[Sidenote: Franklin's prophecy.]
186. Franklin's Prophecy.—It was with a feeling of real relief that the delegates finally came to the end of their labors. As they were putting their names to the Constitution, Franklin pointed to a rising sun that was painted on the wall behind the presiding officer's chair. He said that painters often found it difficult to show the difference between a rising sun and a setting sun. "I have often and often," said the old statesman, "looked at that behind the President, without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now, at length, I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting sun." And so indeed it has proved to be.
[Sidenote: Strength of the Constitution. McMaster, 168-169.]
187. The Constitution.—It will be well now to note some of the points in which the new Constitution was unlike the old Articles of Confederation. In the first place, the government of the Confederation had to do only with the states; the new government would deal directly with individuals. For instance, when the old Congress needed money, it called on the states to give it. If a state refused to give any money, Congress could remonstrate—and that was all. The new government could order individuals to pay taxes. Any one who refused to pay his tax would be tried in a United States court and compelled to pay or go to prison. In the second place the old government had almost no executive powers. The new government would have a very strong executive in the person of the President of the United States.
[Sidenote: Interpretation of the Constitution.]
[Sidenote: John Marshall's decisions.]
188. The Supreme Court.—But the greatest difference of all was to be found in the Supreme Court of the United States provided in the Constitution. The new Congress would have very large powers of making laws. But the words defining these powers were very hard to understand. It was the duty of the Supreme Court to say what these words meant. Now the judges of the Supreme Court are very independent. It is almost impossible to remove a judge of this court, and the Constitution provides that his salary cannot be reduced while he holds office. It fell out that under the lead of Chief Justice John Marshall the Supreme Court defined the doubtful words in the Constitution so as to give the greatest amount of power to the Congress of the United States. As the laws of the United States are the supreme laws of the land, it will be seen how important this action of the Supreme Court has been.
[Sidenote: Opposition to the Constitution. Source-Book, 172-175.]
189. Objections to the Constitution.—The great strength of the Constitution alarmed many people. Patrick Henry declared that the government under the new Constitution would be a national government and not a federal government at all. Other persons objected to the Constitution because it took the control of affairs out of the hands of the people. For example, the Senators were to be chosen by the state legislatures, and the President was to be elected in a round-about way by presidential electors. Others objected to the Constitution because there was no Bill of Rights attached to it. They pointed out, for instance, that there was nothing in the Constitution to prevent Congress from passing laws to destroy the freedom of the press. Finally a great many people objected to the Constitution because there was no provision in it reserving to the states or to the people those powers that were not expressly given to the new government.
[Sidenote: Opponents of the Constitution.]
[Sidenote: The first ten amendments.]
190. The First Ten Amendments.—These defects seemed to be so grave that patriots like Patrick Henry, R.H. Lee, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock could not bring themselves to vote for its adoption. Conventions of delegates were elected by the people of the several states to ratify or to reject the Constitution. The excitement was intense. It seemed as if the Constitution would not be adopted. But a way was found out of the difficulty. It was suggested that the conventions should consent to the adoption of the Constitution, but should, at the same time, propose amendments which would do away with many of these objections. This was done. The first Congress under the Constitution and the state legislatures adopted most of these amendments, and they became a part of the Constitution. There were ten amendments in all, and they should be studied as carefully as the Constitution itself is studied.
[Sidenote: Constitution adopted. Higginson, 216; Source-Book, 175-180.]
191. The Constitution Adopted, 1787-88.—In June, 1788, New Hampshire and Virginia adopted the Constitution. They were the ninth and tenth states to take this action. The Constitution provided that it should go into effect when it should be adopted by nine states, that is, of course, it should go into effect only between those states. Preparations were now made for the organization of the new government. But this took some time. Washington was unanimously elected President, and was inaugurated in April, 1789. By that time North Carolina and Rhode Island were the only states which had not adopted the Constitution and come under the "New Roof," as it was called. In a year or two they adopted it also, and the Union of the thirteen original states was complete.
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS
Sec.Sec. 168, 169.—a. What were the chief weaknesses of the Confederation? Why did not Congress have any real power?
b. How did some states treat other states? Why?
Sec.Sec. 170-173.—a. Explain the distress among the people.
b. Describe the attitude of the British government and give some reason for it.
c. Why did the value of paper money keep changing?
d. What were the "tender laws"? The "stay laws"?
e. Give some illustration of how these laws would affect trade.
Sec. 174.—a. Describe the troubles in Massachusetts.
b. What was the result of this rebellion?
Sec.Sec. 175-178.—a. What common interest did all the states have?
b. What did Maryland contend? State carefully the result of Maryland's action. Describe the land cessions.
c. How did the holding these lands benefit the United States?
d. Give the provisions of the Ordinance of 1787. What was the result of the declaration as to slaves?
e. What privileges were the settlers to have? Why is this Ordinance so important?
Sec.Sec. 179-181.—a. What difficulties in the United States showed the necessity of a stronger government?
b. How could the Articles of Confederation be amended?
c. What was the important work of Madison?
d. What was the advantage of having Washington act as President of the Convention?
Sec.Sec. 182, 183.—a. Explain fully the provisions of the Virginia plan. What departments were decided upon?
b. Why did New Jersey and Delaware oppose the Virginia plan? What were the great objections to the New Jersey plan?
Sec.Sec. 184-186.—a. What is a compromise? What are the three great compromises of the Constitution?
b. Explain the compromise as to representation. What does the Senate represent? What the House?
c. Define apportionment. What do you think of the wisdom of the compromise as to apportionment? What of its justice?
d. Why was there a conflict over the clause as to commerce? How was the matter settled?
Sec.Sec. 187-189.—a. What events at first seemed to disprove Franklin's prophecy?
b. Compare the Constitution with the Articles of Confederation and show in what respects the Constitution was much stronger.
c. Explain how the new government could control individuals.
d. What were some of the duties of the President? Of Congress? Of the Supreme Court?
Sec.Sec. 190-192.—a. What is the difference between a national and a federal government? Was Henry's criticism true?
b. Study the first ten amendments and state how far they met the objections of those opposed to the Constitution.
c. Repeat the Tenth Amendment from memory.
d. How was the Constitution ratified?
e. How did the choice of Washington as first President influence popular feeling toward the new government?
a. Why should the people have shown loyalty to the states rather than to the United States?
b. Analyze the Constitution as follows:—
=============================================================== EXECUTIVE. LEGISLATIVE. JUDICIARY. Method of Appointment or Election. Term of Office. Duties and Powers.
TOPICS FOR SPECIAL WORK
The career of any one man prominent in the Convention, as Madison, Hamilton, Franklin, Washington, Robert Morris, etc. Write a brief biography.
SUGGESTIONS TO THE TEACHER
This period should be taught very slowly and very thoroughly, as it demands much more time than any of the earlier periods. A clear understanding of the Constitution is of the most practical value, not merely to enable one to comprehend the later history, but also to enable one to understand present duties. Note carefully the "federal ratio" and the functions of the Supreme Court. Use the text of the Constitution and emphasize especially those portions of importance in the later history.
This work is difficult. It should therefore be most fully illustrated from recent political struggles. Let the children represent characters in the Convention and discuss the various plans proposed. Encourage them also to suggest transactions which might represent the working of the tender laws, the commercial warfare between the states, the "federal ratio" etc. Especially study the first ten amendments and show how they limit the power of the general government to-day.
THE FEDERALIST SUPREMACY, 1789-1801
Books for Study and Reading
References.—Higginson's Larger History, 309-344; Eggleston's United States and its People ch. xxxiv (the people in 1790); McMaster's School History, ch. xiv (the people in 1790).
Home Readings.—Drake's Making of the West; Scribner's Popular History, IV; Coffin's Building the Nation; Bolton's Famous Americans; Holmes's Ode on Washington's Birthday; Seawell's Little Jarvis.
ORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
[Sidenote: The first way of electing President. Constitution, Art. II, Sec.I; McMaster, 170-171.]
[Sidenote: Washington and Adams.]
192. Washington elected President.—In the early years under the Constitution the Presidents and Vice-Presidents were elected in the following manner. First each state chose presidential electors usually by vote of its legislature. Then the electors of each state came together and voted for two persons without saying which of the two should be President. When all the electoral votes were counted, the person having the largest number, provided that was more than half of the whole number of electoral votes, was declared President. The person having the next largest number became Vice-President. At the first election every elector voted for Washington. John Adams received the next largest number of votes and became Vice-President.
[Sidenote: Washington's journey to New York. Higginson, 217-218.]
193. Washington's Journey to New York.—At ten o'clock in the morning of April 14, 1789, Washington left Mt. Vernon and set out for New York. Wherever he passed the people poured forth to greet him. At Trenton, New Jersey, a triumphal arch had been erected. The school girls strewed flowers in his path and sang an ode written for the occasion. A barge manned by thirteen pilots met him at the water's edge and bore him safely to New York.
[Sidenote: Washington inaugurated President, 1789. Source-Book, 181-183.]
[Sidenote: The oath of office.]
194. The First Inauguration, April 30, 1789.—Long before the time set for the inauguration ceremonies, the streets around Federal Hall were closely packed with sightseers. Washington in a suit of velvet with white silk stockings came out on the balcony and took the oath of office ordered in the Constitution, "I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." Cannon roared forth a salute and Chancellor Livingston turning to the people proclaimed, "Long live George Washington, President of the United States." Reentering the hall Washington read a simple and solemn address.
[Sidenote: Jefferson, Secretary of State.]
[Sidenote: Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury. Eggleston, 215.]
[Sidenote: Knox, Secretary of War.]
[Sidenote: Randolph, Attorney-General.]
195. The First Cabinet.—Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson Secretary of State. Since writing the Great Declaration, Jefferson had been governor of Virginia and American minister at Paris. The Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton. Born in the British West Indies, he had come to New York to attend King's College, now Columbia University. For Secretary of War, Washington selected Henry Knox. He had been Chief of Artillery during the Revolution. Since then he had been head of the War Department. Edward Randolph became Attorney General. He had introduced the Virginia plan of union into the Federal Convention. But he had not signed the Constitution in its final form. These four officers formed the Cabinet. There was also a Postmaster General. But his office was of slight importance at the time.
[Sidenote: Federal Officers.]
[Sidenote: Jay, Chief Justice.]
196. Appointments to Office.—The President now appointed the necessary officers to execute the national laws. These were mostly men who had been prominent in the Revolutionary War. For instance, John Jay (p. 126) was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and General Lincoln (p. 134) was appointed Collector of Customs at Boston. It was in having officers of its own to carry out its laws, that the new government seemed to the people to be so unlike the old government. Formerly if Congress wanted anything done, it called on the states to do it. Now Congress, by law, authorized the United States officials to do their tasks. The difference was a very great one, and it took the people some time to realize what a great change had been made.
[Sidenote: Titles. Higginson, 222.]
197. The Question of Titles.—The first fiercely contested debate in the new Congress was over the question of titles. John Adams, the Vice-President and the presiding officer of the Senate, began the conflict by asking the Senate how he should address the President. One senator suggested that the President should be entitled "His Patriotic Majesty." Other senators proposed that he should be addressed as "Your Highness, the President of the United States and Protector of their Liberties." Fortunately, the House of Representatives had the first chance to address Washington and simply called him "Mr. President of the United States."
[Sidenote: Ceremonies. Higginson, 222-224.]
[Sidenote: Monarchical appearances.]
198. Ceremonies and Progresses.—Washington liked a good deal of ceremony and was stiff and aristocratic. He soon gave receptions or "levees" as they were called. To these only persons who had tickets were admitted. Washington stood on one side of the room and bowed stiffly to each guest as he was announced. When all were assembled, the entrance doors were closed. The President then slowly walked around the room, saying something pleasant to each person. In 1789 he made a journey through New England. Everywhere he was received by guards of honor, and was splendidly entertained. At one place an old man greeted him with "God bless Your Majesty." This was all natural enough, for Washington was "first in the hearts of his countrymen." But many good men were afraid that the new government would really turn out to be a monarchy.
[Sidenote: Struggle over protection, 1789. Source-Book, 183-186.]
199. First Tariff Act, 1789.—The first important business that Congress took in hand was a bill for raising revenue, and a lively debate began. Representatives from New England and the Middle states wanted protection for their commerce and their struggling manufactures. Representatives from the Southern states opposed all protective duties as harmful to agriculture, which was the only important pursuit of the Southerners. But the Southerners would have been glad to have a duty placed on hemp. This the New Englanders opposed because it would increase the cost of rigging ships. The Pennsylvanians were eager for a duty on iron and steel. But the New Englanders opposed this duty because it would add to the cost of building a ship, and the Southerners opposed it because it would increase the cost of agricultural tools. And so it was as to nearly every duty that was proposed. But duties must be laid, and the only thing that could be done was to compromise in every direction. Each section got something that it wanted, gave up a great deal that it wanted, and agreed to something that it did not want at all. And so it has been with every tariff act from that day to this.
[Sidenote: The first census.]
[Sidenote: Extent of the United States, 1791.]
[Sidenote: Population of the United States, 1791.]
200. The First Census, 1791.—The Constitution provided that representatives should be distributed among the states according to population as modified by the federal ratio (p. 142). To do this it was necessary to find out how many people there were in each state. In 1791 the first census was taken. By that time both North Carolina and Rhode Island had joined the Union, and Vermont had been admitted as the fourteenth state. It appeared that there were nearly four million people in the United States, or not as many as one hundred years later lived around the shores of New York harbor. There were then about seven hundred thousand slaves in the country. Of these only fifty thousand were in the states north of Maryland. The country, therefore, was already divided into two sections: one where slavery was of little importance, and another where it was of great importance.
[Sidenote: Vermont admitted, 1791.]
[Sidenote: Higginson 229.]
[Sidenote: Kentucky admitted, 1792. Higginson, 224-230.]
201. New States.—The first new state to be admitted to the Union was Vermont (1791). The land which formed this state was claimed by New Hampshire and by New York. But during the Revolution the Green Mountain Boys had declared themselves independent and had drawn up a constitution. They now applied to Congress for admission to the Union as a separate state. The next year Kentucky came into the Union. This was originally a part of Virginia, and the colonists had brought their slaves with them to their new homes. Kentucky, therefore, was a slave state. Vermont was a free state, and its constitution forbade slavery.
[Sidenote: Origin of the National Debt. For details, see McMaster, 198-200.]
202. The National Debt.—The National Debt was the price of independence. During the war Congress had been too poor to pay gold and silver for what it needed to carry on the war. So it had given promises to pay at some future time. These promises to pay were called by various names as bonds, certificates of indebtedness, and paper money. Taken all together they formed what was called the Domestic Debt, because it was owed to persons living in the United States. There was also a Foreign Debt. This was owed to the King of France and to other foreigners who had lent money to the United States.
[Sidenote: Hamilton as a financier.]
[Sidenote: His plan.]
[Sidenote: Objections to it.]
203. Hamilton's Financial Policy.—Alexander Hamilton was the ablest Secretary of the Treasury the United States has ever had. To give people confidence in the new government, he proposed to redeem the old certificates and bonds, dollar for dollar, in new bonds. To this plan there was violent objection. Most of the original holders of the certificates and bonds had sold them long ago. They were now mainly held by speculators who had paid about thirty or forty cents for each dollar. Why should the speculator get one dollar for that which had cost him only thirty or forty cents? Hamilton insisted that his plan was the only way to place the public credit on a firm foundation, and it was finally adopted.
[Sidenote: The state debts. Source-Book, 186-188.]
[Sidenote: Hamilton's plan of assumption.]
[Sidenote: Objections to it.]
[Sidenote: Failure of the bill.]
