The first President of the United States (1789-97), the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the convention that drafted the current United States Constitution. Washington has been widely hailed, even during his lifetime, as the "father of his country". Widely admired for his strong leadership qualities, Washington was unanimously elected President in the first two national elections. He oversaw the creation of a strong, well-financed national government that maintained neutrality in the French Revolutionary Wars, suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion, and won acceptance among Americans of all types. Washington's incumbency established many precedents, still in use today, such as the cabinet system, the inaugural address, and the title Mr. President. His retirement from office after two terms established a tradition which was unbroken until 1940. A founding father of the United States, chief staff aide to General George Washington, one of the most influential interpreters and promoters of the U.S. Constitution, the founder of the nation's financial system, the founder of the Federalist Party, the world's first voter-based political party, and the Father of the United States Coast Guard. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the primary author of the economic policies of the George Washington administration. Hamilton took the lead in the funding of the states' debts by the Federal government ("Assumption"), the establishment of a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. He led the Federalist Party, created largely in support of his views; he was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, which despised Britain and feared that Hamilton's policies of a strong central government would weaken the American commitment to Republicanism. Hamilton's opposition to Adams' re-election helped cause his defeat in the 1800 election. When Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied for the presidency in the Electoral College in 1801, Hamilton helped to defeat Burr, whom he found unprincipled, and to elect Jefferson despite philosophical differences. Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, but lost much of his national prominence within the Federalist Party. When Vice President Burr ran for governor of New York State in 1802, Hamilton crusaded against him as unworthy. Taking offense at some of Hamilton's comments, Burr challenged him to a duel in 1804 and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the next day. The tradition of the Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself. Established in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, the Cabinet's role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member's respective office. The modern Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments: the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing & Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General (Justice Department). It is part of the Unwritten Constitution. An American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801-1809). He was an ardent proponent of democracy and embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of the individual with worldwide influence. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he served in the Continental Congress, representing Virginia, and then served as a wartime Governor of Virginia (1779-1781). In May 1785, he became the United States Minister to France and later the first United States Secretary of State (1790-1793) serving under President George Washington. In opposition to Alexander Hamilton's Federalism, Jefferson and his close friend, James Madison, organized the Democratic-Republican Party, and later resigned from Washington's cabinet. Elected Vice President in 1796 in the administration of John Adams, Jefferson opposed Adams, and with Madison secretly wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which attempted to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts. Elected president in what Jefferson called the "Revolution of 1800", he oversaw acquisition of the vast Louisiana Territory from France (1803), and sent out the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806), and later three others, to explore the new west. Jefferson doubled the size of the United States during his presidency. His second term was beset with troubles at home, such as the failed treason trial of his former Vice President Aaron Burr. When Britain threatened American shipping challenging U.S. neutrality during its war with Napoleon, he tried economic warfare with embargo laws, which only impeded American foreign trade. In 1803, President Jefferson initiated a process of Indian tribal removal to the Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi River, having opened lands for eventual American settlers. In 1807 Jefferson drafted and signed into law the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves that banned slave importation into the United States. ⦁ The first of three great compromises made by the North and South every thirty years in an attempt to keep the Union together and prevent civil war. Hamilton, Madison, and Jefferson, with the backing of Washington, arranged the terms which resulted in passage of the Residence Act in July and the Funding Act in August. Central to the compromise was a bargain by which several southerners agreed to change their votes and support "Assumption" if Congress would first pass a bill locating the capital city of the United States on the Potomac River, after a ten year temporary residence at Philadelphia. This carried the strong implication that the North would not raise serious objections to the institution of slavery, since the capital would be located in two slave states, Maryland and Virginia. Although political leaders knew that the differences between North and South would long plague the Union, they hoped they had found an indissoluble bond: a democratic empire, fueled by Northern financial and commercial capitalism, with its capital in the agrarian, slave-holding South. Congress passed several laws confirming its terms. ⦁ An organization of people which seeks to achieve goals common to its members through the acquisition and exercise of political power. Many political parties have an ideological core, but some do not, and