Edmond Charles Genêt. A French diplomat who came to the U.S. 1793 to ask the American government to send money and troops to aid the revolutionaries in the French Revolution. President Washington asked France to recall Genêt after Genêt began recruiting men and arming ships in U.S. ports. However, Washington later relented and allowed Genêt U.S. citizenship upon learning that the new French government planned to arrest Genêt.
Washington's declaration that the U.S. would not take sides after the French Revolution touched off a war between France and a coalition consisting primarily of England, Austria and Prussia. Washington's Proclamation was technically a violation of the Franco-American Treaty of 1778.
XYZ Affair, Talleyrand
1798 - A commission had been sent to France in 1797 to discuss the disputes that had arisen out of the U.S.'s refusal to honor the Franco-American Treaty of 1778. President Adams had also criticized the French Revolution, so France began to break off relations with the U.S. Adams sent delegates to meet with French foreign minister Talleyrand in the hopes of working things out. Talleyrand's three agents told the American delegates that they could meet with Talleyrand only in exchange for a very large bribe. The Americans did not pay the bribe, and in 1798 Adams made the incident public, substituting the letters "X, Y and Z" for the names of the three French agents in his report to Congress.
Undeclared naval war with France
Late 1790s - Beginning in 1794, the French had began seizing American vessels in retaliation for Jay's Treaty, so Congress responded by ordering the navy to attack any French ships on the American coast. The conflict became especially violent after the X,Y, Z Affair. A peace convention in 1800 with the newly installed dictator, Napoleon, ended the conflict.
British seizure of American ships
France blocked English ports during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s; England responded by blocking French ports. The British seized neutral American merchant ships which tried to trade at French ports.
"Rule of 1756"
A British proclamation that said that neutral countries could not trade with both of two warring nations; they had to chose sides and only trade with one of the nations. This justified Britain's seizure of neutral American ships during the war between Britain and France in the early 1800s.
British fur-trading posts in the Northwest territory. Their presence in the U.S. led to continued British-American conflicts.
1794 - It was signed in the hopes of settling the growing conflicts between the U.S. and Britain. It dealt with the Northwest posts and trade on the Mississippi River. It was unpopular with most Americans because it did not punish Britain for the attacks on neutral American ships. It was particularly unpopular with France, because the U.S. also accepted the British restrictions on the rights of neutrals.
Washington's Farewell Address
He warned against the dangers of political parties and foreign alliances.
1795 - Treaty between the U.S. and Spain which gave the U.S. the right to transport goods on the Mississippi river and to store goods in the Spanish port of New Orleans.
Spanish intrigue in the Southwest
During the late 1700s/early 1800s Spain was exploring and settling the region which is now the Southwest U.S. The Spanish used the Indians of Florida and Georgia as spies and encouraged the tribes to raid U.S. settlements, which contributed to the outbreak of the War of 1812 . Zebulon Pike used his expedition to the West as an opportunity to spy on the Spanish and map out their land.
James Wilkinson (1759-1825)
Wilkinson had been an officer in the Continental Army, and later held several positions relating to the Army, such as secretary of the board of war and clothier general to the army. He was one of the Commissioners appointed to receive the Purchase Louisiana from the French, and served as Governor of Louisiana from 1805-1806. He informed Pres. Jefferson of Burr's conspiracy to take over Louisiana, and was the primary witness against Burr at his treason trial, even though Wilkinson was himself implicated in the plot.
"Mad" Anthony Wayne, Battle of Fallen Timbers
Wayne had been one of the leading generals of the Continental Army, and had played a crucial role in the defeat of Cornwallis at Yorktown. In the early 1790's, the British held trading posts in the Ohio Valley and encouraged the local Indian tribes to attack the Americans. Led by Wayne, the Americans defeated the Miami Indians in the Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794 near what is today Toledo, Ohio. This paved the way for American settlement of the Ohio Valley.
Treaty of Greenville, 1795
Drawn up after the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The 12 local Indian tribes gave the Americans the Ohio Valley territory in exchange for a reservation and $10,000.
The name given to several renegade countries on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa who demanded tribute in exchange for refraining from attacking ships in the Mediterranean. From 1795-1801, the U.S. paid the Barbary states for protection against the pirates. Jefferson stopped paying the tribute, and the U.S. fought the Barbary Wars (1801-1805) against the countries of Tripoli and Algeria. The war was inconclusive and the U.S. went back to paying the tribute.
