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The New Nation 1786-1800. Economic Crisis Wartime inflation caused by the flood of paper currency printed by the Confederation Congress and the states,

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Presentation on theme: "The New Nation 1786-1800. Economic Crisis Wartime inflation caused by the flood of paper currency printed by the Confederation Congress and the states,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The New Nation 1786-1800

2 Economic Crisis Wartime inflation caused by the flood of paper currency printed by the Confederation Congress and the states, plus a shortage of goods and high demand for supplies Postwar depression Britain dumped its surplus goods in American markets creating a trade imbalance that took hard currency (gold/silver) out of the US Articles of Confederation couldn’t tax, so it asked the states to tax its citizens, causing not only an economic problem but a political party

3 State Remedies States enacted high tariffs to curb imports and protect infant industries but these were easily evaded by shippers Farmers and debtors called for laws to require creditors to accept goods and commodities and had laws passed requiring them to accept nearly worthless paper currency

4 Shays’ Rebellion: 1786-7 Uprising of several hundred farmers from western Massachusetts State had raised property taxes to pay off state debt, but the tax was more oppressive than the British taxes 2/3 of those who marched had been sued for debt or spent time in debtor’s prison—looking for state relief Led by Daniel Shays, the marchers closed down the courthouses preventing more foreclosures A militia of “white shirts” financed by wealthy merchants crushed the rebels The next year the people elected a new legislature and replaced the governor, cutting taxes and placing a moratorium on debts Most important result of rebellion was that it showed the inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation as a central force of power that united the states Conservative nationalists called for a new order, a more powerful central government, to secure liberty and property, and to “clip the wings of a mad democracy”

5 The New Constitution The Annapolis Convention passed a resolution to propose changes to the Articles of Confederation 55 delegates from 12 states assembled in Philadelphia in May 1787 The delegates w:ere not ordinary men, farmers, or artisans: most were lawyers, merchants, college educated, slave owners, and officers of the Revolution: America’s social and economic elite

6 The Constitutional Convention Washington was chosen to head the Convention; James Madison (the Father of the Constitution) took extensive session notes that would be used to draft the Constitution Conflicts arose between the large and small states, free and slave states (Virginia Plan v. New Jersey Plan) The Great Compromise: A bicameral legislature (2 house Congress) where the House of Representatives membership would be based on a state’s population and an upper house where the states would be represented equally Three-Fifths Compromise allowed slave states to count slaves as 3/5 of a free man The Electoral College was established to insulate the election of the president from the popular vote

7 Philosophical Origins John Locke: the protection of natural rights: life, liberty, and property Jean-Jacques Rousseau: the formation of a social contract by the people to be followed by the people Baron Montesquieu: the separation of government into 3 branches: the legislative (makes laws), executive (enforces laws), and the judicial (interprets laws); each branch having the power to keep the others in check (checks and balances) Adam Smith: greatly will influence the financial planning of the US under Treasurer Alexander Hamilton, including free trade

8 Ratifying the Constitution Supporters of the Constitution were known as Federalists: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton being the chief supporters Anti-Federalists like Patrick Henry, Rufus King, and Mercy Otis Warren feared the Constitution gave too much power to the central government, weakened the authority of the states, and that a republic could not work well in a large nation Madison, Jay and Hamilton wrote a series of articles known as The Federalist, under pseudonyms defending the principles of the Constitution, which helped secure its passage Several staes, including Virginai agreed to ratification only if a Bill of Rights would be added to the Constitution The Constitution was ratified in 1788; Bill of Rights (first ten amendments) added in 1791


10 The Washington Presidency The first President under the new Constitution, elected in 1788 and 1792; served 1789-1797 John Adams was Vice President Congress established the Departments of State (Jefferson), War (Henry Knox), the Treasury (Hamilton), and Justice (Edmund Randolph): The first “Cabinet” Plain Republican Title: “Mr. President” Though very regal, and commanding, Washington’s leadership style set the example for all presidents to follow

11 An Active Federal Judiciary Judiciary Act of 1789: created the federal court system States maintained their individual bodies of law Federal courts became the appeals bodies, establishing the federal system of judicial review of state legislation (the power to declare laws unconstitutional) First Chief Justice John Jay Eleventh Amendment: prevented states from being sued by citizens from another state

12 Hamilton’s Financial Plan The Federal Government must assume the states’ debts into one national debt, and with that debt establish credit with other nations, encouraging both foreign and domestic investors in the public credit of the new nation The nation’s capital will be located in the South, along the Potomac River Establishment of the Bank of the United States, would serve as the depository of government funds Protective tariffs to encourage the development of an industrial economy Hamilton’s gradually restored the financial stability of the US, stimulating business, and generating capital

13 Constitutional Debate Strict Constructionist: Jefferson and Madison believed in following the Constitution, limiting the powers of the federal government to only what is written in the Constitution Loose Constructionist: Hamilton believed in the “Implied Powers” of the Constitution, and the Elastic Clause which gives the Federal Government to carry out what is “necessary and proper” This debate still rages today

