Brinkley Chapter 6 Notes

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1 Brinkley Chapter 6 Notes Framing a New Government Brinkley, Chapter 6 After Shays Rebellion, some of America's wealthiest and most The Constitution and the New Republic powerful groups called for a stronger national government. Leading the way was Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton found allies in James Madison and George Washington who called for a Constitutional Convention. 55 delegates met in Philadelphia. All states The "Founding Fathers" were young were represented except Rhode Island. (44), well educated, wealthy property owners, and feared concentrated power. The convention unanimously George Washington to preside over its sessions. Was closed to the public and to the press. Issue of Representation The Philadelphia Convention Not in attendance were John Adams (England) and Thomas Jefferson (France). Sam William Paterson James Madison Adams was not welcomed as he was deemed too fiery. Patrick Henry refused to attend because he "smelt a rat." All delegates agreed: Convention rejected the New Jersey Plan, but supporters of the Virginia Plan realized they needed to compromise. The US needed a stronger central government Each state received one vote in the Convention and a simple majority was needed to pass a resolution. Independence Hall "Upper" Southern states such as VA and MD hoped to abolish the slave trade. Issue of Slavery Issue of the Presidency "Lower" Southern states such as SC and GA refused to partake in any union that abolished the slave trade. To placate southern states, the delegates agreed that the federal government could not ban the slave trade for 20 years. Rejected state sovereignty in favor of the "supremacy of the national government". Article 1 Section 2 1

2 Issue of Trade No definition of citizenship Unresolved Issues Status of Indian Tribes Absence of a list of individual rights, restraining the powers of the federal government (A.K.A Bill of Rights) No mention of slavery Undoubtedly, Charlie Brown is awesome, but try to stay away from this version of the Constitutional Convention! The Constitution of 1787 James Madison "The Father of the Constitution" Madison's 2 most important achievements: 1. The question of sovereignty 2. The question of limiting power The Question of Sovereignty How could a national government exercise sovereignty concurrently with state governments? Where did ultimate sovereignty lie? All power, at all levels of government flowed ultimately from the people. Thus neither the federal government nor the state governments were truly sovereign. The resolution of the problem of sovereignty made possible one of the distinctive features of the Constitution - Federalism, or the division of powers between the national and state governments. Discontinued in 1969 Baron de Montesquieu The Question of Limiting Power Separation of Power & Checks and Balances Adoption and Adaptation 9 of 13 states were needed to adopt the Constitution. States assembled delegates to begin their own conventions to vote on ratification A national debate ensued though over individual rights and the protections of individual rights from the government The nation was divided between Federalists and Anti-Federalists Federalists - a term that opponents of centralization once used to describe themselves - thus implying that they were less committed to a "nationalist" government than in fact they were. 2

3 Brinkley Chapter 6 Notes Supporters: Supporters: Washington Patrick Henry Franklin Sam Adams Madison Jefferson Hamilton Believed they were the true defenders of the Revolution. Government will increase taxes, weaken the states, favor the rich over the commoners, and bolish individual liberty Jay Wrote the Federalist Papers to support their position Ratification In the winter of , Delaware ratified the Constitution first. New Jersey & Georgia soon followed. 2 New Hampshire was the 9th state to ratify North Carolina waited to see if in fact a 12 Bill of Rights would be added. 8 4 Rhode Island did not even consider ratification. The Federal Courts The First Congress The first Congress served in many ways as a continuation of the Constitutional Convention. The Constitution only states: "The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." Most important task was drafting the Bill of Rights. By early 1789, even James Madison saw the importance of a Bill of Rights. 9 of the first 10 Amendments placed limits on the federal government. The Judiciary Act of 1789 provided for a Supreme Court with 6 justices and a system of lower courts and appeals courts Executive Departments Federalists and Republicans The Congress created three departments of the executive branch: Secretary of State Secretary of Treasury Secretary of War Though the Constitution was ratified, there remained many philosophical Federalists Established the Postmaster General and Attorney General Jefferson & Madison Powerful group who Group whose members envisioned a genuine nation-state, with centralized authority and a complex commercial economy. Samuel Osgood Democratic - Republicans Washington & Hamilton envisioned America as a Henry Knox differences. more modest national government. Rather than aspire to be a highly commercial or urban nation, it should remain predominantly rural and agrarian. Edmund Randolph 3