Rutgers v. Waddington, 1784
In 1783, the New York State Legislature passed the Trespass Act, which allowed land owners whose property had been occupied by the British during the Revolution to sue for damages. Rutgers sued in the Mayor's Court over the seizure of her brewery, and the Mayor, James Duane, declared the Act void because it conflicted with a provision of the Treaty of Paris. It was the first time a U.S. court had declared a law unconstitutional, and was an important precedent for the later U.S. Supreme Court decision in Marbury v. Madison.
Trevett v. Weeden, 1786-1787
Occurred under the Articles of Confederation, when each state had a different type of currency. Acts passed by the Rhode Island Legislature imposed heavy fines on those who refused to accept the state's depreciated currency at face value. Weeden was acquitted on the grounds that the acts were unconstitutional.
Bayard v. Singleton
1787 - First court decision in which a law was found unconstitutional based on a written constitution.
Supreme Court: Chisholm v. Georgia
The heirs of Alexander Chisholm (a citizen of South Carolina) sued the state of Georgia. The Supreme Court upheld the right of citizens of one state to sue another state, and decided against Georgia.
Supreme Court: Ware v. Hylton, 1796
A treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain required that all debts owed by the U.S. to Britain had to be paid in full. However, a Virginia statute said that American debts to Britain could be paid in depreciated currency. The Supreme Court upheld the treaty, proving that federal laws take precedence over state laws.
War of 1812 (1812-1814)
A war between the U.S. and Great Britain caused by American outrage over the impressment of American sailors by the British, the British seizure of American ships, and British aid to the Indians attacking the Americans on the western frontier. Also, a war against Britain gave the U.S. an excuse to seize the British northwest posts and to annex Florida from Britain's ally Spain, and possibly even to seize Canada from Britain. The War Hawks (young westerners led by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun) argued for war in Congress. The war involved several sea battles and frontier skirmishes. U.S. troops led by Andrew Jackson seized Florida and at one point the British managed to invade and burn Washington, D.C. The Treaty of Ghent (December 1814) restored the status quo and required the U.S. to give back Florida. Two weeks later, Andrew Jackson's troops defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans, not knowing that a peace treaty had already been signed. The war strengthened American nationalism and encouraged the growth of industry.
Clay's American System
Proposed after the War of 1812, it included using federal money for internal improvements (roads, bridges, industrial improvements, etc.), enacting a protective tariff to foster the growth of American industries, and strengthening the national bank.
Was Jacksonianism an attack on privilege?
To some extent, it was. Jackson opposed monopolies and the privileged class of society; he attacked the national bank for this reason. He advocated increased popular participation in government and greater opportunity for the common man.
Bank war: its enemies and defenders
During Jackson's presidency, this was a struggle between those who wanted to keep the national bank in operation and those who wanted to abolish it. Jackson and states' rights advocates opposed the national bank, which they felt imposed discriminatory credit restrictions on local banks, making it more difficult for farmers and small businessmen to obtain loans. The bank was defended by Nicholas Biddle and Henry Clay, the National Republicans, the wealthy, and larger merchants, who felt that local banks credit policies were irresponsible and would lead to a depression.
Bank war: Veto message by Andrew Jackson
1832 - President Jackson vetoed the bill to recharter the national bank.
Bank war: laws from 1800 to 1865 on banking
These laws moved away from favoring the national bank towards favoring state banks.
Changes in federal land laws and policies
The Land Acts of 1800 and 1820, and the Preemptive Acts of the 1830s and 1840s lowered the price of land and made it easier for prospective settlers to acquire it. This encouraged people to move west.
Changes and improvements in transportation and its effect
These included canals in the Great Lakes region, toll roads, steamboats, and clipper ships. The result was faster trade and easier access to the western frontier. It aided the growth of the nation.
Revolution of 1800
Jefferson's election changed the direction of the government from Federalist to Democratic- Republican, so it was called a "revolution."
He believed in a less aristocratic presidency. He wanted to reduce federal spending and government interference in everyday life. He was a Democratic-Republican (originally an Anti- Federalist), so he believed in strict interpretation of the Constitution.
Aaron Burr was one of the leading Democratic-Republicans of New york, and served as a U.S. Senator from New York from 1791-1797. He was the principal opponent of Alexander Hamilton's Federalist policies. In the election of 1800, Burr tied with Jefferson in the Electoral College. The House of Representatives awarded the Presidency to Jefferson and made Burr Vice- President.
Sec. of Treasury Gallatin
Albert Gallatin was a Swiss immigrant who was a financial genius and served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1801 - 1814 under Presidents Jefferson and Madison. He advocated free trade and opposed the Federalists' economic policies. Gallatin was a member of the U.S. delegation that negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, and later served as Ambassador to France and to Britain.
