The First Five Presidents (John Adams (1797-1801) (Federalists vs.…
The First Five Presidents
John Adams (1797-1801)
French agents demanded a bribe to France from American diplomats in order to allow them to meet with France's foreign minister. These french agents were labelled X, Y, and Z.
Immigrants could be more easily deported, it became harder for them to vote, public opposition to the government was prohibited, and those who expressed seditious thoughts could be fined and imprisoned. These were passed by Federalists.
The legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky declared the Alien and Sedition acts unconstitutional.
In an attempt to maintain Federalist influence in the government, John Adams made quite a few last-minute judicial appointments before he was succeeded by Thomas Jefferson.
Federalists vs. Jeffersonian-Republicans
Federalists: wanted a strong central/federal government with weaker state governments. They believed the Constitution should be interpreted loosely.
Jeffersonian-Republicans: wanted a weaker central government with much stronger state governments, and they believed in the strict interpretation of the constitution.
He was one of John Adams' midnight appointments. He served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and presided over the famous case of Marbury v. Madison, which established the principle of judicial review in America.
James Madison (1809-1817)
The War of 1812
Britain and France attacked American ships following the embargo. Britain also took American sailors for its own navy and began supporting Native Americans in battles against American settlers, so Madison declared war against them in 1812
Congress wasn't quite ready for this war, and neither was America. Although the USA faced many losses in battles, we still won the overall war.
The Treaty of Ghent, signed in December 1814, ended the war.
A series of meetings held in Hartford, Connecticut, in which Federalists met and discussed their grievances against Madison and his presidency.
Just a few weeks after the convention, however, news of the victory at the Battle of New Orleans discredited the Federalists and their grievances were undermined.
Americans refused to pay tribute to the North African Barbary states. Therefore, they continued their piracy and seized merchant ships and goods, kidnapping merchants.
American ships attacked the coast of Tripoli in order to get the Barbary Pirates to stop attacking them. Eventually, America had to pay $60,000 as ransom for the captured merchants, but the Barbary pirates finally agreed to stop demanding tribute.
Thomas Jefferson wanted to prevent war with England and France, so he prohibited all trade with both countries in order to show them their dependence on American goods.
This backfired, as the American economy went into a depression, and after a year, a bill was passed that ended this embargo. America was angered, and the Federalists were strengthened.
Louisiana Purchase (1803)
Jefferson doubled the size of the continental USA with this purchase. He bought about 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi for just $15 million.
This gave America control over the Mississippi, which was until recently under French control. Since it was essentially the artery of commerce, it helped the American economy develop as goods could be easily shipped from inland USA to the Gulf of Mexico.
Political Philosophy and how it differs from Adams'
Jefferson was a Democratic-Republican, while Adams was a Federalist. He believed in a loose interpretation of the constitution, and greater states rights. He preferred a French alliance over a British one, and he believed in the separation of church and state.
George Washington (1789-1797)
Hamilton's Economic Plan
He proposed that the federal government absorb all the state debts and tax the states. This stirred up great controversy, because the states feared this would give the federal government too much power over them.
He also wanted to create a Bank of the United States, which was deemed unconstitutional by critics. Hamilton believed it would be incredibly beneficial for America.
He also proposed high tariffs on foreign imports in order to foster America's local economies.
He warned against political parties and foreign alliances.
It was essentially a rebellion against the tax on alcohol. Western farmers despised this tax and tried to stage a rebellion.
Before it got too violent, Washington sent a militia to help control the rebellion, and no confrontation occurred as the farmers all went home before anything could happen.
The Era of Good Feelings
It was the name given to the time between 1817 and 1825, during Monroe's presidency. It was post-War of 1812 and there was a general lack of strife in partisan politics. As the Federalist party declined, there was no significant opposition to the Democratic-Republicans, and therefore this period was labelled the Era of Good Feelings.
America's opposition to European colonization in the Western Hemisphere was expressed by this doctrine that essentially prohibited European powers from meddling with the Western hemisphere, in return for American powers not meddling in European affairs either.