A Short History of the United States
Part 3 out of 7
_d_. Describe Arnold's part in the battles near Saratoga.
Sec.Sec. 154, 155.--_a_. What was the effect of Burgoyne's surrender on Great
Britain? On France? On America?
_b_. What were the results of the French alliance?
_c_. Describe the battle of Monmouth. Who was Charles Lee?
Sec. 156.--_a_. Describe Clark's expedition and mark on a map the places
named. _b_. How did this expedition affect the later growth of the
Sec. 157.--_a_. Describe Arnold's career as a soldier to 1778. _b_. What is
treason? _c_. Was there the least injustice in the treatment of Andre?
Sec.Sec. 158, 159.--_a_. Why was the scene of action transferred to the South?
_b_. What places were captured? _c_. Compare the British and American
armies at Camden. What was the result of this battle?
Sec.Sec. 160-163.--_a_. Describe the battle of King's Mountain. _b_. What was
the result of the battle of the Cowpens? _c_. Follow the retreat of the
Americans across North Carolina. What events showed Greene's foresight?
_d_. What were the results of the battle of Guilford? _e_. Compare the
outlook for the Americans in 1781 with that of 1780.
Sec.Sec. 164-166. _a_. How did the British army get to Yorktown? _b_. Describe
the gathering of the Allied Forces. _c_. Describe the surrender and note
its effects on America, France, and Great Britain.
Sec. 167.--_a_. Where were the negotiations for peace carried on? _b_. Mark
on a map the original territory of the United States. _c_. How did Spain
get the Floridas?
_a_. When did the Revolution begin? When did it end?
_b_. Were the colonies independent when the Declaration of Independence
_c_. Select any campaign and discuss its objects, plan, the leading
battles, and the results.
_d_. Follow Washington's movements from 1775-82.
_e_. What do you consider the most decisive battle of the war? Why?
Topics For Special Work
_a_. Naval victories.
_b_. Burgoyne's campaign.
_c_. Greene as a general.
_d_. Nathan Hale.
_e_. The peace negotiations.
The use of map or molding board should be constant during the study of
this period. Do not spend time on the details of battles, but teach
campaigns as a whole. In using the molding board the movements of armies
can be shown by colored pins.
The Declaration of Independence should be carefully studied, especially
the first portions. Finally, the territorial settlement of 1783 should
be thoroughly explained, using map or molding board.
The Critical Period, 1783-1789
Books for Study and Reading
References.--Higginson's _Larger History_, 293-308; Fiske's _Civil
Government_, 186-267; McMaster's _With the Fathers_.
Home Readings.--Fiske's _Critical Period_, 144-231, 306-345;
_Captain Shays: A Populist of 1786_.
The Confederation, 1783-1787
[Sidenote: Disunion and jealousy. _Source-Book_, 161-163.]
167. Problems of Peace.--The war was over. But the future of the
American nation was still uncertain. Indeed, one can hardly say that
there was an American nation in 1783. While the war lasted, a sense of
danger bound together the people of the different states. But as soon as
this peril ceased, their old jealousies and self-seekings came back.
There was no national government to smooth over these differences and to
compel the states to act justly toward one another. There was, indeed,
the Congress of the Confederation, but it is absurd to speak of it as a
[Sidenote: Formation of the Articles of Confederation.]
[Sidenote: Weakness of the Confederation. _McMaster_, 163.]
168. The Articles of Confederation, 1781.--The Continental Congress
began drawing up the Articles of Confederation in June, 1776. But there
were long delays, and each month's delay made it more impossible to form
a strong government. It fell out in this way that the Congress of the
Confederation had no real power. It could not make a state or an
individual pay money or do anything at all. In the course of a few years
Congress asked the states to give it over six million dollars to pay the
debts and expenses of the United States. It received about a million
dollars and was fortunate to get that.
[Sidenote: Distress among the people.]
169. A Time of Distress.--It is not right to speak too harshly of
the refusal of the state governments to give Congress the money it asked
for, as the people of the states were in great distress and had no money
to give. As soon as peace was declared British merchants sent over great
quantities of goods. People bought these goods, for every one thought
that good times were coming now that the war was over. But the British
government did everything it could do to prevent the coming of good
times. The prosperity of the northern states was largely based on a
profitable trade with the West Indies. The British government put an end
to that trade. No gold and silver came to the United States from the
West Indies while gold and silver constantly went out of the country to
pay debts due to British merchants. Soon gold and silver grew scarce,
and those who had any promptly hid it. The real reason of all this
trouble was the lack of a strong national government which could have
compelled the British government to open its ports to American commerce.