Jefferson's Inaugural Address, "We are all Federalists, we are all Republicans"
Jefferson (a Republican) declared that he wanted to keep the nation unified and avoid partisan conflicts.
Federalist control of courts and judges, midnight judges
On his last day in office, President Adams appointed a large number of Federalist judges to the federal courts in an effort to maintain Federalist control of the government. (The Federalists had lost the presidency and much of Congress to the Republicans.) These newly-appointed Federalist judges were called midnight judges because John Adams had stayed up until midnight signing the appointments.
Justice Samuel Chase
A Federalist judge appointed by Washington to the Supreme Court. Chase had been a Revolutionary War hero, and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson disagreed with his rulings and had him impeached for publicly criticizing the Jefferson administration to the Maryland grand jury. Chase was acquited by the Senate, and the impeachment failed. (This is the only attempt in history to impeach a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.)
Tripolitan War (1801-1805)
Also called the Barbary Wars, this was a series of naval engagements launched by President Jefferson in an effort to stop the attacks on American merchant ships by the Barbary pirates. The war was inconclusive, afterwards, the U.S. paid a tribute to the Barbary states to protect their ships from pirate attacks.
Treaty of Sam Ildefonso
1800 - In this treaty, Spain gave the Louisiana territory back to France (France had lost it to Spain in the Seven Years War).
Louisiana Purchase: reasons, Jefferson, loose construction
1803 - The U.S. purchased the land from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains from Napoleon for $15 million. Jefferson was interested in the territory because it would give the U.S. the Mississippi River and New Orleans (both were valuable for trade and shipping) and also room to expand. Napoleon wanted to sell because he needed money for his European campaigns and because a rebellion against the French in Haiti had soured him on the idea of New World colonies. The Constitution did not give the federal government the power to buy land, so Jefferson used loose construction to justify the purchase.
1803 - Led a slave rebellion which took control of Haiti, the most important island of France's Caribbean possessions. The rebellion led Napoleon to feel that New World colonies were more trouble than they were worth, and encouraged him to sell Louisiana to the U.S.
Federalist opposition to the Louisiana Purchase
Federalists opposed it because they felt Jefferson overstepped his Constitutional powers by making the purchase.
After Burr lost to Jefferson as a Republican, he switched to the Federalist party and ran for governor of New York. When he lost, he blamed Hamilton (a successful Federalist politician) of making defamatory remarks that cost him the election. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel, in which Hamilton was killed on July 11, 1804.
Burr expedition, treason trial
After the duel, Burr fled New York and joined a group of mercenaries in the southern Louisiana territory region. The U.S. arrested them as they moved towards Mexico. Burr claimed that they had intended to attack Mexico, but the U.S. believed that they were actually trying to get Mexican aid to start a secession movement in the territories. Burr was tried for treason, and although Jefferson advocated Burr's punishment, the Supreme Court acquitted Burr.
Lewis and Clark expedition and its findings
1804-1806 - Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were commissioned by Jefferson to map and explore the Louisiana Purchase region. Beginning at St. Louis, Missouri, the expedition travelled up the Missouri River to the Great Divide, and then down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. It produced extensive maps of the area and recorded many scientific discoveries, greatly facilitating later settlement of the region and travel to the Pacific coast.
Pike, Major Long, their observations
Zebulon Pike explored (1805-1807) Minnesota and the Southwest, mapped the region, and spied on the Spanish whenever his exploration took him into their territory. (He was eventually captured by the Spanish, but the U.S. arranged for his release.) Major Long explored the middle of the Louisiana Purchase region (Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado) and concluded that it was a worthless "Great American Desert."
Berlin Decree (1806), Milan Decree (1807)
These decrees issued by Napoleon dealt with shipping and led to the War of 1812. The Berlin Decree initiated the Continental System, which closed European ports to ships which had docked in Britain. The Milan Decree authorized French ships to seize neutral shipping vessels trying to trade at British ports.
British laws which led to the War of 1812. Orders-in-council passed in 1807 permitted the impressment of sailors and forbade neutral ships from visiting ports from which Britain was excluded unless they first went to Britain and traded for British goods.
British seamen often deserted to join the American merchant marines. The British would board American vessels in order to retrieve the deserters, and often seized any sailor who could not prove that he was an American citizen and not British.
1807 - The American ship Chesapeake refused to allow the British on the Leopard to board to look for deserters. In response, the Leopard fired on the Chesapeake. As a result of the incident, the U.S. expelled all British ships from its waters until Britain issued an apology. They surrendered the colony to the English on Sept. 8, 1664.