many represent very different ideologies than they did when first founded. In democracies, political parties are elected to run a government by the electorate. Although the Founding Fathers of the United States did not originally intend for American politics to be partisan, early political controversies in the 1790s over the extent of federal government powers saw the emergence of two proto-political parties- the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party, which were championed by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, respectively. However, a consensus reached on these issues ended party politics in 1816 for a decade, a period commonly known as the Era of Good Feelings. Party politics revived in 1829 with the split of the Democratic-Republican Party into the Jacksonian Democrats led by Andrew Jackson, and the Whig Party, led by Henry Clay. The former evolved into the modern Democratic Party and the latter was replaced with the Republican Party as one of the two main parties in the 1850s. A tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791, during the presidency of George Washington. The so-called "whiskey tax" was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. It became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue to help reduce the national debt. Although the tax applied to all distilled spirits, whiskey was by far the most popular distilled beverage in the 18th-century U.S. Because of this, the excise became widely known as a "whiskey tax". The new excise was a part of U.S. treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton's program to fund war debt incurred during the American Revolutionary War. The tax was resisted by farmers in the western frontier regions who were long accustomed to distilling their surplus grain and corn into whiskey. In these regions, whiskey was sufficiently popular that it often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the U.S. federal government maintained the taxes were the legal expression of the taxation powers of Congress. Throughout counties in Western Pennsylvania, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. With 13,000 militiamen provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Washington rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned. Most distillers in nearby Kentucky were found to be all but impossible to tax; in the next six years, over 175 distillers from Kentucky were convicted of violating the tax law. Numerous examples of resistance are recorded in court documents and newspaper accounts. The Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government had the will and the ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws. The whiskey excise remained difficult to collect, however. The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already underway. The whiskey tax was repealed after Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party, which opposed Hamilton's Federalist Party, came to power in 1801. ⦁ A letter written by the first American President, George Washington, to "The People of the United States of America". Washington wrote the letter near the end of his second term as President, before his retirement to his home Mount Vernon. It is a classic statement of republicanism (democracy), warning Americans of the political dangers they can and must avoid if they are to remain true to their values. His warnings were against: sectionalism, political parties, large national debt, warfare, & European military alliances. To this day, Washington's Farewell Address is considered to be one of the most important documents in American history and the foundation of the Federalist Party's political doctrine. Washington's statements on the importance of religion and morality in American politics, as well as his warnings on the dangers of foreign alliances, although often stated and recognized arguments, were provided special consideration from the pen of an American hero and became common reference during political debates well into the nineteenth century. ⦁ In national politics, sectionalism is loyalty to the interests of one's own region or section of the country, rather than to the country as a whole. It is often a precursor to separatism. Sectionalism in 1800s America refers to the different lifestyles, social structures, customs, and political values of the North, South, and West. It increased steadily in 1800-1850 as the North industrialized, urbanized and built prosperous factories, while the deep South concentrated on plantation agriculture based on slave labor, together with subsistence farming for poor whites who owned no slaves. Southerners defended slavery in part by claiming that Northern factory workers toiled under worse conditions and were not cared for by their employers. Defenders of slavery referred to factory workers as the "white slaves of the North." ⦁ A political and diplomatic episode in 1797 and 1798, early in the administration of John Adams, involving a confrontation between the United States and Republican France that led to an undeclared war called the Quasi-War. The name derives from the substitution of the letters X, Y and Z for the names of French diplomats Hottinguer (X), Bellamy (Y), and Hauteval (Z) in documents released by the Adams administration. An American diplomatic commission was sent to France in July 1797 to negotiate problems that were threatening to break out into war. The diplomats, Charles Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry, were approached through informal channels by agents of the French Foreign Minister Talleyrand, who demanded bribes and a loan before formal negotiations could begin. Although such demands were not uncommon in mainland European diplomacy of the time, the Americans were offended by them, and eventually left France without ever engaging in formal negotiations. Gerry, seeking to avoid all-out war, remained for several months after the other two commissioners left. His exchanges with Talleyrand laid groundwork for the eventual end to diplomatic and military hostilities. The failure of the commission caused a political firestorm in the United States when the commission's dispatches were published. It led to the undeclared Quasi-War (1798 to 1800). Federalists who controlled the government took advantage of the national anger to build up