History 105-518 Week 7 Lecture Notes
History 105-518 Week 7 Lecture Notes Hist 105
Popular in History of the U.S.
Popular in History
This 22 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda Notetaker on Saturday October 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 105 at Texas A&M University taught by Dr. Charles Brooks in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 165 views. For similar materials see History of the U.S. in History at Texas A&M University.
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Date Created: 10/15/16
(10/4/16) THE REPUBLICAN EXPERIMENT I. Experience + Theory = American Constitutionalism A. American Constitutionalism = the new frameworks of government B. Challenge → what do we do now? 1. Even at start of war → state level started trying to figure it out a. Declaration of Independence – created 13 independent nations C. Republic = 1. Government without a king 2. Answerable & Accountable directly to people a. Popular sovereignty D. Experience: 17631776 1. Lessons the colonists had learned from being governed by Britain 2. Centralized Taxation a. Enacted by a distinct centralized government b. Took until ~ Civil War time before Congress enacted any similar tax c. Also made colonists wary of centralized government 3. Virtual Representation a. Virtual representation – any nation (like England) had a public interest i. Developed because only a small portion of the population could vote ii. The few represented the many iii. In America → more people owned land → more people could vote → favored direct/actual representation b. Colonies did not want ideal in new government c. The New United States’ Representation = direct/ actual i. Frequent elections ii. Elections = local affair Residency requirements Representatives should… ○ “think, act, and feel as the people” ○ “portrait in miniature” 4. Mixed Government (Monarchy, Aristocracy, & democracy) a. Too complicated b. King (monarch) had too much power → bad American experience c. Only the House of Commons represented the people 5. English Constitution a. “An Unwritten Constitution” = not one document i. Composed of: Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, etc. b. “Common Law” → laws of judges c. Any parliamentary action was added to “constitution” i. Worried the colonists ii. Americans tried to appeal rights to constitution, but Parliament believed that it was the constitution Parliament decided what rights people did or did not have d. To Americans (then and today) i. Constitutional Law = highest law, “law of the land” Even surpassed government itself ii. American hierarchy of Government People → Constitution→ Government ○ Stipulation that government ≠ constitution iii. Americans also liked the idea of a precise, written constitution E. Theory: 1. Natural Rights a. Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness b. English → rights came from government c. Jefferson → rights came from God i. Therefore cannot be taken away by government d. Declaration of Rights i. Describes “Natural Rights” e. Bill of Rights i. Government CANNOT be touched by government f. Ideas drawn from the Enlightenment i. i.e. John Locke g. republicanism (lowercase ‘r’ = Not modern political party) i. Founding fathers inspired by Greek Democracies and the Roman Republic ii. Believed strength of a government/nation = it’s citizens Not everyone can be a citizen ○ Citizens must… Have an interest in the Republic Own land Be willing to defend the republic (become a citizen soldier) iii. Virtue The willingness of a citizen to sacrifice selfinterest for the greater public good ○ Characteristic of a citizen iv. Republic needs equality Land was (for the most part) equally distributed Gave American’s hope Republic could work v. Thomas Jefferson Proposed public education (although a sexist/racist system) ○ All white males would receive 4 years of public education Exam → top 10% goes on for another 4 years Exam → top 10% goes to University at state expense vi. Reason for worry → republics in past had failed Republic Cycle ○ Growth → Corruption → decay/despotism Americans were counting on the abundance of land to keep citizens virtuous II. State Constitution Making (17761780) A. 11 states make Constitutions 1. Rhode Island and Connecticut continue to govern with charters B. Constitutions = written fundamental law that supersedes governmental authority 1. So government doesn’t harm people’s rights C. Separation of Power 1. Americans liked checks & balances a. Fear of political power going unchecked b. Power = natural enemy of