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The Jefferson Era: The Republicans Take Power

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1 The Jefferson Era: The Republicans Take Power

2 The Election of 1800 Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied with 73 votes each. (Adams was a distant 3rd) In the case of a tie, the House of Representatives decides the next president. The House voted 36 times before Jefferson finally won by one vote. To prevent future problems in presidential elections, Congress passed the Twelfth Amendment which requires the president and vice president to be on separate ballots.

3 The Federalists Try to Hang on
The Republicans had not only won the presidency (executive branch), but they had also won a majority in Congress (legislative branch). Jefferson was elected in November, but was not sworn in until March. Before the Republicans would take over, the Federalists worked feverishly to make sure that they would at least hang on to the Judiciary Branch.

4 The Judiciary Act of 1801 First, the Federalists quickly passed the Judiciary Act of 1801 which set up several new federal courts and created several new judicial positions. Next, Adams made hundreds of new appointments to these new positions and the Federalist-controlled Congress approved them. He also appointed John Marshall to become the new chief justice of the U. S. Supreme Court. (John Jay retired)

5 The Midnight Judges Processing the paper work for these new positions, Adams worked until the final hours of his presidency. Since many of these positions were filled so late in his presidency, the new judges became known as the “midnight judges.” When Jefferson became president, he found several of the commissions for these last minute judges sitting on his desk waiting for delivery. Jefferson saw this as a personal attack towards him by Adams. He told his Secretary of State, James Madison, not to send them. One of these undelivered commissions was addressed to William Marbury.

6 Marbury v. Madison To force the delivery of his commission, Marbury went directly to the Supreme Court and sued Secretary of State Madison. Chief Justice Marshall, a Federalist, knew that if he ordered Madison to fill the positions, Jefferson probably would not enforce his decision. This would increase the authority of the president and reduce the authority of the Supreme Court. So, he ruled that the Constitution did not give the Court jurisdiction to decide Marbury’s case. Jefferson and Madison had won… or had they?

7 Judicial Review In Marshall’s judgment, he established the three principles of judicial review: The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. When there is a conflict between the Constitution and any other law, the Constitution must be followed. The judicial branch has a duty to uphold the Constitution. It must be able to determine when a law conflicts with the Constitution and nullify all unconstitutional laws.

8 Effects of Judicial Review
Jefferson and Madison may have won the battle, but the Federalists had won the war. Judicial review not only extended the power of the Supreme Court, but it also broadened federal powers over the states. In McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), the Court held that the elastic clause allows Congress to do more than the Constitution expressly authorizes. In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), the Court held that federal law takes precedence over state law in interstate transportation. These are both based on Federalist’s point of view.

9 Basic Republican Changes
As a Republican, Jefferson believed in reducing the size of the federal government. He believed in the French philosophy of laissez-faire, which means “let do” or let people do as they choose. One of the first things the Republicans did was allow the Alien and Sedition Acts to expire. Then, they repealed the Naturalization Act. To reduce the national debt, the Republicans cut the army by 1/3 and reduced the navy from 25 ships to only 7. They also got rid of the whiskey tax. Jefferson also cut way back on government jobs. He believed the national government should only deliver the mail, collect customs duties (or taxes on foreign goods), and conduct a census every 10 years.

10 The Louisiana Purchase
In 1802, Spain gave the Louisiana Territory back to France. France’s leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, had plans to create an empire for France in Europe and the Americas. Jefferson saw this as a threat. He feared that Napoleon would keep Americans from using the Mississippi River. After a Revolution against the French in Santo Domingo, the rebels took over the country and renamed it Haiti. Without Santo Domingo to use as a major naval base, Napoleon decided to put his focus on his European Empire. France offered to sell Louisiana to the U.S. for $15 million.

11 Louisiana Purchase (cont.)
Jefferson saw this as a fantastic buy, but he was concerned because the Constitution did not allow for land purchases. How could he justify the purchase? Jefferson finally decided that the president’s treaty making powers did allow for the purchase of new territory. The Senate approved the treaty and Louisiana was purchased in 1803.

12 Louisiana Purchase With the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory, the U.S. had doubled in size.

13 Lewis and Clark Jefferson loved science and he wanted to know more about the mysterious lands west of the Mississippi. In 1803, Jefferson set up the Corps of Discovery to find a water route to the Pacific and to explore the Louisiana Territory. In 1804, a crew of expert river men, gunsmiths, carpenters, scouts, scientists, and a cook, led by William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, set off from St. Louis on an incredible journey that lasted over two years. They didn’t find a water passage to the Pacific, but when they returned, they had a remarkable story to tell. They created lots of new maps for future explorers. They also gathered lots of information about the Indians and never before seen plants and animals.

14 Other Explorers in the West
Encouraged by early reports from Lewis and Clark, Jefferson sent Zebulon Pike on two additional expeditions to explore the West a little further south of Lewis and Clark. He was captured as a spy by the Spanish, but was eventually released. He discovered Pike’s Peak in Colorado.

15 The New England States Plan to Secede
Many Federalists were against the Louisiana Purchase. They feared that new states carved out of Louisiana Territory would become Republican, which would reduce Federalists’ power. A group of Federalists were secretly conspiring to secede or withdraw from the Union and form a separate “Northern Confederacy.”

16 The New England States Plan to Secede (cont.)
Aaron Burr was running for governor of New York and supported secession. Alexander Hamilton accused Burr of plotting treason against the U.S. When Burr lost the election. He blamed Hamilton and called him out to a duel. Hamilton shot first and missed Burr. (some say on purpose) Burr, however, aimed to hit. Hamilton was seriously wounded and died the next day. To escape charges, Burr ran away. Without Burr, New York no longer supported secession Without the support of New York, the Federalists’ plan to secede faded away.

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