Chapter 8

Chapter 8
Jeffersonianism and the Era of Good
Feelings, 1801-1824
• On March 4, 1801, Thomas Jefferson walked to the
Capitol and took the oath of office as president.
– His actions reflected his belief that the “pomp and
circumstance” in which Washington and Adams had
engaged ill-fitted republican govt.
• Despite the partisan bitterness of the election of
1800, Jefferson, in his inaugural address, attempted
to conciliate Federalists by emphasizing the
principles on which most Americans agreed:
federalism and republicanism
Introduction (cont.)
• The period of 1801 to 1823 would see major
1.) The Federalist Party would slowly die out
2.) the Republicans would be rent by factionalism
3.) United States would double in size
4.) sectional strife over statehood for MO would nearly
tear that expanded nation apart
Introduction (cont.)
• 1.) How did Jefferson’s philosophy shape policy
toward public expenditures, the judiciary, and LA?
• 2.) What led James Madison to go to war with Britain
in 1812?
• 3.) How did the War of 1812 influence American
domestic politics?
• 4.) To what extent did Jefferson’s legacy persist into
the Era of Good Feelings?
The Age of Jefferson, 1801-1805
• Jefferson and Jeffersonianism
– Thomas Jefferson; intellectual, scientist, architect,
inventor, and statesman, was a complex, contradictory, and
gifted individual
– Author of the DOI’s bold statement about the equality of
all men, he, nevertheless, doubted that blacks and whites
could live side by side on terms of equality
– Despite his opposition to racially mixing black and white
blood, his political enemies charged that he himself had
fathered the children of his slave Sally Hemings.
• Recent DNA evidence from Sally’s male heir appears to support
the story
Jefferson and Jeffersonianism
• Jefferson distrusted power concentrated in the
federal govt.
– a danger to republican liberty
• preferring that state govts.
– he saw as closer and more responsive to the people
• Republican liberty could best be retained by a
virtuous and vigilant citizenry that put the public
good ahead of selfish private interests
– Educated small farmers
– Cities and their landless inhabitants were a potential
menace to the republic
Jefferson’s “Revolution”
• Jefferson attempted to repeal Federalist measures
that he felt were a danger to the simple republic
– Parts of Alexander Hamilton’s economic program
– The Alien and Sedition Acts
• He reduced taxes and the national debt
– Primarily by slashing expenditures for the army and for the
diplomatic establishment
– In these ways he felt that he was lifting an economic
burden form hardworking farmers
Jefferson and the Judiciary
• Jefferson demanded that Congress repeal the
Federalist-sponsored Judiciary Act of 1801 and
remove the partisan Federalist judges that President
Adams had appointed in his last hours as president
• Jefferson had little success with impeachment of
Federalist judges
– Only one conviction and removal from the bench
• The majority in Congress viewed impeachment
process as an inappropriate way to solve the
problem of partisan judges
Jefferson and the Judiciary
• Jefferson’s drive to keep
additional Federalists out
of the judiciary led to the
Marbury v. Madison
• http://www.landmarkcase
• The Supreme Court said
presidents could appoint
federal judges
Jefferson and the Judiciary (cont.)
• Marshall used the case to significantly strengthen the
power of the judicial branch
• He claimed that federal courts had the right to
review laws passed by Congress
– Judicial review
• For the 1st time, the Supreme Court declared a
portion of a law passed by Congress unconstitutional
• Jefferson did not oppose the concept of judicial
review, but he believed that judges should not use it
for partisan purposes
The Louisiana Purchase
• Napoleon Bonaparte forced Spain to cede the
Louisiana Territory to France
• The French action alarmed Jefferson
– it placed a major European power on the U.S.
– It blocked the gradual expansion of the U.S.A.
The Louisiana Purchase (cont.)
• The problem became especially pressing in 1802,
when Spanish authorities (just before the territory’s
transfer to France) denied western farmers use of
the port of New Orleans
• Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert R.