4 Hamilton and the Federalists For 12 years, the Federalists controlled the government partly because Washington believed in a strong central government. But, he tried to avoid deliberations and controversies in Congress. Alexander Hamilton rose as the face of the Federalist Party. Hamilton was one of the most aristocratic in political philosophy. Believed in an elite ruling class. As Treasury Secretary he devised bold policies to enhance national authority and to assist financiers and merchants. The new government needed the support of the wealthy and powerful. Government needed to give elites a stake in success. Hamilton outlined his vision in 3 plans proposed to Congress. 1. "Report on the Public Credit" (Jan. 1790) 2. "Report on a National Bank" (Dec. 1790) 3. "Report on Manufactures (Jan. 1791). 1. Hamilton asked Congress to redeem at face value the $55 million in Confederation securities held by foreign and domestic investors. As an underdeveloped nation, the US needed good credit to secure loans from Dutch and British financiers. However, his plan gave enormous profits to speculators, who bought depreciated securities. Equally controversial was Hamilton's proposal to pay note holders with new interestbearing securities, thereby creating a permanent national debt. Hamilton then proposed that the national government further enhance public credit by assuming the war debts of the states. This assumption plan, costing $22 million benefitted the wealthy as they also purchased depreciated bonds. Few members of Congress rejected Hamilton's plan for funding the national debt, but many opposed his proposal to exchange new bonds for old certificates of indebtedness on a dollar-fordollar basis. Many original bond holders were forced to sell them to speculators in the 1780s at a At the insistence of Hamilton, fraction of their face value. Congress passed the bill to exchange the bonds. 2. Hamilton's bank plan would be jointly owned by private stockholders and the national government. Hamilton argued the bank would provide stability to the specie-starved American economy by making loans to merchants, handling government funds, and issuing bills of credit. These potential benefits persuaded Congress to grant Hamilton's bank a 20 year charter and send the legislation to the president for his approval. Jefferson and Madison opposed Hamilton's plan. Jefferson believed the bank was unconstitutional. Jefferson's argument rested on a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Jefferson told Washington that it was not a power expressly "delegated to the United States by the Constitution." Hamilton preferred a loose interpretation. He told Washington that Article 1 Section 8 empowered Congress to make "All Laws which shall be necessary and proper" to carry out the provisions of the Constitution. Washington agreed with Hamilton and signed the national bank legislation. Enacting Hamilton's Program Hamilton's assumption of debt proposal faced greater opposition. Opponents argued that if the federal government took over the state debts, the states with small debts would have to pay taxes to service the states with large ones. Massachusetts, for example, owed Hamilton had to compromise much more money than Virginia. with the Virginians. In exchange for northern support for placing the nation's capital in the South close to Virginia, the south would vote for assumption of the states' debt. The land was to be chosen by George Washington. 3. Hamilton sought revenue to pay the annual interest on the national debt. The funding and assumption of debts would require new sources of revenue. 2 new taxes: 1. Excise tax on alcoholic beverages, a 2. Tariff on imports, not only to raise tax that would burden whiskey revenue, but to protect domestic distillers and small farmers who manufacturers from foreign converted part of their corn and rye competition into whiskey. He urged the expansion of American manufacturing but did not want a protective tariff but a revenue tariff. As American trade increased, customs revenue rose steadily and paid down the national debt. 4

5 Hamilton's Vision The Federalists offered more than a vision of a stable new government, but one run by an enlightened ruling class and an independent commerical economy. The Democratic - Republican Opposition The Constitution made no reference to political parties. Most framers believed political parties were dangerous. Once enacted, Hamilton's program won the support of manufacturers, creditors, and other influential segments of the population. But, Congress agreed to Hamilton's bill despite these objections. The Bank of the United States began operations in 1791 in Philadelphia. However, Madison and Jefferson believed Hamilton and the Federalists were doing many of the same things that the corrupt British government had before the Revolution. Out of this rose the Democratic-Republicans. Small farmers claimed they were taxed excessively and others argued the Federalist program only benefited the wealthy elites, rather than everyone Jefferson promoted a vision of an agrarian republic, in which most citizens would farm their own land. Jefferson did not scorn commercial or industrial activity, but believed the nation should be wary off too much industrialization. Regional and Economic Differences The Federalists were most Electoral Map 1796 numerous in the commercial centers of the Northeast and in southern seaports as Charleston. Democratic - Republicans were stronger in the rural areas of the South and West. The most glaring difference was the support of the French Revolution. The Federalists expressed horror and the Democratic-Republicans applauded the democratic spirit. Establishing National Sovereignty The Federalists consolidated their position by acting effectively in the western territories and the West. Whiskey Rebellion farmers in western Pennsylvania raised a major challenge to federal authority when they refused to pay the new whiskey excise tax and began terrorizing tax collectors in the region. Hamilton urged Washington to use the federal army and lead them into Pennsylvania. The rebellion collapsed upon the approach of the militia. The federal government won the allegiance of the whiskey rebels through intimidation. Indians' Ambiguous Status The new government inherited border conflicts with Indian tribes. These clashes revealed another issue the Constitution did little to resolve: The place of Indian nations within the new federal structure The Indians' legal standing. The issue of land and the sovereignty of land War Between France and Britain Both Washington and Congress tried to remain neutral British Navy began to seize American ships in the West Indies. Hamilton was concerned, war with England ended imports from England - most of the revenue to maintain his financial system came from these duties George Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate a settlement. Jay was instructed to secure compensation for the assault on American shipping. 5

