Supporters of the Constitution
Known as Federalists, they were mostly wealthy and opposed anarchy. Their leaders included Jay, Hamilton, and Madison, who wrote the Federalist Papers in support of the Constitution.
Patrick Henry (1736-1799)
One of the main opponents of the Constitution, he worked against its ratification in Virginia.
He was opposed to the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added, and then he supported it.
George Mason, Bill of Rights
He opposed the Constitution because it didn't protect individual rights. His opposition led to the inclusion of the Bill of Rights.
The ratification fights, especially in Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia
Massachusetts farmers opposed the Constitution because they felt it protected trade more than agriculture, but Massachusetts became the 6th state to ratify. New York was opposed to the Constitution; the Federalist Papers were published there to gain support for it. Virginia and New York would not ratify until the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution.
The Federalist Papers, Jay, Hamilton, Madison
This collection of essays by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, explained the importance of a strong central government. It was published to convince New York to ratify the Constitution.
"The Federalist, # 10"
This essay from the Federalist Papers proposed setting up a republic to solve the problems of a large democracy (anarchy, rise of factions which disregard public good).
Bill of Rights adopted, 1791
Opponents of the Constitution
President George Washington
He established many of the presidential traditions, including limiting a president's tenure to two terms. He was against political parties and strove for political balance in government by appointing political adversaries to government positions.
Vice-president John Adams
A Federalist, he had little say in Washington's administration.
Judiciary Act, 1789
Created the federal court system, allowed the president to create federal courts and to appoint judges.
Sec. of the Treasury Hamilton
A leading Federalist, he supported industry and strong central government. He created the National Bank and managed to pay off the U.S.'s early debts through tariffs and the excise tax on whiskey.
Sec. of State Jefferson
A leading Democratic-Republican, he opposed Hamilton's ideas. Washington tended to side with Hamilton, so Jefferson resigned.
Sec. of War Knox
A Revolutionary War hero, Henry Knox had served as Secretary of War under the Articles of Confederation, and stayed on in that capacity as part of Washington's cabinet.
Attorney General Randolph
Edmund Randolph had been General Washington's aide-de-camp at the outbreak of the Revolution, and served both as a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congressand as Governor of Virginia from 1786-1788. He submitted the virginia Plan at the Constitutional Convention. From 1789-1794 he served as U.S. Attorney General, and then succeeded Jefferson as Sec. of State. In 1795 he resigned form office after being falsely accused of receiving money from France to influence Washington's administration against Great Britain, although his name was eventually cleared by the french government.
Hamilton's Program: ideas, proposals, reasons for it
Designed to pay off the U.S.'s war debts and stabilize the economy, he believed that the United States should become a leading international commercial power. His programs included the creation of the National Bank, the establishment of the U.S.'s credit rate, increased tariffs, and an excise tax on whiskey. Also, he insisted that the federal government assume debts incurred by the states during the war.
Tariff of 1789
Designed to raise revenue for the federal government, resulted in a government surplus.
Bank of the U.S.
Part of Hamilton's Plan, it would save the government's surplus money until it was needed.
National debt, state debt, foreign debt
The U.S.'s national debt included domestic debt owed to soldiers and others who had not yet been paid for their Revolutionary War services, plus foreign debt to other countries which had helped the U.S. The federal government also assumed all the debts incurred by the states during the war. Hamilton's program paid off these debts.
Taxes placed on manufactured products. The excise tax on whiskey helped raise revenue for Hamilton's program.
Report on Manufactures
A document submitted to Congress, which set up an economic policy to encourage industry.
Implied powers, elastic clause, necessary and proper clause
Section 8 of Article I contains a long list of powers specifically granted to Congress, and ends with the statement that Congress shall also have the power "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the forfegoing powers." These unspecified powers are known as Congress' "implied" powers. There has long been a debate as to how much power this clause grants to Congress, which is sometimes referred to as the "elastic" clause because it can be "stretched" to include almost any other power that Congress might try to assert.
Loose, strict interpretation of the Constitution
Loose interpretation allows the government to do anything which the Constitution does not specifically forbid it from doing. Strict interpretation forbids the government from doing anything except what the Constitution specifically empowers it to do.
Location of the capitol: Washington D.C., circumstances surrounding it
The South was angry that the whole country was assuming state debts incurred primarily in the North, and that slaves were not being counted as full persons for purposes of assigning the number of representatives that each state would have in the House. As part of the Compromise Plan adopted at the Constitutional Convention, it was agreed that the nation's capitol would be located in the South.
Set the length of time which immigrants must live in the U.S. in order to become legal citizens.
Major L'Enfant, Benjamin Banneker
Architects of Washington, D.C.
