Unit Four
[Back to the Main Page]

The Early Republic:
Forging a National Identity

Unit Outline
Day One
The Elite and the Masses: Hamilton and Jefferson's Competing Visions for the Republic

Divine, pages 200-201 and 204-206 
Supplement: Hamilton and Jefferson on Popular Rule
Supplement:  Jefferson, "The Importance of Agriculture" 
Supplement: Hamilton, "Report on the Subject of Manufactures"

What were Hamilton and Jefferson's competing economic and political visions for the American republic? 

republicanism, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Federalists, Republicans (Jeffersonians), tyranny, anarchy 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. Why was the debate about how to address the president such a self-defining moment  for the United States? 

  2. What were Hamilton and Jefferson's different views about what types of individuals should govern society? 

  3. Why did Hamilton favor a commercial and industrial model for the U.S. economy? Why did Jefferson favor an agrarian model? 

  4.  How do Jefferson's and Hamilton's respective views of representation reflect differing interpretations of republicanism?

Day Two
Hamilton's Financial Plan 

Divine, pages 206-209 
Supplement: Jefferson, "Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Bank"
Supplement: Hamilton, "Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Bank"
Handout: Adam Smith, Heilbronner, Worldly Philosophers, "Democracy and Capitalism"

Write out homework question #2

What policies did Hamilton outline in his Financial Plan?  What type of economic vision did it promote? What relationship did it create between the U.S. government and the economy? 

Hamilton's Financial Plan, Report on Pubic Credit, debt, assumption,   Report on Bank of the U.S., strict interpretation (strict construction), loose interpretation (loose construction), Report on Manufactures 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. What policies did Hamilton's Report on Public Credit promote?  Why did Hamilton favor such policies?  Why did Madison and other Jeffersonians (Democratic-Republicans) oppose such policies? 

  2. Why did Hamilton favor creating a bank of the U.S.?  How did Hamilton defend its constitutionality?  Why did Jefferson, Madison and other Jeffersonians (Democratic-Republicans) oppose creating a bank of the U.S.?  How did Jefferson argue that it was unconstitutional? 

  3. What did Hamilton advocate in his Report on Manufactures? Why?  Why did Jefferson, Madison and other Jeffersonians (Democratic-Republicans) oppose this? 

  4. Which aspects of Hamilton's plan were implemented? Whose vision "won," Jefferson's or Hamilton's?

Day Three
Republicans and Federalists: the Emergence of the First Party System

Divine, pages 209-214 and 215-217 (top) 
Supplement: Washington, "Farewell Address"

How can we explain the emergence of the party system in country grounded in a suspicion of faction? 

French Revolution, Reign of Terror, neutrality, Edmund Genêt Affair, Jay's Treaty, Pinckney's Treaty, political club, Whiskey Rebellion, Democratic-Republican Party, Federalist Party,  cabinet, secretary, Judiciary Act of 1789, Associate Justices (of the Supreme Court), Chief Justice, Tariff of 1789, Washington’s Farewell Address, isolationism, sectionalism 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. Select three items from the list of identifications and explain how these three things led to the creation of formal political parties in the United States. 

  2. Why did Democratic-Republicans (Jeffersonians) favor closer relations with France, while Federalists (Hamiltonians) favored closer relations with the British? 

  3. Why did President Washington favor a policy of neutrality towards Britain and France? 

  4. In what way did the Federalist and Democratic-Republic responses to the Whiskey Rebellion reflect their respective views of representative government? 

  5. How might you argue that the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties are appropriately named?  In what sense do their names reflect their ideals? 

  6. Why did Washington seem “above party politics”?  Did he succeed in staying above the fray?  Do presidents attempt to remain above partisan bickering today?  What did Washington warn against in his Farewell Address?  To what extent did Americans heed his warnings?  Why is the address significant?

Day Four
The Rise and Fall of the Federalist Party

Divine, pages 217-225 (top) 
Supplement: The Kentucky Resolution of 1799
Supplement: RI and NH's Response to the KT and VA Resolutions

How democratic was the American republic during the 1790s?  How did Federalists and Republicans differ in their understanding of how democratic the nation should be? 

John Adams, Quasi-War, XYZ Affair, High Federalist, Alien and Sedition Acts, Alien Enemies Law, Alien Law, Naturalization Law, Sedition Law, Virginia and Kentucky   Resolutions, doctrine of nullification, compact theory of government, N. H.  and R. I. response to the VA and KT resolution 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. How did Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican become Federalist John Adams' Vice President?  How was the election process different in 1796 than it is today? 

