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John Adams’s Presidency

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1 John Adams’s Presidency
Chapter 7, Section 4 John Adams’s Presidency

2 The Election of 1796 New Era in United States Politics
More than one candidate ran for president Political Parties Groups that help elect people and shape policies Began to form during George Washington’s presidency In his farewell address, George Washington strongly advised against political parties, fearing that rivalries would weaken the federal government

3 The Election of 1796 Two Political Parties dominated the 1796 Election
Federalist Party Founded by Alexander Hamilton Supported a strong central government Favored industry and trade John Adams was not popular in the South or the West, but hoped for the support of the people after so many years of loyal public service Democratic-Republican Party Founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison Supported states’ rights and limited federal government Favored farming/ agriculture


5 A New President John Adams would have to work hard to win the people’s trust George Washington was adored by the people At first glance, ill suited for the presidency Even though he had been a leading Patriot during the American Revolution, a lacked Washington’s dignity Perceived as cold, distant, and vain Even those who opposed him respected him Hard-working, honest, and intelligent

6 The United States and France
John Adams wanted to improve foreign relations with France Sent United States diplomats overseas Upon arrival, diplomats were ignored by Foreign Minister Talleyrand and instead visited by 3 French secret agents Agents said that a treaty would only be discussed in exchange for a $250,000 bribe and a loan of $12 million The United States diplomats refused the demands

7 The United States and France
In March of 1798, President John Adams told Congress that the peace-seeking mission had failed Informed Congress of the French terms, substituting the letters X,Y, and Z for the names of the French Secret Agents Federalists in Congress called for war with France XYZ Affair Americans were outraged at such disrespect

8 Preparations for War President John Adams asked Congress to expand the navy to a fleet of more than 30 ship and called for the United States to keep a peacetime army Congress approved both measures President Adams did not want to go to war with France Worried about cost Did not ask Congress for a declaration of war Tried to reopen peace talks with France

9 Peace Efforts President John Adams’s decision not to declare war stunned Federalists John Adams stood his ground on the issue despite intense pressure from his own party American and French ships engaged in fighting in the Caribbean John Adams sent a representative to France and eventually, a treaty was signed President Adams then forced two members of his cabinet to resign for trying to block his peace efforts

10 The Alien and Sedition Acts
Democratic-Republicans continued to sympathize with France Alien and Sedition Acts Passed by Federalist controlled Congress 4 laws said to protect the United States but really intended to crush opposition to war Sedition Act Controversial law which forbade anyone from publishing or voice criticism of the federal government Violated freedom of speech and freedom of press

11 The Alien and Sedition Acts
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison Viewed acts as misuse of government power Wrote resolutions passed by the Kentucky state legislature in 1798 and Virginia in 1799 (Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions) Argued that the Alien and Sedition Acts were unconstitutional Congress did not repeal the acts, but allowed them to expire within a few years The Resolutions supported the idea that states could challenge the federal government

12 John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
Longtime political rivals Abigail Adams death helped the two men to reconcile Close and personal correspondence for the remainder of their lives Both died on July 4, 1826 Both architects of the document (the Declaration of Independence) that gave birth to this new Nation dead, 50 years to the day from the birth of the country they founded. John Adams’s last words were “Thomas Jefferson survives” Thomas Jefferson had died only a few hours earlier

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