204. Assumption of State Debts.—A further part of Hamilton's original scheme aroused even greater opposition. During the Revolutionary War the states, too, had become heavily in debt. They had furnished soldiers and supplies to Congress. Some of them had undertaken expeditions at their own expense. Virginia, for example, had borne all the cost of Clark's conquest of the Northwest (p. 116). She had later ceded nearly all her rights in the conquered territory to the United States (p. 135). These debts had been incurred for the benefit of the people as a whole. Would it not then be fair for the people of the United States as a whole to pay them? Hamilton thought that it would. It chanced, however, that the Northern states had much larger debts than had the Southern states. One result of Hamilton's scheme would be to relieve the Northern states of a part of their burdens and to increase the burdens of the Southern states. The Southerners, therefore, were strongly opposed to the plan. The North Carolina representatives reached New York just in time to vote against it, and that part of Hamilton's plan was defeated.
[Sidenote: Question of the site of the national capital.]
[Sidenote: Jefferson and Hamilton.]
[Sidenote: The District of Columbia.]
205. The National Capital.—In these days of fast express trains it makes little difference whether one is going to Philadelphia or to Baltimore—only a few hours more or less in a comfortable railroad car. But in 1791 it made a great deal of difference whether one were going to Philadelphia or to Baltimore. Traveling was especially hard in the South. There were few roads or taverns in that part of the country, and those few were bad. The Southerners were anxious to have the national capital as far south as possible. They were also opposed to the assumption of the state debts by the national government. Now it happened that the Northerners were in favor of the assumption of the debts and did not care very much where the national capital might be. In the end Jefferson and Hamilton made "a deal," the first of its kind in our history. Enough Southerners voted for the assumption bill to pass it. The Northerners, on their part, agreed that the temporary seat of government should be at Philadelphia, and the permanent seat of government on the Potomac. Virginia and Maryland at once ceded enough land to form a "federal district." This was called the District of Columbia. Soon preparations were begun to build a capital city there—the city of Washington.
[Sidenote: Hamilton's plan for a United States bank. McMaster, 201]
[Sidenote: Jefferson's argument against it.]
[Sidenote: The bank established.]
206. The First Bank of the United States.—Two parts of Hamilton's plan were now adopted. To the third part of his scheme there was even more opposition. This was the establishment of a great Bank of the United States. The government in 1790 had no place in which to keep its money. Instead of establishing government treasuries, Hamilton wanted a great national bank, controlled by the government. This bank could establish branches in important cities. The government's money could be deposited at any of these branches and could be paid out by checks sent from the Treasury. Furthermore, people could buy a part of the stock of the bank with the new bonds of the United States. This would make people more eager to own the bonds, and so would increase their price. For all these reasons Hamilton thought the bank would be very useful, and therefore "necessary and proper" for the carrying out of the powers given by the Constitution to the national government. Jefferson, however, thought that the words "necessary and proper" meant necessary and not useful. The bank was not necessary according to the ordinary use of the word. Congress therefore had no business to establish it. After thinking the matter over, Washington signed the bill and it became a law. But Jefferson had sounded the alarm. Many persons agreed with him, many others agreed with Hamilton. Two great political parties were formed and began the contest for power that has been going on ever since.
RISE OF POLITICAL PARTIES
[Sidenote: Formation of the Federalist party. McMaster, 202.]
207. The Federalists.—There were no political parties in the United States in 1789. All the leading men were anxious to give the new Constitution a fair trial. Even Patrick Henry supported Washington. Many men, as Alexander Hamilton and Gouverneur Morris, believed a monarchy to be the best form of government. But they saw clearly that the American people would not permit a monarchy to be established. So they supported the Constitution although they thought that it was "a frail and worthless fabric." But they wished to establish the strongest possible government that could be established under the Constitution. This they could do by defining in the broadest way the doubtful words in the Constitution as Hamilton had done in the controversy over the bank charter (p. 162). Hamilton had little confidence in the wisdom of the plain people. He believed it would be safer to rely on the richer classes. So he and his friends wished to give to the central government and to the richer classes the greatest possible amount of power. Those who believed as Hamilton believed called themselves Federalists. In reality they were Nationalists.
[Sidenote: Formation of the Republican party.]
208. The Republicans.—Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Albert Gallatin, and their friends entirely disagreed with the Federalists on all of these points. They called themselves Republicans. In the Great Declaration Jefferson had written that government rested on the consent of the governed. He also thought that the common sense of the plain people was a safer guide than the wisdom of the richer classes. He was indignant at the way in which Hamilton defined the meaning of phrases in the Constitution. He especially relied on the words of the Tenth Amendment. This amendment provided that "all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved to the states respectively or to the people." Jefferson thought that phrases like "not delegated" and "necessary and proper" should be understood in their ordinary meanings. He now determined to arouse public opinion. He once declared that if he had to choose between having a government and having a newspaper press, he should prefer the newspaper press. He established a newspaper devoted to his principles and began a violent and determined attack on the Federalists, calling them monarchists. These disputes became especially violent in the treatment of the questions which grew out of the French Revolution.
[Sidenote: The French Revolution, 1789.]
209. The French Revolution.—In 1789 the French people rose against their government. In 1792 they imprisoned their king and queen. In 1793 they beheaded them, and set up a republic. The monarchs of Europe made common cause against this spirit of revolution. They made war on the French Republic and began a conflict which soon spread to all parts of the world.
[Sidenote: Effect of the French Revolution on American politics. McMaster, 206-207.]
[Sidenote: Federalists and Republicans.]
210. The French Revolution and American Politics.—Jefferson and his political friends rejoiced at the overthrow of the French monarchy and the setting up of the Republic. It seemed as if American ideas had spread to Europe. Soon Jefferson's followers began to ape the manners of the French revolutionists. They called each other Citizen this and Citizen that. Reports of French victories were received with rejoicing. At Boston an ox, roasted whole, bread, and punch were distributed to the people in the streets, and cakes stamped with the French watchwords, Liberty and Equality, were given to the children. But, while the Republicans were rejoicing over the downfall of the French monarchy, the Federalists were far from being happy. Hamilton had no confidence in government by the people anywhere. Washington, with his aristocratic ideas, did not at all like the way the Republicans were acting. He said little on the subject, but Lady Washington expressed her mind freely and spoke of Jefferson's followers as "filthy Democrats."
[Sidenote: Genet at Charleston.]
[Sidenote: His contest with the government.]
211. Citizen Genet.—The new French government soon sent an agent or minister to the United States. He was the Citizen Genet. He landed at Charleston, South Carolina. He fitted out privateers to prey on British commerce and then set out overland for Philadelphia. Washington had recently made a tour through the South. But even he had not been received with the enthusiasm that greeted Genet. But when Genet reached Philadelphia, and began to confer with Jefferson about getting help from the government, he found little except delay, trouble, and good advice. Jefferson especially tried to warn Genet not to be over confident. But Genet would not listen. He even appealed to the people against Washington, and the people rallied to the defense of the President. Soon another and wiser French minister came to the United States.
[Sidenote: The Treaty of Alliance of 1778.]
[Sidenote: The Neutrality Proclamation, 1793.]
212. The Neutrality Proclamation, 1793.—Washington and his advisers had a very difficult question to settle. For the Treaty of 1778 with France (p. 115) gave to French ships the use of United States ports in war time, and closed those ports to the enemies of France. The treaty might also oblige the United States to make war on Great Britain in order to preserve the French West India Islands to France. It was quite certain, at all events, that if French warships were allowed to use American ports, and British warships were not allowed to do so, Great Britain would speedily make war on the United States. The treaty had been made with the King of France. Could it not be set aside on the ground that there was no longer a French monarchy? Washington at length made up his mind to regard it as suspended, owing to the confusion which existed in France. He therefore issued a Proclamation of Neutrality. In this proclamation he warned all citizens not to aid either of the fighting nations. It was in this way that Washington began the policy of keeping the United States out of European conflicts (p. 224).
[Sidenote: Internal revenue taxes.]
[Sidenote: The Whiskey Rebellion, 1794. McMaster, 203-204.]
