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George Washington

(1st Pres., 1789) job is modeled after him, sets two year precedent


secretary of state, secretary of the treasurer etc., president's advisors

Alexander Hamilton

first secretary of the treasury, instrumental in establishing bank of the US

Thomas Jefferson

First secretary of state

Judiciary Act of 1789

In 1789 Congress passed this Act which created the federal-court system. The act managed to quiet popular apprehensions by establishing in each state a federal district court that operated according to local procedures.

Bill of Rights

1791. The first ten ammendments to the US constitution

1st Amend.

allows freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly etc.

2nd Amend.

(right to bear arms)

5th Amendment

Criminal Proceedings, Due Process, Eminent Domain, cannot be forced to self-incriminate

10th Amendment

(States' Rights), The powers not delegated to the United States federal govt. by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Hamilton's financial plan

Hamilton's plan to pay of revolutionary war. the federal govt would assume all debts, create a national bank, and impose higher taxes/tariffs

assumption at par

The promise to pay off a debt at the price it was originally worth

customs duties

tariffs, taxing of imported goods in order to protect local businesses and generate revenue

excise taxes

Taxes placed on manufactured products. The excise tax on whiskey helped raise revenue for Hamilton's program.

National Bank

Hamilton's big idea; fiercely opposed by Jefferson and Democratic-Rep. The bank would regulate money and draw investors; loose constructionism

"Elastic Clause"


loose construction/strict construction

different ideas about interpretation of constitution. some believed it was to be followed exactly, some believed the constitution could be interpreted widely. Hamilton etc.=loose constructionist. Jefferson=strict constructionist

Whiskey Rebellion

Farmers rose up in protest of excise tax on whiskey. Washington marches huge army against them to get them to back down without a fight, and they do.

political parties

Not anticipated or provided for in the constitution, but form nevertheless. Usually two main political parties

Federalists (Hamiltonians)

Believed in stronger federal govt, loose constructionists

Democratic Republicans (Jeffersonians)

believed in more state's rights, strict constructionists

French Revolution

Political uprising in France, causes govt. to question whether franco-american alliance is still valid

Franco-American Alliance of 1778

formal alliance with French recognizing American independance and agreeing not to negotiate with Britain without consultation

Neutrality Proclomation

a formal announcement given by GW which declared the US neutral in the conflict b/t Fance and Britain

Citizen Genet Affair

A French representative who attempted to contradict the Neutrality Proclamation by organizing armies to attack British and Spanish territories. Washington ejected him from the country when he became too bold in his recruiting, threatened govt. authority

Jay's Treaty with Britain

Generally thought of as unsucessfull, britain promises to leave their outposts in the US (which they were already supposed to have done) and pay for any damage done to American shipping, but makes no promises against future damage to shipping

Pinckney's Treaty with Spain

Allowed US to use port of New Orleans, and to freely navigate the Mississippi

Miami Confederacy

An alliance of eight Indian nations who terrorized Americans and were given firearms by the British

Battle of Fallen Timbers

The U.S. Army defeated the Native Americans under Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket and ended Native American hopes of keeping their land that lay north of the Ohio River

Treaty of Greenville

This treaty between the Americans and the Native Americans. In exchange for some goods, the Indians gave the United States territory in Ohio.

Washington's Farewell Address

Speech at the end of second term in which Washington warned Americans, to avoid foreign entanglements

"Entangling Alliances"

Alliances that would entangle US in european affairs (e.g. war)

Two Term limit precedent

Washington left office after two terms, set unwritten precedent not broken by any president untill roosevelt

John Adams

(2nd Pres.,Federalist, 1797)

12th Amendment

1804, 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.

XYZ Affair

affair in which US officials attempting to negotiate with france were asked a large sum of money in return for a meeting with french officials.

Quasi-War with France

undeclared war fought almost entirely at sea between the United States and France from 1798 to 1800

Convention of 1800

oficially ends franco-American alliance

Alien and Sedition Acts

Extends period of habitation needed for citizenship to 15? years, outlaws speaking against the govt.

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.

compact theory

The idea advanced by Rousseau, Locke, and Jefferson, that government is created by voluntary agreement among the people involved and that revolution is justified if government breaks the compact by exceeding its authority.


the idea that states can "nullify", or not comply with federal laws that they find unconstitutional

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