But the people only saw that money was scarce and called upon the state
legislatures to give them paper money.
[Sidenote: Paper money.]
170. Paper Money.--Most of the state legislatures did what they
were asked to do. They printed quantities of paper money. They paid the
public expenses with it, and sometimes lent it to individuals without
much security for its repayment. Before long this paper money began to
grow less valuable. For instance, on a certain day a man could buy a bag
of flour for five dollars. In three months' time a bag of flour might
cost him ten dollars. Soon it became difficult to buy flour for any
number of paper dollars.
[Sidenote: Tender laws.]
171 Tender Laws.--The people then clamored for "tender laws." These
were laws which would make it lawful for them to tender, or offer, paper
money in exchange for flour or other things. In some cases it was made
lawful to tender paper money in payments of debts which had been made
when gold and silver were still in use. The merchants now shut up their
shops, and business almost ceased. The lawyers only were busy. For those
to whom money was owed tried to get it paid before the paper money
became utterly worthless. The courts were crowded, and the prisons were
filled with poor debtors.
[Sidenote: Stay laws.]
172. Stay Laws.--Now the cry was for "stay laws." These were laws
to prevent those to whom money was due from enforcing their rights.
These laws promptly put an end to whatever business was left. The only
way that any business could be carried on was by barter. For example, a
man who had a bushel of wheat that he did not want for his family would
exchange it for three or four bushels of potatoes, or for four or five
days of labor. In some states the legislatures passed very severe laws
to compel people to receive paper money. In one state, indeed, no one
could vote who would not receive paper money.
[Illustration: STATE STREET, BOSTON, ABOUT 1790. The Boston Massacre
occurred near where the two-horse wagon stands.]
[Sidenote: Disorder in Massachusetts.]
173. Shays's Rebellion, 1786-87.--In Massachusetts, especially, the
discontent was very great. The people were angry with the judges for
sending men to prison who did not pay their debts. Crowds of armed men
visited the judges and compelled them to close the courts. The leader in
this movement was Daniel Shays. He even threatened to seize the United
States Arsenal at Springfield. By this time Governor Bowdoin and General
Lincoln also had gathered a small force of soldiers. In the midst of
winter, through snowstorms and over terrible roads, Lincoln marched with
his men. He drove Shays from place to place, captured his followers, and
put down the rebellion. There were risings in other states, especially
in North Carolina. But Shays's Rebellion in Massachusetts was the most
important of them all, because it convinced the New Englanders that a
stronger national government was necessary.
[Illustration: CLAIMS AND CESSIONS.]
[Sidenote: Claims of the states to Western lands. _McMaster_, 155]
[Sidenote: _Hero Tales_, 19-28.]
[Sidenote: Opposition of Maryland and of other states.]
174. Claims to Western Lands.--The Confederation seemed to be
falling to pieces. That it did not actually fall to pieces was largely
due to the fact that all the states were interested in the settlement of
the region northwest of the Ohio River. It will be well to stop a moment
and see how this came about. Under their old charters Massachusetts,
Connecticut, Virginia, Carolina, and Georgia had claims to lands west of
the Alleghanies. Between 1763 and 1776 the British government had paid
slight heed to these claims (pp. 75, 89). But Daniel Boone and other
colonists had settled west of the mountains in what are now the states
of Kentucky and Tennessee. When the Revolution began the states having
claims to western lands at once put them forward, and New York also
claimed a right to about one-half of the disputed territory. Naturally,
the states that had no claims to these lands had quite different views.
The Marylanders, for example, thought that the western lands should be
regarded as national territory and used for the common benefit. Maryland
refused to join the Confederation until New York had ceded her claims to
the United States, and Virginia had proposed a cession of the territory
claimed by her.
[Sidenote: The states cede their claims to the United States.
175. The Land Cessions.--In 1784 Virginia gave up her claims to the
land northwest of the Ohio River with the exception of certain large
tracts which she reserved for her veteran soldiers. Massachusetts ceded
her claims in 1785. The next year (1786) Connecticut gave up her claims.
But she reserved a large tract of land directly west of Pennsylvania.
