Launching the New Ship of State

CHAPTER [ 10 ] Launching the New Ship of State, 1789–1800

PART I: Reviewing the Chapter A. Checklist of Learning Objectives After mastering this chapter, you should be able to:

[ 1 ]. State why George Washington was pivotal to inaugurating the new federal government.

[ 2 ]. Describe the methods and policies Alexander Hamilton used to put the federal government on a sound financial footing.

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[ 3 ]. Explain how the conflict between Hamilton and Jefferson led to the emergence of the first political parties.

[ 4 ].Describe the polarizing effects of the French Revolution on American foreign and domestic policy and politics from 1790 to 1800.

[ 5 ]. Explain the rationale for Washington’s neutrality policies, including the conciliatory Jay’s Treaty and why the treaty provoked Jeffersonian outrage.

[ 6 ]. Describe the causes of the undeclared war with France, and explain Adams’s decision to seek peace rather than declare war.

[ 7 ]. Describe the poisonous political atmosphere that produced the Alien and Sedition Acts and the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions.

Related essay: What Led to the Rise of Political Parties in 1790

[ 8 ]. Describe the contrasting membership and principles of the Hamiltonian Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans, and how they laid the foundations of the American political party system. B. Glossary To build your social science vocabulary, familiarize yourself with the following terms. [ 1 ]. census? An official count of population; in the United States, the federal census occurs every ten years. “. . . the first official census of 1790 recorded almost 4 million people. ” [ 2 ]. public debt? The money owed by a government to individual or institutional creditors, also called the national debt. . . . the public debt, with interest heavily in arrears, was mountainous. ” [ 3 ]. cabinet? The body of official advisers to the head of a government; in the United States, it consists of the heads of the major executive departments as designated by Congress. “The Constitution does not mention a cabinet. . . .” [ 4 ]. circuit court? A court that hears cases in several designated locations rather than a single place; originally, in the United States, the higher courts of appeals were all circuit courts, and are still designated as such even though they no longer migrate. The act organized . . . federal district and circuit courts. . . .” [ 5 ]. fiscal? Concerning public finances—expenditures and revenues. “His plan was to shape the fiscal policies of the administration. . . .” [ 6 ]. assumption? In finance, the appropriation or taking on of monetary obligations not originally one’s own. “The secretary made a convincing case for ‘assumption. ’ ” [ 7 ]. excise? A tax on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of certain products. “Hamilton . . . secured from Congress an excise tax on a few domestic items, notably whiskey. ” [ 8 ]. stock?

The shares of capital ownership gained from investing in a corporate enterprise; the term also refers to the certificates representing such shares. “Stock was thrown open to public sale. ” [ 9 ]. medium of exchange? Any item, metallic, paper, or otherwise, used as money. “They regarded [whiskey] as a . . . medium of exchange. ” [ 10 ]. despotism? Arbitrary or tyrannical rule. “The American people, loving liberty and deploring despotism, cheered. ” [ 11 ]. impress? To force people or property into public service without choice; to conscript. “They . . . impressed scores of seamen into service on British vessels.  . .” [ 12 ]. assimilation? The merging of diverse cultures or peoples into one; especially, the merging of a smaller or minority community into a larger one. “The drastic new law violated the traditional American policy of open-door hospitality and speedy assimilation. ” [ 13 ]. witch-hunt? An investigation carried on with much publicity, supposedly to uncover dangerous activity but actually intended to weaken the political opposition by presuming guilt from the outset. “Anti-French hysteria played directly into the hands of witch-hunting conservatives. ” [ 14 ]. compact?

An agreement or covenant between states to perform some legal act. “Both Jefferson and Madison stressed the compact theory. . . .” [ 15 ]. nullification? In American politics, the assertion that a state may legally invalidate a federal act deemed inconsistent with its rights or sovereignty. “[The] resolutions concluded that . . . ‘nullification’ was the ‘rightful remedy. ’ ” PART II: Checking Your Progress A. True-False Where the statement is true, circle T; where it is false, circle F. [ 1 ]. TFThe primary force threatening American national security and unity in the 1790s were the international wars set off by the French Revolution. 2 ]. TFThe passage of the first ten amendments to the Constitution demonstrated the Federalist determination to develop a powerful central government even if it threatened minority rights. [ 3 ]. TFHamilton’s basic purpose in all his financial measures was to strengthen the federal government by building up a larger national debt. [ 4 ]. TFA political deal between Jefferson and Hamilton involved obtaining Virginia’s support for assumption of state debts in exchange for locating the District of Columbia along the Potomac River by Virginia. [ 5 ].

TFHamilton financed his large national debt by revenues from tariffs and excise taxes on products such as whiskey. [ 6 ]. TFIn the battle over the Bank of the United States, Jefferson favored a loose construction of the Constitution, and Hamilton favored a strict construction. [ 7 ]. TFThe first political rebellion against the new United States government was by frontier whiskey distillers who hated Hamilton’s excise tax on alcohol. [ 8 ]. TFThe first American political parties grew mainly out of the debate over Hamilton’s fiscal policies and U. S. foreign policy toward Europe. [ 9 ].

TFJefferson and his Republican Party followers turned against the French Revolution when it turned radically violent in the Reign of Terror. [ 10 ]. TFPresident Washington believed that America was so powerful that it could afford to stay neutral in the great revolutionary wars between Britain and France. [ 11 ]. TFJohn Jay’s unpopular treaty with Britain stirred outrage among many Americans and fueled the rise of Jefferson’s Republican Party. [ 12 ]. TFAdams decided to seek a negotiated peace with France in order to unite his Federalist party and enhance his own popularity with the public. [ 13 ].

TFThe Alien Laws were a reasonable Federalist attempt to limit uncontrolled immigration into the United States and protect dangerous French revolutionaries from weakening American national security. [ 14 ]. TFJeffersonian Republicans believed that the common people were not to be trusted and had to be led by those who were wealthier and better educated. [ 15 ]. TFThe Jeffersonian Republicans generally sympathized with Britain in foreign policy, while the Hamiltonian Federalists sympathized with France and the French Revolution. B. Multiple Choice Select the best answer and circle the corresponding letter. 1 ]. A key addition to the new federal government that had been demanded by many critics of the Constitution and others in the ratifying states was a. a cabinet to advise the president. [ b ]. a written bill of rights to guarantee liberty. [ c ]. a supreme court. [ d ]. federal assumption of state debts. [ e ]. a federal district where the capital would be located. [ 2 ]. The influential Founder and member of Congress who personally wrote the Bill of Rights was [ a ]. George Washington. [ b ]. Thomas Jefferson. [ c ]. John Marshall. [ d ]. Alexander Hamilton. [ e ]. James Madison. [ 3 ].

The Bill of Rights is the name given to provisions whose actual legal form consists of [ a ]. an executive proclamation of President George Washington. [ b ]. Article II, Section 3 of the U. S. Constitution. [ c ]. a set of rulings issued by the Supreme Court. [ d ]. the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States. [ e ]. the common law rights inherited from the English Magna Carta. [ 4 ]. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments partly reversed the federalist momentum of the Constitution by declaring that [ a ]. the federal government had no power to restrict the action of local governments. b ]. the powers of the presidency did not extend to foreign policy. [ c ]. all rights not mentioned in the federal Constitution were retained by the states or by the people themselves. [ d ]. the Supreme Court had no power to rule in cases affecting property rights. [ e ]. the states themselves were not bound by the guarantees in the bill of rights.

[ 5 ]. Hamilton’s first financial policies were intended to [ a ]. finance the new government through the sale of western lands. [ b ]. fund the national debt and to have the federal government assume the debts owed by the states. [ c ]. epudiate the debts accumulated by the government of the Articles of Confederation. [ d ]. insure that low federal taxes would spur economic growth. [ e ]. guarantee that the dollar would become a sound and respected international currency. [ 6 ]. The deep disagreement between Hamilton and Jefferson over the proposed Bank of the United States was over whether [ a ]. the Constitution granted the federal government the power to establish such a bank. [ b ]. it would be economically wise to create a bank-guaranteed national currency. [ c ]. the bank should be under the control of the federal government or the states. d ]. such a Bank violated the Bill of Rights. [ e ]. the Bank should be a private institution or an agency of the federal government.

