Presentation on theme: " John Adams was a very honest and able leader. Unlike George Washington who was tall and dignified, Adams was short and a bit pudgy. Throughout his."— Presentation transcript:
John Adams was a very honest and able leader. Unlike George Washington who was tall and dignified, Adams was short and a bit pudgy. Throughout his presidency Adams had many difficult decisions to make. As a President, he tried to act in the best interests of the nation.
No sooner had Adams taken office than he faced a crisis with France France objected to Jay’s Treaty and began to seize American ships in the West Indies. To avoid war, Adams sent diplomats to Paris to discuss the rights of neutral nations. The French minister did not deal directly with Americans. Instead he sent three agents (XYZ) to offer the Americans a deal. The French minister wanted $250,000 for himself and a $10 million loan to France. America angrily rejected this proposal The U.S. frigates to convince France to stop attacking American ships.
The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed during the crisis with France. The Alien Act allowed the President to expel any alien, or foreigner, thought to be dangerous to the country. Another law made it harder for immigrants to enter the country. Republican anger grew when Congress passed the Sedition Act. Sedition means stirring up rebellion against a government. Under this law, citizens could be fined or jailed if they criticized the government or its officials. Republicans felt this act was a violation of the first amendment of the constitution.
Outraged, Jefferson urged the states to take a strong action against the Alien and Sedition acts. He urged that states had the right to NULLIFY, or cancel, a law passed by the federal government. With the help of Jefferson and Madison, Kentucky and Virginia passed resolutions in 1798 and 1799. The Kentucky and Virginia resolutions claimed that each state had “the right to judge for itself” whether a law is constitutional. This raised an important question within government. DID A STATE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE ON ITS OWN THAT A LAW WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL?
Led by Hamilton, many Federalists criticized Adams. They wanted war. War would force the nation to build its military forces. A strong military would increase federal power, a key Federalist goal. They split over this war issue. This disagreement weakened the party for the election of 1800.
The Republicans looked to sweep the Federalists from office. Republicans supported Thomas Jefferson for President and Aaron Burr for Vice President. John Adams was again named the Federalist Candidate. Jefferson and Burr each received 73 electoral votes. Under the Constitution, if no candidate wins the electoral vote, the House of Representatives decides the election. The House vote was also evenly split. After 4 days and 36 votes, the House choose Jefferson as President and Burr as Vice President. The 12 th Amendment was later passed. The Federalist party began to phase out.