Week 6 - A New Nation
Week 6 - A New Nation History 1301: 02E
Popular in History of the United States through Reconstruction
Popular in History
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kylie Gregoriew on Friday October 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to History 1301: 02E at Texas A&M University - Commerce taught by Dr. Judy Ford in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see History of the United States through Reconstruction in History at Texas A&M University - Commerce.
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Date Created: 10/14/16
I. Shays’ Rebellion (1786-87) o In 1786 and 1787, a few years after the Revolution ended, thousands of farmers in western Massachusetts were struggling under a heavy burden of debt. problems were made worse by weak local and national economies o Articles of Confederation provided the federal government with no way to raise revenue and did little to create a cohesive nation Daniel Shays (c. 1747 - 1825) o resorted to tactics like the patriots had used before the Revolution, forming blockades around courthouses to keep judges from issuing foreclosure orders. o Protesters were protecting their rights and demanding redress for the people’s grievances. o Governor James Bowdoin, however, saw the Shaysites as rebels who wanted to rule the government through mob violence He called up thousands of militiamen to disperse them o In January 1787, Lincoln’s militia arrested more than one thousand Shaysites and reopened the courts. o Daniel Shays and other leaders were indicted for treason, and several were sentenced to death, but eventually Shays and most of his followers received pardons o Thomas Jefferson, thought “a little rebellion now and then” helped keep the country free, others feared the nation was sliding toward anarchy and complained that the states could not maintain control II. The Constitutional Convention (1787) Articles of Confederation o After years of goading by James Madison and other nationalists, delegates from twelve of the thirteen states—only Rhode Island declined to send a representative—met at the Pennsylvania state house in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. delegates arrived at the convention with instructions to revise the Articles of Confederation. o The biggest problem the convention needed to solve was the federal government’s inability to levy taxes. weakness meant that the burden of paying back debt from the Revolutionary War fell on the states James Madison (1751 - 1836) o He intended to produce a completely new national constitution o Throughout the year he had completed two extensive research projects—one on the history of government in the United States, the other on the history of republics around the world. o He used this research as the basis for a proposal he brought with him to Philadelphia o The Virginia Plan named after Madison’s home state o proposed that the United States should have a strong federal government. o It was to have three branches—legislative, executive, and judicial—with power to act on any issues of national concern o The legislature, or Congress, would have two houses, in which every state would be represented according to its population size or tax base. o The national legislature would have veto power over state laws. Roger Sherman (1721 - 1793) o The Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman, furthermore, argued that members of Congress should be appointed by the state legislatures o Ordinary voters, Sherman said, lacked information, were “constantly liable to be misled,” and “should have as little to do as may be” about most national decisions o The Great Compromise each state would have two senators, who could vote independently. In addition to establishing both types of representation, this compromise also counted a slave as three-fifths of a person for representation and tax purposes. o Congress would have a lower house, the House of Representatives, in which members were assigned according to each state’s population, and an upper house, which became the Senate, in which each state would have one vote. o James Wilson o On June 1, he moved that the national executive power reside in a single person o Coming only four years after the American Revolution, that proposal was extremely contentious; it conjured up images of an elected monarchy. o In the end, the Constitutional Convention proposed a government that combined elements from ancient republics and English political tradition making some limited democratic innovations, trying to maintain balance between national and state sovereignty. III. Ratifying the Constitution Federalists and Anti-Federalists o Anti-Federalists argued that without such a guarantee of specific rights, American citizens risked losing their personal liberty to the powerful federal government. o Federalists argued that a bill of rights was not only redundant but dangerous; it could limit future citizens from adding new rights. o The most high-profile convention was held in Richmond, Virginia, in June 1788, when Federalists like James Madison, Edmund Randolph, and John Marshall squared off against equally influential Anti-Federalists like Patrick Henry and George Mason. The Federalist Papers o Some of the most famous, and most