213. The Whiskey Insurrection, 1794.—The increasing expenses of the government made new taxes necessary. Among the new taxes was an internal revenue tax on whiskey. It happened that this tax bore heavily on the farmers of western Carolina and western Pennsylvania. The farmers of those regions could not take their grain to the seaboard because the roads were bad and the distance was great. So they made it into whiskey, which could be carried to the seaboard and sold at a profit. The new tax on whiskey would make it more difficult for these western farmers to earn a living and to support their families. They refused to pay it. They fell upon the tax collectors and drove them away. Washington sent commissioners to explain matters to them. But the farmers paid no heed to the commissioners. The President then called out fifteen thousand militia-men and sent them to western Pennsylvania, under the command of Henry Lee, governor of Virginia. The rebellious farmers yielded without fighting. Two of the leaders were convicted of treason. But Washington pardoned them, and the conflict ended there. The new government had shown its strength, and had compelled people to obey the laws. That in itself was a very great thing to have done.
[Sidenote: Relations with Great Britain. McMaster, 207-209; Source-Book, 188-190.]
[Sidenote: Jay's Treaty, 1794.]
214. Jay's Treaty, 1794.—Ever since 1783 there had been trouble with the British. They had not surrendered the posts on the Great Lakes, as the treaty of 1783 required them to do. They had oppressed American commerce. The American states also had broken the treaty by making laws to prevent the collection of debts due to British subjects by American citizens. The Congress of the Confederation had been too weak to compel either the British government or the American states to obey the treaty. But the new government was strong enough to make treaties respected at home and abroad. Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to London to negotiate a new treaty. He found the British government very hard to deal with. At last he made a treaty. But there were many things in it which were not at all favorable to the United States. For instance, it provided that cotton should not be exported from the United States, and that American commerce with the British West Indies should be greatly restricted.
[Sidenote: Contest over ratification of Jay's Treaty, 1795.]
215. Ratification of Jay's Treaty, 1795.—After a long discussion the Senate voted to ratify the treaty without these two clauses. In the House of Representatives there was a fierce debate. For although the House has nothing to do with ratifying treaties, it has a great deal to do with voting money. And money was needed to carry out this treaty. At last the House voted the necessary money. The British surrendered the posts on the Great Lakes, and the debts due to British subjects were paid. Many people were very angry with Jay and with Washington for making this treaty. Stuffed figures of Jay were hanged, and Washington was attacked in the papers as if he had been "a common pickpocket"—to use his own words.
[Sidenote: Treaty with Spain, 1795.]
[Sidenote: Right of deposit.]
216. The Spanish Treaty of 1795.—France and Great Britain were not the only countries with which there was trouble. The Spaniards held posts on the Mississippi, within the limits of the United States and refused to give them up. For a hundred miles the Mississippi flowed through Spanish territory. In those days, before steam railroads connected the Ohio valley with the Eastern seacoast, the farmers of Kentucky and Tennessee sent their goods by boat or raft down the Mississippi to New Orleans. At that city they were placed on sea-going vessels and carried to the markets of the world. The Spaniards refused to let this commerce be carried on. In 1795, however, they agreed to abandon the posts and to permit American goods to be deposited at New Orleans while awaiting shipment by sea-going vessels.
[Sidenote: Washington declines a third term.]
[Sidenote: His Farewell Address.]
217. Washington's Farewell Address.—In 1792 Washington had been reelected President. In 1796 there would be a new election, and Washington declined another nomination. He was disgusted with the tone of public life and detested party politics, and desired to pass the short remainder of his life in quiet at Mt. Vernon. He announced his intention to retire in a Farewell Address, which should be read and studied by every American. In it he declared the Union to be the main pillar of independence, prosperity, and liberty. Public credit must be carefully maintained, and the United States should have as little as possible to do with European affairs. In declining a third term as President, Washington set an example which has ever since been followed.
THE LAST FEDERALIST ADMINISTRATION
[Sidenote: Hamilton's intrigues against Adams.]
[Sidenote: Adams elected, President, 1796.]
218. John Adams elected President, 1796.—In 1796 John Adams was the Federalist candidate for President. His rival was Thomas Jefferson, the founder and chief of the Republican party. Alexander Hamilton was the real leader of the Federalists, and he disliked Adams. Thomas Pinckney was the Federalist candidate for Vice-President. Hamilton suggested a plan which he thought would lead to the election of Pinckney as President instead of Adams. But Hamilton's scheme did not turn out very well. For by it Jefferson was elected Vice-President. Indeed, he came near being President, for he had only three less electoral votes than Adams.
[Sidenote: Relations with France, 1796-97. McMaster, 210-212; Source-Book, 191-194.]
[Sidenote: The French government declines to receive an American minister.]
219. More Trouble with France.—France was now (1796-97) governed by five chiefs of the Revolution, who called themselves "the Directory." They were very angry when they heard of Jay's Treaty (p. 168), for they had hoped that the Americans would make war on the British. James Monroe was then American minister at Paris. Instead of doing all he could to smooth over this difficulty, he urged on the wrath of the Directory. Washington recalled Monroe, and sent in his stead General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina. The Directory promptly refused to receive Pinckney, and ordered him to leave France. News of this action of the Directory reached Philadelphia three days after Adams's inauguration.
[Sidenote: Adams's message, 1797.]
[Sidenote: A commission sent to France, 1797.]
[Sidenote: The X.Y.Z. Affair, 1797-98.]
220. The X.Y.Z. Affair, 1797-98.—Adams at once summoned Congress and addressed the members in stirring words. He denied that the Americans were a "degraded people, humiliated under a colonial sense of fear ... and regardless of national honor, character, and interest." It seemed best, however, to make one more effort to avoid war. Adams therefore sent John Marshall, a Virginia Federalist, and Elbridge Gerry, a Massachusetts Republican, to France. They were to join Pinckney and together were to negotiate with the French Directory. When they reached Paris three men came to see them. These men said that America (1) must apologize for the President's vigorous words, (2) must lend money to France, and (3) must bribe the Directory and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. These outrageous suggestions were emphatically put aside. In sending the papers to Congress, the three men were called Mr. X., Mr. Y., and Mr. Z., so the incident is always known as the "X.Y.Z. Affair."
[Sidenote: Excitement in America.]
221. Indignation in America.—Federalists and Republicans joined in indignation. "Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute," was the cry of the day. French flags were everywhere torn down. "Hail Columbia" was everywhere sung. Adams declared that he would not send another minister to France until he was assured that the representative of the United States would be received as "the representative of a great, free, powerful, and independent state."
[Sidenote: Washington appointed Commander-in-chief. Hamilton and Adams.]
[Sidenote: The navy.]
[Sidenote: Naval warfare, 1798-99. McMaster, 213-214.]
222. War with France, 1797-98.—The organization of a provisional army was now at once begun. Washington accepted the chief command on condition that Hamilton should have the second place. There were already a few vessels in the navy. A Navy Department was now organized. The building of more warships was begun, and merchant vessels were bought and converted into cruisers. French privateers sailed along the American coasts and captured American vessels off the entrances of the principal harbors. But this did not last long. For the American warships drove the privateers to the West Indies and pursued them as they fled southward. Soon the American cruisers began to capture French men-of-war. Captain Truxton, in the Constellation, captured the French frigate L'Insurgent. Many other French vessels were captured, and preparations were made to carry on the naval war even more vigorously when a treaty with France was signed.
[Sidenote: Another commission sent to France.]
[Sidenote: The treaty of 1800.]
223. Treaty with France, 1800.—This vigor convinced the French that they had been hasty in their treatment of the Americans. They now said that if another minister were sent to France, he would be honorably received. Adams wished to send one of the American ministers then in Europe, and thus end the dispute as soon as possible. But the other Federalist leaders thought that it would be better to wait until France sent a minister to the United States. Finally they consented to the appointment of three commissioners. Napoleon Bonaparte was now the ruler of France. He received the commissioners honorably, and a treaty was soon signed. On two points, however, he refused to give way. He declined to pay for American property seized by the French, and he insisted that the treaty of 1778 (pp. 115, 166) was still binding on both countries. It was finally agreed that the Americans should give up their claims for damages, and the French government should permit the treaty to be annulled. John Adams always looked upon this peaceful ending of the dispute with France as the most prudent and successful act of his whole life. But Hamilton and other Federalists thought it was treachery to the party. They set to work to prevent his reelection to the presidency.
[Sidenote: Repressive Laws. McMaster, 211-212.]
[Sidenote: The naturalization act.]
[Sidenote: The alien acts.]
