Create an account
Opponents of the 1787 Constitution, they cast the document as antidemocratic, objected to the subordination of the states to the central government, and feared encroachment on individuals' liberties in the absence of a bill of rights
Articles of Confederation (1781)
First American constitution that established the United States as a loose confederation of states under a weak national Congress, which was not granted the power to regulate commerce or collect taxes. The Articles were replaced by a more efficient Constitution in 1789.
Proponents of the 1787 Constitution, they favored a strong national government, arguing that the checks and balances in the new Constitution would safeguard the people's liberties.
Great Compromise (1787)
Popular term for the measure which reconciled the New Jersey and Virginia plans at the constitutional convention, giving states proportional representation in the House and equal representation in the Senate. The compromise broke the stalemate at the convention and paved the way for subsequent compromises over slavery and the Electoral College.
Land Ordinance of 1785
Provided for the sale of land in the Old Northwest and earmarked the proceeds toward repaying the national debt
New Jersey Plan (1787)
"Small-state plan" put forth at the Philadelphia convention, proposing equal representation by state, regardless of population, in a unicameral legislature. Small states feared that the more populous states would dominate the agenda under a proportional system.
Northwest Ordinance (1787)
Created a policy for administering the Northwest Territories. It included a path to statehood and forbade the expansion of slavery into the territories.
Shays's Rebellion (1786)
Armed uprising of western Massachusetts debtors seeking lower taxes and an end to property foreclosures. Though quickly put down, the insurrection inspired fears of "mob rule" among leading Revolutionaries
Society of the Cincinnati
Exclusive, hereditary organization of former officers in the Continental Army. Many resented the pretentiousness of the order, viewing it as a vestige of pre-Revolutionary traditions
The Federalist Papers
Collection of essays written by John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton and published during the ratification debate in New York to lay out the Federalists' arguments in favor of the new Constitution. Since their publication, these influential essays have served as an important source for constitutional interpretation
three-fifths compromise (1787)
Determined that each slave would be counted as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of apportioning taxes and representation. The compromise granted disproportionate political power to Southern slave states.
"Large state" proposal for the new constitution, calling for proportional representation in both houses of a bicameral Congress. The plan favored larger states and thus prompted smaller states to come back with their own plan for apportioning representation
Alien Laws (1798)
Acts passed by a Federalist Congress raising the residency requirement for citizenship to fourteen years and granting the president the power to deport dangerous foreigners in times of peace.
Transfer of debt from one party to another. In order to strengthen the union, the federal government assumed states' Revolutionary War debts in 1790, thereby tying the interests of wealthy lenders with those of the national government.
Bank of the United States
Chartered by Congress as part of Alexander Hamilton's financial program, the bank printed paper money and served as a depository for Treasury funds. It drew opposition from Jeffersonian Republicans, who argued that the bank was unconstitutional
Bill of Rights (1791)
Popular term for the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The amendments secure key rights for individuals and reserve to the states all powers not explicitly delegated or prohibited by the Constitution
Convention of 1800
Agreement to formally dissolve the United States' treaty with France, originally signed during the Revolutionary War. The difficulties posed by America's peacetime alliance with France contributed to Americans' longstanding opposition to entangling alliances with foreign powers
Tax on goods produced domestically. Excise taxes, particularly the 1791 tax on whiskey, were a highly controversial component of Alexander Hamilton's financial program
Battle of Fallen Timbers
Decisive battle between the Miami confederacy and the U.S. Army. British forces refused to shelter the routed Indians, forcing the latter to attain a peace settlement with the United States
Washignton's Farewell Address
George Washington's address at the end of his presidency, warning against "permanent alliances" with other nations. Washington did not oppose all alliances, but believed that the young, fledgling nation should forge alliances only on a temporary basis, in extraordinary circumstances
Payment of debts, such as government bonds, at face value. In 1790, Alexander Hamilton proposed that the federal government pay its Revolutionary war debts in full in order to bolster the nation's credit
Treaty of Greenville
Under the terms of the treaty, the Miami Confederacy agreed to cede territory in the Old Northwest to the United States in exchange for cash payment, hunting rights and formal recognition of their sovereign status.
Negotiated by Chief Justice John Jay in an effort to avoid war with Britain, the treaty included a British promise to evacuate outposts on U.S. soil and pay damages for seized American vessels, in exchange for which, Jay bound the United States to repay pre-Revolutionary war debts and to abide by Britain's restrictive trading policies toward France
Judiciary Act of 1789
Organized the federal legal system, establishing the Supreme Court, federal district and circuit courts, and the office of the attorney general.
Issued by George Washington, it proclaiming America's formal neutrality in the escalating conflict between England and France, a statement that enraged pro-French Jeffersonians
Signed with Spain which, fearing an Anglo-American alliance, granted Americans free navigation of the Mississippi and the disputed territory of Florida
Enacted by the Federalist Congress in an effort to clamp down on Jeffersonian opposition, the law made anyone convicted of defaming government officials or interfering with government policies liable to imprisonment and a heavy fine. The act drew heavy criticism from Republicans, who let the act expire in 1801
Virginia and Kentucky resolutions
Statements secretly drafted by Jefferson and Madison for the legislatures of Kentucky and Virginia. Argued that states were the final arbiters of whether the federal government overstepped its boundaries and could therefore nullify, or refuse to accept, national legislation they deemed unconstitutional
Popular uprising of Whiskey distillers in southwestern Pennsylvania in opposition to an excise tax on Whiskey. In a show of strength and resolve by the new central government, Washington put down the rebellion with militia drawn from several states
Diplomatic conflict between France and the United States when American envoys to France were asked to pay a hefty bribe for the privilege of meeting with the French foreign minister. Many in the U.S. called for war against France, while American sailors and privateers waged an undeclared war against French merchants in the Caribbean
Idea that women in teh post-revolutionary war era had to raise and educate their sons for the good of the entire nation
Citizen Genet Visit
French ambassador to the US who traveled to the US to campaign against the British. This violated the Washington Neutrality proclamation and was asked to leave.
Election of 1796
1st presidential election- John Adams (Federalists) beats Thomas Jefferson (Dem-Rep)
Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.
Having trouble? Click here for help.
We can’t access your microphone!
Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again
Reload the page to try again!Reload
Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom
Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom
It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.
Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.
For more help, see our troubleshooting page.
Your microphone is muted
For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.
Star this term
You can study starred terms together