[ 7 ]. The first American political parties developed primarily because of [ a ]. the sectional division over slavery. [ b ]. the Founders’ belief that organized political opposition was a necessary part of good government. [ c ]. the antifederalists’ continuing hostility to the legitimacy of the new federal Constitution. [ d ]. patriotic opposition to foreign intervention in American domestic affairs. [ e ]. he opposition of Thomas Jefferson and his followers to Hamilton’s financial policies and enhancement of federal government power. [ 8 ]. The Whiskey Rebellion proved to be most significant in the long run because it [ a ]. showed that the tariff was a more effective producer of revenue than the excise tax. [ b ]. showed that the new federal government would use force if necessary to uphold its authority. [ c ]. demonstrated that the American military could suppress a powerful domestic rebellion. [ d ]. showed the strength of continuing antifederalist hostility to the new constitutional government. e ]. showed that Americans would not tolerate federal taxation of their alcohol, tobacco, and firearms.

[ 9 ]. Regarding the French Revolution, most Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans believed that [ a ]. even the extreme violence of the Reign of Terror was regrettable but necessary. [ b ]. the overthrow of the king was necessary, but the Reign of Terror went much too far. [ c ]. the Revolution should be supported by American military aid if necessary. [ d ]. the French Revolution represented a complete distortion of American Revolutionary ideals of liberty. [ e ]. ts political goals were valid but its atheistic attack on Christianity was unjustified.

[ 10 ]. President Washington’s foreign policy rested on the firm conviction that [ a ]. there should be an end to European colonialism in the Americas. [ b ]. the United States could enhance its power by mediating between warring Britain and France. [ c ]. America needed to adhere firmly to its Revolutionary alliance with France. [ d ]. America ought to enter the French-British war only if its own republican ideals were at stake. [ e ]. the United States was too militarily weak and political disunited to become involved in European wars. 11 ]. In the 1790s, the powerful Miami Indians led by Little Turtle battled with the U. S. Army for control of [ a ]. Lake Erie and Lake Huron. [ b ]. the Ohio territory. [ c ]. Kentucky. [ d ]. hunting rights west of the Appalachians. [ e ]. Florida.

[ 12 ]. George Washington’s successor, John Adams, was politically crippled by [ a ]. Washington’s refusal to give him his whole-hearted endorsement. [ b ]. the political hostility directed at his assertive wife, Abigail Adams. [ c ]. the attacks and plots by enemies within his own Federalist party, including Hamilton. [ d ]. is ignorance and weakness in managing foreign and military affairs. [ e ]. his support for the unpopular Alien and Sedition Acts. [ 13 ]. The United States became involved in an undeclared war with France in 1797 because of [ a ]. fierce American opposition to the concessions of Jay’s Treaty. [ b ]. American anger at attempted French bribery of American diplomats in the XYZ Affair. [ c ]. French interference with American shipping and freedom of the seas. [ d ]. President Adams’s sympathy with Britain and hostility to Revolutionary France. [ e ]. France’s refusal to sell New Orleans and Louisiana.

[ 14 ]. Thomas Jefferson and the Republican Party essentially believed that the whole future of American society rested on an essential foundation of [ a ]. wealthy planters and merchants. [ b ]. international trade and westward expansion. [ c ]. free, white, educated, small landowning farmers. [ d ]. evangelical Protestants and learned scientists and technicians. [ e ]. a political coalition of whites and African Americans. [ 15 ]. The Federalists essentially believed that [ a ]. most governmental power should be retained by the states or by the people themselves. [ b ]. he federal government should provide no special aid to private business. [ c ]. the common people could, if educated, participate in government affairs. [ d ]. the United States should have a powerful central government controlled by the wealthy and well educated. [ e ]. the United States should isolate itself from Europe and turn toward westward expansion. C. Identification Supply the correct identification for each numbered description.