[Sidenote: The Sedition Act.]
224. Alien and Sedition Acts, 1798.—The Federalists, even if they had been united, would probably have been defeated in the election of 1800. For they had misused their power to pass several very foolish laws. The first of these laws was the Naturalization Act. It lengthened the time of residence in the United States from five to fourteen years before a foreign immigrant could gain the right to vote. This law bore very harshly on the Republicans, because most of the immigrants were Republicans. Other laws, called the Alien Acts, were also aimed at the Republican immigrants. These laws gave the President power to compel immigrants to leave the United States, or to live in certain places that he named. The worst law of all was the Sedition Act. This was aimed against the writers and printers of Republican newspapers. It provided that any one who attacked the government in the press should be severely punished as a seditious person. Several trials were held under this law. Every trial made hundreds of persons determined to vote for the Republican candidate at the next election.
[Sidenote: Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions 1798-99. McMaster, 212-213.]
[Sidenote: Jefferson and Madison on the Constitution.]
[Sidenote: The Kentucky Resolutions of 1799.]
225. Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, 1798-99.—In the exciting years before the Revolutionary War the colonial legislatures had passed many resolutions condemning the acts of the British government (see pp. 77, 84). Following this example Jefferson and Madison now brought it about that the Virginia and Kentucky legislatures passed resolutions against the Alien and Sedition Acts. They declared that the Constitution was a compact between the states. It followed from this that any state could determine for itself whether any act of Congress were constitutional or not. It followed from, this, again, that any state could refuse to permit an Act of Congress to be enforced within its limits. In other words, any state could make null or nullify any Act of Congress that it saw fit to oppose. This last conclusion was found only in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1799. But Jefferson wrote to this effect in the original draft of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions called the voter's attention to the Federalist abuse of power and did much to form public opinion.
[Sidenote: Death of Washington, 1799.]
226. Death of Washington, 1799.—In the midst of this excitement George Washington died. People forgot how strongly he had taken the Federalist side in the last few years, and united to do honor to his memory. Henry Lee spoke for the nation when he declared that Washington was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." To this day, we commemorate Washington's birthday as we do that of no other man, though of late years we have begun to keep Lincoln's birthday also.
[Sidenote: Election of 1800. McMaster, 215.]
[Sidenote: Jefferson and Burr.]
[Sidenote: The election in the House of Representatives.]
227. Election of 1800.—It was for a moment only that the noise of party conflict was hushed by the death of America's first President. The strife soon began anew. Indeed, the election of 1800 was fought with a vigor and violence unknown before, and scarcely exceeded since. John Adams was the Federalist candidate, and he was defeated. Jefferson and Burr, the Republican candidates, each received seventy-three electoral votes. But which of them should be President? The Republican voters clearly wished Jefferson to be President. But the Federalists had a majority in the House of Representatives. They had a clear legal right to elect Burr President. But to do that would be to do what was morally wrong. After a useless struggle the Federalists permitted Jefferson to be chosen, and he was inaugurated on March 4, 1801.
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS
Sec.Sec. 192-194.—a. Describe the method of electing President employed at first.
b. Describe Washington's journey to New York and the inaugural ceremonies, and compare them with the inauguration of the last President.
Sec.Sec. 195, 196.—a. In whose hands do appointments to federal offices lie?
b. What was the great difference mentioned in Sec. 196? Why was the difference so great?
Sec.Sec. 197, 198.—a. Why was Washington "stiff and aristocratic"?
b. Would Washington have accepted the title of king? Give the reasons for your answer.
Sec.Sec. 199-202.—a. Give the reasons for the different views expressed in Congress as to customs duties. What are customs duties?
b. Explain how slavery influenced the views of the Southern members.
c. Compare the extent and population of the United States in 1791 with the extent and population to-day.
d. What two new states were admitted in 1791-92? What was their attitude on slavery? What changes would their admission make in Congress?
Sec.Sec. 203, 204.—a. Explain carefully Hamilton's plan. What were its advantages? What is meant by the phrase "public credit"?
b. What is meant by the phrase "assumption of the state debts"?
Sec.Sec. 205, 206.—a. What question arose concerning the site of the national capital? How was it settled? Was this a good way to settle important questions?
b. Why did Hamilton want a Bank of the United States? Was this bank like one of the national banks of to-day?
Sec.Sec. 207, 208.—a. Compare carefully the principles of the Federalists and the Republicans. Which party would you have joined had you lived then? Why? Which ideas prevail to-day?
b. Discuss Jefferson's views as to the value of newspapers.
Sec.Sec. 209-212.—a. Why did the Republicans sympathize with the French Revolution?
b. How was the action of the Republicans regarded by Washington? By Hamilton?
c. Why did Washington issue the Proclamation of Neutrality?
Sec. 213.—a. What is the difference between a tax laid by a tariff on imported goods and an internal revenue tax?
b. How was the rebellion suppressed? Compare this with Shays's Rebellion.
Sec.Sec. 214-216.—a. State the reasons for the trouble with Great Britain. How was the matter settled?
b. Explain the trouble over the traffic on the Mississippi.
c. How was this matter settled?
Sec. 217.—a. Why did Washington decline a third term?
b. What are the important points in his Farewell Address?
c. How far has later history proved the truth of his words?
Sec. 218.—a. How did Hamilton set to work to defeat Adams? Do you think his action justifiable?
b. What was the result of Hamilton's intrigues?
Sec.Sec. 219-221.—a. To what was the refusal to receive Pinckney equivalent? Describe the X. Y. Z. Affair.
b. What is a bribe? How must bribery in political life affect a government?
c. How was the news of this affair received in America? What does this show about the feeling of both parties toward the government?
Sec.Sec. 222, 223.—a. Describe the preparations for war. Why was a Navy Department necessary?
b. Why was France wise to make peace with the United States?
c. How was the matter finally settled?
Sec.Sec. 224, 225.—a. Describe the Naturalization Act.
b. What power did the Alien Act give the President? What danger is there in such power?
c. What is sedition? Compare the Sedition Act with the First Amendment.
d. What were the theories on which the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions were based?
Sec.Sec. 226, 227.—a. What position does Washington hold in our history? Why is it deserved? b. Describe the election of 1800. Why was it fought so bitterly? c. Why should disputes as to elections for President go to the House? d. How was it known that Jefferson's election was the wish of the voters?
a. Write an account of life in the United States about 1790, or life in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Charleston.
b. Prepare a table of the two political parties mentioned, with dates and account of origin. As you go on, note upon this table changes in these parties and the rise of new ones.
c. On an Outline Map color the thirteen original states and then fill in, with dates, new states as they are admitted. Write on each state F. for free or S. for slave, as the case may be.
TOPICS FOR SPECIAL WORK
a. Early life of Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, or Hamilton.
b. Washington's Farewell Address.
In this period we meet two questions, which are still important, tariff legislation and political parties. In connection with the Tariff Act of 1789 (Sec. 200), touch upon the industries of the different sections of the country and explain how local interests affected men's actions. Show how compromise is often necessary in political action.
It is a good plan to use Outline Maps to show the important lines of development, as the gradual drifting apart of the North and the South on the slavery question.
Illustrate by supposed transactions the working of Hamilton's financial measures. By all means do not neglect a study of Washington's Farewell Address. Particular attention should be given to the two views of constitutional interpretation mentioned in Sec. 207, and considerable time should be spent on a study of Sec.Sec. 224 and 225.
THE JEFFERSONIAN REPUBLICANS, 1801-1812
Books for Study and Reading
References.—Higginson's Larger History, 344-365; Scribner's Popular History, IV, 127-184; Schouler's Jefferson.
Home Reading.—Coffin's Building the Nation; Drake's Making the Ohio Valley States; Hale's Man Without a Country and Philip Nolan's Friends.
THE UNITED STATES IN 1800
228. Area and Population, 1800.—The area of the United States in 1800 was the same as at the close of the Revolutionary War. But the population had begun to increase rapidly. In 1791 there were nearly four million people in the United States. By 1800 this number had risen to five and one-quarter millions. Two-thirds of the people still lived on or near tide-water. But already nearly four hundred thousand people lived west of the Alleghanies. In 1791 the centre of population had been east of Baltimore. It was now eighteen miles west of that city (p. 157).