This was called the Connecticut Reserve or, more often, the Western
Reserve. South Carolina and North Carolina ceded their lands in 1787 and
1790, and finally Georgia gave up her claims to western lands in 1802.
[Sidenote: Reasons for the ordinance.]
[Sidenote: Passage of Ordinance of 1787. _McMaster_, 160-162;
[Sidenote: Passage of Ordinance of 1787. _McMaster_, 160-162;
176. Passage of the Ordinance of 1787.--What should be done with
the lands which in this way had come into the possession of the people
of all the states? It was quite impossible to divide these lands among
the people of the thirteen states. They never could have agreed as to
the amount due to each state. In 1785 Congress took the first step. It
passed a law or an ordinance for the government of the Territory
Northwest of the Ohio River. This ordinance was imperfect, and few
persons emigrated to the West. There were many persons who wished to
emigrate from the old states to the new region. But they were unwilling
to go unless they felt sure that they would not be treated by Congress
as the British government had treated the people of the original states.
Dr. Cutler of Massachusetts laid these matters before Congress and did
his work so well that Congress passed a new ordinance. This was in 1787.
The ordinance is therefore called the Ordinance of 1787. It was so well
suited to its purpose that nearly all the territories of the United
States have been settled and governed under its provisions. It will be
well to study this great document more at length.
[Sidenote: Provisions of the Ordinance of 1787.]
177. The Ordinance of 1787.--In the first place the ordinance
provided for the formation of one territory to be called the Territory
Northwest of the Ohio. But it is more often called the Northwest
Territory or simply the Old Northwest. At first it was to be governed by
the persons appointed by Congress. But it was further provided that when
settlers should arrive in sufficient numbers they should enjoy
self-government. When fully settled the territory should be divided into
five states. These should be admitted to the Confederation on a footing
of equality with the original states. The settlers in the territory
should enjoy full rights of citizenship. Education should be encouraged.
Slavery should never be permitted. This last provision is especially
important as it saved the Northwest to freedom. In this way a new
political organization was invented. It was called a territory. It was
really a colony; but it differed from all other colonies because in time
it would become a state on a footing of entire equality with the
Making Of The Constitution, 1787-1789
[Sidenote: Weakness of the Confederation.]
[Sidenote: Meeting of the Federal Convention, 1787.]
178. Necessity for a New Government.--At this very moment a
convention was making a constitution to put an end to the Confederation
itself. It was quite clear that something must be done or the states
soon would be fighting one another. Attempt after attempt had been made
to amend the Articles of Confederation so as to give Congress more
power. But every attempt had failed because the consent of every state
was required to amend the Articles. And one state or another had
objected to every amendment that had been proposed. It was while affairs
were in this condition that the Federal Convention met at Philadelphia
in May, 1787.
[Sidenote: James Madison.]
179. James Madison.--Of all the members of the Convention, James
Madison of Virginia best deserves the title of Father of the
Constitution. He drew up the Virginia plan which was adopted as the
basis of the new Constitution. He spoke convincingly for the plan in the
Convention. He did more than any one else to secure the ratification of
the Constitution by Virginia. He kept a careful set of _Notes_ of the
debates of the Convention which show us precisely how the Constitution
was made. With Alexander Hamilton and John Jay he wrote a series of
papers which is called the _Federalist_ and is still the best guide to
[Illustration: JAMES MADISON.]
[Sidenote: Washington President of the Convention.]
180. Other Fathers of the Constitution.--George Washington was
chosen President of the Convention. He made few speeches. But the
speeches that he made were very important. And the mere fact that he
approved the Constitution had a tremendous influence throughout the
country. The oldest man in the Convention was Benjamin Franklin. His
long experience in politics and in diplomacy with his natural shrewdness
had made him an unrivaled manager of men. From all the states came able
men. In fact, with the exception of John Adams, Samuel Adams, Patrick
Henry, and Thomas Jefferson, the strongest men in political life were in
the Federal Convention. Never in the history of the world have so many
great political leaders, learned students of politics, and shrewd
business men gathered together. The result of their labors was the most
marvelous product of political wisdom that the world has ever seen.
[Illustration: THE OLD STATE HOUSE, PHILADELPHIA. Meeting place of the
Continental Congress and of the Federal Convention--now called
[Sidenote: The Virginia plan.]
[Sidenote: Pinckney's plan.]
[Sidenote: Vote for a national government.]
