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Unit 3 Notes
by SOPHIE HARRINGTON - Sunday, October 4, 2015, 09:50 AM

Sophie Harrington

Mr. Kann

HN U.S. 1, Period 2

29 September, 2015



A Weak Central Government (p. 160)

Advocates of

Centralization (p. 160-162)

Divided Convention (p. 162)


(p. 162-163)

The Constitution of 1787 (p. 163-166)

Federalists and Antifederalists (p. 166-168)

Completing the Structure (p. 168)

Hamilton and the Federalists (p. 168-170)

Enacting the Federalist Program (p. 170)

Republic Opposition (p. 170-172)

Securing the Frontier (p. 172)

Native Americans and the New Nation (p. 172-173)

Maintaining Neutrality (p. 173)

Jay’s Treaty and Pinckney's Treaty (p. 173-174)

Election of 1796 (p. 175)

Quasi War with France (p. 175-176)

Repression and Protest (p. 176 - 177)

The “Revolution” of 1800


  • Mid 1780’s: Confederation Congress became very unpopular

    • 1783:  Members withdrew from Philly, and took refuge in Princeton, New Jersey, then moved to Annapolis

    • 1785: Settle in New York

      • Because of all the moving around it was very difficult for Congress to ratify the treaty w/ GB ending the Rev. War

  • Even though weak and unpopular, the Confederation was credited for ending the war against tyrannical Britain

    • 1780’s: wealthy and powerful groups advocate for strong national government

      • that would deal with economic and militaristic issues

  • Over time there came to be growing demands from all Americans (manufacturers, property owners, people in debt, investors, etc)

    • Frequently there were conflicts between liberty and order

    • 1786: Demands became so powerful, that issue changed from keeping/leaving Confederation to what measures needed to be taken

      • Gov. needed to strengthen, especially at weakest point: lack of power to tax

  • Alexander Hamilton: most resourceful reformer of AOC

    • “Political genius,” New York lawyer, military aide to G. Washington

    • From the start Hamilton was unhappy w/ AOC -> wanted to have a national convention to overhaul document

    • Allied w/ James Madison (Virginia)

      • Madison persuaded Virginia legislature to host interstate conference on commercial questions


  • 1786, Annapolis Maryland: Meeting is held, but only 5 states send delegates

    • delegates approve proposal by Hamilton, stating that the next year all states send delegates and convene in Philadelphia  

      • Fear that Philly convention wouldn’t happen b/c of unpopularity of Annapolis convention

        • Then G. Washington shows support, and centralizers believe they can prevail

  • Founding Fathers: the 55 men representing the states, except RI, which attended the convention(s) in the Philly State House from May - September 1787

    • all well educated, and most portrayed the great propertied interests of the nation

    • Unanimously Washington was chosen to preside the sessions, thus closing businesses to public/press

      • Ruled each state delegation would have 1 vote

      • Major decisions didn’t need unamity, but only simple majority

      • Virginia sent Madison as delegate, who had created a plan for a new “national” gov., but in reality it was just a scheme for Virginia to control the agenda

  • Virginia Plan: Edmund Randolph’s proposal for new national gov.

    • Two house Legislature

      • Lower House (House of Representatives): States represented in proportion to their population

      • Upper House: members elected by lower house, no system of representation, thus some states might not have any members

        • Later, Vir. Plan revised b/c smaller states were unhappy about rules for Upper House -> members of Upper House then to be elected by state legislatures rather than lower house

  • Throughout June, 1787, delegates bickered for weeks

    • convention in danger of collapsing

      • Ben Franklin warned delegates that if they failed the whole society would fail - this motivated delegates and they refused to quit

  • The Great Compromise: June 2, convention agrees to make a “grand committee” w/ 1 delegate from each state (Ben Frank as chairman) to fix disagreements

    • Biggest achievement: resolving problem of representation

      • some states wanted slaves included in pop. count, others didn’t

      • July 16, 1787: Resolution: Each state represented equally w/ 2 members apiece in Upper House

    • Following the Compromise, the convention agreed on important matter of slavery (rights of slaves, taxes on slaves, etc)

  • James Madison: Single most important contributor to the creation of the Constitution  

    • Most important achievement: answering two philosophical questions which previously had stood as obstacles to the creation of a working nat. gov.: sovereignty, and limiting power

      • Question of Sovereignty: troubled Americans as they tried to make new gov.

