Presentation on theme: "John Adams Federalist 1797-1801. The Election of 1796 This was the first presidential election to be a contest between two opposing political parties."— Presentation transcript:
The Election of 1796 This was the first presidential election to be a contest between two opposing political parties. John Adams and Thomas Pinckney were the Federalist candidates. Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr were the Democratic-Republican candidates.
The Election of 1796 Adams received 71 electoral votes to Jefferson’s 68. According to the Constitution, whoever had the majority of votes in the Electoral College was elected president and the runner-up was elected vice-president. While this seemed logical to the framers of the Constitution in the absence of political parties, it did not work as well with the two- party system that had emerged.
Growing Sectionalism The results of the 1796 presidential election underscored the rift growing between the North and the South. This difference in political leanings coupled with the economic differences between the two regions pointed to emerging sectionalism. Sectionalism – placing the interests of one region over the interests of the nation as a whole.
The XYZ Affair Because of Jay’s Treaty and the refusal of the U.S. to support France in its war with Great Britain the French refused to accept the new American Ambassador and began seizing American ships bound for Great Britain. Adams sent a three man delegation to discuss the matter with the French Foreign Minister, Lord Talleyrand.
The XYZ Affair Instead of Talleyrand, three low level French officials (later referred to as X, Y, and Z) were sent to meet the American delegation. They demanded a $250,000 bribe as payment to speak with Talleyrand. The American delegation refused this insult and returned home.
The XYZ Affair A new wave of anti-French feelings swept across America. Many people demanded war. “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute” became a rallying cry. George Washington came out of retirement to lead an Army against France. War was never officially declared but for two years an undeclared naval war raged between the U.S. and France.
The Alien and Sedition Acts As the anti-French hysteria spread across the nation many Federalists began to fear that French agents were everywhere. New immigrants were particularly suspected because they tended to be active in the Democratic-Republican party. Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts to counter this perceived threat to the government.
The Alien and Sedition Acts The Alien Acts made it more difficult to become an American citizen and thus more difficult to register to vote. The residence requirement was raised from 5 to 14 years. The president was given the power to jail or deport any alien considered undesireable.
The Alien and Sedition Acts The Sedition Act stated that any American who wrote, printed, or said anything “false, scandalous, and malicious” against the government could be fined or jailed. Under this act hundreds of Democratic- Republican critics of the Adams administration were fined or jailed. Virtually all public criticism of the Adams Administration was silenced for critics fears of being fined or jailed.
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions Thomas Jefferson and James Madison decided to attack the Alien and Sedition Acts. They viewed them as a serious misuse of power by the federal government and as a violation of the First Amendment’s protections of freedom of speech and of the press.
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions Because they could not attack the acts without being guilty of sedition they decided to aid the state legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky in an attack on the acts. Madison wrote the resolutions adopted by the Virginia legislature and Jefferson those adopted by Kentucky.
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions Both men pointed out the dangers of the Alien and Sedition Acts. They focused primarily on the Sedition Acts violations of the First Amendment. They proposed that states should have the right of nullification. Nullification-states should have the right to nullify, or consider void, any act of Congress that they deemed unconstitutional.
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions These resolutions also called for other states to pass similar resolutions. No other states did. The debate over the Alien and Sedition Acts and the idea of nullification showed that the argument over where power should lie in our federal system was still a topic of heated debate.