181. Plans for a National Government.--As soon as the Convention
was in working order, Governor Randolph of Virginia presented Madison's
plan for a "national" government. Charles Pinckney of South Carolina
also brought forward a plan. His scheme was more detailed than was
Madison's plan. But, like it, it provided for a government with "supreme
legislative, executive, and judicial powers." On May 30 the Convention
voted that a "national government ought to be established, consisting of
a supreme Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary." It next decided that
the legislative department should consist of two houses. But when the
delegates began to talk over the details, they began to disagree.
[Sidenote: The New Jersey plan.]
182. Disagreement as to Representation.--The Virginia plan proposed
that representation in one branch of the new Congress should be divided
among the states according to the amount of money each state paid into
the national treasury, or according to the number of the free
inhabitants of each state. The Delaware delegates at once said that they
must withdraw. In June Governor Patterson of New Jersey brought forward
a plan which had been drawn up by the delegates from the smaller states.
It is always called, however, the New Jersey plan. It proposed simply to
amend the Articles of Confederation so as to give Congress more power.
After a long debate the New Jersey plan was rejected.
[Illustration: Benjamin Franklin. "He snatched the lightning from
Heaven, and the sceptre from tyrants."--TURGOT.]
[Sidenote: Representation in the House of Representatives. _McMaster_,
[Sidenote: Representation in the Senate.]
183. The Compromise as to Representation.--The discussion now
turned on the question of representation in the two houses of Congress.
After a long debate and a good deal of excitement Benjamin Franklin
and Roger Sherman proposed a compromise. This was, that members of the
House of Representatives should be apportioned among the states
according to their population and should be elected directly by the
people. In the Senate they proposed that each state, regardless of size,
population, or wealth, should have two members. The Senators,
representing the states, would fittingly be chosen by the state
legislatures. It was agreed that the states should be equally
represented in the Senate. But it was difficult to reach a conclusion as
to the apportionment of representatives in the House.
[Sidenote: The federal ratio.]
184. Compromise as to Apportionment.--Should the members of the
House of Representatives be distributed among the states according to
population? At first sight the answer seemed to be perfectly clear. But
the real question was, should slaves who had no vote be counted as a
part of the population? It was finally agreed that the slaves should be
counted at three-fifths of their real number. This rule was called the
"federal ratio." The result of this rule was to give the Southern slave
states representation in Congress out of all proportion to their voting
[Sidenote: Power of Congress over commerce.]
[Sidenote: Restriction as to slave-trade.]
185. Compromise as to the Slave-Trade.--When the subject of the
powers to be given to Congress came to be discussed, there was even
greater excitement. The Northerners wanted Congress to have power to
regulate commerce. But the Southerners opposed it because they feared
Congress would use this power to put an end to the slave-trade. John
Rutledge of South Carolina even went so far as to say that unless this
question was settled in favor of the slaveholders, the slave states
would "not be parties to the Union." In the end this matter also was
compromised by providing that Congress could not prohibit the
slave-trade until 1808. These were the three great compromises. But
there were compromises on so many smaller points that we cannot even
mention them here.
[Illustration: SIGNING OF THE CONSTITUTION, SEPTEMBER 17, 1787. From an
early unfinished picture. This shows the arrangement of the room and the
sun behind Washington's chair.]
[Sidenote: Franklin's prophecy.]
186. Franklin's Prophecy.--It was with a feeling of real relief
that the delegates finally came to the end of their labors. As they were
putting their names to the Constitution, Franklin pointed to a rising
sun that was painted on the wall behind the presiding officer's chair.
He said that painters often found it difficult to show the difference
between a rising sun and a setting sun. "I have often and often," said
the old statesman, "looked at that behind the President, without being
able to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now, at length, I
have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting sun."
And so indeed it has proved to be.
[Sidenote: Strength of the Constitution. _McMaster_, 168-169.]
187. The Constitution.--It will be well now to note some of the
points in which the new Constitution was unlike the old Articles of
Confederation. In the first place, the government of the Confederation
had to do only with the states; the new government would deal directly
with individuals. For instance, when the old Congress needed money, it
called on the states to give it. If a state refused to give any money,
Congress could remonstrate--and that was all. The new government could
order individuals to pay taxes. Any one who refused to pay his tax would
be tried in a United States court and compelled to pay or go to prison.