  2. How did Jay's Treaty, the XYZ Affair and other factors lead to a Quasi-War with France?  How did Adams avoid war with France and bring the Quasi-War to an end?  What impact did Adams' actions have on relations within the Federalist party? 

  3. What did each of the Alien and Sedition Acts do? What did they hope to achieve?  In what way do the Alien and Sedition acts reflect the Federalist view of government?  What impact did they have on the relations between the parties. 

  4. Why did Democratic-Republicans oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts?  What events persuaded Jefferson that the Federalist Party threatened the survival of the republic? 

  5. What arguments did Madison and Jefferson use in the Kentucky and Virginia   resolutions to attack the Alien and Sedition Acts?  How did the resolutions depict the balance of power between the federal government and the states? 

  6. Why did Federalists (especially in New England) consider the doctrine of nullification so dangerous?

Day Five
Jefferson: Idealist or Pragmatist?

Divine, pages 233-246 (skip 234-235), 244-248
Supplement: Jefferson, "First Inaugural Address

Write out homework question #4 

In what sense did the election of 1800 constitute a revolution?  To what extent are Jefferson’s actions as president consistent with his previously-articulated republican principles? 

Election of 1800, Aaron Burr, 12th Amendment, Revolution of 1800, Napoleon, Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark expedition, Barbary War, impeachment of Samuel Chase, Burr Conspiracy, treason, 1808 slave trade law, neutral rights, broken voyage, Pinkney, Continental System, impressment, peaceable coercion, embargo, Embargo Act

  Homework Questions: 
  1. Why did the House of Representatives decide the Election of 1800?  How did the 12th Amendment alter the way the President and Vice President are chosen?  Why hadn’t the framers of the Constitution anticipated the problems encountered in the election of 1800? 

  2. Why might one have seen the outcome of the election of 1800 as truly revolutionary?  Did Jefferson outline a fundamentally new vision for American government in his Inaugural Address? Does the address emphasize continuity or change? 

  3. In what sense do Jefferson’s actions to limit the national debt, to shrink the size of the army and to allow many Federalists government workers to remain in office reflect his Republican principles? 

  4.  What are the terms of the Louisiana Purchase and the Embargo Act?  How do the Louisiana Purchase and the Embargo Act contradict the principles of Jeffersonian principles?  Why does Jefferson deem these actions necessary? 

  5. Why was Aaron Burr so damn wacky? 

  6. Why did the U.S. outlaw the slave trade in 1808? What does Jefferson’s support for this measure indicate about Jefferson? Why would a slave owner have supported such a proposal?  How does the Congressional battle over this provision prefigure battles to come? 

  7. Why did British and French restrictions on U.S. shipping so enrage Americans? 

  8. What was the goal of Jefferson’s policy of peaceable coercion?  What legislation did Jefferson and Congress enact to implement this policy?  To what extent did the policy succeed?  fail? 

  9. Why did Northerners oppose Jefferson’s policies?  What impact did Jefferson’s policies have on the party system? 

  10. What factors other than British violations of American neutral rights may have prompted the War of 1812?

Day Six
The War of 1812: The Second War for Independence

Divine, pages 251-255, 279 and 284-5 
Supplement: The Hartford Convention

What were the consequences of the War of 1812?  How did it impact the party  system in the U.S.? How did it impact the American sense of self and the U.S. relationship with Europe? 

James Madison, Non-Intercourse Act, Macon’s Bill #2, William Henry Harrison, Tippecanoe, Tecumseh, War Hawks, nationalism, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, War of 1812,  Fort McHenry, Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson, Hartford Convention, Treaty of Ghent, Second War for Independence, nationalism 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. The War of 1812 seems to be fundamentally un-Jeffersonian, yet is the result of Democratic-Republican policies?  How do you explain this paradox? 

  2. What is the significance of the Battle of New Orleans? 

  3. What events led to the meeting of New England Federalists at the Hartford Convention?  What policies did they advocate? 

  4. How was the Hartford Convention viewed by most Americans (especially those outside of New England)? Why? What impact did it have on the Federalist party? 

  5. What were the main provisions of the Treaty of Ghent?  What issues did it fail to address? 

  6. What led to the decline of the Federalist party during the years 1800-1805 to the point that they maintained only a few seats in Congress? 