        • Madison decided that all power lay ultimately w/ the people, so the federal gov. nor state gov. were truly sovereign

      • Question of Power: Constitution was supposed to be the “supreme law of the land” - no state could defy it

        • Federal Gov. had broad powers: power to tax, regulate commerce, control currency, and pass laws

        • States had limited powers in what they could control

  • Americans continued to fear tyranny, and worried that a large nation would attract it

    • Madison broke that fear and argued that a bigger nation would be less tyrannical b/c there would be so many factions, not one would be able to overpower the rest

  • Separation of Powers: the Constitution's most noticeable feature

    • system of “checks and balances” among legislative, executive, and judicial branches  

    • “federal” structure of gov. divided power between states and nation - “checks and balances” system divided power among various elements w/in the gov.

      • designed to protect U.S. from despotism Americans believed English had

  • September 17, 1787: 39 delegates signed the Constitution

  • Supporters of Constitution had numerous advantages

    • Better organized than opponents

    • Support of two of the most illustrious men in the U.S. (Franklin & Washington)

    • And seized label for themselves: “Federalists”

      • implying they were less nationalistic than they really were

  • Federalist Papers: a series of essays, explaining the Constitution written by A. Hamilton, J. Madison, and J. Jay

    • written to counter arguments by those who opposed Constitution

  • Anti-Federalists: those who opposed Constitution, critics of Federalists

    • they thought they were the true defenders of the Revolution

    • believed Constitution would go against the principles by creating a strong, possibly tyrannical, center of power in new nat. gov.

      • new gov would be dictatorial, increase taxes, & obliterate states

      • it would favor the rich over the common people, and end individual liberty

      • biggest concern: Constitution lacked a Bill of Rights, which would protect the people’s rights  

  • Federalists vs. Antifederalists (battle of fears)

    • Federalists fear: disorder, anarchy, chaos

    • Antifederalists fear: concentrated power  

  • Winter of 1787-1788: States begin to ratify Constitution quickly

    • After New Hampshire ratified in June of 1788, it was the 9th state to do so and the Constitution could become possible

    • New Gov. could not flourish w/out support of Virginia and New York, the 2 biggest states

      • Soon afterwards Mass., Virginia, and New York all ratify

  • First President: George Washington!

    • Leader of the Constitutional Convention

    • Unanimously received all the votes of the presidential electors

    • John Adams: leading Federalist, and first Vice President!

  • First Congress:

    • Like a continuation of the Constitutional Convention

    • Most Important Task: Drafting theBill of Rights

      • Sep. 25, 1789: Congress approved 12 amendments

        • 10 of them ratified by states by end of 1791

          • Bill of Rights: these First 10 amendments in the Constitution

  • Supreme Court: Judicial power of the U.S.

    • Judiciary Act of 1789: Congress provided Supreme Court of 6 members, w/ chief justice, and 5 associate justices, 13 district courts w/ 1 judge each, and 3 circuit courts of appeal  

      • Within the act Congress gave Supreme Court power to make executive decision in cases involving constitutionality of state laws  

  • The Cabinet: First Congress creates 3 departments which refer to executive departments: state, treasury, and war

    • also established offices of attorney general and postmaster general

  • Federalists: control of new gov. lays in federalists hands

    • Partially b/c G. Washington believed in strong national gov. and was supportive of federalists assets

    • However Washington did not want to spark controversy, and steered away from any personal involvement involving Congress

  • Alexander Hamilton: national leader, aristocrat and political philosopher, he believed stable/effective gov. involved “enlightened ruling class”

    • New Gov. needed support of rich and powerful

    • Recommended Gov. “assume the debt” - take over the debt states had accumulated during Rev. War

      • This policy would ensure the government would survive, because the wealthy class would always have bonds in the gov. - old bonds paid off as new ones made

    • Hamilton also wanted a National Bank

      • Banks would provide loans and $$ to businesses

      • Give Gov. a safe place to deposit federal funds

      • Help collect taxes

    • Hamilton proposed 2 new taxes, to acquire revenue for gov

      • One for distillers of alcoholic liquids, and another for imports (Benefits: revenue, and protect U.S. manufacturing from foreign competition)

  • Few members of Congress disagree with Hamilton’s plan for funding national debt

    • After much back and forth between Hamilton’s ideas and Madison’s ideas Congress passes the funding bill Hamilton wanted

      • Hamilton’s opponents argued assuming the state debts would be difficult - if federal gov. took over state debt, people of states w/ little debt would have to pay higher taxes for states with larger debt

  • 1790: The U.S. capital moves from New York to Philadelphia  

  • Bank of United States: Hamilton’s bank bill turns into controversial issue

    • Madison, Jefferson, Randolph: argue Congress should not exercise powers that Constitution had not clearly assigned

      • Washington was a bit shaky about legality, but signed

      • 1791: Bank of United States beings to operate

  • Hamilton’s program enacted

    • won support of influential public figures - and restored public credit

    • some people did not like the program (common people/working class) b/c they thought it favored the elite who only made up a small portion of the population

