Week 4 Notes
Week 4 Notes History 225
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madison Sundberg on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to History 225 at James Madison University taught by Dr. Steven Reich in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 61 views. For similar materials see U.S. History in History at James Madison University.
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Date Created: 02/07/16
2/1 The Struggle of Defining the Revolutionary Settlement (Lecture notes, Reich) How do the forefathers create a new political system with a new political culture? o They had to balance the freedom of the masses while preserving the liberty of the elites Trouble of defining “proper political virtue” o Excess wealth meant: luxury, lazy workers, corruption, and tyranny o Excess poverty meant: desperation for food/work/money, dependence on others, dangerous rioting, and anarchy These two poles needed to be avoided: o Aristocracy o Excess Democracy Needed a Republican balance o Republics always had a short life span because of leaders who believed they were serving the public’s interest but actually served self-interest Forefathers had to decide what they feared more: o The tyranny of aristocratic power o Anarchy of the mob Cracks in the Coalition o Radicalism of Thomas Paine Independence means popular democracy The ideal frame of government is Direct Democracy Pennsylvania State Constitution o Conservatism of John Adams Independence meant separation from Britain Favored the elite preference for hierarchy Massachusetts State Constitution o Legitimacy of street politics Mob action targeted the authority of the new state governments Shays’ Rebellion 1786-1787 o Economic crisis after 1783 o Merchants (creditors) v. Farmers (debtors) in Massachusetts o Debtors had no protection under the law, so debtors used “street politics” o Both sides draw on the language of the Revolution to justify the conflict o The state militia is sent out to suppress the conflict Legacy of the Rebellion o The rebellion was defeated by their allies from just 15 yrs. earlier o Street politics is denounced as a threat to the new government People realized it was losing its legitimacy and they needed to organize to become elected to have a voice o Raised fear that a military coup would sweep in and the federal government wouldn’t be powerful enough to overcome it Small Group Discussion (Discussion notes) Thomas Jefferson’s idea of social harmony included men being self-sufficient and self-sustaining. There should be no competition. Jefferson’s ideas about African Americans were troubled. He felt that they were put here to cultivate the Earth due to their physical differences with white men. Feared that emancipation would result in a race war o This was a long standing assumption of the era with no evidence to back it up 2/3 Chapter 8 Reading Notes (Foner, 283-286) The Politics of the New Nation Washington’s cabinet included Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, and Alexander Hamilton, Head of Treasury Department Alexander Hamilton’s Program Political divisions first began during his financial plan development Hamilton’s Immediate aims: o Establish the nation’s most powerful financial interests o Propose the country’s financial interests to the government o Develop the economy Long term goal: o Make the U.S. a commercial and military power, modeled after Great Britain Financial Program o Consisted of 5 parts addressing, debt, a national bank, paper money, and manufacturers Part One: addressed creating a condition in which people could loan the government money by purchasing bonds and be repaid later Part Two: addressed creation of a new national debt in which old debt would be replaced by bonds issued to the creditors. This would give creditors a stake in the nation’s growing economic stability Part Three: Creation of a Bank of the United States Modeled on Bank of England Would be nation’s main financial agent Would be a private corporation that help public funds Would issue bank notes to be used as currency Would loan money to the government when needed Part Four: Proposed tax on producers of Whiskey to raise revenue Part Five: Imposed a tariff on imported goods, as well as provided government subsidies to develop factories to limit the need to purchase manufactured goods from abroad o Supported by American financiers, manufacturers, and merchants o Jefferson and Madison were concerned that the plan was too closely tied with Britain when the government should be focused on westward expansion Felt free trade promoted American prosperity Feared that alliance of central government with an emerging class of commercial capitalists threatened American freedom Jefferson/Hamilton Bargain (Foner, 286) Opposition to Hamilton’s plan arose in the South Hamilton said his plan was authorized by a Constitutional clause allowing Congress to enact laws for the general welfare of the nation o “Strict Constitutionists”- people who insisted that the federal government could only exercise powers specifically listed in the Constitution, these were usually Southerners Compromise: Plan would be enacted, minus the subsidies to manufacturers, in exchange for the establishment of a national capitol located between Maryland and Virginia The French Revolution (Foner, 287) American leaders wanted to avoid support because the idea of popular self-government needed to be protected Feared support from people would divide Americans into parties either in favor of France or of Great Britain John Jay negotiated an agreement in 1794 o Jay’s Treaty No British concession on impressment or the rights of American shipping Britain gave up outposts on the Western frontier and the U.S. guaranteed favored treatment of British imported goods As a result, the treaty ended up cancelling the French-American alliance Treaty led to strong political divisions and formations of organized parties Political Parties: Federalists and Republicans (Foner, 288-289) Federalists o Supporters of Washington o Favored close ties with Britain o Mostly merchants, farmers, lawyers, and established political leaders (especially from the North) o Elitist outlook o Felt freedom meant deference to authority, not the right to oppose government Republicans o Lead by Madison and Jefferson o In favor of republican France o Favored democratic self-government, hatred of centralized authority o Consisted of wealthy southern