[ 1 ]. __________The body of advisers to the president, not mentioned in the Constitution, that George Washington established as an important part of the new federal government [ 2 ]. _________The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution that protected individual liberties [ 3 ]. __________The cabinet office in Washington’s administration headed by a brilliant young West Indian immigrant who distrusted the people [ 4 ]. __________Alexander Hamilton’s policy of paying off all federal bonds at face value in order to strengthen the national credit [ 5 ]. __________Hamilton’s policy of having the federal government pay the financial obligations of the states [ 6 ]. _________Federally chartered financial institution set up by Alexander Hamilton and vehemently opposed by Thomas Jefferson [ 7 ]. __________Political organizations, not envisioned in the Constitution, and considered dangerous to national unity by most of the Founders [ 8 ]. __________Political and social upheaval supported by most Americans during its moderate beginnings in 1789, but the cause of bitter divisions after it took a radical turn in 1792

[ 9 ]. __________Declaration by President Washington in 1793 that announced America’s policy with respect to the French Revolutionary wars between Britain and France [ 10 ]. _________Treaty following Miami Indians’ defeat in the Battle of Fallen Timbers that ceded Ohio to the United States but gave Indians limited sovereignty [ 11 ]. __________International agreement, signed in 1794, whose terms favoring Britain outraged Jeffersonian Republicans [ 12 ]. __________Scandal in which three French secret agents attempted to bribe U. S. diplomats, outraging the American public and causing the undeclared war with France [ 13 ]. __________Law passed by Federalists during the undeclared French war that made it a criminal offense to criticize or defame government officials, including the president [ 14 ]. _________The peace treaty courageously signed by President John Adams that ended the undeclared war with France as well as the official French-American alliance

[ 15 ]. __________The doctrine, proclaimed in the Thomas Jefferson’s Kentucky resolution, that a state can block a federal law it considers unconstitutional D. Matching People, Places, and Events Match the person, place, or event in the left column with the proper description in the right column by inserting the correct letter on the blank line. [ 1 ]. ___John Adams [ 2 ]. ___Alexander Hamilton [ 3 ]. ___Thomas Jefferson [ 4 ]. ___James Madison [ 5 ]. ___Supreme Court [ 6 ]. __Funding and assumption [ 7 ]. ___Bank of the United States [ 8 ]. ___Whiskey Rebellion [ 9 ]. ___Federalists [ 10 ]. ___Republicans [ 11 ]. ___XYZ [ 12 ]. ___Battle of Fallen Timbers [ 13 ]. ___Alien and Sedition Acts [ 14 ]. ___Bill of Rights [ 15 ]. ___Washington’s Farewell Address| [ a ]. A protest by poor western farmers that was firmly suppressed by Washington and Hamilton’s army [ b ]. Body organized by the Judiciary Act of 1789 and first headed by John Jay [ c ]. Brilliant administrator and financial wizard whose career was plagued by doubts about his character and his beliefs concerning popular government [ d ].

Political party that believed in the common people, no government aid for business, and a pro-French foreign policy [ e ]. The second president of the United States, whose Federalist enemies and political weaknesses undermined his administration [ f ]. Skillful politician-scholar who drafted the Bill of Rights and moved it through the First Congress [ g ]. Institution established by Hamilton to create a stable currency and bitterly opposed by states’ rights advocates [ h ]. Hamilton’s aggressive financial policies of paying off all federal bonds and taking on all state debts [ i ].

Harsh and probably unconstitutional laws aimed at radical immigrants and Jeffersonian writers [ j ]. General Anthony Wayne’s victory over the Miami Indians that brought Ohio territory under American control [ k ]. Message telling America that it should avoid unnecessary foreign entanglements—a reflection of the foreign policy of its author [ l ]. Secret code names for three French agents who attempted to extract bribes from American diplomats in 1797 [ m ]. Washington’s secretary of state and the organizer of a political party opposed to Hamilton’s policies [ n ].

Ten constitutional amendments designed to protect American liberties [ o ]. Political party that believed in a strong government run by the wealthy, government aid to business, and a pro-British foreign policy| E. Putting Things in Order Put the following events in correct order by numbering them from 1 to 5. [ 1 ]. __________Revolutionary turmoil in France causes the U. S. president to urge Americans to stay out of foreign quarrels. [ 2 ]. __________Envoys sent to make peace in France are insulted by bribe demands from three mysterious French agents. [ 3 ]. __________First ten amendments to the Constitution are adopted. [ 4 ]. _________Western farmers revolt against a Hamiltonian tax and are harshly suppressed. [ 5 ]. __________Jefferson organizes a political party in opposition to Hamilton’s financial policies. F. Matching Cause and Effect Match the historical cause in the left column with the proper effect in the right column by writing the correct letter on the blank line. Cause| Effect|