liberty 2. Divided political power into 3 factions a. Executive (enforces law) b. Legislative (writes law) c. Judicial 3. When power becomes concentrated in one area, the government becomes overbearing a. King had too much power 4. Executive = most dangerous branch a. Americans learned from King (centralizing power in one person) i. Therefore state constitutions set up weak governors Took traditional governmental powers and denied them to the governors ○ Veto ○ Creating courts Shortened terms → rotation of office ○ 9 of 11 gave 1 year terms ○ 7 of 11 prevented governor from running for another term 5. Strong legislatures a. Believe legislature has closer relation with the people b. Bicameral legislature (2 house) i. Checks and balances 2 houses that check each other ii. 2 states create 1 house legislature Pennsylvania c. Independent judiciary i. Legislative branch ≠ judicial d. Direct/ Actual representation i. Frequent elections ii. Planned for reappropriation as states expanded west e. Declaration of Rights D. Pennsylvania Constitution (1776) 1. Very radical and extremely democratic a. Structurally → most democratic framework adopted in United States b. Expressed the ideas of Common Sense 2. Begins with Declaration of Rights a. 1 wanted to protect the rights of people b. Extensive bill of rights i. Longer than the federal bill of rights c. Reinforces popular sovereignty i. People have the right to alter and abolish 3. Voting: a. Male b. 21 years old c. Lived in Pennsylvania for 6 months 4. One house Legislature a. Believed that 2 houses = too aristocratic (upper house vs. lower house) b. Equality in all the people c. Seats for 1 year i. Annual elections ii. Could serve for no more than 4 year in every 7 year period 5. Creating Laws a. Before bill could be passed: i. Passed by 1 legislature ii. Revisited the next year by the new legislature If passed again → bill became law b. System really allowed people to express opinions in the law 6. Council of Censors a. Most radical aspect of constitution b. If constitution = will of the people → the people should be the ones to interpret it i. Today → supreme court interprets constitution c. Each area elected 2 delegates i. Met for 1 year every 7 years ii. The council evaluated governmental actions, corrected any violations, and worked to prevent future violations d. Effort to take popular sovereignty very seriously 7. Pennsylvania constitution only in effect for 14 years a. Too responsive to popular will b. Replaced with a much more conservative document E. Massachusetts Constitution (1780) 1. More conservative constitution a. Not as far from English government b. Not as close to Paine’s Common Sense ideas 2. Strong governor a. Had powers to suspend legislature b. Was considered the Commander in Chief 3. Check on governor (only check in place) a. Direct, popular election (people voted for governor directly) i. Elsewhere governor = elected by legislature 4. 2 house legislature a. Upper House → Rich, property interest 5. Voting a. Needed property i. More property to become governor 6. Church Establishment → Puritan Congregational a. People pay taxes to support the congregation 7. Protocol for writing constitution a. Popular Approval i. Committee writes constitution ii. Submitted to the people for approval/disapproval 8. Proactive Aspects: a. Direct election of Governor b. Popular Approval of constitution 9. Many people believe that U.S. Constitution = modelled after MA’s Constitution III. Articles of Confederation (1781) A. Bad experience with centralized government = Americans hesitated to form a centralized government B. War→ unified 13 independent nations → Articles of Confederation C. 6 years to write and approve 1. For most state constitutions the process took around 6 months D. Set up “League of Friendship among Sovereign Nations” 1. More of a treaty E. States kept governmental authority F. Set up 1 house legislature 1. All states equally represented G. Approved by all 13 state legislatures 1. Unanimous approval required to make changes 2. 