[Sidenote: New York.]
[Sidenote: The new capital.]
229. Cities and Towns in 1800.—Philadelphia was the largest city in the United States. It had a population of seventy thousand. But New York was not far behind Philadelphia in population. Except these two, no city in the whole United States had more than thirty thousand inhabitants. The seat of government had been removed from Philadelphia to Washington. But the new capital was a city only in name. One broad long street, Pennsylvania Avenue, led from the unfinished Capitol to the unfinished White House. Congress held its sessions in a temporary wooden building. The White House could be lived in. But Mrs. Adams found the unfinished reception room very convenient for drying clothes on rainy Mondays. A few cheaply built and very uncomfortable boarding-houses completed the city.
[Sidenote: Roads, coaches, and inns.]
[Sidenote: Traveling by water.]
230. Traveling in 1800.—The traveler in those days had a very hard time. On the best roads of the north, in the best coach, and with the best weather one might cover as many as forty miles a day. But the traveler had to start very early in the morning to do this. Generally he thought himself fortunate if he made twenty-five miles in the twenty-four hours. South of the Potomac there were no public coaches, and the traveler generally rode on horseback. A few rich men like Washington rode in their own coaches. Everywhere, north and south, the inns were uncomfortable and the food was poor. Whenever it was possible the traveler went by water. But that was dangerous work. Lighthouses were far apart, there were no public buoys to guide the mariner, and almost nothing had been done to improve navigation.
[Sidenote: The first steamboat]
[Sidenote: Fulton's steamboat, 1807. Higginson, 241-242.]
231. The Steamboat.—The steamboat came to change all this. While Washington was still President, a queer-looking boat sailed up and down the Delaware. She was propelled by oars or paddles which were worked by steam. This boat must have been very uncomfortable, and few persons wished to go on her. Robert Fulton made the first successful steamboat. She was named the Clermont and was launched in 1807. She had paddle wheels and steamed against the wind and tide of the Hudson River. At first some people thought that she was bewitched. But when it was found that she ran safely and regularly, people began to travel on her. Before a great while steamboats appeared in all parts of the country.
[Sidenote: Western pioneers.]
[Sidenote: Settlements on the Ohio. Eggleston, 232-234; Higginson, 243.]
232. Making of the West.—Even before the Revolutionary War explorers and settlers had crossed the Alleghany Mountains. In Washington's time pioneers, leaving Pittsburg, floated down the Ohio River in flatboats. Some of these settled Cincinnati. Others went farther down the river to Louisville, in Kentucky, and still others founded Wheeling and Marietta. In 1811 the first steamboat appeared on the Western rivers. The whole problem of living in the West rapidly changed. For the steamboat could go up stream as well as down stream. Communication between the new settlements, and New Orleans and Pittsburg, was now much safer and very much easier.
[Sidenote: Cotton growing.]
[Sidenote: Beginning of exportation, 1784.]
233. Cotton Growing in the South.—Cotton had been grown in the South for many years. It had been made on the plantations into a rough cloth. Very little had been sent away. The reason for this was that it took a very long time to separate the cotton fiber from the seed. One slave working for a whole day could hardly clean more than a pound of cotton. Still as time went on more cotton was grown. In 1784 a few bags of cotton were sent to England. The Englishmen promptly seized it because they did not believe that so much cotton could be grown in America. In 1791 nearly two hundred thousand pounds of cotton were exported from the South. Then came Whitney's great invention, which entirely changed the whole history of the country.
[Sidenote: Eli Whitney.]
[Sidenote: His cotton gin, 1793. McMaster, 195-196.]
234. Whitney's Cotton Gin, 1793.—Eli Whitney was a Connecticut schoolmaster. He went to Georgia to teach General Greene's children. He was very ingenious, and one day Mrs. Greene suggested to him that he might make a machine which would separate the cotton fiber from the cotton seed. Whitney set to work and soon made an engine or gin, as he called it, that would do this. The first machine was a rude affair. But even with it one slave could clean one hundred pounds of cotton in a day. Mrs. Greene's neighbors promptly broke into Whitney's shop and stole his machine. Whitney's cotton gin made the growing of cotton profitable and so fastened slavery on the South. With the exception of the steam locomotive (p. 241) and the reaper (p. 260), no invention has so tremendously influenced the history of the United States.
[Sidenote: Early manufactures.]
235. Colonial Manufactures.—Before the Revolutionary War there were very few mills or factories in the colonies. There was no money to put into such undertakings and no operatives to work the mills if they had been built. The only colonial manufactures that amounted to much were the making of nails and shoes. These articles could be made at home on the farms, in the winter, when no work could be done out of doors.
[Sidenote: New manufactures established.]
[Sidenote: Invention of cotton spinning machinery.]
236. Growth of Manufactures, 1789-1800.—As soon as the new government with its wide powers was established, manufacturing started into life. Old mills were set to work. While the Revolution had been going on in America, great improvements in the spinning of yarn and the weaving of cloth had been made in England. Parliament made laws to prevent the export from England of machinery or patterns of machinery. But it could not prevent Englishmen from coming to America. Among the recent immigrants to the United States was Samuel Slater. He brought no patterns with him. But he was familiar with the new methods of spinning. He soon built spinning machinery. New cotton mills were now set up in several places. But it was some time before the new weaving machinery was introduced into America.
[Sidenote: Jefferson's political ideas. Higginson 239; McMaster, 216.]
[Sidenote: Republican simplicity.]
237. President Jefferson.—Thomas Jefferson was a Republican. He believed in the republican form of government. He believed the wisdom of the people to be the best guide. He wished the President to be simple and cordial in his relations with his fellow-citizens. Adams had ridden to his inauguration in a coach drawn by six cream-colored horses. Jefferson walked with a few friends from his boarding house to the Capitol. Washington and Adams had gone in state to Congress and had opened the session with a speech. Jefferson sent a written message to Congress by a messenger. Instead of bowing stiffly to those who came to see him, he shook hands with them and tried to make them feel at ease in his presence.
[Sidenote: Proscription of Republicans by the Federalists.]
[Sidenote: Adams's midnight appointments.]
238. The Civil Service.—One of the first matters to take Jefferson's attention was the condition of the civil service. There was not a Republican office-holder in the government service. Washington, in the last years of his presidency, and Adams also had given office only to Federalists. Jefferson thought it was absolutely necessary to have some officials upon whom he could rely. So he removed a few Federalist officeholders and appointed Republicans to their places. Adams had even gone so far as to appoint officers up to midnight of his last day in office. Indeed, John Marshall, his Secretary of State, was busy signing commissions when Jefferson's Attorney General walked in with his watch in hand and told Marshall that it was twelve o'clock. Jefferson and Madison, the new Secretary of State, refused to deliver these commissions even when Marshall as Chief Justice ordered Madison to deliver them.
[Sidenote: The Judiciary Act, 1801.]
[Sidenote: Repealed by Republicans]
[Sidenote: Jefferson and appointments.]
239. The Judiciary Act of 1801.—One of the last laws made by the Federalists was the Judiciary Act of 1801. This law greatly enlarged the national judiciary, and Adams eagerly seized the opportunity to appoint his friends to the new offices. The Republican Congress now repealed this Judiciary Act and "legislated out of office" all the new judges. For it must be remembered that the Constitution makes only the members of the Supreme Court sure of their offices. Congress also got rid of many other Federalist officeholders by repealing the Internal Revenue Act (p. 167). But while all this was done, Jefferson steadily refused to appoint men to office merely because they were Republicans. One man claimed an office on the ground that he was a Republican, and that the Republicans were the saviors of the republic. Jefferson replied that Rome had been saved by geese, but he had never heard that the geese were given offices.
"Honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none, ... economy in the public expense, the honest payment of our debts, and sacred preservation of the public faith."—Jefferson's First Inaugural.
[Sidenote: Expenses diminished.]
[Sidenote: Internal taxes repealed.]
[Sidenote: Army and navy reduced.]
[Sidenote: Part of the debt paid. McMaster, 217-218.]