plantation owners and typical farmers o Critical of social and economic inequality o Pushed importance of Public Sphere o Suspicious of the monetary interest that would sustain the “centralized authority” o Hated Hamilton’s shadow resemblance of Britain The Whiskey Rebellion (Foner, 288) Pennsylvanian farmers attempted to block collection of tax on distilled spirits Washington dispatched 13,000-15,000+ militiamen to take control of the Rebellion The Public Sphere (Foner, 289-290) Intense partisan warfare Brought about a larger attendance of political meetings Caused a greater amount of pamphlet and newspaper readers Establishment of more post offices increased circulation of personal letters and printed materials Sparked a rapid growth in American press Rights of Women (Foner, 291 and 294) Mary Wollstonecraft released a pamphlet in England about women’s rights Wollstonecraft was inspired by Paine’s “Rights of Man” Called for greater access to education and paid employment for women Judith Sargent Murray wrote “On the Equality of the Sexes” demanding women be allowed equal educational opportunities Slavery (Reich, Lecture notes) Does a strong federal government defend freedom and liberty or defend it? o This question might be the roots of racial anti-government rhetoric Its not that the government didn’t realize that slavery and the Declaration of Independence were incompatible, the problem was that they had to reconcile to preserve social harmony Not a single man thought of using the federal government and the Constitution as a mean for emancipation Politicians were more afraid of a centralized government than with interfering with the ideas of rights of property Acts (Foner, 296-298) Alien Act o Allowed deportation of immigrants that appeared “dangerous” federal government Naturalization Act o Extended residency requirement from 5 to 14 yrs. for immigrants seeking citizenship Sedition Act o Allowed the prosecution of any public assembly or publication that criticized the government o Mainly targeted Republican press Criticism endangered liberty o Freedom of Expression became a huge discussion among people o Madison and Jefferson drafted the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (respectively) Said Sedition Act violated the 1 Amendment States possess the right to punish any seditious speech, even if the federal government did not possess the right Second War of Independence/War of 1812 (Foner, 310-315) Jefferson favored the removal of Indian tribes living beyond the Mississippi River who would not cooperate in molding into society Some Indians happily promoted the federal policy of becoming “civilized” Tecumseh o Refused to sign Treaty of Greenville in 1795 Tenskwatawa o Religious prophet that wanted complete separation from the white population o Resisted federal policies War of 1812 President Madison in office 1814- Great Britain invaded U.S. after finally defeating Napoleon (France) Two-Front struggle- British and Indians o Western Indians aligned with British Andrew Jackson defeated hostile Indians in Alabama in 1814 o His terms of surrender required all Indians to give up more than half of their land to the federal government Treaty of Ghent o No territory exchanged hands o Shipping rights did not change 2/5 The Loss of Indian Land 1783-1830s (Reich, Lecture notes) American Indians and Independence o Indians had British protection under the Imperial System o Americans retaliated for aligning with Britain Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794) o Army goes out to fight the Indians and the British and succeed in pushing the British further north Retaliation of Americans meant the struggle for Indians to maintain their land and attempt to protect their land from the federal government Americans felt that the Indians were a barrier to western settlement British decides to give land west of the Appalachian Mountains and East of the Mississippi River to Americans o Indians “own” that land o Americans were given the right to “buy” the land from the Indians through treaties o Western settlers want America to attack and conquer for right to own this land o Eastern coastal citizens don’t want war and want a diplomatic process in order to acquire the land The land policy that emerges combined a little of both of these ideals o Federal government could not afford a continent-wide invasion o Federal government did not have to power to purchase through treaty o Both East and West realize that Indians were inferior to the white man Some tribes were willing to trade, some weren’t o Difficulty arose when one Indian would make a treaty but it wouldn’t be recognized by another Indian o Indians look to British for protection (British-Canada) Indians owned the land that the U.S. had not purchased or acquired by treaty o Indians possessed “right of the soil” o Federal government had right of preemption o Jefferson’s Hope: Indians would become agriculturalists and “chosen men of God” Indian Resistance o The prophets o Tippecanoe (battle, Nov. 1811) U.S. army destroys Prophetstown o Indians control Michigan for about an entire year Indians and the War of 1812 o Oliver Perry sent to Lake Erie to shut down Indians in Michigan at Ft. Detroit Following this conflict, there was a shift in American Policy from Ownership to Occupancy o Americans increasingly questioned the Indian’s “right to the soil” o In the 1800s they began to say that the Indians were never farmers, only wandering savages that survived by means of hunting and gathering o Indians have a right to occupancy but not a right of ownership o Americans felt that those who till the land, produce food, raised livestock, and improved the land have the right to the soil o Americans believed that Indians are fundamentally different people and cannot live in harmony with white men Works Cited Foner, Eric. "Chapter 8." Give Me Liberty!: An American History. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014. 282-316. Print. Seagull. Reich, Steven. “How the Indians Lost Their Land.” James Madison University. Harrison Hall, Harrisonburg, VA. 5 February 2016. Lecture. Reich, Steven. “The Politics of the New Nation.” James Madison University. Harrison Hall, Harrisonburg, VA. 3 February 2016. Lecture. Reich, Steven. “The Struggle to Define the Revolutionary Settlement.” James Madison University. Harrison Hall, Harrisonburg, VA. 1 February 2016. Lecture.
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