9 of 13 required to make a law H. Powers of Congress 1. Make war and peace 2. Regulate Indian Affairs 3. Settle disputes between states I. Powers explicitly denied to Congress 1. Taxation a. No revenue = no power i. Crippled b. Depended on contributions from states i. Not very forthcoming Denied the Power of Purse and the Power of the Sword 2. Prosecution of War a. Can declare war, but cannot raise an army J. More a government of paper than in practice Truly Federal K. Truly federal form of government Government: 1. Government that cannot deal with the people of the government Congress 2. States exist to protect the people from the government ↓ a. Theory of the Revolution States i. Produced government that was weak ↓ Eventually replaced by the Constitution People (10/6/16) MAKING THE U.S. CONSTITUTION I. The Road to Philadelphia A. Constitutional Convention (Summer of 1787) B. America had adopted the Articles of Confederation → highly ineffectual 1. Only in place for 8 years C. Popular Democracy in States 1. i.e. Pennsylvania 2. Many state’s political scenes controlled by small farmers a. Worried rich people b. Starting to “flex political muscles” i. Moving state capitals New York City → Albany Charleston → Columbia ii. Giving small farmer majority more access iii. Moving tax burdens away from themselves Onto rich people ○ Taxed carriages, libraries, slaves, etc. iv. Printing Paper Money v. Making policies that benefited themselves “tyranny of the majority” D. Troubles with England and Spain 1. Countries were not taking the United States seriously a. Even though Treaty of Paris (1776) established them as a new nation 2. England a. Tried to cause trouble for U.S. b. Refused to give up some military forts c. Disputed Vermont territory i. English used Canada and Vermont’s desire for autonomy to try and annex the territory 3. Spain a. Owned much of territory to the south of the new US b. American settlers poured into west i. Spanish representatives invited settlers to break off modern day Kentucky and Tennessee to become Spanish allied colonies E. Shay’s Rebellion 1. Shay a. Massachusetts war veteran b. Farmer 2. Post war for small farmers = hard times a. Conservative constitution → wealthy retained control → highly taxed western farmers 3. Raising a rebellion a. Shay and fellow farmers take control of arsenal and stage rebellion b. Easily put down c. Allows concerned Americans to voice opinion that Articles of Confederation allowed “too much democracy” i. Too much democracy → anarchy II. Philadelphia’s Convention A. Two men responsible 1. James Madison → “Father of the Constitution” 2. Alexander Hamilton a. Close to George Washington i. Convinces him to come Gives convention Authority ii. Washington = assembly president B. Asked congress to convene a meeting about ‘fine tuning’ the Articles of Confederation 1. Approved → ONLY to consult and discuss plans to improve the Articles of Confederation a. Almost immediately after convention began Articles of Confederation = thrown out C. Begins May 1787 D. 55 (white) Men Participate 1. Never all present at same time 2. Richest most powerful men in America 3. Nationalists – individuals who think the Articles of Confederation are trash a. Want new form of government (National Government) b. National Government → states = subordinate Acts directly with citizens E. Convention held in secrecy 1. All doors and windows shut a. No media leaks b. Patrick Henry and supporters of the Articles of Confederation “smelled rat” F. Washington = convention chief G. Virginia Plan – Big State Plan 1. Proposed by James Madison 2. Surprising because proposed to throw out Articles of Confederation a. Ignoring permission given b. Never gave consideration to bettering Articles of Confederation Articles of Confederation = i. All wanted to throw it out from the start Truly Federal Gov’t Neither state nor federal ly National Government government = dominant a. States = subordinate U.S. Constitution = National Government b. Government can act directly on its citizens i. Taxing and conscription 4. Calls for bigger government a. Bigger even than what we have today 5. National Government → power to veto state action a. This part was thrown out right away 6. 2 house legislature a. Representation in both houses based on population i. Virginia and Massachusetts would have dominated H. New Jersey Plan – Small State Plan 1. Small states liked the aspect of equal representation in Articles of Confederation a. Delaware delegates → specifically instructed not to compromise on that matter 2. Also a National Government proposal a. With equal state representation 3. Threatened to leave if Virginia Plan was adopted 4. *Advocates could argue that they were still following granted permissions since they were actually keeping some of the ideas of the Articles of Confederation I. The Divisions of Convention = between Big and Small state Nationalists J. The Great Compromise (Connecticut Compromise) 1. Saves convention a. If compromise had not been reached i. Likely nothing would have happened Would still have Articles 2. Sets up the