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The Presidency of John Adams

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1 The Presidency of John Adams

2 Essential Question: How did foreign policy challenges affect political debate and shape American government?

3 Reading Focus Questions:
1. How did Adams compare with Washington? 2.How did U.S. policy toward France change under Adam’s administration? 3. Were the Alien and Sedition Acts justified under the circumstances? Explain? 4.Why do you think the Framers did not foresee the problem that emerged during the election of 1800?


5 John Adams was elected President in 1796.
Based on the map what part of the country favored John Adams? What part favored Jefferson? According to the map, who becomes John Adams Vice President?

6 The Presidents:John Adams

7 John Adams faces problems
John Adams would soon though face two very famous incidents that would put a damper on how he was viewed as President.

8 The X,Y,Z, Affair

9 The Alien and Sedition Acts
Immigrants, most of whom tended to favor Democratic Republicans, could be deported. The Federalists claimed the acts were necessary to stop unhealthy criticism that was undermining trust in the government. Democratic Republicans charged the acts violated the Constitution and were aimed to silence the opposition. In 1798 Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts making it a crime to criticize the government.

10 Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions
In 1798 and 1799, Jefferson and Madison attacked the Sedition Act as unconstitutional in the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions. They suggested that states can “nullify” or reject unconstitutional laws.

11 Shortly before the 1800 election, President Adams sought peace with France.
This angered other Federalists, including Alexander Hamilton who then worked against Adams’ bid for re-election. Despite a tie in the electoral college, Thomas Jefferson won the presidency.


13 What were the successes and failures of the Jefferson administrations?
Essential Question What were the successes and failures of the Jefferson administrations?

14 Reading Focus Questions
1.What ideal did Jefferson believe was crucial to a democratic society? 2.What changes did Jefferson make in the federal government? 3.What economic developments helped Jefferson achieve some of his goals? 4. Who was Marbury and Why was he suing Madison?

15 Reading Focus Continued..
5. Why did the Supreme Court rule against Marbury? 6.How did the Court both expand and limit its powers with this decision? 7.Why did Jefferson want to buy Louisiana? 8. Why might Jefferson have been willing to abandon strict constructionist principles in order to buy the Louisiana Territory?

16 The Presidents:Thomas Jefferson

17 The Election of 1800 The election of 1800 changed the balance of power and ended the Federalist era in government. The election of 1800 marked an important precedent as the first peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another.

18 Thomas Jefferson viewed his election as a revolution in the principles of government.
Federalists held expensive public displays to gain respect for the government. Jefferson ended these as aristocratic threats to the republic. Where the Federalists discouraged public criticism, Jefferson invited debate and discussion.

19 Thomas Jefferson In office, Jefferson reduced the national debt, the government bureaucracy, and the size of the military. He also cut unpopular taxes on land and whiskey. He benefited from increased revenues from foreign trade and the sale of western lands.

20 The Duel!

21 Issues At the beginning of his term, Jefferson’s Administration faced controversy over last-minute decisions made by John Adams…this “battle” went to the Supreme Court

22 John Marshall In 1801, John Marshall became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A last-minute appointee, Marshall eventually served 35 years and participated in over a thousand court decisions. Marshall wrote over half of those decisions himself, more than any other Supreme Court Justice.

23 Judicial Review Determine if acts of Congress or the President are constitutional, a concept known as judicial review. Federal laws are superior to state laws. The Constitution is to be interpreted broadly based on the government’s implied powers. Contracts should be strictly enforced. Marshall applied four Federalist principles to his decisions:

24 Marbury vs. Madison Video Assignment
Bill of Rights Institution activity

25 Marbury vs. Madison In 1801, outgoing President John Adams appointed William Marbury (Federalist) to be a judge. Incoming Secretary of State James Madison (Democratic Republican) refused to give Marbury his appointment, so Marbury sued. Marshall ruled against Marbury stating that the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional.

26 The Supreme Court Marshall’s decision set the precedent that the Supreme Court is the institution that determines the constitutionality of laws (judicial review).


28 Video: Judical Review

29 The Louisiana Purchase
In 1803, Jefferson doubled the area of the United States by purchasing the Louisiana Territory. Jefferson saw farm ownership as an ideal that freed citizens from a landlord or employer. He wanted to expand the U.S. westward so more Americans could be free farmers. But, French Emperor Napoleon owned Louisiana and threatened to forbid American farmers from using the port of New Orleans.

30 The Louisiana Purchase continued
Jefferson asked to buy New Orleans. To his surprise, Napoleon offered to sell the entire Louisiana Territory. Jefferson decided to contradict his “strict construction” principles. (The power to purchase foreign territory is not specifically granted by the Constitution.) The deal was too good to pass up! The Louisiana Purchase added 828,000 square miles and doubled the U.S. for only $15 million.


32 The Lewis and Clark Expedition
Jefferson sent a “Corps of Discovery” led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the territory. The corps was tasked with learning about the climate, plants, seeds, animals, and native people. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was aided by Sacajawea, a Shoshone woman.

33 Jefferson faces problems
In 1805, the Barbary state of Tripoli raised their price for “protection” against pirates. Jefferson refused to pay, sending his small navy instead. They defeated the pirates. This Barbary War was America’s first overseas victory.

34 Even more Problems… The British Navy began stopping American ships and confiscating their cargo. To meet a shortage of sailors, they also began to force or “press” American sailors to serve in the British Navy, a practice called impressment. War between France and Britain brought profits for American merchants but also led to trouble.

35 The Embargo Jefferson asked Congress for an embargo, hoping a loss of American goods would change Britain’s policies. The embargo failed to hurt Britain, but American merchants and farmers suffered from unemployment, bankruptcy, and loss of profits. Despite the failure of the embargo, the U.S. expanded westward, grew economically, and reduced its debt.

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