Livingston to France with a request to buy the city
• Napoleon countered with an offer to sell the entire
Louisiana Territory for $15 million
– He was frustrated with uprisings in French Caribbean
The Louisiana Purchase (cont.)
• Since the Constitution did not explicitly give
the federal govt. the power to acquire new
territories and since Jefferson was wedded to
strict interpretation, he briefly thought of first
seeking an enabling amendment to the
The Louisiana Purchase (cont.)
• His political acumen and desire to make land
available to small farmers, the “backbone of
the nation”, won out
• He submitted the purchase treaty to the
– It was quickly ratified
• April 30, 1803 officially U.S.A. territory
The Election of 1804
• Republicans
– renominated Jefferson for president and dropped
Aaron Burr in favor of George Clinton for VP
• The Federalist
– Charles C. Pickney and Rufus King
The Election of 1804 (cont.)
• The successes of Jefferson’s first term
– Doubling the size of U.S.A., maintaining peace,
reducing taxes, reducing national debt
• Won over many former Federalist voters
• Overwhelming Republican victory
– 162 to 14 electoral votes
The Election of 1804 (cont.)
The Lewis and Clark Expedition
• Lewis Meriwether
• William Clark
• Jefferson requested
funding from Congress
for an expedition
across the continent
to explore the new
Louisiana Purchase
The Lewis and Clark Expedition
• They were charged with the difficult task of
opening trade relations with unknown
numbers of Indian tribes across the plains and
• Brought Americans into contact for the first
time with the Mandan, Hidatsas, Arikaras, and
Sioux tribes
• Left St. Louis in 1804
The Lewis and Clark Expedition
• Followed the Missouri, Snake, and Columbia
• Crossed the Rockies
• Reached the Pacific in 1805
• They would not have returned safely if not for
the priceless guidance and comfort offered by
numerous Indian nations along the trail
The Lewis and Clark Expedition
• The Corps of Discovery returned with a wealth
of scientific information (and some
misinformation), descriptions, and maps that
stimulated interest in the West
The Gathering Storm, 1805-1812
• Introduction
– Jefferson’s second term as president was beset by
problems caused by the breakdown of Republican
Party unity and the renewal of the Napoleonic
Challenges on the Home Front
• Aaron Burr, Jefferson’s
first-term VP, stirred
up factionalism within
the Republican party
Challenges on the Home Front
• Jefferson believed that Burr was the chief
plotter in a conspiracy to separate the western
states from the Union
• The president had Burr arrested and tried for
• At the trial, over which John Marshall
presided, the jury found the charges “not
Challenges on the Home Front
• Jefferson also was attacked by another faction of
Republicans known as the Quids and led by John
• They criticized the president’s handling of the Yazoo
(present-day AL and MS) land scandal (GA legislature
had sold the land at a fraction of its worth to land
companies. The land companies bribed the GA
legislatures.) and other actions that they saw as
compromising “republican virtue”
The Suppression of American Trade
and Impressment
• The British and French, at war with each other,
forbade American ships from entering each other’s
ports and trading with the other side.
• Both powers seized U.S. ships
• Actions of the British caused greater harm because
they had the larger navy and their warships often
hovered just off the U.S. coast
– The British also removed sailors on American ships and
forced (or pressed) them into service in the Royal Navy
The Suppression of American Trade
and Impressment (cont.)
• When the British warship HMS Leopard
attacked the American frigate USS Chesapeake
near the VA coast and impressed 4 of its
– the country was outraged
– Jefferson still sought to avoid war
The Embargo Act of 1807
• Jefferson persuaded Congress to pass an
embargo as a means of “peaceable coercion”
• He hoped that U.S. refusal to export any goods
or to buy any products from abroad would put
sufficient economic pressure on GB and
France to make them respect U.S. neutral
The Embargo Act of 1807 (cont.)
• Unfortunately, the cutoff of trade did not hurt
them enough to change their actions
• It proved disastrous to the U.S. economy
– Seamen were unemployed; merchants and
farmers who depended on foreign sales were
– The impact was hardest on New England
The Embargo Act of 1807 (cont.)