6 Brinkley Chapter 6 Notes Jay's Treaty Election of 1796 Jay's treaty failed to garner compensation but it avoided a likely war. Washington refused to run for a Provided undisputed sovereignty over the entire Northwest (British removed the last 3rd term of its troops) and produced a reasonably satisfactory commercial relationship. Jefferson was the obvious choice as a Pinckney's Treaty presidential candidate for the Democratic-Republicans Settled American disputes with Spain. Spain recognized the right of the Americans The Federalists were caught to navigate the Mississippi River and to between John Adams and deposit goods in New Orleans Agreed to the northern border of Florida Spain commanded its authorities in Florida to stop Indian raids on the border. Alexander Hamilton Hamilton created too many enemies to be a credible candidate and therefore nominated Adams XYZ Affair Quasi War with France Relations with Revolutionary France quickly deteriorated. When Adams heard of the incident with Talleyrand, he urged Congress to prepare for French vessels captured American ships war. on the oceans. The French government refused to meet with American diplomat Charles Pinckney. The XYZ Affair provoked In an effort to stabilize relations, John popular outrage and Adams appointed a bipartisan commission to negotiate with France. When the diplomats arrived in 1797, three agents of French foreign minister Talleyrand demanded a loan for France and a bribe for French officials before any negotiations could begin. The Americans refused. Repression and Protest The empowered Federalists began to find ways to silence the DemocraticRepublicans. The Alien and Sedition Acts The Alien Act placed new obstacles in the way of foreigners who wished to become American citizens, and it strengthened the president's hand in dealing with aliens. The Sedition Act allowed the government to prosecute those who engaged in "sedition" against the government. Since there was no clear definition, it allowed the government to silence virtually all opposition. In his message to Congress he referred to the increased the strength of the Federalist Party. For nearly two years, the U.S. found itself engaged in an undeclared war with France. The "Revolution" of 1800 Adams was the candidate for president of the Federalist Party and Jefferson (Burr) for the Democratic-Republicans Federalists accused Jefferson of being a dangerous radical whose followers were wile men who, if they came to power, would bring a "Reign of Terror" comparable to that of the French Revolution. Democratic-Republicans portrayed Adams as a tyrant conspiring to become king, and accused the Federalists of plotting to impose slavery on the people. Adams signed the laws cautiously for fear of launching a broad crusade against the Democratic-Republicans. French officials as X, Y, and Z. The election was incredibly close 6

7 The "Revolution" of 1800 Jefferson and Burr were listed on the same ticket, although the vicepresident was to be elected separately. When all votes were cast for the presidency, Jefferson and Burr each received 73 votes. Therefore, a vote went to the House of Representatives to elect the President Jefferson - 73 Burr - 73 The current Congress was to vote. Each state had one Adams - 65 vote. Hamilton convinced many Federalists that Burr was Pinkney - 64 not to be trusted and to vote for Jefferson. It is believed Jay - 1 that Hamilton's actions led to the duel with Burr. Judiciary Act 1801 After the election of 1800, the only branch of government left in the hands of the Federalists was the Judiciary. The Adam's administration spent its last months in office taking steps to make the party's hold on the courts secure. Judiciary Act of Federalists reduced the number of Supreme Court justices by one, but increased the number of federal judges as a whole Adams appointed John Marshall to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and other Federalists to posts as federal judges. It is rumored Adams worked through midnight to complete the assignments before leaving office, often called the "midnight appointments." 7

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