revenue should be raised
• Revenue: government income
• Favored tariffs: taxes on imported goods
– 3. Create a National Bank
• Safe place to keep govt money
• Would make loans
• Issue paper money
 Washington supported his plan
 This plan would strengthen the national
government  worried Jefferson
Beginnings of Political Parties
 Constitution does not mention parties
 Early disagreements over the creation of the new
republic led to the creation of allies and enemies
 Writers of the Constitution had to make it general
enough so that it would be flexible for the many
different situations that would emerge
 This also led to disagreements over its meaning
– Two camps emerge
• Federalist
• Anti-Federalist (Republican)
Federalists
 Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
 Thought a stronger, more centralized govt was
needed
 Abandoned the ideas of the Articles of
Confederation
 Feared chaos and the power of the people
Anti-Federalists
 Jefferson was the leader
 Feared centralized power
 Trusted the will of the people
 Thought Constitution was too removed from the
people
 Demanded a bill of rights
Opposition to Hamilton’s Program
 Virginia (VA) and many other Southern states
protests assuming state debts
– They had already paid their debts
– Did not like helping the North
– Future capital is moved to D.C. as
compromise
 National Bank
– Created a debate over interpretation of Constitution
• Loose (broad or flexible) vs. strict (narrow or limited)
– Washington passed over protests of Jefferson and
Madison
– Bank established in 1791
Establishing Authority
Whiskey Rebellion, Securing the
Frontier, and Foreign Policy
Whiskey Rebellion
 Conflict arose over the
taxes from Hamilton’s
plan
 Farmers refused to pay
 Whiskey Rebellion
(1794)
– Farmers in Pennsylvania
beat up a tax collector
– Others threatened to attack
Pittsburg (the capitol)
– Wash sent troops to control
the rebels
– Proved that the govt could
AND would enforce the law
Whiskey Rebellion Flag
Securing the Frontier
 Northwest Territory was claimed by multiple nations
– Spain, Britain, U.S., and Native Americans
 Spain threatened to close port of New Orleans
– Worried Americans in the West who used it for trade
 Britain still held forts west of the Appalachian Mts.
(violation of the Treaty of Paris of 1783)
– Supported Native Americans in the area
– Stirred up trouble between NAs and American settlers
 Battle of Fallen Timbers
– Wash knew that the NW Territory was important to our security
and growth
– Sent troops to current day Michigan to defeats the NAs
– NAs retreated and Britain refused to help
• Did not want another war with U.S.
– NA hopes of keeping their land were crushed
French Revolution
To Help France…
Or Not...
 They aided us during the
 Britain was our biggest
Revolution
 Treaty still bound U.S.
and France together as
allies
 Jefferson favored helping
trading partner
 Britain was against France
– Too risky to fight them
again
 Hamilton favored not
helping
Washington decided that we would be neutral
Congress passed a law forbidding aid to either side
Jay’s Treaty
 Britain began seizing American
ships and goods
 Chief Justice John Jay went to
negotiate with Britain
 At the same time, news of our
victory at Fallen Timbers
arrived in Britain
– They agreed to leave the Ohio
Valley and pay us back for our
stolen ships
 This helped reduce awkward
tension between the U.S. and
Britain
Pinckney’s Treaty
 Also helped reduce
tensions, but with
Spain instead of
Britain
 U.S. got the freedom
to travel on the
Mississippi and store
goods at New Orleans
without paying for it
 31st parallel was also
accepted as the new
boundary of Florida
Washington’s Farewell
 Although some opposed his policy of neutrality,
he served as a symbol of national unity for 8 years
(1789-1797)
 His farewell address provided advice and
warnings for the country:
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–
–
–
–
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Benefits of federal government
Warns against political parties
Importance of morality
Stable credit
Policy of neutrality
Against over-powerful militaries

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