• An unintended consequence of the embargo
was to encourage the transfer of capital into
domestic manufacturing, a development
Jefferson had initially opposed
James Madison and the Failure
of “Peaceable Coercion”
• The unpopularity of
the embargo revived
the Federalist Party
• 1808 election
• Federalist=Charles C.
• Republican=James
James Madison and the Failure
of “Peaceable Coercion” (cont.)
• Federalist carried
much of New England
• Madison carried most
of other sections of
the country
James Madison and the Failure of
“Peaceable Coercion” (cont.)
• Just before Jefferson left office, Congress repealed
the embargo and replaced it with the weaker NonIntercourse Act
– This law worked no better then the previous one
• For the next year and half, President Madison tried
variations on the them of peaceable coercion
(Macon’s Bill No. 2)
– all failed to change British and French behavior
James Madison and the Failure of
“Peaceable Coercion” (cont.)
• By 1810, Madison faced increasing pressure from
Republican congressional representatives from the
South and West
– Demanded a more aggressive policy toward Britain and
• “war hawks”
– resented the insults to American honor
– Blamed the interference in trade for the economic
recession hitting their home states
Tecumseh and the Prophet
• The war hawks
wanted the British to
get out of Canada
– They believed that the
British were arming
and inciting the Indians
on the American
Tecumseh and the Prophet (cont.)
• Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa (the
Prophet) were 2 Shawnees attempting to unite the
tribes of Ohio and Indiana against white settlers
• Initially they had no connections with the British
– William Henry Harrison attacked the Prophet’s town and
won the battle at Tippecanoe, Tecumseh did join forces
with England
Congress Votes for War
• June 1, 1812, Madison asked Congress to
declare war on England
• The vote reflected party and sectional splits
• Most of the “no” votes came from New
England Federalists
• The majority of Republicans passed the
Congress Votes for War (cont.)
• Reasons U.S.A. declared war in 1812
– Britain’s incitement of the Indians
– The belief that continuing British restrictions on
U.S. shipping was causing the recession in the
South and West
– Madison’s view that England intended to ruin
America as a commercial rival
The War of 1812
The War of 1812 (cont.)
• On to Canada
– In 1812, American
attempts to conquer
Canada failed
• The British took Detroit
• American victories:
– Oliver H. Perry’s
victory on Lake Erie
– William Henry
Harrison’s at the
Battle of the Thames
The British Offensive
• In 1814, the British landed
on the shores of
Chesapeake Bay and
marched to Washington
• Captured Washington and
burned it
• After they failed to take
Baltimore, they broke off
the campaign
The Treaty of Ghent
• U.S. and British
commissioners met at
Ghent, Belgium
• Dec. 1814
• The British demanded
territory from the
• The U.S.A. refused
• British backed down
The Treaty of Ghent (cont.)
• Dec. 24, 1814, they signed the treaty
• The U.S.A. was restored to prewar status quo
• Battle of New Orleans
Fought 2 weeks after the Treaty was signed
U.S. had a resounding victory
Had no bearing on the terms of the Treaty of Ghent
Provided an uplifting ending for Americans
Treaty of Ghent (cont.)
Battle of New Orleans
The Hartford Convention
• The unpopularity of the
war in the Northwest
contributed to the revival
of the Federalists
• In the election of 1812,
antiwar Republicans and
Federalists supported
DeWitt Clinton for
president against Madison
– Madison won reelection
(128 to 89)
– Clinton carried most of the
The Hartford Convention (cont.)
• American military losses intensified Federalist
• Fall of 1814
• Group of Federalists convened at Hartford, CT
• Passed resolutions aimed at strengthening their
region’s power within the Union
The Hartford Convention (cont.)
• Their timing could not have been worse
– Coincided with the end of the war and news of
Jackson’s victory in New Orleans
• Silenced Federalist criticism
• Public disapproval of the Hartford Convention
led to the rapid demise of the Federalist Party
The Hartford Convention (cont.)
