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The Early Republic. 1. Federalists vs. Democrat-Republicans.

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Presentation on theme: "The Early Republic. 1. Federalists vs. Democrat-Republicans."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Early Republic

2 1. Federalists vs. Democrat-Republicans

3 a. The federalist decade Interpretation of the constitution = major bone of contention: Interpretation of the constitution = major bone of contention: Federalists (Alexander Hamilton): strengthen national government Federalists (Alexander Hamilton): strengthen national government Democrat Republicans (Thomas Jefferson): emphasis on the balance between states and national government Democrat Republicans (Thomas Jefferson): emphasis on the balance between states and national government → beginning of party politics in the US

4 Alexander Hamilton vs Thomas Jefferson Federalists Federalists Republican aristocracy Republican aristocracy Goal: turn the US into a powerful continental empire Goal: turn the US into a powerful continental empire Supremacy of the federal government over the states Supremacy of the federal government over the states Democratic Republicans Democratic equality A republic of independent yeoman farmers far from Europe States’ rights as important as federal government

5 Article II, Section 1 “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States.” “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States.” → Plenty of room for interpretation → How powerful should the federal government be allowed to be? What are the proper boundaries of the executive?

6 Hamilton’s recommendations The Federal government should: The Federal government should: Assume the war debts of the states Assume the war debts of the states Create a national bank Create a national bank Impose tariffs Impose tariffs Goal? Foster national strength through economic development → Fuelled the fears of the Democratic Republicans

7 1794: Federalist majority in Congress 1794: Federalist majority in Congress 1796: John Adams (Federalist) elected president 1796: John Adams (Federalist) elected president Thomas Jefferson vice president Thomas Jefferson vice president 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts

8 The French revolution in US politics Central issue in US politics in the 1790s Central issue in US politics in the 1790s Democratic Republicans supported French revolution → progress of democratic equality Democratic Republicans supported French revolution → progress of democratic equalityvs. Federalists were critical of the French revolution and supportive of Britain against revolutionary France: fear of social chaos and mob rule Federalists were critical of the French revolution and supportive of Britain against revolutionary France: fear of social chaos and mob rule

9 1798: Alien and Sedition Acts Passed by the Federalists in Congress Passed by the Federalists in Congress Alien Act authorized president to expel subversive foreigners (cf. jacobins, radicals…) Alien Act authorized president to expel subversive foreigners (cf. jacobins, radicals…) Sedition Act: made it illegal to “bring false, scandalous and malicious accusations on the government” Sedition Act: made it illegal to “bring false, scandalous and malicious accusations on the government” ≠ 1st Amendment ≠ 1st Amendment → A betrayal of Whig ideals → A betrayal of Whig ideals

10 2. President Jefferson and his legacy Thomas Jefferson: Thomas Jefferson: President from 1800 to 1808 President from 1800 to 1808 Undisputed leader of the Democratic Republicans Undisputed leader of the Democratic Republicans

11 Democratic-Republicans US leading party from 1800 to 1828 US leading party from 1800 to 1828 By 1816: Federalist party no longer a force to be reckoned with By 1816: Federalist party no longer a force to be reckoned with Jefferson’s platform (“the revolution of 1800”): Jefferson’s platform (“the revolution of 1800”): Limited role for the federal government Limited role for the federal government Uphold states’ rights Uphold states’ rights Pushed for democracy and majority rule Pushed for democracy and majority rule

12 Discrepancy between Jeffersonian rhetoric and Jefferson’s political legacy Pushed for social equality among white males + symbolical emphasis on limited government Pushed for social equality among white males + symbolical emphasis on limited governmentBUT In reality Jefferson used executive power in an Hamiltonian way (=strong central government) In reality Jefferson used executive power in an Hamiltonian way (=strong central government)

13 1803 Louisiana purchase Jefferson bought Louisiana from Napoleon Jefferson bought Louisiana from Napoleon In so doing he acted in an Hamiltonian manner: In so doing he acted in an Hamiltonian manner: Unilateral action by a president Unilateral action by a president Made the US more of a continental power Made the US more of a continental power Jefferson did something that was not mentioned in the Constitution Jefferson did something that was not mentioned in the Constitution

14 1803: Louisiana Purchase

15 The Second Bank of the United States 1811: 1st Bank of the US discontinued: 1811: 1st Bank of the US discontinued: No stable source of currency No stable source of currency High level of national debt High level of national debt 1816: James Madison rechartered the Bank of the US 1816: James Madison rechartered the Bank of the US → A Hamiltonian move on the part of a Dem. Republican president

16 John Marshall and the Supreme Court Chief Justice from 1801 to 1835 Chief Justice from 1801 to 1835 Federalist agenda → preserved the Federalist agenda Federalist agenda → preserved the Federalist agenda Established judicial review as a prerogative of the Supreme Court: Established judicial review as a prerogative of the Supreme Court: 1803: Marbury v. Madison 1803: Marbury v. Madison 1810: Fletcher v. Peck 1810: Fletcher v. Peck

17 Democracy in America

18 a. The rise of democracy in America No feudal past No feudal past Article I, Section 9: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States.” Article I, Section 9: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States.” Class distinctions less pervasive than in Europe. Class distinctions less pervasive than in Europe. US life: mobility and equality US life: mobility and equality

19 Alexis de Tocqueville, De la démocratie en Amérique (1835) “Les Français, sous l’ancienne monarchie, tenaient pour constant que le roi ne pouvait jamais faillir; et quand il lui arrivait de faire mal, ils pensaient que la faute en était à ses conseillers. Ceci facilitait merveilleusement l’obéissance. On pouvait murmurer contre la loi, sans cesser d’aimer et de respecter le législateur. Les Américains ont la même opinion de la majorité.”