In the second place the old government had almost no executive powers.
The new government would have a very strong executive in the person of
the President of the United States.
[Sidenote: Interpretation of the Constitution.]
[Sidenote: John Marshall's decisions.]
188. The Supreme Court.--But the greatest difference of all was to
be found in the Supreme Court of the United States provided in the
Constitution. The new Congress would have very large powers of making
laws. But the words defining these powers were very hard to understand.
It was the duty of the Supreme Court to say what these words meant. Now
the judges of the Supreme Court are very independent. It is almost
impossible to remove a judge of this court, and the Constitution
provides that his salary cannot be reduced while he holds office. It
fell out that under the lead of Chief Justice John Marshall the Supreme
Court defined the doubtful words in the Constitution so as to give the
greatest amount of power to the Congress of the United States. As the
laws of the United States are the supreme laws of the land, it will be
seen how important this action of the Supreme Court has been.
[Illustration: OPENING LINES OF THE CONSTITUTION.]
[Sidenote: Opposition to the Constitution. _Source-Book_, 172-175.]
189. Objections to the Constitution.--The great strength of the
Constitution alarmed many people. Patrick Henry declared that the
government under the new Constitution would be a national government and
not a federal government at all. Other persons objected to the
Constitution because it took the control of affairs out of the hands of
the people. For example, the Senators were to be chosen by the state
legislatures, and the President was to be elected in a round-about way
by presidential electors. Others objected to the Constitution because
there was no Bill of Rights attached to it. They pointed out, for
instance, that there was nothing in the Constitution to prevent Congress
from passing laws to destroy the freedom of the press. Finally a great
many people objected to the Constitution because there was no provision
in it reserving to the states or to the people those powers that were
not expressly given to the new government.
[Illustration: CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.]
[Sidenote: Opponents of the Constitution.]
[Sidenote: The first ten amendments.]
190. The First Ten Amendments.--These defects seemed to be so grave
that patriots like Patrick Henry, R.H. Lee, Samuel Adams, and John
Hancock could not bring themselves to vote for its adoption. Conventions
of delegates were elected by the people of the several states to ratify
or to reject the Constitution. The excitement was intense. It seemed as
if the Constitution would not be adopted. But a way was found out of the
difficulty. It was suggested that the conventions should consent to the
adoption of the Constitution, but should, at the same time, propose
amendments which would do away with many of these objections. This was
done. The first Congress under the Constitution and the state
legislatures adopted most of these amendments, and they became a part of
the Constitution. There were ten amendments in all, and they should be
studied as carefully as the Constitution itself is studied.
[Sidenote: Constitution adopted. _Higginson_, 216; _Source-Book_,
191. The Constitution Adopted, 1787-88.--In June, 1788, New
Hampshire and Virginia adopted the Constitution. They were the ninth and
tenth states to take this action. The Constitution provided that it
should go into effect when it should be adopted by nine states, that is,
of course, it should go into effect only between those states.
Preparations were now made for the organization of the new government.
But this took some time. Washington was unanimously elected President,
and was inaugurated in April, 1789. By that time North Carolina and
Rhode Island were the only states which had not adopted the Constitution
and come under the "New Roof," as it was called. In a year or two they
adopted it also, and the Union of the thirteen original states
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS
Sec.Sec. 168, 169.--_a_. What were the chief weaknesses of the Confederation?
Why did not Congress have any real power?
_b_. How did some states treat other states? Why?
Sec.Sec. 170-173.--_a_. Explain the distress among the people.
_b_. Describe the attitude of the British government and give some
reason for it.
_c_. Why did the value of paper money keep changing?
_d_. What were the "tender laws"? The "stay laws"?
_e_. Give some illustration of how these laws would affect trade.
Sec. 174.--_a_. Describe the troubles in Massachusetts.
_b_. What was the result of this rebellion?
Sec.Sec. 175-178.--_a_. What common interest did all the states have?
_b_. What did Maryland contend? State carefully the result of Maryland's
action. Describe the land cessions.
_c_. How did the holding these lands benefit the United States?
_d_. Give the provisions of the Ordinance of 1787. What was the result
of the declaration as to slaves?
_e_. What privileges were the settlers to have? Why is this Ordinance so
Sec.Sec. 179-181.--_a_. What difficulties in the United States showed the
necessity of a stronger government?
_b_. How could the Articles of Confederation be amended?