the nation's military. They also attacked the Jeffersonian Republicans for their pro-French stance. ⦁ Four bills that were passed by the Federalist dominated Congress and signed into law by President John Adams in 1798, the result of the French Revolution and during an undeclared naval war with France, later known as the Quasi-War. Authored by the Federalists, the laws were purported to strengthen national security, but critics argued that they were primarily an attempt to suppress voters who disagreed with the Federalist Party. The Naturalization Act increased the residency requirement for American citizenship from 5 to 14 years. The Alien Friends Act allowed the president to imprison or deport aliens considered "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States" at any time, while the Alien Enemies Act authorized the president to do the same to any male citizen of a hostile nation, above the age of 14, during times of war. (At the time, the majority of immigrants supported Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans, the political opponents of the Federalists.) Lastly, the controversial Sedition Act restricted speech which was critical of the federal government. The acts were denounced by Democratic-Republicans and ultimately helped them to victory in the 1800 election, when Thomas Jefferson defeated the incumbent President Adams. The Sedition Act and the Alien Friends Act were allowed to expire in 1800 and 1801, respectively. The Alien Enemies Act, however, remains in effect. During World War II, it was used to detain, deport and confiscate the property of Japanese, German, Italian, and other Axis nation citizens residing in the United States ⦁ Nullification, in United States constitutional history, is a legal theory that a state has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal law which that state has deemed unconstitutional. The theory of nullification is based on a view that the States formed the Union by an agreement (or "compact") among the States, and that as creators of the federal government, the States have the final authority to determine the limits of the power of that government. Under this, the compact theory, the States and not the federal courts are the ultimate interpreters of the extent of the federal government's power. Under this theory, the States therefore may reject, or nullify, federal laws that the States believe are beyond the federal government's constitutional powers. The related idea of interposition is a theory that a state has the right and the duty to "interpose" itself when the federal government enacts laws that the state believes to be unconstitutional. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison set forth the theories of nullification and interposition in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798. Courts at the state and federal level, including the U.S. Supreme Court, repeatedly have rejected the theory of nullification. ⦁ In what is sometimes referred to as the "Revolution of 1800," Vice President Thomas Jefferson defeated President John Adams. The election was a realigning election that ushered in a generation of Democratic-Republican Party rule and the eventual demise of the Federalist Party. It was a long, bitter re-match of the 1796 election between the pro-French and pro-decentralization Democratic-Republicans under Jefferson and Aaron Burr, against incumbent Adams and Charles Pinckney's pro-British and pro-centralization Federalists. The chief political issues included opposition to the tax imposed by Congress to pay for the mobilization of the new army and the navy in the Quasi-War against France in 1798, and the Alien and Sedition Acts, by which Federalists were trying to stifle dissent, especially by Democratic-Republican newspaper editors. The result of this election was affected by the three-fifths clause - had slaves not been counted as persons for purposes of Congressional apportionment, Adams would have won, albeit with a lower number of popular votes than Jefferson. Jefferson was subsequently criticized as having won "the temple of Liberty on the shoulders of slaves". As the first peaceful transition of political power between opposing parties in U.S. history, however, the election of 1800 had far-reaching significance. Jefferson appreciated the momentous change and his inaugural address called for reconciliation by declaring that, "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists." ⦁ The fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1801-1835). His court opinions helped lay the basis for United States constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches. The longest-serving Chief Justice and the fourth longest-serving justice in U.S. Supreme Court history, Marshall dominated the Court for over three decades and played a significant role in the development of the American legal system. Most notably, he reinforced the principle that federal courts are obligated to exercise judicial review, by disregarding laws if they violate the Constitution. Thus, Marshall cemented the position of the American judiciary as an independent and influential branch of government. Furthermore, Marshall's court made several important decisions relating to federalism, affecting the balance of power between the federal government and the states during the early years of the republic. In particular, he repeatedly confirmed the supremacy of federal law over state law, and supported an expansive reading of the enumerated powers. Some of his decisions were unpopular. Nevertheless, Marshall built up the third branch of the federal government, and augmented federal power in the name of the Constitution, and the rule of law. Marshall, along with Daniel Webster (who argued some of the cases), was the leading Federalist of the day, pursuing Federalist Party approaches to build a stronger federal government over the opposition of the Jeffersonian Republicans, who wanted stronger state governments. ⦁ The acquisition of the Louisiana territory (828,000 square miles) by the United States from France in 1803. The U.S. paid fifty million francs ($11,250,000 USD) and a cancellation of debts worth eighteen million francs ($3,750,000 USD) for a total of sixty-eight million francs ($15,000,000 USD) which averages to less than three cents per acre. Adjusting for inflation, the