  • References to political parties began after Constitution ratified

    • G. Washington and other framers believed organized parties = dangerous, bad, and permanent factions should be avoided

      • “Overbearing majority”

    • Federalists created a party, which Madison believed to be the “overbearing majority”

      • doing many of the things which Brit. Gov. had done before: reward supporters, win allies, encouraged local associations (aristocrats)

    • Creation of Federalist party lead to the formation of the Republican Party

      • lead by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson

      • republicans were forming committees, societies, and caucuses in every state

      • came together to influence state/local elections

      • justifying actions by claiming they were looking out for the true interests of the nation - “Federalists corrupt”

  • Thomas Jefferson: prominent spokesman for party, farmer, didn’t scorn commercial activity but believed in agrarian society (some manufacturing capacity)

  • Federalist vs. Republican:

    • showed greatly in reactions to French Revolution

      • Federalists: horrified at execution of king and queen

      • Republicans: ecstatic about democratic, anti-aristocratic spirit they thought French Rev. had

    • Federalists had high numbers in commercial centers of Northeast

    • Republicans had high numbers in rural areas of South and West

  • Confederation Congress had failed to outly western parts of the country strongly to the gov., even after the Northwest Ordinance

    • 1794: Farmers in western Penn. challenge fed. authority by refusing to pay whiskey excise tax - start to terrorize tax collectors

      • Federalist gov. did not all the rebellion to grow; Washington marches 15,000 troops through Penn. and the resistance stopped

  • Federal gov. won support of whiskey rebels after they intimidated them

    • loyalties of many frontier people were gained

    • last of 13 original colonies joined Union, one Bill of Rights accepted into Constitution

  • New Gov. is passed down challenged from Confederation: the challenging of claiming land occupied by Native Americans

    • Even after the Ordinances of 1784-1787, there was still much conflict as to who should rule the West land

  • Native Americans were also not included in the new federal structure

    • Constitution excludes Native Americans, from counting as apart of population and taxing them

      • Congress acknowledges existence of tribes as legal entities

      • But, Native Americans were not “foreign nations,” (so did not get those benefits) nor were they citizens of the U.S. (so not those benefits either)

  • 1793: Americans have to remain neutral when the Anglo-French war happens, due to the new French Gov. (created by Rev. of 1789)

    • First challenge: French send diplomatic representative to U.S., Edmund Genet

      • Genet arrives in Charlestown, not Philly, and instead of introducing himself to Washington he begins to create plans to use: American Ports, commission George Rogers Clark, outfit warships, and encourage Americans to fight w/ French

        • Disobeying Washington’s neutrality policy, he angers Washington

    • Second challenge: 1794, GB’s Royal Navy seizes 100’s of American ships engaged in trade w/ French West Indies

      • Hamilton: worried, because if Americans can’t important things to England their revenue will go down significantly - would ruin economy

  • Hamilton was worried about saving the U.S.’s economy, and so did not trust the State Departments to fix the issues

    • Jefferson resigned as secretary of state, his successor Edmund Randolph was very pro-french, Hamilton nervous & convinced Washington to bring in a special commissioner: John Jay

      • Jay’s duty was to secure compensation for British assaults on American shipping -> so Americans could continue trading and making $$

  • Jay’s Treaty, 1794: negotiation made, failed to achieve Hamilton’s goals, but settled Conflict w/ GB and helped prevent impending war

    • Sovereignty over entire Northwest, and satisfactory commercial relationship w/ GB (trade important to U.S.)

      • Many bitter Americans, mostly republicans, didn’t want treaty to be ratified; American minister to France, James Monroe, and Randolph tried to defeat it, but Senate eventually ratified

  • Pinckney’s Treaty, 1795: Thomas Pinckney arrived in Spain (special negotiator) he gained everything the U.S. had wanted from Spain for more than 10 yrs.

    • Under treaty Spain realized the right of Americans to travel Mississippi to trade along banks and deposit goods in New Orleans

  • Washington’s Farewell Address: deciding to retire after two terms, Washington addressed republicans, and denounced republicans who had been conspiring w/ French

    • With Washington out, the U.S. needed to find a new president, two candidates:

      • Republicans: Jefferson was uncontested candidate for

      • Federalists: harder time, Hamilton not credible enough b/c too many enemies, John Adams became party’s nominee

        • Federalists still dominant party, but w/out Washington leading the way there were many factional rivalries

          • Adam vs. Pinckney

  • Second President: John Adams, Second Vice President: Thomas Jefferson (until 1804 the Constitution stated the candidate w/ the second highest amount of votes automatically became vice president)