[ 1 ]. ___The need to gain support of wealthy groups for the federal government [ 2 ]. ___Passage of the Bill of Rights [ 3 ]. ___The need for federal revenues to finance Hamilton’s ambitious policies [ 4 ]. ___Hamilton’s excise tax on western farmers’ products [ 5 ]. __Clashes between Hamilton and Jefferson over fiscal policy and foreign affairs [ 6 ]. ___The French Revolution [ 7 ]. ___The danger of war with Britain [ 8 ]. ___Jay’s Treaty [ 9 ]. ___The XYZ Affair [ 10 ]. ___The Federalist fear of radical French immigrants| [ a ]. Led to the formation of the first two American political parties [ b ]. Caused the Whiskey Rebellion [ c ]. Led Hamilton to promote the fiscal policies of funding and assumption [ d ]. Guaranteed basic liberties and indicated some swing away from Federalist centralizing [ e ]. Led to imposition of the first tariff in 1789 and the excise tax on whiskey in 1791 [ f ].

Aroused Jeffersonian Republican outrage at the Washington administration’s pro-British policies [ g ]. Created bitter divisions in America between anti-Revolution Federalists and pro-Revolution Republicans [ h ]. Caused an undeclared war with France [ i ]. Led Washington to support Jay’s Treaty [ j ]. Caused passage of the Alien Acts| G. Developing Historical Skills Reading for Main Idea and Supporting Details Any historical generalization must be backed up by supporting details and historical facts. For example, the text states that “the key figure in the new government was smooth-faced Alexander Hamilton … (p. 202). This generalization is then supported by details and facts showing Hamilton’s importance, such as his policy of funding and assumption, his customs and excise taxes, and his establishment of the Bank of the United States. List at least two supporting details or facts that support each of the following general assertions in the text. [ 1 ]. “President Washington’s far-visioned policy of neutrality was sorely tried by the British” (p. 211).

[ 2 ]. “True to Washington’s policy of steering clear of war at all costs, [President Adams] tried again to reach an agreement with the French.  . ” (p. 215). [ 3 ]. “Exulting Federalists had meanwhile capitalized on the anti-French frenzy to drive through Congress in 1798 a sheaf of laws designed to muffle or minimalize their Jeffersonian foes” (p. 217). [ 4 ]. “Resentful Jeffersonians naturally refused to take the Alien and Sedition Laws lying down” (p. 218). [ 5 ]. “As the presidential contest of 1800 approached, the differences between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans were sharply etched” (p. 219). [ a ]. Indicate two clear differences between the parties. PART III: Applying What You Have Learned [ 1 ].

What were the most important steps that George Washington took to establish the authority and prestige of the new federal government under the Constitution? [ 2 ]. Explain the purpose and significance of the Bill of Rights. Did these Ten Amendments significantly weaken the authority of the federal government, or actually enhance it? [ 3 ]. What were Hamilton’s basic economic and political goals, and how did he attempt to achieve them? [ 4 ]. What were the philosophical and political disagreements between Hamilton and Jefferson that led to the creation of the first American political parties? 5 ]. What were the basic goals of Washington’s and Adams’s foreign policies, and how successful were they in achieving them? [ 6 ]. How did divisions over foreign policy, especially the French Revolution, poison American politics and threaten the fledgling nation’s unity in the 1790s? [ 7 ]. In foreign policy, the Federalists believed that the United States needed to build a powerful national state to gain equality with the great powers of Europe, while the Republicans believed the country should isolate itself from Europe and turn toward the West.

What were the strengths and weaknesses of each policy, and why was the Republicans’ view generally favored by most Americans in the 1800s? [ 8 ]. Although Federalists and Republicans engaged in extremely bitter political struggles during this period, they both retained their commitment to the American experiment, and in 1800, power was peacefully handed from Federalists to Republicans. What shared beliefs and experiences enabled them to keep the nation together, despite their deep disagreements? Was there ever a serious danger that the new federal government could have collapsed in civil war?

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