_c_. What was the important work of Madison?
_d_. What was the advantage of having Washington act as President of the
Sec.Sec. 182, 183.--_a_. Explain fully the provisions of the Virginia plan.
What departments were decided upon?
_b_. Why did New Jersey and Delaware oppose the Virginia plan? What were
the great objections to the New Jersey plan?
Sec.Sec. 184-186.--_a_. What is a compromise? What are the three great
compromises of the Constitution?
_b_. Explain the compromise as to representation. What does the Senate
represent? What the House?
_c_. Define apportionment. What do you think of the wisdom of the
compromise as to apportionment? What of its justice?
_d_. Why was there a conflict over the clause as to commerce? How was
the matter settled?
Sec.Sec. 187-189.--_a_. What events at first seemed to disprove Franklin's
_b_. Compare the Constitution with the Articles of Confederation and
show in what respects the Constitution was much stronger.
_c_. Explain how the new government could control individuals.
_d_. What were some of the duties of the President? Of Congress? Of the
Sec.Sec. 190-192.--_a_. What is the difference between a national and a
federal government? Was Henry's criticism true?
_b_. Study the first ten amendments and state how far they met the
objections of those opposed to the Constitution.
_c_. Repeat the Tenth Amendment from memory.
_d_. How was the Constitution ratified?
_e_. How did the choice of Washington as first President influence
popular feeling toward the new government?
_a_. Why should the people have shown loyalty to the states rather than
to the United States?
_b_. Analyze the Constitution as follows:--
| EXECUTIVE. | LEGISLATIVE. | JUDICIARY.
Method of Appointment | | |
or Election. | | |
Term of Office. | | |
| | |
Duties and Powers. | | |
| | |
TOPICS FOR SPECIAL WORK
The career of any one man prominent in the Convention, as Madison,
Hamilton, Franklin, Washington, Robert Morris, etc. Write a brief
SUGGESTIONS TO THE TEACHER
This period should be taught very slowly and very thoroughly, as it
demands much more time than any of the earlier periods. A clear
understanding of the Constitution is of the most practical value, not
merely to enable one to comprehend the later history, but also to enable
one to understand present duties. Note carefully the "federal ratio" and
the functions of the Supreme Court. Use the text of the Constitution and
emphasize especially those portions of importance in the later history.
This work is difficult. It should therefore be most fully illustrated
from recent political struggles. Let the children represent characters
in the Convention and discuss the various plans proposed. Encourage them
also to suggest transactions which might represent the working of the
tender laws, the commercial warfare between the states, the "federal
ratio" etc. Especially study the first ten amendments and show how they
limit the power of the general government to-day.
[Illustration: TERRITORIAL ACQUISITIONS 1783-1853. For later
acquisitions see Map facing page 397.]
THE FEDERALIST SUPREMACY,
Books for Study and Reading
References.--Higginson's _Larger History_, 309-344; Eggleston's
_United States and its People_ ch. xxxiv (the people in 1790);
McMaster's _School History_, ch. xiv (the people in 1790).
Home Readings.--Drake's _Making of the West_; Scribner's _Popular
History_, IV; Coffin's _Building the Nation_; Bolton's _Famous
Americans_; Holmes's _Ode on Washington's Birthday_; Seawell's
ORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
[Sidenote: The first way of electing President. Constitution, Art. II,
Sec.I; _McMaster_, 170-171.]
[Sidenote: Washington and Adams.]
192. Washington elected President.--In the early years under the
Constitution the Presidents and Vice-Presidents were elected in the
following manner. First each state chose presidential electors usually
by vote of its legislature. Then the electors of each state came
together and voted for two persons without saying which of the two
should be President. When all the electoral votes were counted, the
person having the largest number, provided that was more than half of
the whole number of electoral votes, was declared President. The person
having the next largest number became Vice-President. At the first
election every elector voted for Washington. John Adams received the
next largest number of votes and became Vice-President.
[Illustration: FEDERAL HALL, 1797. Washington took the oath of office on
[Sidenote: Washington's journey to New York. _Higginson_, 217-218.]
193. Washington's Journey to New York.--At ten o'clock in the
morning of April 14, 1789, Washington left Mt. Vernon and set out for
New York. Wherever he passed the people poured forth to greet him. At
Trenton, New Jersey, a triumphal arch had been erected. The school girls
strewed flowers in his path and sang an ode written for the occasion. A
barge manned by thirteen pilots met him at the water's edge and bore him
safely to New York.