important, arguments came from Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in the Federalist Papers o published in various New York newspapers in 1787 and 1788 On July 2, 1788 o Congress announced that the Constitution was now in effect. o North Carolina, New York, and Rhode Island had not completed their ratification conventions, and Anti- Federalists still argued that the Constitution would lead to tyranny. o The New York convention would ratify the Constitution by just three votes, and finally Rhode Island would ratify it by two votes—a full year after George Washington was inaugurated as president. IV. Rights and Compromises The Bill of Rights (ratified 1791) o Ten amendments to the Constitution were added in 1791 o James Madison, against his original wishes, supported these amendments as an act of political compromise and necessity o Women found no protections or guarantee of a voice in government Many states would continue to restrict voting only to men who owned significant amounts of property. o And slavery not only continued to exist; it was condoned and protected by the Constitution. Slave trade agreements o Americans generally perceived the Atlantic slave more violent and immoral than slavery itself o The Constitution counted each black individual as three-fifths of a person for purposes of representation, so in districts with many slaves, the white voters had extra influence o Dirty Compromise o New Englanders agreed to include a provision that protected the foreign slave trade for twenty years; in exchange, South Carolina and Georgia delegates had agreed to support a clause that made it easier for Congress to pass commercial legislation. the Atlantic slave trade resumed until 1808 o Slave Trade was Outlawed 3 Reasons o Slave Trade was outlawed in Britain in 1807 US didn’t want to concede any moral high ground to its Rival. o Haitian Revolution (1791–1804), thousands of armed black revolutionaries revolted in the West Indies, made white Americans terrified o Haitian Revolution ended France’s plans to expand its presence in the Americas 1803, the United States had purchased the Louisiana Territory from the French at a fire-sale price V. Hamilton’s Financial System Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804) o believed that self-interest was the “most powerful incentive of human actions.” o Self-interest drove humans to accumulate property, and that effort created commerce and industry. o Government had important roles… First, the state should protect private property from theft. Second, according to Hamilton, the state should use human “passions” and “make them subservient to the public good.” Federalists and Democratic-Republicans o The vice president was John Adams, and Washington chose Alexander Hamilton to be his secretary of the treasury o Both men wanted an active government that would promote prosperity by supporting American industry o Washington chose Thomas Jefferson to be his secretary of state, and Jefferson was committed to restricting federal power and preserving an economy based on agriculture. o Almost from the beginning, Washington struggled to reconcile the “Federalist” and “Republican” (or Democratic-Republican) factions within his own administration The First Bank of the United States o Thomas Jefferson and other Republicans argued that the plan was unconstitutional; the Constitution did not authorize Congress to create a bank. o Hamilton argued that the bank was constitutional and important for the country’s prosperity. o The Bank of the United States would fulfill several needs. o It would act as a convenient depository for federal funds. It would print paper banknotes backed by specie (gold or silver). o In 1791, therefore, Congress approved a twenty-year charter for the Bank of the United States. VI. The Whiskey Rebellion (1791 - 1794) and Jay’s Treaty (1794) o Grain was the most valuable cash crop for many American farmers. o selling grain to a local distillery for alcohol production was typically more profitable than shipping it over the Appalachians to eastern markets. o Hamilton’s whiskey tax thus placed a special burden on western farmers o July 1794, groups of armed farmers attacked federal marshals and tax collectors, burning down at least two tax collectors’ homes. Robert Johnson (1791) o sixteen men, disguised in women’s clothes, assaulted a tax collector named Robert Johnson. o They tarred and feathered him, and the local deputy marshals seeking justice met similar fates. o They were robbed and beaten, whipped and flogged, tarred and feathered, and tied up and left for dead. Federal armed response o Washington dispatched a committee of three distinguished Pennsylvanians to meet with the rebels and try to bring about a peaceful resolution. he gathered an army of thirteen thousand militiamen in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. o September 19, Washington became the only sitting president to lead troops in the field, though he quickly turned over the army to the command of Henry Lee, a Revolutionary hero and the current governor of Virginia. John Jay (1745 - 1829) o In November 1794, despite their misgivings, John Jay signed a “treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation” with the British. o The Jay Treaty required Britain to abandon its