240. Paying the National Debt.—Jefferson was especially anxious to cut down the expenses of the government and to pay as much as possible of the national debt. Madison and Gallatin worked heartily with him to carry out this policy. The repeal of the Internal Revenue Act took much revenue from the government. But it also did away with the salaries of a great many officials. The repeal of the Judiciary Act also put an end to many salaries. Now that the dispute with France was ended, Jefferson thought that the army and navy might safely be reduced. Most of the naval vessels were sold. A few good ships were kept at sea, and the rest were tied up at the wharves. The number of ministers to European states was reduced to the lowest possible limit, and the civil service at home was also cut down. The expenses of the government were in these ways greatly lessened. At the same time the revenue from the customs service increased. The result was that in the eight years of Jefferson's administrations the national debt shrank from eighty-three million dollars to forty-five million dollars. Yet in the same time the United States paid fifteen million dollars for Louisiana, and waged a series of successful and costly wars with the pirates of the northern coast of Africa.
[Sidenote: The Spaniards in Louisiana and Florida. McMaster, 218-219.]
[Sidenote: France secures Louisiana.]
241. Louisiana again a French Colony.—Spanish territory now bounded the United States on the south and the west. The Spaniards were not good neighbors, because it was very hard to make them come to an agreement, and next to impossible to make them keep an agreement when it was made. But this did not matter very much, because Spain was a weak power and was growing weaker every year. Sooner or later the United States would gain its point. Suddenly, however, it was announced that France had got back Louisiana. And almost at the same moment the Spanish governor of Louisiana said that Americans could no longer deposit their goods at New Orleans (p. 170). At once there was a great outcry in the West. Jefferson determined to buy from France New Orleans and the land eastward from the mouth of the Mississippi.
[Sidenote: Napoleon's policy.]
[Sidenote: He offers to sell Louisiana.]
242. The Louisiana Purchase, 1803.—When Napoleon got Louisiana from Spain, he had an idea of again founding a great French colony in America. At the moment France and Great Britain were at peace. But it soon looked as if war would begin again. Napoleon knew that the British would at once seize Louisiana and he could not keep it anyway. So one day, when the Americans and the French were talking about the purchase of New Orleans, the French minister suddenly asked if the United States would not like to buy the whole of Louisiana. Monroe and Livingston, the American ministers, had no authority to buy Louisiana. But the purchase of the whole colony would be a great benefit to the United States. So they quickly agreed to pay fifteen million dollars for the whole of Louisiana.
[Sidenote: Louisiana purchased, 1803. Higginson, 244-245; Eggleston, 234; Source-Book, 200-202.]
[Sidenote: Importance of the purchase.]
243. The Treaty Ratified.—Jefferson found himself in a strange position. The Constitution nowhere delegated to the United States power to acquire territory (p. 164). But after thinking it over Jefferson felt sure that the people would approve of the purchase. The treaty was ratified. The money was paid. This purchase turned out to be a most fortunate thing. It gave to the United States the whole western valley of the Mississippi. It also gave to Americans the opportunity to explore and settle Oregon, which lay beyond the limits of Louisiana.
[Sidenote: Lewis and Clark, 1804-6. Higginson, 245-247; McMaster, 219-221;Source-Book, 206-209.]
[Sidenote: The mouth of the Oregon.]
244. Lewis and Clark's Explorations.—Jefferson soon sent out several expeditions to explore the unknown portions of the continent. The most important of these was the expedition led by two army officers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, brother of General George Rogers Clark (p. 116). Leaving St. Louis they slowly ascended the muddy Missouri. They passed the site of the present city of Omaha. They passed the Council Bluffs. The current of the river now became so rapid that the explorers left their boats and traveled along the river's bank. They gained the sources of the Missouri, and came to a westward-flowing river. On, on they followed it until they came to the river's mouth. A fog hung low over the water. Suddenly it lifted. There before the explorers' eyes the river "in waves like small mountains rolled out in the ocean." They had traced the Columbia River from its upper course to the Pacific. Captain Gray in the Boston ship Columbia had already entered the mouth of the river. But Lewis and Clark were the first white men to reach it overland.
[Sidenote: Amendment as to the election of President.]
[Sidenote: The Twelfth Amendment, 1804.]
245. The Twelfth Amendment, 1804.—Four presidential elections had now been held under the method provided by the Constitution. And that method had not worked well (pp. 171, 176). It was now (1804) changed by the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment which is still in force. The old machinery of presidential electors was kept. But it was provided that in the future each elector should vote for President and for Vice-President on separate and distinct ballots. The voters had no more part in the election under the new system than they had had under the old system. The old method of apportioning electors among the states was also kept. This gives to each state as many electors as it has Senators and Representatives in Congress. No matter how small its territory, or how small its population, a state has at least two Senators and one Representative, and, therefore, three electors. The result is that each voter in a small state has more influence in choosing the President than each voter in a large state. Indeed, several Presidents have been elected by minorities of the voters of the country as a whole.
[Sidenote: Jefferson reelected, 1804.]
[Sidenote: Strength of the Republicans.]
246. Reelection of Jefferson, 1804.—Jefferson's first administration had been most successful. The Republicans had repealed many unpopular laws. By the purchase of Louisiana the area of the United States had been doubled and an end put to the dispute as to the navigation of the Mississippi. The expenses of the national government had been cut down, and a portion of the national debt had been paid. The people were prosperous and happy. Under these circumstances Jefferson was triumphantly reelected. He received one hundred and sixty-two electoral votes to only fourteen for his Federalist rival.
CAUSES OF THE WAR OF 1812
[Sidenote: The African pirates. Higginson, 237-239; Eggleston, 228-229.]
[Sidenote: Tribute paying.]
[Sidenote: Jefferson ends this system.]
[Sidenote: Hero Tales, 103-113.]
247. The North Africa Pirates.—Stretching along the northern shores of Africa from Egypt westward to the Atlantic were four states. These states were named Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers, and Morocco. Their people were Mohammedans, and were ruled over by persons called Deys or Beys, or Pachas. These rulers found it profitable and pleasant to attack and capture Christian ships. The cargoes of the captured vessels they sold at good prices, and the seamen and passengers they sold at good prices too—as slaves. The leading powers of Europe, instead of destroying these pirates, found it easier to pay them to let their ships alone. Washington and Adams also paid them to allow American ships to sail unharmed. But the pirates were never satisfied with what was paid them. Jefferson decided to put an end to this tribute paying. He sent a few ships to seize the pirates and shut up their harbors. More and more vessels were sent, until at last the Deys and Beys and Pachas thought it would be cheaper to behave themselves properly. So they agreed to release their American prisoners and not to capture any more American ships (1805). In these little wars American naval officers gained much useful experience and did many glorious deeds. Especially Decatur and Somers won renown.
[Sidenote: European fighters attack American commerce. McMaster, 224-226.]
248. America, Britain, and France.—Napoleon Bonaparte was now Emperor of the French. In 1804 he made war on the British and their allies. Soon he became supreme on the land, and the British became supreme on the water. They could no longer fight one another very easily, so they determined to injure each other's trade and commerce as much as possible. The British declared continental ports closed to commerce, and Napoleon declared all British commerce to be unlawful. Of course under these circumstances British and Continental ships could not carry on trade, and American vessels rapidly took their places. The British shipowners called upon their government to put an end to this American commerce. Old laws were looked up and enforced. American vessels that disobeyed them were seized by the British. But if any American vessel obeyed these laws, Napoleon seized it as soon as it entered a French harbor.
[Sidenote: Impressment. Eggleston, 240.]
249. The Impressment Controversy.—With the British the United States had still another cause of complaint. British warships stopped American vessels and took away all their seamen who looked like Englishmen. These they compelled to serve on British men-of-war. As Americans and Englishmen looked very much alike, they generally seized all the best-looking seamen. Thousands of Americans were captured in this way and forced into slavery on British men-of-war. This method of kidnaping was called impressment.
[Sidenote: The embargo, 1807. Eggleston, 241; McMaster, 226-227, 228.]
[Sidenote: Failure of the embargo. Source-Book, 209-211.]