representation system in place today a. Senate → equal state representation b. House of Representatives → representation based on population K. Alexander Hamilton’s Plan 1. Hamilton a. Elitist b. Respected, but not liked (maybe even crazy) c. Approved of English Constitution d. Always though he was “the smartest one in the room” 2. Plan to strengthen central government a. President serves for life Very “English” form of Gov’t i. Had enormous power (absolute veto) b. Senators also serve for life i. Appointed by president 3. Ignoring Hamilton’s plan = very smart of delegates 4. Hamilton gets pissed and leaves L. Electoral College 1. No question → Washington would be president a. And everyone was okay with him serving for life b. But what to do when he dies? 2. Proposed that major states each put forward candidate a. Too many candidates b. Too complicated c. No majority 3. Electoral college proposed a. Actually another compromise b. Adopted because of the small vs big state conflict i. After Washington → big states control presidency ii. Representation → based on senate and representatives c. Delegates realized: i. Election with no majority: Goes to House Every state gets one vote Major states vote for their candidates ? small states would decide who becomes president ii. This would happen every election with original plan III. Ratification A. Part 2 of making the Constitution *Ratification Methods B. Wanted popular approval/ ratification Articles → State Legislature Constitution → Public Conventions 1. Like Massachusetts constitution ratification 2. Needed 9 of 13 approvals 3. Federalists vs Antifederalists a. At convention → everyone was a nationalist → no ideological conflict b. Federalist – top of society (minority) i. Advantages Willful and enthusiastic Represented urban areas ○ Controlled the newspaper ○ Misrepresented antifederalists Coined the term antifederalists (negative name) Persuasive and convincing that Articles of Confederation= ****** root of all problems Federalists → National Gov’t Antifederalists → Federal Gov’t ii. Federalist’s strategy ****** Move conventions through quickly ○ Antifederalists = spread out No time to convene and strategize Push ratification as hard and as fast as they can By December conventions started to assemble iii. Americans who wanted to reconcile with Britain wanted back to a federal form of government Local authority → Federal = great appeal So Federalists coined the term “Federalists” for themselves and “antifederalists” for opposition iv. c. Antifederalists – small farmers i. Localists Suspicious of outsiders ii. Never actually called themselves “antifederalists” Referred to themselves as “federalist” ○ With lowercase ‘f’ 4. Massachusetts a. Important ratification b. If Massachusetts would have said “no” the early Federalist’s momentum might have been lost c. John Hancock i. Against the constitution → Federalist’s greatest opposition ii. Federalists may or may not have bribed with promises and visions of a powerful positon in new government’s future to get him to give them his approval “Bad measures used for a just cause” d. Swayed Massachusetts with promise of a bill of rights 5. Virginia a. Patrick Henry vs James Madison b. 9 states had already ratified → but Virginia = very influential state i. Federalist Goal = get the 9 states approval before Virginia considered the Constitution Put a lot of pressure on Virginia c. Ratified (by a small margin) 6. New York a. Alexander Hamilton (remember: wanted strong national gov’t) i. Pushed hard for ratification ii. Threatened governor with the succession of NYC b. Ratified (also by a small margin 7. North Carolina & Rhode Island a. Said “No” b. Thought about fact that they would be all by themselves c. Changed their minds C. Truly National vs. Truly Federal Government 1. Americans experienced both a. Made decision like picking of 2 evils 2. James Madison’s Compound Republic a. Constitution = middle ground i. Gives country part national and part federal government b. James Madison = more responsible than anyone else for getting Constitution passed (10/6/16) LAUNCHING THE REPUBLIC: FEDERALISTS AND THE 1790s I. Background A. Constitution – 1789 st B. Washington = unanimous 1 president 1. Assembles cabinet a. Alexander Hamilton – Secretary of the Treasury b. Thomas Jefferson – Secretary of State C. Alexander Hamilton 1. Brilliant, soldier (Washington’s comp de camp, right hand man, and close friend) 2. Washington looked to Hamilton for advice and policy a. Became like a prime minister 3. No fear of big government a. Wanted