military positions in the Northwest Territory by 1796 o Britain also agreed to compensate American merchants for their losses o Unfortunately, Jay had failed to secure an end to impressment o Jay’s Treaty gave the United States, a relatively weak power, the ability to stay officially neutral in European wars, and it preserved American prosperity by protecting trade. VII. The French Revolution and the Limits of Liberty The XYZ Affair (1797 1798) o In response to Jay’s Treaty, the French government authorized its vessels to attack American shipping o Some officials, whom the Americans code-named “X,” “Y,” and “Z” in their correspondence, hinted that negotiations could begin only after the Americans offered a bribe o Dozens of towns wrote addresses to President Adams, pledging him their support against France. o By 1798, the people of Charleston watched the ocean’s horizon apprehensively because they feared the arrival of the French navy at any moment The French Quasi-War (1798 - 1800) o fought on the Atlantic, mostly between French naval vessels and American merchant ships anxiety about foreign agents ran high, and members of Congress took action to prevent internal subversion. o The most controversial of these steps were the Alien and Sedition Acts The Alien and Sedition Acts (1789) o passed in 1798, were intended to prevent French agents and sympathizers from compromising America’s resistance, but they also attacked Americans who criticized the President and the Federalist Party. o The Alien Act allowed the federal government to deport foreign nationals, or “aliens,” who seemed to pose a national security threat. o the Sedition Act allowed the government to prosecute anyone found to be speaking or publishing “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” against the government o They reflected common assumptions about the nature of the American Revolution and the limits of liberty o Under the terms of the Sedition Act, they indicted and prosecuted several Republican printers—and even a Republican congressman who had criticized President Adams. o Adams administration never enforced the Alien Act, its passage was enough to convince some foreign nationals to leave the country o For the president and most other Federalists, the Alien and Sedition Acts represented a continuation of a conservative rather than radical American Revolution. o the Alien and Sedition Acts caused a backlash, in two ways. First, shocked opponents articulated a new and expansive vision for liberty. Second, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson helped organize opposition from state governments. VIII. Religious Freedom Disestablishment o South Carolina, for example, had been nominally Anglican before the Revolution, but it had dropped denominational restrictions in its 1778 constitution. Instead, it now allowed any church consisting of at least fifteen adult males to become “incorporated,” or recognized for tax purposes as a state-supported church. Churches needed only to agree to a set of basic Christian theological tenets, which were vague enough that most denominations could support them. o tried to balance religious freedom with the religious practice that was supposed to be necessary for social order. o South Carolina continued its general establishment law until 1790, when a constitutional revision removed the establishment clause and religious restrictions on officeholders. o The religious freedom clause in the Bill of Rights, during these decades, limited the federal government but not state governments. It was not until 1833 that a state supreme court decision ended Massachusetts’s support for the Congregational church. IX. The Election of 1800 o Republicans defeated Adams in a bitter and complicated presidential race. o One Federalist newspaper article predicted that a Republican victory would fill America with “murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest.” o A Republican newspaper, on the other hand, flung sexual slurs against President Adams, saying he had “neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” o Both sides predicted disaster and possibly war if the other should win Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826) and Aaron Burr (1756 - 1836) o each had 73 electoral votes. o Burr was supposed to be a candidate for vice president, not president, but under the Constitution’s original rules, a tie-breaking vote had to take place in the House of Representatives. It was controlled by Federalists bitter at Jefferson. o House members voted dozens of times without breaking the tie. On the thirty-sixth ballot, Thomas Jefferson emerged victorious. o In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson offered an olive branch to the Federalists. He pledged to follow the will of the American majority, whom he believed were Republicans, but to respect the rights of the Federalist minority. Chief Justice John Marshall (1755 - 1835) o "Midnight appointments" o Adams had sought to put Federalists into vacant positions at the last minute. o Jefferson and his secretary of state, James Madison, had refused to deliver the federal commissions to the men Adams had appointed. o Several of the appointees, including William Marbury, sued the government, and the case was argued before the Supreme Court.