Launching the New Ship of State, 1789–1800
PART I: Reviewing the Chapter
A. Checklist of Learning Objectives
After mastering this chapter, you should be able to:
[ 1 ].State why George Washington was pivotal to inaugurating the new federal government. [ 2 ].Describe the methods and policies Alexander Hamilton used to put the federal government on a sound financial footing. [ 3 ].Explain how the conflict between Hamilton and Jefferson led to the emergence of the first political parties. [ 4 ].Describe the polarizing effects of the French Revolution on American foreign and domestic policy and politics from 1790 to 1800. [ 5 ].Explain the rationale for Washington’s neutrality policies, including the conciliatory Jay’s Treaty and why the treaty provoked Jeffersonian outrage. [ 6 ].Describe the causes of the undeclared war with France, and explain Adams’s decision to seek peace rather than declare war. [ 7 ].Describe the poisonous political atmosphere that produced the Alien and Sedition Acts and the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions. [ 8 ].Describe the contrasting membership and principles of the Hamiltonian Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans, and how they laid the foundations of the American political party system. B. Glossary
To build your social science vocabulary, familiarize yourself with the following terms. [ 1 ].census An official count of population; in the United States, the federal census occurs every ten years. “. . . the first official census of 1790 recorded almost 4 million people.” [ 2 ].public debt The money owed by a government to individual or institutional creditors, also called the national debt. “. . . the public debt, with interest heavily in arrears, was mountainous.” [ 3 ].cabinet The body of official advisers to the head of a government; in the United States, it consists of the heads of the major executive departments as designated by Congress. “The Constitution does not mention a cabinet. . . .” [ 4 ].circuit court A court that hears cases in several designated locations rather than a single place; originally, in the United States, the higher courts of appeals were all circuit courts, and are still designated as such even though they no longer migrate. “The act organized . . . federal district and circuit courts. . . .” [ 5 ].fiscal Concerning public finances—expenditures and revenues. “His plan was to shape the fiscal policies of the administration. . . .” [ 6 ].assumption In finance, the appropriation or taking on of monetary obligations not originally one’s own. “The secretary made a convincing case for ‘assumption.’ ” [ 7 ].excise A tax on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of certain products. “Hamilton . . . secured from Congress an excise tax on a few domestic items, notably whiskey.” [ 8 ].stock The shares of capital ownership gained from investing in a corporate enterprise; the term also refers to the certificates representing such shares. “Stock was thrown open to public sale.” [ 9 ].medium of exchange Any item, metallic, paper, or otherwise, used as money. “They regarded [whiskey] as a . . . medium of exchange.” [ 10 ].despotism Arbitrary or tyrannical rule. “The American people, loving liberty and deploring despotism, cheered.” [ 11 ].impress To force people or property into public service without choice; to conscript. “They . . . impressed scores of seamen into service on British vessels. . . .” [ 12 ].assimilation The merging of diverse cultures or peoples into one; especially, the merging of a smaller or minority community into a larger one. “The drastic new law violated the traditional American policy of open-door hospitality and speedy assimilation.” [ 13 ].witch-hunt An investigation carried on with much publicity, supposedly to uncover dangerous activity but actually intended to weaken the political opposition by presuming guilt from the outset. “Anti-French hysteria played directly into the hands of...