modern financial equivalent spent for the Purchase of the Louisiana territory is approximately $236 million in 2014 U.S. dollars which averages to less than forty-two cents per acre, as of 2010. The Louisiana territory included land from fifteen present U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Its population was around 60,000 inhabitants. France controlled the Louisiana territory from 1699 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. In the hope of re-establishing an empire in North America, France regained control of the Louisiana territory in 1800 under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte. A slave revolt in Haiti and an impending war with Great Britain led French officials to sell the Louisiana territory to the United States, who originally sought to purchase only the city of New Orleans and its adjacent lands. The Louisiana Purchase occurred during the term of United States President Thomas Jefferson. Before the purchase was finalized, the decision faced domestic opposition as some argued that it was unconstitutional for President Jefferson to acquire the territory. Jefferson agreed that the U.S. Constitution did not contain provisions for acquiring territory, but decided to proceed with the acquisition, being advised that the Louisiana Purchase was within the strictest interpretation of the Constitution, which allowed the President to negotiate treaties. The purchase included an agreement to remove France's presence in the territory and protect U.S. trade access to the port of New Orleans and the Mississippi River. ⦁ They led the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States, departing in May 1804, from near St. Louis on the Mississippi River, making their way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast. The expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, consisting of a select group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806. The primary objective was to explore and map the newly acquired territory, find a practical route across the Western half of the continent, and establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it. The campaign's secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and establish trade with local Indian tribes. With maps, sketches, and journals in hand, the expedition returned to St. Louis to report their findings to Jefferson. ⦁ An American statesman, political theorist, and the fourth President of the United States (1809-17). He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for being instrumental in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and as the key champion and author of the Bill of Rights. He served as a politician much of his adult life. After the constitution had been drafted, Madison became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify it. His collaboration with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay produced The Federalist Papers (1788). In 1789, Madison became a leader in the new House of Representatives, drafting many basic laws. He is notable for drafting the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and thus is known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights". Madison worked closely with President George Washington to organize the new federal government. Breaking with Hamilton and what became the Federalist Party in 1791, Madison and Thomas Jefferson organized what they called the Republican Party (later called by historians the Democratic-Republican Party). As Jefferson's Secretary of State (1801-09), Madison supervised the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the nation's size. After his election to the presidency, he presided over renewed prosperity for several years. As president (1809-17), after the failure of diplomatic protests and a trade embargo against the United Kingdom, he led the U.S. into the War of 1812. He was responding to British encroachments on American honor and rights; in addition, he wanted to end the influence of the British among their Indian allies, whose resistance blocked U.S. settlement in the Midwest around the Great Lakes. Madison found the war to be an administrative nightmare, as the United States had neither a strong army nor financial system; as a result, he afterward supported a stronger national government and a strong military, as well as the national bank, which he had long opposed. Like other Virginian statesmen in the state's slave society, he was a slaveholder who inherited his plantation known as Montpelier, and owned hundreds of slaves during his lifetime to cultivate tobacco and other crops. Madison supported the Three-Fifths Compromise that allowed three-fifths of the enumerated population of slaves to be counted for representation. ⦁ A military conflict, lasting for two and a half years, fought by the United States against the Britain, its North American colonies, and its American Indian allies. Seen by the United States and Canada as a war in its own right, it is frequently seen in Europe as a theatre of the Napoleonic Wars, as it was caused by issues related to that war. The war resolved many issues which remained from the American Revolutionary War but involved no boundary changes. The United States declared war on June 18, 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by the British war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honor after humiliations on the high seas, and possible American interest in annexing British territory in modern-day Canada. Though the War of 1812 is remembered as a relatively minor conflict in the United States and Britain, it looms large for Canadians and for Native Americans, who see it as a decisive turning point in their losing struggle to govern themselves. In fact, the war had a far-reaching impact in the United States, as the Treaty of Ghent ended decades of bitter partisan infighting in government and ushered in the so-called "Era of Good Feelings." The war also marked the demise of the Federalist Party, which had been accused of being unpatriotic for its antiwar stance, and reinforced a tradition of fearing the British that had begun during the Revolutionary War. Perhaps most importantly, the war's outcome boosted national self-confidence and encouraged the growing spirit of American expansionism that would shape the better part of the 19th century.