government modeled after the English (house of Lords, etc) i. “Hamilton was a great man, but not a good American” 4. Relations with Jefferson a. Paths had never crossed before working on Washington’s staff b. Did not get along i. Fought on like 75 different fronts 5. Controversial figure → outsider as a founding father II. Unfinished business A. Bill of Rights 1. Biggest reason for Antifederalists opposition was the lack of one in the Constitution 2. Promise made by Massachusetts Federalists a. Tried to back out of agreement b. Madison put foot down i. Backing out of promise = people lose faith in government 3. Committee a. Led by James Madison b. 10 amendments made to Constitution = dubbed Bill of Rights i. Much of the Bill of Rights → bad experiences with the English 4. Amending the Constitution a. Super majorities to propose and ratify b. Another Mode: i. 2/3 of legislature asks congress to convene a Constitutional Convention Represents sovereign power of the people Never been done ○ Last time → “Constitution” thrown out c. Over 4,000 amendments proposed → only 27 ratified 5. Takes 2 years for Bill of Rights to be ratified B. Judiciary Act of 1789 1. Needed to set up court system a. Article III = very short (on purpose) i. Controversial to have national courts (“supreme courts”) 2. Court Hierarchy: a. Supreme Court (1) i. 6 judges (today = 9) One supreme justice & 5 supporting b. Circuit Courts (3) i. Lower level under Supreme ii. Court of Appeals c. District Courts (13) i. Bottom of pyramid ii. One for each state 3. Judicial Review a. Power of courts to interpret Constitution b. NOT in Constitution i. Took a long time to implement & be accepted (1957) Cooper v. Aaron c. Judicial Supremacy i. Courts = only branch that can interpret the Constitution III. Hamilton’s Economic Plan A. Refinancing & restructuring American’s financial situation B. Hamilton thought 1. National Debt = National Blessing a. How Americans deal with debt → earn respect C. Uses economic plan to strengthen the power of the national government 1. Goals of the plan: a. Deal with the debt b. Give the economy a boost c. Strengthen the national government D. Fund the National Debt 1. Hamilton Audits Economy a. Huge debt from the war During war → Continental Congress i. Borrowed from France and Holland could not afford to pay for guns, ships, ii. Borrowed from citizens and soldiers Gave soldiers IOUs Commissary representatives – appropriated ‘cattle’ (/livestock/supplies) from farmers for the army ○ Farmers given IOUs Sold war bonds iii. Debt continued to grow (interest) Congress could not tax → get revenue iv. b. Debt breakdown i. $25 million → France and Holland Undisputedly needed to pay back ii. $25 million → states owed citizens iii. $44 million → U.S. owed citizens 2. Wanted to refinance the national debt a. Pay all the debt back all at once 3. Problem a. Government did not seem as if it would be able to pay anytime soon i. No revenue 4. Popular opinion a. Pay off part of debt b. People treated debt receipts/ bonds like stocks i. People bought and sold bonds (paid for thing with bonds) ii. Market value had significantly dropped Adventitious business men had accumulated large numbers –to wait until price went up again 5. Hamilton wanted to pay ALL debts back (with interest) Both good things a. Give economy a boost b. Establish America’s place in the world c. Very expensive d. Controversy: i. Rumors about what Hamilton was going to do Business/Rich people could buy a lot of bonds cheap and then with Hamilton’s plan, make a fortune overnight ii. Large portion of National debt = in hands of merchants The soldiers and farmers (those responsible for independence) had traded away what they thought were worthless bonds Made in seem like it was a plan to benefit the rich and powerful ○ Hamilton wanted to win the allegiance of those he thought were most critical in his quest to strengthen the government 6. Hamilton gets his way a. But VERY controversial i. The plan benefitted the powerful few at the expense of the ordinary many E. Assume the State Debts 1. If states owe the money why should the national government pay it? a. Hamilton wants creditors to look to national government for payment i. No more divided allegiances 2. Trouble: a. Virginia → already paid most of debts i. If New York’s in debt why should Virginia bear it? ii. Afraid they would be taxed 3. Hamilton compromises a. Dinner with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson i. Private → no one was in the room where it happened b. Madison and Jefferson got Virginia