20 Progress of democratic equality: Collapse of the Federalist party Collapse of the Federalist party Unrestricted male suffrage in new western states Unrestricted male suffrage in new western states Andrew Jackson elected president in 1828 Andrew Jackson elected president in 1828

21 Jacksonian America Hero of the War of 1812 Hero of the War of 1812 Very popular / defender of the common man Very popular / defender of the common man Lost the 1824 presidential election to John Quincy Adams Lost the 1824 presidential election to John Quincy Adams Was elected in 1828 Was elected in 1828

22 Jackson’s commitment to democracy Opposed the notion of a republican aristocracy Opposed the notion of a republican aristocracy Disapproved of the electoral college Disapproved of the electoral college Advocated direct election of senators Advocated direct election of senators Advocated election of federal judges Advocated election of federal judges “The people are the government, administering it by their agents; they are the Government, the sovereign power.” “The people are the government, administering it by their agents; they are the Government, the sovereign power.” Spoils system (clientélisme) Spoils system (clientélisme) Women, natives, blacks excluded from Jacksonian democracy Women, natives, blacks excluded from Jacksonian democracy

23 Tocqueville, De la démocratie en Amérique « La majorité a […] aux États-Unis une immense puissance de fait et une puissance d’opinion presque aussi grande; et lorsqu’elle est une fois formée sur une question, il n’y a pour ainsi dire point d’obstacles qui puissent, je ne dirai pas arrêter, mais même retarder sa marche, et lui laisser le temps d’écouter les plaintes de ceux qu’elle écrase en passant. Les conséquences de cet état de choses sont funestes et dangereuses pour l’avenir. »

24 3. The foreign policy of the early republic

25 a. Britain, France and the United States 1790s: Federalists pro-British; Dem. Republicans pro- French 1790s: Federalists pro-British; Dem. Republicans pro- French G. Washington opted for neutrality G. Washington opted for neutrality Problem: caught between France and Britain → very uncomfortable position: Impressments of US sailors by Royal Navy Impressments of US sailors by Royal Navy 1806: Berlin blockade 1806: Berlin blockade 1807: Embargo Act 1807: Embargo Act 1809: Non-Intercourse Act 1809: Non-Intercourse Act : 100s of US merchant ships confiscated : 100s of US merchant ships confiscated

26 Impressment: Many British sailors deserted the Royal Navy to join US ships (because better paid and better living conditions) Many British sailors deserted the Royal Navy to join US ships (because better paid and better living conditions) Royal Navy (most powerful in the world) stopped US ships and captured sailors Royal Navy (most powerful in the world) stopped US ships and captured sailors Major humiliation for the United States → powerless Major humiliation for the United States → powerless Tried to address the problem but eventually: war of 1812 Tried to address the problem but eventually: war of 1812

27 The War of 1812 US v. GB ( ) US v. GB ( ) Dubbed “second war of independence” Dubbed “second war of independence” Severe crisis for the United States because unprepared Severe crisis for the United States because unprepared

28 John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (December 1816): “They have been taught from their Cradles to despise, scorn, insult and abuse Us. […] Britain will never be our Friend, till we are her Master.”

29 b. The Monroe doctrine 1810s: collapse of the Spanish empire in America 1810s: collapse of the Spanish empire in America Early 1820s: project of a Holy Alliance to re- conquer Latin America Early 1820s: project of a Holy Alliance to re- conquer Latin America Monroe doctrine: Monroe doctrine: Doctrine of 2 hemispheres Doctrine of 2 hemispheres European powers must not interfere in the American hemisphere European powers must not interfere in the American hemisphere

30 Spanish empire in America

31 Why was the Monroe doctrine respected? European powers were not afraid of the US because it was weak European powers were not afraid of the US because it was weak However they abandoned the idea of a Holy Alliance to re-conquer Spanish America. Why? However they abandoned the idea of a Holy Alliance to re-conquer Spanish America. Why? Because Britain, with the most powerful Navy in the world, supported the Monroe doctrine Because Britain, with the most powerful Navy in the world, supported the Monroe doctrine It was a way for Britain to have access to Latin American markets without facing competition from other European powers It was a way for Britain to have access to Latin American markets without facing competition from other European powers In the late 19th century the Monroe doctrine was reactivated because the US had become strong enough to enforce it In the late 19th century the Monroe doctrine was reactivated because the US had become strong enough to enforce it


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