Day Seven
"Let us Conquer Space": The Emergence of Commercial Capitalism

Divine, pages 260-262 and 267-275 

What steps did the government take to promote the growth, expansion and prosperity of the U.S. during the 1820s and 1830s?  How did the changes of this period transform the American economy and the American character? 

Simulation: Widget Making Exercise

Florida, Adams-Onís Treaty, National Road, turnpikes, Robert Fulton, The Clermont, Erie canal, market economy, commercial capitalism, Eli Whitney, King Cotton, cotton gin, "Deep South," putting-out system, artisanal labor, factory labor, Lowell Mill, Second Bank of the U.S.

Homework Questions:
  1. What reasons did Americans have to be optimistic and self-confident during the 1820s? 

  2. What steps did the federal government take to extend the boundaries of the U.S. during the decade after the War of 1812? 

  3. In what sense did canals, roads, steamboats and other technological advances transform the American economy during the first half of the 19th century? 

  4. How did the growth of the United States impact the relationship between the East and West? The North and the South? 

  5. What factors led to the industrialization of U.S. during the 1830s and 40s?  How did this industrialization transform the workplace during this period?  How widespread was industrialization during this period?  In what industries was it most prominent? 

Day Eight
"A Fire Bell in the Night": The American System, Era of Good Feelings & Missouri Compromise

Divine, pages 275-280 (skip tan pages) 

How does post war nationalism produce an apparent unity that masks fundamental political, economic and sectional conflicts? 

Era of Good Feeling, American System, protective tariff, James Monroe, nationalism, Henry Clay, Second Bank of the U.S., Missouri Compromise, 36_30_, sectionalism, Tallmadge Amendment

Homework Questions:
  1. What was the American System?  What is it designed to promote? What does Republican support for such a proposal indicate about the Republican party during the Era of Good Feeling?  Does the American System reflect Jeffersonian or Hamiltonian principles? 

  2.  What was the impact of he end of the first party system?  How did the death os the Federalist Party change the Republican Party of Jefferson and Madison? 

  3.  What was the "big deal" about Missouri's application for statehood?  Who brokered the compromise and why?  Did the compromise resolve sectional differences? 

  4.  How was the conflict over Missouri rooted in the Constitution?  What were the constitutional argument of each side?  Was the compromise satisfactory?  What would you have done?

Day Nine
The Marshall Court

 Divine, pages 241-42 (on Marbury v. Madison) and   280-283
Supplement: Important Cases of the Marshall Court

In what sense do the rulings of the Marshall Court reflect Federalist principles?  How did the Marbury v. Madison decision augment the system of checks and balances created by the Constitution?  In what way did it affirm the role of the Supreme Court in American government? 

John Marshall, Marshall Court, majority opinion, minority opinion, precedent, Dartmouth College v. Woodward, contract clause, McCulloch v. Maryland, supremacy   clause, Gibbons v. Ogden, commerce clause, judicial review

  Homework Questions: 
  1. What was the ruling of the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison?  Why is this ruling significant? 

2. Though in his decision, Chief Justice Marshall (a Federalist) ruled against Marbury (a Federalist), in what sense did the ruling promote Federalist party principles? 

3. What do the rulings of the Marshall Court reveal about its stance on the balance between federal power and state power? On the role of the judicial branch in government?  On property rights?  On capitalism?  In what sense do these rulings reflect the times? 

4. How might the court’s interpretation of key clauses of the Constitution set a precedent for future cases?  What impact did the Marshall Court have on the U.S. government and the U.S. economy?

Day Ten
The Monroe Doctrine: Isolationism and Hemispheric Dominance

Divine, pages 283-284 
Supplement: The Monroe Doctrine
Handout: Roosevelt Corollary, JFK on Cuban Missile Crisis 

In what sense is the Monroe Doctrine and expression of self-interest/altruism? In what sense is the Monroe Doctrine an extension of ideals long held by Americans?  In what sense is it a departure from those ideals? 

James Monroe, Monroe Doctrine, Western Hemisphere, Latin America, sphere of influence 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. What relationship did the Monroe Doctrine seek to establish between the United States and Europe? 

  2. What relationship did the Monroe Doctrine seek to establish between the U.S. and Latin America?  Why was the U.S. so interested in protecting the independence of   newly-independent Latin American nations? 

  3. How does Monroe defend these policies in the Monroe Doctrine?  What other American interests may have prompted such policies?

Day Eleven
Test on Unit Four
10 Multiple Choice questions and one DBQ essay.