on board with the financial plan i. Quid pro quo Virginia wanted the new capitol to be in their backyards c. Virginia support the Plan → Hamilton gets what he wanted F. Establish the 1 National Bank 1. Not enough specie to serve economy a. So colonists had been using paper money i. But just printing more and more → hyper inflation b. Hamilton wanted to use paper money and implement policy to prevent hyperinflation 2. Wanted to pump up economy 3. State legislatures cannot issue paper money a. Too much popular pressure i. National legislature = less influenceable 4. Controversial a. Mostly private, capitalist institution i. Main Purpose: make money Private institution with a Primary PUBLIC function primary public function ii. 82% private iii. 18% public b. Does constitution allow for creation of National Bank? i. Arguments with Jefferson Jefferson wanted a more limited government ○ “how much government is really necessary?” ii. Hamilton uses the “Necessary and Proper” clause Wins because of Washington Controversial in & of its own right → blank “necessary and proper” check for government ○ Congress shall make laws necessary and proper to (Responsible for growth of national government’s power) promote the general welfare of the U.S. and its common defense IV. Rise of Jefferson’s Opposition A. Conflict between Hamilton and Jefferson/Madison led to the creation of political parties B. Madison’s Alternative Funding Policy 1. Worried because Hamilton’s plan seemed to benefit the rich 2. Wanted to bay debt in full…but a. Give ½ to soldiers and farmers (original holders) 3. Madison loses 4. Madison and Hamilton a. Past: worked closely together b. Now: opposed each other C. Bank is Unconstitutional 1. Biggest cause of rift a. Party division D. Political Parties 1. Hamilton → Federalists 2. Jefferson/Madison → Jeffersonian Republicans 3. Nothing in Constitution about parties a. Not very popular i. Too much personal political interest → hurts the people 4. 1800s English idea a. Loyal opposition – citizen’s responsibility to stand up to an overreaching government E. Whiskey Rebellion (1794) 1. Hamilton needs revenue for Economic Plan a. Supports an Excise Tax on Whiskey (1791) i. Tax on moonshine High value to farmers because it doesn’t spoil ii. Made farmers angry Not only because it was a tax, but it was a tax on their favorite product 2. Farmers get more than frisky a. Tax collectors/enforcers beaten and killed 3. Hamilton calls Rebellion a. Sends small army b. Rebels run and hide in the hills c. Whole thing fizzles out Sharp ideological 4. Hamilton shocks Jefferson and Madison by pulling out army against citizens differences between a. Jefferson → always thought a little rebellion is healthy Jefferson and Hamilton i. Keeps government listening and responsible to people 5. Cements the emergence of political parties V. Politics of the French Revolution A. Americans = happy because they thought France was following American footsteps 1. Harsh awakening when guillotine comes to streets a. Americans start to withdraw support as it gets more violent B. Americans faced with what to do as England broke out into war 1. Hamilton → proBritish 2. Jefferson → proFrance a. Previously ambassador to France b. Sympathetic to French condition C. Both Hamilton and Jefferson lobby to Washington 1. Washington decides on neutrality → Declaration (1793) D. England and France both test American Neutrality 1. English seize American merchant ships a. Come close to war E. Jay’s Treaty 1. Avoids war with England F. Pickney’s Treaty (1795) 1. Treaty with Spain 2. American farmers can send surplus down Mississippi to New Orleans G. Undeclared Naval War with France 1. Now France starts taking American ships a. France feels betrayed by Americans 2. Idea to make treaty with France a. Team of American negotiators (led by John Marshall) sent i. XYZ Affair (1798) If Americans wanted to enter talks → they must pay France ¼ million dollars ○ Not normally how sovereign nations deal with each other b. America fears France will send large Army in North America i. Prepares for war Whenever America faces a foreign threat → we get extremely paranoid ii. Large number of French immigrants → support Jefferson (even about our own) Adams worried that they will prove disloyal c. Alien and Sedition Act (1798) i. Gives president the power to arrest any immigrant who might pose a national threat ii. Sedition Act – inhibited free speech Effort to safeguard internal stability Congressmen jailed for criticisms
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