250. The Embargo, 1807-1809.—Jefferson hardly knew what to do. He might declare war on both Great Britain and on France. But to do that would surely put a speedy end to all American commerce. In the old days, before the Revolutionary War, the colonists had more than once brought the British to terms by refusing to buy their goods (pp. 84, 85). Jefferson now thought that if the people of the United States should refuse to trade with the British and the French, the governments both of Great Britain and of France would be forced to treat American commerce properly. Congress therefore passed an Embargo Act. This forbade vessels to leave American ports after a certain day. If the people had been united, the embargo might have done what Jefferson expected it would do. But the people were not united. Especially in New England, the shipowners tried in every way to break the law. This led to the passing of stricter laws. Finally the New Englanders even talked of seceding from the Union.
[Sidenote: Outrage on the Chesapeake, 1807. McMaster, 227.]
251. The Outrage on the Chesapeake, 1807.—The British now added to the anger of the Americans by impressing seamen from the decks of an American warship. The frigate Chesapeake left the Norfolk navy yard for a cruise. At once the British vessel Leopard sailed toward her and ordered her to stop. As the Chesapeake did not stop, the Leopard fired on her. The American frigate was just setting out, and everything was in confusion on her decks. But a coal was brought from the cook's stove, and one gun was fired. Her flag was then hauled down. The British came on board and seized four seamen, who they said were deserters from the British navy. This outrage aroused tremendous excitement. Jefferson ordered all British warships out of American waters and forbade the people to supply them with provisions, water, or wood. The British offered to restore the imprisoned seamen and ordered out of American waters the admiral under whose direction the outrage had been done. But they would not give up impressment.
[Sidenote: Madison elected President, 1808.]
252. Madison elected President, 1808.—There is nothing in the Constitution to limit the number of times a man may be chosen President. Many persons would gladly have voted a third time for Jefferson. But he thought that unless some limit were set, the people might keep on reelecting a popular and successful President term after term. This would be very dangerous to the republican form of government. So Jefferson followed Washington's example and declined a third term, Washington and Jefferson thus established a custom that has ever since been followed. The Republicans voted for James Madison, and he was elected President (1808).
[Sidenote: Non-Intercourse Act, 1809.]
253. The Non-Intercourse Act, 1809.—By this time the embargo had become so very unpopular that it could be maintained only at the cost of civil war. Madison suggested that the Embargo Act should be repealed, and a Non-Intercourse Act passed in its place. Congress at once did as he suggested. The Non-Intercourse Act prohibited commerce with Great Britain and with France and the countries controlled by France. It permitted commerce with the rest of the world. There were not many European countries with which America could trade under this law. Still there were a few countries, as Norway and Spain, which still maintained their independence. And goods could be sold through them to the other European countries. At all events, no sooner was the embargo removed than commerce revived. Rates of freight were very high and the profits were very large, although the French and the British captured many American vessels.
[Sidenote: The Erskine treaty.]
[Sidenote: The British minister Jackson. Source-Book, 212-213]
254. Two British Ministers.—Soon after Madison's inauguration a new British minister came to Washington. His name was Erskine, and he was very friendly. A treaty was speedily made on conditions which Madison thought could be granted. He suspended non-intercourse with Great Britain, and hundreds of vessels set sail for that country. But the British rulers soon put an end to this friendly feeling. They said that Erskine had no authority to make such a treaty. They refused to carry it out and recalled Erskine. The next British minister was a person named Jackson. He accused Madison of cheating Erskine and repeated the accusation. Thereupon Madison sent him back to London. As the British would not carry out the terms of Erskine's treaty, Madison was compelled to prohibit all intercourse with Great Britain.
[Sidenote: Still another policy. McMaster, 229-230.]
[Sidenote: French trickery.]
[Sidenote: British trickery.]
255. British and French Trickery.—The scheme of non-intercourse did not seem to bring the British and the French to terms much better than the embargo had done. In 1810, therefore, Congress set to work and produced a third plan. This was to allow intercourse with both Great Britain and France. But this was coupled with the promise that if one of the two nations stopped seizing American ships and the other did not, then intercourse with the unfriendly country should be prohibited. Napoleon at once said that he would stop seizing American vessels on November 1 of that year if the British, on their part, would stop their seizures before that time. The British said that they would stop seizing when Napoleon did. Neither of them really did anything except to keep on capturing American vessels whenever they could get a chance.
[Sidenote: Indians of the Northwest. Eggleston, 242.]
256. Indian Troubles, 1810.—To this everlasting trouble with Great Britain and France were now added the horrors of an Indian war. It came about in this way. Settlers were pressing into Indiana Territory west of the new state of Ohio. Soon the lands which the United States had bought of the Indians would be occupied. New lands must be bought. At this time there were two able Indian leaders in the Northwest. These were Tecumthe, or Tecumseh, and his brother, who was known as "the Prophet." These chiefs set on foot a great Indian confederation. They said that no one Indian tribe should sell land to the United States without the consent of all the tribes of the Confederation.
[Sidenote: Battle of Tippecanoe, 1811.]
257. Battle of Tippecanoe.—This determined attitude of the Indians seemed to the American leaders to be very dangerous. Governor William Henry Harrison of Indiana Territory gathered a small army of regular soldiers and volunteers from Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. He marched to the Indian settlements. The Indians attacked him at Tippecanoe. He beat them off and, attacking in his turn, routed them. Tecumthe was not at the battle. But he immediately fled to the British in Canada. The Americans had suspected that the British were stirring up the Indians to resist the United States. The reception given to Tecumthe made them feel that their suspicions were correct.
[Sidenote: Henry Clay.]
[Sidenote: John C. Calhoun.]
258. The War Party in Congress.—There were abundant reasons to justify war with Great Britain, or with France, or with both of them. But there would probably have been no war with either of them had it not been for a few energetic young men in Congress. The leaders of this war party were Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun. Clay was born in Virginia, but as a boy he had gone to Kentucky. He represented the spirit of the young and growing West. He was a true patriot and felt angry at the way the British spoke of America and Americans, and at the way they acted toward the United States. He was a very popular man and won men to him by his attractive qualities and by his energy. Calhoun was a South Carolinian who had been educated in Connecticut. He was a man of the highest personal character. He had a strong, active mind, and he was fearless in debate. As with Clay so with Calhoun, they both felt the rising spirit of nationality. They thought that the United States had been patient long enough. They and their friends gained a majority in Congress and forced Madison to send a warlike message to Congress.
[Sidenote: Madison's war message, 1812. McMaster>, 231; Source-Book, 214-216.]
259. Madison's Reasons for War, 1812.—In his message Madison stated the grounds for complaint against the British as follows: (1) they impressed American seamen; (2) they disturbed American commerce by stationing warships off the principal ports; they refused to permit trade between America and Europe; (4) they stirred up the western Indians to attack the settlers; (5) they were really making war on the United States while the United States was at peace with them. For these reasons Madison advised a declaration of war against Great Britain, and war was declared.
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS
Sec.Sec. 228, 229.—a. Draw a map showing the states and territories in 1800.
b. How and why had the center of population changed since 1791? Where is it now?
c. Why did so many people live near tide water? Do the same reasons exist to-day?
Sec.Sec. 230-232.—a. What were the "best roads" in 1800?
b. Describe the dangers and discomforts of traveling in 1800.
c. What were the early steamboats like?
Sec.Sec. 233, 234.—a. What fact hindered the growth of cotton on a large scale in colonial times?
b. How did Whitney's cotton gin change these conditions?
Sec.Sec. 235, 236.—a. Why had manufacturing received so little attention before the Revolution?
b. How did the new government encourage manufacturing?
Sec. 237.—a. How did Jefferson's inauguration illustrate his political ideas?
b. Compare his method of opening Congress with that employed by Washington and Adams. Which method is followed to-day?
Sec.Sec. 238.—a. What is the Civil Service? How had Washington and Adams filled offices? Was their action wise?
Sec.Sec. 239.—a. Explain the Judiciary Act of 1801.
b. What power has Congress over the Judiciary? (Constitution, Art. III).
Sec.Sec. 240.—a. What was Jefferson's policy toward expenses? How did he carry it out? What was the result of these economies?