[Sidenote: Washington inaugurated President, 1789. _Source-Book_,
[Sidenote: The oath of office.]
194. The First Inauguration, April 30, 1789.--Long before the time
set for the inauguration ceremonies, the streets around Federal Hall
were closely packed with sightseers. Washington in a suit of velvet with
white silk stockings came out on the balcony and took the oath of office
ordered in the Constitution, "I will faithfully execute the office of
President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability
preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Cannon roared forth a salute and Chancellor Livingston turning to the
people proclaimed, "Long live George Washington, President of the United
States." Reentering the hall Washington read a simple and
[Sidenote: Jefferson, Secretary of State.]
[Sidenote: Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury. _Eggleston_, 215.]
[Sidenote: Knox, Secretary of War.]
[Sidenote: Randolph, Attorney-General.]
195. The First Cabinet.--Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson
Secretary of State. Since writing the Great Declaration, Jefferson had
been governor of Virginia and American minister at Paris. The Secretary
of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton. Born in the British West Indies,
he had come to New York to attend King's College, now Columbia
University. For Secretary of War, Washington selected Henry Knox. He had
been Chief of Artillery during the Revolution. Since then he had been
head of the War Department. Edward Randolph became Attorney General. He
had introduced the Virginia plan of union into the Federal Convention.
But he had not signed the Constitution in its final form. These four
officers formed the Cabinet. There was also a Postmaster General. But
his office was of slight importance at the time.
[Illustration: WASHINGTON'S WRITING-TABLE]
[Sidenote: Federal Officers.]
[Sidenote: Jay, Chief Justice.]
196. Appointments to Office.--The President now appointed the
necessary officers to execute the national laws. These were mostly men
who had been prominent in the Revolutionary War. For instance, John Jay
(p. 126) was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and General
Lincoln (p. 134) was appointed Collector of Customs at Boston. It was in
having officers of its own to carry out its laws, that the new
government seemed to the people to be so unlike the old government.
Formerly if Congress wanted anything done, it called on the states to do
it. Now Congress, by law, authorized the United States officials to do
their tasks. The difference was a very great one, and it took the people
some time to realize what a great change had been made.
[Sidenote: Titles. _Higginson_, 222.]
197. The Question of Titles.--The first fiercely contested debate
in the new Congress was over the question of titles. John Adams, the
Vice-President and the presiding officer of the Senate, began the
conflict by asking the Senate how he should address the President. One
senator suggested that the President should be entitled "His Patriotic
Majesty." Other senators proposed that he should be addressed as "Your
Highness, the President of the United States and Protector of their
Liberties." Fortunately, the House of Representatives had the first
chance to address Washington and simply called him "Mr. President of the
[Sidenote: Ceremonies. _Higginson_, 222-224.]
[Sidenote: Monarchical appearances.]
198. Ceremonies and Progresses.--Washington liked a good deal of
ceremony and was stiff and aristocratic. He soon gave receptions or
"levees" as they were called. To these only persons who had tickets were
admitted. Washington stood on one side of the room and bowed stiffly to
each guest as he was announced. When all were assembled, the entrance
doors were closed. The President then slowly walked around the room,
saying something pleasant to each person. In 1789 he made a journey
through New England. Everywhere he was received by guards of honor, and
was splendidly entertained. At one place an old man greeted him with
"God bless Your Majesty." This was all natural enough, for Washington
was "first in the hearts of his countrymen." But many good men were
afraid that the new government would really turn out to be a monarchy.
[Sidenote: Struggle over protection, 1789. _Source-Book_, 183-186.]
199. First Tariff Act, 1789.--The first important business that
Congress took in hand was a bill for raising revenue, and a lively
debate began. Representatives from New England and the Middle states
wanted protection for their commerce and their struggling manufactures.
Representatives from the Southern states opposed all protective duties
as harmful to agriculture, which was the only important pursuit of the
Southerners. But the Southerners would have been glad to have a duty
placed on hemp. This the New Englanders opposed because it would
increase the cost of rigging ships. The Pennsylvanians were eager for a
duty on iron and steel. But the New Englanders opposed this duty because
it would add to the cost of building a ship, and the Southerners opposed
it because it would increase the cost of agricultural tools. And so it
was as to nearly every duty that was proposed. But duties must be laid,
and the only thing that could be done was to compromise in every
direction. Each section got something that it wanted, gave up a great
deal that it wanted, and agreed to something that it did not want at
all. And so it has been with every tariff act from that day to this.