14 Foreign Policy The French Revolution was the first test of US foreign policy Initially welcomed, the US supported the French, until violence tarnished the revolution and war broke out with Britain, left the country extremely divided Hamilton and other Federalists supported the British (our number one trade partner) as Jefferson supported the French and their Revolution Citizen Genet: the French ambassador in America was rousing anti-British tendencies (not hard to do in America at this time) forcing Washington to formally declare NEUTRALITY— angering Jefferson and his supporters

15 Indian Affairs Many Indian nations refused to accept the sovereignty of the US over them The Indian Intercourse Act (1790) gave the US the power to regulate trade and make treaties with Indians the only way to obtain Indian lands The War Chief Little Turtle of the Miami Tribe in the Ohio River Valley gave the American army a series of crushing defeats in 1790-1 Little Turtle was defeated by Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794—crushing Indian resistance for the next few decades Treaty of Greenville forced Indians to cede most of the Midwest (Ohio, Indiana, Detroit, Chicago) to the US

16 Spanish Florida and British Canada Spanish and British hostility threatened the status of the US in the West Spain closed the Mississippi River to American shipping, promoted immigration, forged alliances with Indians to resist American expansion Britain constructed a defensive buffer against Americans in Canada by allying with Indians, and remaining in numerous forts within American territory

17 The Whiskey Rebellion Rebellion in western Pennsylvania by farmers over Congress’s tax on the distillation of whiskey Washington leads an army of 13000 men into Pennsylvania to end the rebellion (quickly) Though a bit excessive, the response by Washington proved the ability of the federal government to respond to crises (unlike the example of Shays’ Rebellion)


19 Jay’s and Pinckney’s Treaties Jay’s Treaty (1794) : British will withdraw from American soil by 1796, negotiated trade relations with Britain that benefitted both the US and Britain Pinckney’s Treaty (1795): agreed to a boundary with Spain at the 31 st parallel and extended trade to Americans in the Mississippi Valley Gave the US sovereignty over the lands west of the Appalachians but divided the country (Federalists v. Jeffersonians) Washington, sick of politics, older, tired, rejects a third-term option


21 Washington’s Farewell Address Warned about the emergence of political factions, dividing the nation Foreign policy goals: peace, commercial relations, and friendship with all nations America has a “detached and distant situation” Avoid foreign wars, alliances, and “external annoyances”

22 Rise of Political Parties Federalists: led by Hamilton Favored strong central government Friendship with Britain Opposed the French Revolution Merchants, property owners, and urban workers Republicans (sometimes called Jeffersonian Republicans or Democratic Republicans) led by Jefferson Limited federal government States’ rights Hostile to Britain Sympathetic to French Revolution Southern planters and northern farmers

23 John Adams (1797-1801) Won the election of 1796; Jefferson elected VP (creating an already divided administration) Jay’s Treaty caused the deterioration of relations with France France began seizing American ships, countries at brink of war XYZ Affair: American envoys are met by French diplomats who wanted a bribe before negotiations begin Causes an anti-French stir in America, Adams triple the size of the army and commissions the building of our Navy: “Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute.” The French and US engage in an undeclared Naval War from 1797-1800 (The Quasi-War)

24 Alien and Sedition Acts (1798) Naturalization Act: extended residency from 5 to 14 years to become a citizen Alien and Alien Enemies Act: authorized the president to imprison or deport suspected alien during wartime Sedition Act: heavy fines and/or imprisonment for anyone speaking/writing out against the government and its officials Republicans organized as an opposition party Federalists saw this opposition as more than political opposition but sedition and imprisoned and fined many Republican newspaper editors and politicians Jefferson and Madison drafted the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions that argued that states had the right to nullify acts of Congress they find unconstitutional—will have grave implications in the future

25 The Revolution of 1800 Jefferson won the election of 1800 (actually tied with Aaron Burr and election went to the H of R, where Jefferson was chosen president and Burr VP) The battle was so bitter people didn’t know how Adams would take defeat and Jefferson would take victory Power changed from the Federalists to Republicans with little effort—a quiet revolution in the eyes of the world The rise of political parties and partisan politics greatly increased popular participation Politics in America became more competitive and democratic Suffrage increased (in some cases to all male citizens, or lowering property requirements) Popular celebrations like the Fourth of July began Newspapers became the media for partisan politics, and with the end of the Sedition Acts, newspapers helped to firmly establish the principle of a free press

26 Birth of American Literature A highly literate citizenry, Americans had a great appetite for books Revolutionary literature like Common Sense and Thomas Paine’s other work on the war The American Crisis were “best sellers” Writers explored the political implications of independence or examined the new society, including the emerging American character: George Washington, Daniel Boone Several authors urged that women in a republic should be more independent: “better educated, better reformed women” Republican Motherhood: Wisdom, self-discipline, and civic virtue should be taught at home, the responsibility of the mother

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