• In the election of 1816, James Monroe (the
Republican nominee) scored an easy victory
• In 1820, Monroe won reelection with every
electoral vote but one
The Awakening of American
• Madison’s Nationalism and the Era of Good
Feelings, 1817-1824
– Era of Good Feelings was the name given to the
postwar time period
– Heightened spirit of nationalism
– New political consensus
– Federalist party disappeared
Madison’s Nationalism and the Era
of Good Feelings, 1817-1824
• Republicans wanted to make the country more selfsufficient
– Enacted many measures that the Federalists had earlier
– Chartering of a new national bank
– Protective tariff (help domestic manufacturing)
• Sectional harmony started to break down because of
the issue of slavery and its spread westward
John Marshall and the Supreme
• Chief Justice Marshall wrote opinions that
strengthened the power of the federal govt. at the
expense of state sovereignty
• Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)
– Forbade state interference with contracts
• McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
– Prohibited states from interfering with the exercise of
federal powers
The Missouri Compromise, 18201821
• National harmony crumbled in the 1819 controversy
over Missouri’s application for statehood
• For the 1st time, bitter sectional debate took place
over the issue of the spread of slavery because the
institution had become embroiled in political and
economic issues dividing North and South
The Missouri Compromise, 18201821 (cont.)
• Admitting MO as a slave or free state would
upset the balance of 11 free and 11 slave
states that existed in 1819
• 1820 the Missouri Compromise was approved
by Congress
The Missouri Compromise, 18201821 (cont.)
• 1.) MO entered the Union as a slave state
• 2.) ME entered as a free state
• 3.) in the remainder of the Louisiana Territory,
slavery would be permitted only south of 36
30 latitude
– The southern boundary of MO
Foreign Policy Under Monroe
• Under the leadership
of President James
Monroe and his able
secretary of state,
John Quincy Adams,
the U.S. achieved
several foreign-policy
Foreign Policy Under Monroe
• Good relations with the British were cemented
through agreements
– Rush-Bagot Treaty (1817)
• British and U.S.A. agreed to eliminate their fleets from the Great
– British-American Convention (1818)
• Clarified the western border between Canada and the United
States “as a line from the farthest northwest part of Lake of Woods
to the 49th parallel and thence west to the Rocky Mountains.”
• 1819 Adams-Onis Treaty
– Spain ceded East Florida to the U.S.A. and renounced its
claims to West Florida
The Monroe Doctrine
• December 1823
• Mostly written by John Quincy Adams
• Purpose was to discourage European powers
from helping Spain regain her lost colonies in
the Americas
• Also, reserving the right of the U.S. to expand
further in the Western Hemisphere
The Monroe Doctrine (cont.)
• The Monroe Doctrine stated:
– 1.) the U.S.A. would not become involved in strictly
European affairs
– 2.) the American continents were not available for further
European colonization
– 3.) the U.S. would look upon any attempt by European
countries to regain lost colonies or to interfere in the
Americans as an “unfriendly act.”
• In the election of 1800, the Republicans gained
control of the federal govt.
• President Jefferson in his first term cut govt.
spending and taxes.
– He also protested Federalist stacking of the judiciary
– And he purchased Louisiana
Conclusion (cont.)
• Jefferson’s second term was beset by factionalism
within his party and foreign difficulties as Britain and
France were again at war (and violated U.S. neutral
• When the policy of “peaceable coercion” initiated by
Jefferson and followed by Madison, failed, Congress
declared war on Britain (War of 1812)
Conclusion (cont.)
• The War of 1812 caused sectional divisions
– Federalist denunciation of the war at the Hartford
Convention hastened the demise of the party
– The remaining Republicans wanted to make America
economically self-sufficient
• They passed many of the nationalist measures once advocated by
Hamiltonian Federalist
– A new national bank; federally supported internal improvements;
protective tariffs
Conclusion (cont.)
• Even U.S. foreign policy, especially the Monroe
Doctrine, reflected assertive nationalism
• National harmony shattered as Congress
battled over the spread of slavery and
Missouri’s admission as a slave state

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