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Building a Nation... and Making it Work

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Dr.Liamvan Beek

HIS271Y Building a New Nation October 27 2010 and Making it Work Recap Federalists emphasized the strong, centralized government, suspicious of democracy, argued for loose interpretation of the constitution, Alexander Hamilton, saw progress as stemming from a more diversified economy Democratic-Republicans argued for a more moderate form of federal government with more power in the hands of individuals and states, Jefferson, emphasis on the yeoman farmer Although a period of political conflict, it was also a period of trying to define a character of the US, symbols such as the capitol, George Washington, white house Jays Treaty lead to further deterioration of relationship with US and British Impressment Adams, however, wanted to avoid national conflict Dont have the money, internal divisions, still a very young and vulnerable nation Seeking to avoid a conflict, Adams sends delegates XYZ to France, who demanded bribery An outraged Adams urged congress to make preparations for war Scurrying to make attempts to extend the military Quasi-war Neither the Americans nor the French wanted to fully commit to a war When France sought to reconcile, Adams is on board Adams sends new delegates Treaty is established, amicable divorce in a way, nullifying the old alliance but neither were responsible for paying each other for damages So on one hand, although the war was uneventful, it proved that the Federalists were right in their suspicions of the French, added to their popularity Shortlived, however HIS271Y Building a New Nation October 27 2010 and Making it Work Ultimately, the Federalists used this newfound popularity to get the upperhand over the republicans by undermining their supporters The Alien and Sedition Acts (1798) Enacted by the Federalists, aims against the Republicans Made it more difficult for immigrants to obtain citizenship Made it easier for the president to expel immigrants who seemed suspicious Federalists believed immigrants made up a wide base of support for the Rebuplicans The Sedition Act made it easier to charge people with sedition The Sedition Acts were aimed at the Republicans, all 25 used were levied against Democratic-Republicans The Sedition Act was set to expire in 1801 because the Federalists worried that if they didnt win the election it could be used against them The republicans accused it of being unconstitutional, but because most of the Supreme Court was federalist, they didnt win in that regard They instead tried to encourage the states to write resolves against these acts Only two were successful, the Virginia and Kentucky Resolution Virginia Resolution Madison Kentucky Resolution Jefferson Both argued that the power of the federal government rested on a contract with the states and could only act in their interest. Within this context, the states had the authority to judge the constitutionality of federal laws. Jefferson argued that the states had the right to nullify laws if they believed the government had exceeded tis power The Revolution of 1800 The election of 1800 was one of the most contentious of American history Federalists werent able to create as much public interest and opinion than the Republicans, especially Jefferson Used Sally Hemming, his slave, to defame him HIS271Y Building a New Nation October 27 2010 and Making it Work However, the democratic republicans were successful, and Jefferson won 73 electoral votes to Adams 65 Aaron Burr, however, also won 73 votes Jefferson was seen as the lesser of two evils and he is elected Presidents In 1804, Burr decides to run for Governor of New York, and Hamilton (also running) bashes him Burr challenges him to a duel Hamilton dies Aaron Burr continued to be an interesting character In 1805/6 he tries to convince people to steal land in the west to start their own country, and, after put on trial, goes to Europe Jefferson called this election a revolution Referring to a kind of wheel revolution, saying that what he hoped would happen that would be with his election, the US would see the returns of the original principles of the Revolution Argued that under the Federalists they US had lost sight of those values, and he would reinforce them by limiting the power of the government and enforcing public virtues Ultimately, he tried to distance himself from the customs and practices that he thought were too hierarchical and monarchical In his inaugural address, he outlined the key features of what would become Jeffersonian Republicanism 1. Creating a stronger sense of unity 2. Downplayed political divisions 3. Protection of individual rights 4. Tried to lessen fears of Republican government, encouraging Americans that a republican government could still be powerful 5. Urged the nation to avoid entangling alliances, wanting US isolation
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