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Chapter 11: The Triumphs and Travails of the Jeffersonian

Republic (1800-1812)

Federalist and The Federalists Alien and Sedition Acts:


Republican Gained them many enemies, though most of them were already Jeffersonians
Mudslingers Caused the Hamiltonian wing to split with President Adams; Hamilton attacked Adams in a
privately printed pamphlet, which the Jeffersonians got hold of and published
Most damaging was Adams refusal to start a war with France:
War preparations had unswelled the debt and had required unpopular taxes, incl. a stamp tax
Now the preparations seemed unnecessary and extravagant, ex. the seamen of the new navy
called John Adams Jackasses, though Adams was known as the Father of the American
Navy
So the Federalists, on the defensive, attacked Jefferson in one of Americas earliest
whispering campaigns:
Was accused of robbing a widow and children of their trust fund
Was accused, later proved by DNA, of having numerous mulatto children by his
slavewomen
Earlier gained enmity of the orthodox clergy for separating the church and state in Virginia,
so many New England preachers preached that he was an atheist

The Jefferson ended up winning the election


Jeffersonian Aaron Burr tipped the election towards Jefferson by winning over NY
Revolution But then a deadlock when a technicality made it so that Jefferson and his running mate Burr
of 1800 were tied:
Under the Constitution, the tie could only be broken by the House of Representatives, which
was still Federalist-controlled
The lame-duck Federalists wanted to minimize their losses by electing Burr over Jefferson
But some got tired of the deadlock and hoped for moderation from Jefferson, so refrained
from voting
So Jefferson ended up being elected for President, making this the first party overturn in
American history
Adams would be the last Federalist president, and the Federalist party would decline and
eventually come to an end under Andrew Jackson
Jefferson later called the 1800 elections a revolution like that in 1776, despite having barely
won, because considered it a return to the Revolutionary spirit after its betrayal by Hamilton
and Adams
Jefferson wanted to:
Restore the republican experiment
Check the growth of government power
Halt the decay of virtue that had began under the Federalists
Also revolutionary was the peaceful and orderly transfer of power

Responsibility
March 4, 1801 Thomas Long Tom Jefferson was inaugurated as president in the new village
Breeds of Washington and gave an inaugural address that was a classic statement of democratic
Moderation principles
The rustic village of Washington complemented the simplicity and frugality of the Jeffersonian
Republicans, and contrasted with the elegance of Federalist Philadelphia
Jefferson could be unconventional:
Established the pell-mell rule at official dinners, or seating without regard to rank
Received visitors in informal attire
Started precedent of having a clerk read his messages to Congress because personal
appearances would seem to monarchical and because Jefferson was a poor speaker
Jefferson was forced to go against many of the principles he had fought for earlier because he
realized that scholarly, philosophic theories worked out differently in practical politics
The Federalists feared that Jefferson would completely Jeffersonize the government, but
actually he was moderate and dismissed few office-holders for political reasons
Jefferson had to rely on his personal charm, ex. at informal dinner parties, because the
Democratic-Republicans had no loyal political following and were mostly held together by
their shared opposition to the Federalists

Jeffersonian Jefferson pardoned those punished by the Alien and Sedition Acts, which had already expired,
Restraint and 1802 enacted a new naturalization law that negated the changes the Alien Act made
The only substantial Hamiltonian measure Jefferson got rid of was the excise tax because bred
bureaucrats and weighed down on farmers, but now the federal government lacked a major
source of revenue
New secretary of the treasury Albert Gallatin managed to reduce the national debt and balance
the national budget
The Jeffersonians retained the Federalist framework, ex. assumption of debts, national bank,
and tariff
The Jeffersonian moderation only enforced their position and the future of the two-party
system because showed that a change of regime did not have to be disastrous for the losing
group

The Dead 1801 Judiciary Act was the deathbed act of the Federalist party and a long-overdue reform;
Clutch of the created new federal, lifetime judgeships (called midnight judgeships because Adams
Judiciary supposedly stayed up late on the last night of his term signing their commissions) and other
judicial offices
But was disliked by the Republicans because seemed to be a last-ditch by the Federalists at
attempt at maintaining a foothold in government
So the newly elected Republican Congress got rid of the new judgeships and tried and failed to
get rid of Adams-appointed Chief Justice John Marshall
Adams-appointed Chief Justice John Marshall:
The drawbacks of feeble authority made a lasting impression on him during his service at
Valley Forge and made him a lifelong Federalist
After the Federalists fell from power, served for 34 more years
1803 case of Marbury v. Madison:
Midnight judge William Marbury's sued the government for shelving his commission
Marshall dismissed the case, but also said that the part of the 1789 Judiciary Act on which
Marbury tried to base the case was unconstitutional because tried to give the Supreme
Court powers unforseen by they Constitution
So increased the power of the Supreme Court by firmly establishing that it (not individual
state legislatures, as in the Kentucky resolutions) had the final say on the question of
constitutionality
1804 the Jeffersonians tried to get revenge by impeaching arrogant, sharp-tongued Supreme
Court justice Samuel Chase, but were unsuccessful because had no grounds for it, so set the
precedent that the Supreme Court is not to be reshaped by impeachment

