Washington, Adams, Jefferson Notes

  1. Washington’s Presidency
    1. Takes office April 30, 1789
    2. Solving problems of a new nation
      1. Washington’s title
        1. “Your Excellency”, other titles like officials have in other countries?
          1. This would make the president seem somewhat like a King
        2. Decided on “Mr. President”
          1. A position of distinction, but the president is not greater than others
      2. Creating a cabinet
        1. Constitution makes no official order to the cabinet, but executive branch needed offices
        2. Congress approved three offices and their appointments
          1. Secretary of State- Thomas Jefferson
          2. Secretary of War- Henry Knox
          3. Secretary of Treasury- Alexander Hamilton
      3. National Debt
        1. Country was still in massive financial debt from the end of the war
        2. In 1791, congress made an excise tax
          1. A tax on luxury goods; ie. whiskey, carriages
          2. Whiskey Rebellion
            1. W. Appalachian farmers were upset because of their large production of whiskey
              1. Drives up prices and becomes too expensive to sell
            2. Congress lowers tax in 1793
            3. By 1794, W. PA farmers rebel and refuse to pay taxes and taunt tax collectors
            4. Washington personally marches on them with 13,000 militia
              1. Hamilton recommended
              2. Jefferson thought this was an abuse of personal liberty
        3. Hamilton’s Financial Plan
          1. US owed 3 major debts: foreign debts to France for the war, state debts from financing the war, and war bonds owed to citizens
          2. Wanted to make good on all debts, so that the Fed. Gov’t was financially attractive
            1. Encourage investors and businessmen to take stake in the economy
          3. National Bank
            1. Could be used as capital for governments expenses
            2. James Madison and Jefferson extremely opposed
              1. Argued that it was unconstitutional
            3. Ultimately congress approved the bank for a limited 20 yr period
    3. Foreign Policy
      1. Neutrality
        1. The US no longer had a standing army because of money, leaving them very weak
        2. US is surrounded by Spanish, French, and British territories
        3. During French Revolution they declared war on Britain
          1. Expecting that the US would assist them
          2. To do so would destroy relations with GB
          3. Washington decides to remain neutral and not to assist either side
    4. Farewell Address
      1. Washington decided not to run after his second term
        1. Starting a precedent for presidents to only hold office for two terms
      2. 2 warnings
        1. Foreign conflict- warned that US should not interfere in other nations’ conflicts
        2. Political Parties- will lead to the destruction of the democratic system
  2. Adams Presidency
    1. Federalist leader
      1. Narrowly defeated Jefferson (Republican), becomes VP
      2. Alien Sedition Acts
        1. Created to limit voting power of Republicans
        2. Lengthened time to become citizen from 5-14 yrs
        3. Jail or deport aliens suspected of activities that threatened gov’t
          1. Never enforced
        4. Arrest people for encouraging rebellion, or writing false or scandalous material against the gov’t
      3. The Jay Treaty
        1. Britain and France at war with each other
        2. British seize US trade ships to France and impress sailors
          1. Impress- force to serve in military
        3. John Jay makes treaty with Britain to cease impressment
        4. French see as an act of war against them and begin seizing US ships
      4. XYZ Affair
        1. To establish peace with France, US sent delegates to treaty with France
        2. France responded by sending 3 men; X,Y, and Z to convince Adams to pay a tribute to France
        3. Millions for Defense, not one cent for tribute
          1. Instead Adams invested in the formation of the Navy to seize French ships and stop impressment
          2. People liked this response, but Adams knew it was not a lasting solution
      5. Making peace and losing elections
        1. Sent delegates to create peace treaty
        2. Napoleon wanted peace with England and France
        3. Signed treaty in 1800, stopped seizing ships, but did not pay costs
        4. Lost Adams popularity in upcoming election
  3. Jefferson Presidency
    1. Foreign Affairs
      1. Impressment
  1. British and French continued to impress sailors
    1. British argued they contained British deserters
  2. In 1807 British fired on US ship for refused to allow boarding
  3. After failed negotiation; Us formed Embargo Act 1807
    1. US no longer traded with any foreign countries
    2. Harmed US economy, repealed in 1809
  4. Piracy in Mediterranean
    1. Barbary States in N. Africa
      1. Paid off by Washington and Adams
      2. Jefferson refused to pay tribute and went to war with Tripoli in 1801
      3. After a series of US victories, Tripoli agreed to Treaty
        1. US paid $60k and Tripoli ceased piracy against US
  1. Louisiana Purchase
    1. Farmers W. of the Appalachians us Mississippi R. to transport goods
      1. US didn’t control New Orleans
      2. Worried that Napoleon would close the port to US
    2. Monroe’s Noble Bargain
      1. In 1803 Jefferson sent Monroe to France to negotiate purchase of New Orleans for $7.5 mil
      2. France recently lost land in Caribbean, and busy with war against England
        1. Decided to sell all of Louisiana rather than lose it to British for $15 mil (2-3 cents per acre)
    3. Criticism
      1. More land is harder to govern, too expensive, unconstitutional
    4. Ratified late in 1803
    5. Lewis and Clark sent in 1804 to explore territory
  2. Lewis and Clark
    1. 3 objectives
      1. Make friendly contact with natives
      2. Find the NW passage
      3. Gain info about the land the US bought
    2. Journey
      1. Leave from St. Louis. Missouri in May 1804 with 45 members
        1. Upriver into indian territory by the end of summer
      2. While in N. Dakota they met Sacagawea and her husband who agreed to accompany along the way as a translator
      3. Left again in spring 1805
        1. Traveled as far as possible along the Missouri R.
        2. Needed to cross the Rockies before the winter blocked the route
          1. Met Shoshone indians who gave them horses
          2. After nearly starving to death, encountered the Nez Perce who sheltered and fed them
      4. Arrived at the Pacific Dec. 3, 1805
      5. Returned to St. Louis by September 1806
        1. Round trip of 8,000 mi.
        2. Mapped the whole route
        3. Made good impressions on western natives