    • Although Adams was president, Hamilton still the dominant figure

  • After Jay’s and Pinckney’s Treaties U.S. relations w/ GB and Spain improved - but relation w/ France crumbled

    • French vessels captured American ships, and did not accept American politicians into France

    • some of Adam’s advisors wanted war, others like Hamilton recommended conciliation, and wanted to stabilize relationships

    • 1797: American’s arrive in Paris to try and fix issues

      • French try to buy off American’s, this leads to XYZ Affair

    • XYZ Affair: When Adams heard of incident, sent a message to Congress - preparing for war; turns report over to Congress and deletes names of French agents, reported published - widespread outrage, preparations for war made

  • Quasi War: Adam tells Congress to cut off all ties w/ France

    • no trade, capture vessels

    • 1798: Department of the Navy to appropriate money for construction of warships

      • navy begins to capture ships and ally w/ GB

    • In the End: France chose to conciliate w/ U.S., treaty is signed, and peace is restored

  • Alien and Sedition Acts: result of the conflict w/ France helps Federalists increase majorities, and use strength to silence republicans

    • Alien Act: made it harder for foreigners to become U.S. citizens

      • discouraged immigration, but Adams did not deport any foreigners

    • Sedition Act: allowed gov. to prosecute those who engaged in “sedition” against gov.

      • easier to arrest Republicans who’s only crimes were spreading criticism about Federalists

  • Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions: Republican response to the Federalist Alien and Sedition Acts, they believed States had power too, and the resolutions used John Locke’s arguments that the fed. gov. had been formed by a contract among states that possessed only selective delegate powers

  • These spiteful controversies shaped 1800 Pres. Election  

    • Candidates were same as year before: Adams (Fed), Jefferson (Repub.)

    • Campaigns were much uglier: supporters showed no dignity

      • Federalists: accused Jefferson of being dangerous radical, and followers rowdy men who would terrorize the nation

      • Republicans: accused Adams of being tyrannical, conspiring to create monarchy, supporters were plotting to subject human liberty and impose slavery on everyone

    • Close election: unexpected complication jeopardized impending republican victory  

      • Aaron Burr comes into running, and after the republican party had set their votes, it resulted in a tie, then House of Reps. had to chose between two leading candidates  

    • Jefferson was elected after Federalist party decided Burrs was too unreliable and long deadlock

  • Judiciary Act of 1801: Federalists reduce number of Supreme Court justiceships, but increased number of federal judgeships

    • Adams appointed Federalists to new positions

  • Republicans viewed election victory as almost complete: the nation had been saved from federalist tyranny, and a new era could begin which was based on the true principles of which America had been founded

Crash Course #8

  • United States Constitutional System, 1788:


  • Articles of Confederation: “Firm league of friendship”

    • Set up a government with a One House body of Delegates, and every state had one vote, who acted collectively to change all the states together

      • Supermajority: Any decision made had to have 9/13 votes

      • Congress was very limited in what they could do

        • Could coin money BUT couldn’t collect taxes

    • Deliberately weak government

      • Americans didn’t want to be like tyrannical British, but their government system proved to be useless

    • Biggest Accomplishment: Northwest Ordinance of 1787

      • set up a process to create 5 new states between Ohio and Mississippi river

      • Ordinance outlawed slavery in all 5 new states

  • Annapolis, Maryland, 1786: 6 states send delegates meet to try and create laws to better regulate international trade

    • they decide to meet following year in Philadelphia to revise AOC

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1787: Instead of tweaking the AOC they just wrote a new constitution, the Declaration of Independence

    • Delegates agree that:

      • There should be 3 Branches of Government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial

      • They didn’t want President to serve life terms

      • BIGGEST CONCERN: goal is to protect government from tierney from itself and tierney from the people

        • didn’t want too much government or too much democracy

  • Legislature:

    • James Madison Virginia Plan: calls for two house legislature, states represented based on population of state

    • New Jersey Plan: one house legislature, equal representation from each state (like AOC)

  • Great Compromise: Two house legislature!A house for the Senate - two reps from each state, and a House of Representatives proportional to pop. of state

    • 3/5ths Compromise: States with high slave pop. want slaves to count as a part of the population (to have more seats in the House of Reps.), and states with low slave pop. don’t

  • Constitution: Has two principals:

    • Separation of Powers

      • Judicial, Executive, and Legislative Branches - constitution incorporates checks and balances

    • Federalism

      • Idea that governmental authority rests in national and state authority

  • Constitution was ratified by 9/13 states, in order to become an important official legal document

  • Anti Federalists: mostly common people, and farmers who weren’t involved in government activity

    • Very afraid of strong government dominated by wealthy

      • Feared the US would turn into a Empire, and their rights wouldn’t be supported