Jefferson, a Early on, Jefferson reduced the military establishment to a police force because
Reluctant Hoped that America would set an example and transcend the bloody wars and entangling
Warrior alliances of the past
Republicans saw large standing armies as invitations to dictatorship
Saw no point in expensively building a fleet that might get America caught up in a European
war
1801-1805 the Tripolitian War:
But 1801 was forced to reconsider when the pasha of Tripoli, representing the North African
Barbary Pirate States, declared war on him because he did not cough up protection money
like the earlier Federalists did
So dispatched the infant navy to the shores of Tripoli
1805 extorted a peace treaty from Tripoli, agreeing only to pay the ransoms of captured
Americans
Jefferson thought that small, frail, but fast gunboats would be the best for guarding America's
coast, so had a couple hundred constructed by small shipyards, but they proved dangerous and
unwieldy

The Louisiana 1800 Napoleon signed a secret treaty for Spain to cede the trans-Mississippi region of
Godsend Louisiana, including New Orleans
1802 Spaniards in New Orleans withdrew Americans right of deposit, granted by the treaty of
1795, so Americans were ready to fight
Now pacifist Jefferson was in a bind because America could seize Louisiana from senile Spain
at the right time, but Louisiana under Napoleon could attack America and force it to seek allies
So 1803 sent James Monroe to Paris to join foreign minister Robert R. Livingston to buy New
Orleans and as much land as possible for under $10 million; if the purchase was to fail, then
alliance with Britain would be considered
Suddenly, Napoleon gave up dreams of a New World empire and decided to sell Louisiana
because:
Louisiana was to supply food to sugar-rich Santo Domingo, but Napoleon failed to capture
the island because could not defeat the ex-slave resistance under Toussaint LOuverture and
because of yellow fever
Feared that he would end up having to give Louisiana to the British because they controlled
the seas
Hoped that America, strengthened by Louisiana, would thwart the North American ambitions
of Britain
Out of the blue, the French foreign minister asked Livingston how much he would pay for all
of Louisiana, and April 30, 1803 France ceded Louisiana to America for $15 million
But Livingston had procured an immense tract of land to the west for $15 million, while
Jefferson had wanted land to the east in the Floridas for no more than $10 million
Jefferson thought that the purchase was unconstitutional because the Constitution had no
clause giving the country permission to negotiate treaties to incorporate new lands, but ended
up submitting the treaties to the Senate because feared that Napoleon would withdraw his offer
The land-hungry people supported the purchase, and the Senate voted accordingly
Louisiana in Significance of the Louisiana Purchase:
the Long Avoided conflict with France and subsequent entangling alliance with England
View Gained much power and elbow room for America
Set a precedent of acquiring foreign territory and peoples by purchase
Spring 1804-06, Jefferson sent secretary Meriwether Lewis and army officer William Clark to
explore northern Louisiana Territory, with assistance from Shoshoni Sacajawea:
Went up the Missouri River from St. Louis, crossed the Rockies, went down the Columbia
River, and reached the Pacific coast
Brought back scientific observations, maps, knowledge of Indians in the region, and
adventure stories
Demonstrated the viability of an overland trail to the Pacific, and in later decades others
would follow one such trail to the Oregon Country
1805-06 Zebulon M. Pike explored to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, and 1807
explored southern Louisiana Territory

The Aaron Although the Louisiana Purchase brought long-term power and prosperity, in the short-term it
raised fears of secession and foreign intrigue because of its vastness and the federal
Burr
governments feebleness of reach
Conspiracy
Jeffersons first term vice president Aaron Burr encouraged these fears
After being dropped from Jeffersons cabinet, Burr joined a group of extreme Federalists
plotting the secession of New England and NY, but they were exposed by Hamilton
So Burr challenged and killed Hamilton, the last hope of effective Federalist leadership, in a
duel
Next, Burr allied with military governor of Louisiana Territory General James Wilkinson and
planned to have the western US break away from the east and invade Spanish Mexico and
Florida to gain land
So fall of 1806 Burr and followers went to meet up with Wilkinsons army, but Wilkinson
learned that Jefferson heard about the plot, so deserted Burr
Burr was arrested and tried for treason, was acquitted, fled to Europe, and urged Napoleon to
ally with Britain to invade America