Chapter 10: “Launching of the New Ship of State”
~ 1789 – 1800 ~
I.A New Ship on an Uncertain Sea
1.In 1789, the new U.S. Constitution was launched, and population was doubling every twenty years. a.America’s population was still 90% rural, with 5% west of the Appalachians. b.Vermont became the 14th state in 1791, and Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio (states where trans-Appalachian overflow was concentrated) became states soon after. c.Visitors looked down upon the crude, rough pioneers, and these western people were restive and dubiously loyal at best. 2.In the twelve years after American independence, laws had been broken and a constitution had been completely scrapped and replaced with a new one, something that was not best of government 3.America was also heavily in debt, and paper money was worthless, but meanwhile, restless monarchs watched to see if the U.S. could succeed in setting up a republic while facing such overwhelming odds. II.Washington’s Profederalist Regime
1.At 6’2”, 175 pounds, broad and sloping shoulders, a strongly pointed chin and pockmarks from Smallpox, George Washington was an imposing figure, which helped in his getting unanimously drafted as president by the Electoral College in 1789. 2.His long journey from Mt. Vernon to New York (capital at the time) was a triumphant procession filled with cheering crowds and roaring festivities, and he took his oath of office on April 30, 1789, on a balcony overlooking Wall Street. 3.Washington established a diverse cabinet (which was not necessary, Constitution-wise). a.Secretary of State: Thomas Jefferson
b.Secretary of the Treasury: Alexander Hamilton
c.Secretary of War: Henry Knox
III.The Bill of Rights
1.Many states had ratified the Constitution on the condition that there would be a Bill of Rights, and many antifederalists had criticized the Constitution for its lack of a Bill. 2.The necessary number of states adopted it in 1791.
a.Amendment I: Freedom of religion, speech or press, assembly, and petition. b.Amendment II: Right to bear arms (for militia).
c.Amendment III: Soldiers can’t be housed in civilian homes during peacetime. d.Amendment IV: No unreasonable searches; all searches require warrants. e.Amendment V: Right to refuse to speak during a civil trial; Double Jeopardy. f.Amendment VI: Right to a speedy and public trial.
g.Amendment VII: Right to trial by jury when the sum exceeds $20. h.Amendment VIII: No excessive bails and/or fines.
i.Amendment IX: Other rights not enumerated are also in effect. j.Amendment X: Non-federal powers belong to the state.
3.The Judiciary Act o f 1789 created effective federal courts. 4.John Jay became the first chief justice of the United States IV.Hamilton Revives the Corpse of Public Credit
1.Born in the British West Indies, his loyalty to the U.S. was often questioned, even though he claimed he loved his adopted country more than his native country. 2.He urged the federal government to assume its debts ($54 million) and try to pay them off at face value, PLUS interest, as well as assume the debts of the states ($21.5 million). a.Massachusetts had a huge debt, but Virginia didn’t, so there needed some haggling. This was because Virginia felt it unfair that all debts were to be assumed, instead of just a set amount. Essentially, its rival states would be at the same level as it even though they had obtained larger debts. b.Virginia would have the District of Columbia built on its land (therefore gaining prestige) in return for letting the government assume all the states’ debts. 3.The “Funding at Par” would gain the support of the rich to the federal government, not the states. V.Customs Duties and Excise Taxes.
1.With the national debt at a huge $75 million, Alexander Hamilton was strangely unworried. 2.He used the debt as an asset: the more people the government owed money to, the more people who would care about what would happen...