In 1794, farmers in Pennsylvania rebelled against Hamilton's excise tax on whiskey, and several federal officers were killed in the riots caused by their attempts to serve arrest warrants on the offenders. In October, 1794, the army, led by Washington, put down the rebellion. The incident showed that the new government under the Constitution could react swiftly and effectively to such a problem, in contrast to the inability of the government under the Articles of Confederation to deal with Shay's Rebellion.
Washington's Farewell Address
He warned against the dangers of political parties and foreign alliances.
Election of 1796: President Adams, Vice-president Jefferson
The first true election (when Washington ran, there was never any question that he would be elected). Adams was a Federalist, but Jefferson was a Democratic-Republican.
New states: Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee
After the western land claims were settled, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee (in that order) were added to the United States under the Constitution.
Federalists and Democratic-Republicans
The first two political parties. Many of the Democratic-Republicans had earlier been members of the Antifederalists, which had never organized into a formal political party.
Federalists / Democratic-Republicans: Party leaders and supporters
The leading Federalists were Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The leading Democratic- Republicans were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Federalists / Democratic-Republicans: Programs
Federalist programs were the National Bank and taxes to support the growth of industry. The Democratic-Republicans opposed these programs, favoring state banks and little industry.
Federalists / Democratic-Republicans: Philosophies
Federalists believed in a strong central government, a strong army, industry, and loose interpretation of the Constitution. Democratic-Republicans believed in a weak central government, state and individual rights, and strict interpretation of the Constitution.
Federalists / Democratic-Republicans: Foreign proclivities
Federalists supported Britain, while the Democratic-Republicans felt that France was the U.S.'s most important ally.
Society of the Cincinnati
A secret society formed by officers of the Continental Army. The group was named for George Washington, whose nickname was Cincinnatus, although Washington himself had no involvement in the society.
Clubs which met for discussion, designed to keep alive the philosophies of the American Revolution. They were sometimes called Jacobean clubs because they also supported the French Revolution.
Alien and Sedition Acts
These consist of four laws passed by the Federalist Congress and signed by President Adams in 1798: the Naturalization Act, which increased the waiting period for an immigrant to become a citizen from 5 to 14 years; the Alien Act, which empowered the president to arrest and deport dangerous aliens; the Alien Enemy Act, which allowed for the arrest and deportation of citizens of countries at was with the US; and the Sedition Act, which made it illegal to publish defamatory statements about the federal government or its officials. The first 3 were enacted in response to the XYZ Affair, and were aimed at French and Irish immigrants, who were considered subversives. The Sedition Act was an attempt to stifle Democratic-Republican opposition, although only 25 people were ever arrested, and only 10 convicted, under the law. The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which initiated the concept of "nullification" of federal laws were written in response to the Acts.
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions
Written anonymously by Jefferson and Madison in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, they declared that states could nullify federal laws that the states considered unconstitutional.
Doctrine of Nullification
Expressed in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, it said that states could nullify federal laws.
Election of 1800, tie, Jefferson and Burr
The two Democratic-Republicans Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr defeated Federalist John Adams, but tied with each other. The final decision went the House of Representatives, where there was another tie. After a long series of ties in the House, Jefferson was finally chosen as president. Burr became vice-president. This led to the 12th Amendment, which requires the president and vice-president of the same party to run on the same ticket.
Revolution of 1800
Jefferson's election changed the direction of the government from Federalist to Democratic- Republican, so it was called a "revolution."
Jefferson's Inaugural Address
Declared that he would avoid foreign alliances.
Brought about by the Jefferson/Burr tie, stated that presidential and vice-presidential nominees would run on the same party ticket. Before that time, all of the candidates ran against each other, with the winner becoming president and second-place becoming vice-president.
Second Great Awakening
A series of religious revivals starting in 1801, based on Methodism and Baptism. Stressed a religious philosophy of salvation through good deeds and tolerance for all Protestant sects. The revivals attracted women, Blacks, and Native Americans.
Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828)
American painter, most famous for painting the portrait of Washington which was copied for the one dollar bill.
Charles Wilson Peale (1741-1827)
An American naturalist painter.
French Alliance of 1778
France aided the U.S. in the American Revolution, and the U.S. agreed to aid France if the need ever arose. Although France could have used American aid during the French Revolution, the U.S. didn't do anything to help. The U.S. didn't fulfill their part of the agreement until World War I.
The second great democratic revolution, taking place in the 1790s, after the American Revolution had been proven to be a success. The U.S. did nothing to aid either side. The French people overthrew the king and his government, and then instituted a series of unsuccessful democratic governments until Napoleon took over as dictator in 1799.
Opponents of the Constitution
Known as Antifederalists, they were mostly commoners who were afraid of strong central government and being taken advantage of. They included Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams.