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Aim: How effective was the Presidency of John Adams?

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Presentation on theme: "Aim: How effective was the Presidency of John Adams?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Aim: How effective was the Presidency of John Adams?

2 Tensions with France Jay Treaty (1795) – Treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain – Settled many trade/territory disputes following the Revolutionary War, and led to closer American/British ties – Angered the French and the Democratic Republicans


4 Tensions with France The French, angered at the American’s becoming closer to Britain (and not helping during the Revolution) kick out the American ambassador and begin seizing American ships in the Caribbean How do you think the different political parties and newly elected President John Adam’s will respond?


6 The XYZ Affair In 1797, Adam’s will dispatch 3 new envoy’s to France to decrease tensions, 2 are anti-French Federalists and one is independent The envoys are told that they can only conduct business with the French if they agree to pay a bribe to the French foreign minister, which they refuse Adam’s then attempts to keep the reason for the failure of the American mission a secret Why would Adam’s want to avoid making the French actions public?

7 The XYZ Affair By 1798, both the Federalists (who are eager for a war with France) and the Democratic-Republicans (eager to prove that the failure was the fault of Adam’s) push for Adam’s to release the transcripts of the diplomatic exchange, which he eventually does, with the 3 diplomat’s names replaced with the letters X, Y and Z to keep them anonymous (hence the name of the affair) How do you think most American’s will feel when they learn what the French had demanded?

8 The XYZ Affair Congress, and the American people, will be outraged and Congress will order dozens of new warships to attack French ships operating in the Caribbean

9 Quasi-War Although war was not officially declared, American and French vessels would battle each other in the Caribbean, with the French also having to fight the British By 1800, the combined American and British navies, together with the help of France’s new leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, hostilities would come to an end with diplomatic relations restored Thanks to the open hostilities with France, how do you think Americans, especially Federalists, will begin to view foreigners?



12 The Alien and Sedition Acts Written and passed in 1798 by John Adam’s, the Alien and Sedition acts are four controversial laws passed in response to the tensions with France

13 The Alien and Sedition Acts Naturalization Act – Increased the residency requirement to become a U.S. citizen from 5-14 years

14 The Alien and Sedition Acts The Alien Friends Act – Allowed the president to imprison or deport aliens (non-citizens living in the US) who were considered “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States”

15 The Alien and Sedition Acts The Alien Enemies Act – Allowed the president to imprison or deport any male aliens over the age of 14 who came from a country that the U.S. was openly at war with At the time, most immigrants supported Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans

16 The Sedition Act, 1798 What is the Sedition Act punishing people for? How might the government abuse this new power? Who may they target?

17 Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions were secretly written by (then Vice-President) Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and passed by the state legislators in 1798 and 1799 The Resolutions argued that the states could deem laws passed by the Federal Government (such as the Alien and Sedition Acts) as Unconstitutional, a principle known as Nullification


19 Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions Jefferson’s resolution not only called for this, but suggested that the states may be pushed to outright rebellion and bloodshed against the Federal government if such laws were allowed to stay in effect Although the resolutions were rejected by most other states, and they had very little short-term impact, their long-term impact would be great

20 Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions How do you think George Washington would feel about these resolutions? Do you see any problem with the Vice-President of the United States seemingly calling for rebellion? What long-term impact do you think Jefferson and Madison’s arguments will have on the country?

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