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Apush Dbq - 1

By shaina8793 Apr 25, 2010 1324 Words
Shaina Fober

Although political divisions first emerged over domestic issues, they deepened

during a series of crises over foreign policy that reopened the troublesome issue of

America’s relationship with Great Britain. Domestic and foreign policy were, however,

never entirely separate, since decisions in one area frequently carried implications for the

other. Foreign and domestic policy (1789-1803) spans from the foreign affairs of

Washington, to Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase. Between these times is the Election of

1796, Adams’s administration, concerning a variety of perspectives of historical figures

on financial policies and foreign countries, such as the Alien Act and Louisiana Purchase

Treaty, were all in relation to the restrictions and powers of the United States


Under the term of Washington, there were many affairs to deal with, mainly

foreign. Hamilton saw much to admire in Britain, and when Britain was so burdened with

debt that it seemed on the verge of bankruptcy, his reforms restored his country’s

financial health. The success of Hamilton’s financial program, moreover, depended on

smooth relations with Britain: duties on imports provided a major source of federal

revenue, and most American imports came from Britain. Hamilton did not believe in

returning the Americans to British rule; he had, after all, fought for independence as an

officer of the Continental army. Nor did he seek to establish a monarchy in the United

States. But he thought a friendly relationship with the onetime mother country would best

serve American interests. In contrast, Jefferson remained deeply hostile to Britain, and

his Anglophobia played a central role in his growing opposition to Hamilton. The

treasury secretary’s method of finance, with a bank and large funded debt, seemed, as in

part it was, based on a British model, one that to Jefferson was dangerous because it

allowed abundant opportunity for corruption. For example, Jefferson stated, “The

incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion,

been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution.” (Document C). Jefferson was

also deeply loyal to France, the Americans’ old ally in the War for Independence. While

serving as minister to France during the 1780’s, Jefferson had witnessed the beginnings

of the French Revolution, which in his opinion only tightened the bond between France

and America, whose Revolution, he thought, had inspired the French.

These differences widened as issues in foreign policy came to dominate

Washington’s administration, and they gradually marked a division. In 1790, Britain and

Spain seemed likely to go to war; then Britain seemed headed for the war with France

that finally broke out in 1793. Jefferson argued that Britain’s situation gave the United

States an opportunity to secure concessions in return for American neutrality. The British

had never evacuated their posts in the Northwest, and westerners suspected the British of

using those bases to provoke Indian attacks on the American frontier. But on April 22,

1793, Washington, influenced by Hamilton, who desperately wanted to avoid any

altercation with Britain, issued a proclamation that essentially announced American

neutrality without even trying to secure any concessions in return. A few months later,

Jefferson submitted his resignation as secretary of state, which took effect at the end of

the year.

Since the Farewell Address was understood as Washington’s parting advice to his

country, it was widely read and remains one of the most frequently reprinted documents

in American history. It was a moving document, beginning with expressions of the sixty-

four-year-old Washington’s gratitude to his “beloved country” for the honors and

confidence it had invested in him and a reference to “the increasing weight of years” that

admonished him “more and more, that the gloom of retirement is as necessary to me as it

is welcome.” Then the president offered advice, based on “much reflection,” that might

“contribute to the permanency of your felicity as a People.” He urged his countrymen to

support the public credit, to “observe good faith and justice towards all Nations” while

avoiding permanent alliances with any, and to disdain “over-grown Military

establishments,” which were always “inauspicious to liberty.” But the thrust of his

message concerned the country’s political divisions. However, it seems strange in

retrospect, that the Adams administration had a president from one party (Federalist) and

vice-president from another (Republican). But Adams and Jefferson had been allies in the

struggle for independence and, in the 1780’s, deepened their bonds while serving together

as diplomats in Europe. Most important, problems with France remained pressing. After

hearing about Jay’s Treaty, the French, who began seizing American ships bound for

England, would not recognize the neutral rights of American ships and in December 1796

refused to accept the new American minister to France.

As the war fever grew, Adams fell into Washington’s old position, regarding

critics of his government as rebellious people who put their confidence in France rather

than their own government. Federalists in Congress went further, passing a series of laws

for the suppression of the Republicans. Three Alien Acts, passed in June and July of

1798, moved against immigrants, who were often members of the Republican Party. The

first, an Alien Enemies Act that allowed the president to arrest or banish enemy aliens,

would rake effect only if war was declared. Another Alien Act allowed the president to

deport any foreigners he considered dangerous to the public peace and safety, and a

Naturalization Act increased the time of residence before immigrants could become

Citizens, and therefore acquire voting rights. The Alien Act also stated that,

“…whenever there shall be a declared war between the United States, by any foreign

nation or government, or any invasion or predatory incursion shall be perpetrated,

attempted, or threatened against the territory of the United States, by any foreign

government, and the President of the United States shall make public proclamation of the

event…” (Document E).

As America’s population grew and increasing numbers of white settlers looked

westward for affordable land, events were unfolding that would dramatically change the

map of America and influence the nation’s political, economic, and social development

for much of the nineteenth century. At issue was the so-called Louisiana Territory, an

enormous area that stretched from the Mississippi River in the East to the Rocky

Mountains in the West and north to Canada. Like most Americans, Jefferson harbored the

belief that Louisiana would some day belong to the United States. It was thought that

control of Louisiana, long considered a natural extension of the United States, loomed

critical in defending the country’s expanding frontier against Indian raids and foreign

adventurers as well as serving as a valuable source of raw materials, most notable the

worthwhile western fur trade. Most important, in Jefferson’s view, the Louisiana

Territory would be America’s ultimate safety valve: a seemingly limitless territory to

which Indians could be removed ahead of white settlement and, above all, a place where

landless immigrants from the East might move to carry on the American tradition that he

deemed so essential to the well-being of the Republic. The Louisiana Purchase Treaty,

also came out of this purchase. Which was a positive boost to the relationship between

the United States and France, because as stated, “ The First Consul of the French

Republic desiring to give to the United a strong proof of his friendship doth hereby cede

to the United States in the name of the French Republic…” (Document F).

Altogether, a new American nation emerged solely on these incidences in history.

They helped pave the way for future and current political parties, and influenced their

beliefs in domestic and foreign issues. Though these perspectives are represented on a

wide scale, they are related in that all Americans seek perfection whether it is concerning

domestic and foreign policies, and how that relation is always connected to our supreme

United States Constitution.

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