[Sidenote: The first census.]
[Sidenote: Extent of the United States, 1791.]
[Sidenote: Population of the United States, 1791.]
200. The First Census, 1791.--The Constitution provided that
representatives should be distributed among the states according to
population as modified by the federal ratio (p. 142). To do this it was
necessary to find out how many people there were in each state. In 1791
the first census was taken. By that time both North Carolina and Rhode
Island had joined the Union, and Vermont had been admitted as the
fourteenth state. It appeared that there were nearly four million people
in the United States, or not as many as one hundred years later lived
around the shores of New York harbor. There were then about seven
hundred thousand slaves in the country. Of these only fifty thousand
were in the states north of Maryland. The country, therefore, was
already divided into two sections: one where slavery was of little
importance, and another where it was of great importance.
[Sidenote: Vermont admitted, 1791.]
[Sidenote: _Higginson_ 229.]
[Sidenote: Kentucky admitted, 1792. _Higginson_, 224-230.]
201. New States.--The first new state to be admitted to the Union
was Vermont (1791). The land which formed this state was claimed by New
Hampshire and by New York. But during the Revolution the Green Mountain
Boys had declared themselves independent and had drawn up a
constitution. They now applied to Congress for admission to the Union as
a separate state. The next year Kentucky came into the Union. This was
originally a part of Virginia, and the colonists had brought their
slaves with them to their new homes. Kentucky, therefore, was a slave
state. Vermont was a free state, and its constitution forbade slavery.
[Illustration: CENTER OF POPULATION]
[Sidenote: Origin of the National Debt. For details, see _McMaster_,
202. The National Debt.--The National Debt was the price of
independence. During the war Congress had been too poor to pay gold and
silver for what it needed to carry on the war. So it had given promises
to pay at some future time. These promises to pay were called by various
names as bonds, certificates of indebtedness, and paper money. Taken all
together they formed what was called the Domestic Debt, because it was
owed to persons living in the United States. There was also a Foreign
Debt. This was owed to the King of France and to other foreigners who
had lent money to the United States.
[Sidenote: Hamilton as a financier.]
[Sidenote: His plan.]
[Sidenote: Objections to it.]
203. Hamilton's Financial Policy.--Alexander Hamilton was the
ablest Secretary of the Treasury the United States has ever had. To give
people confidence in the new government, he proposed to redeem the old
certificates and bonds, dollar for dollar, in new bonds. To this plan
there was violent objection. Most of the original holders of the
certificates and bonds had sold them long ago. They were now mainly held
by speculators who had paid about thirty or forty cents for each dollar.
Why should the speculator get one dollar for that which had cost him
only thirty or forty cents? Hamilton insisted that his plan was the only
way to place the public credit on a firm foundation, and it was
[Illustration: ALEXANDER HAMILTON. "He smote the rock of the national
resources and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the
dead corpse of the public credit and it sprang upon its
[Sidenote: The state debts. _Source-Book_, 186-188.]
[Sidenote: Hamilton's plan of assumption.]
[Sidenote: Objections to it.]
[Sidenote: Failure of the bill.]
204. Assumption of State Debts.--A further part of Hamilton's
original scheme aroused even greater opposition. During the
Revolutionary War the states, too, had become heavily in debt. They had
furnished soldiers and supplies to Congress. Some of them had undertaken
expeditions at their own expense. Virginia, for example, had borne all
the cost of Clark's conquest of the Northwest (p. 116). She had later
ceded nearly all her rights in the conquered territory to the United
States (p. 135). These debts had been incurred for the benefit of the
people as a whole. Would it not then be fair for the people of the
United States as a whole to pay them? Hamilton thought that it would. It
chanced, however, that the Northern states had much larger debts than
had the Southern states. One result of Hamilton's scheme would be to
relieve the Northern states of a part of their burdens and to increase
the burdens of the Southern states. The Southerners, therefore, were
strongly opposed to the plan. The North Carolina representatives reached
New York just in time to vote against it, and that part of Hamilton's
plan was defeated.
[Illustration: AN OLD STAGECOACH. The house was built in Lincoln County,
Kentucky, in 1783.]
[Sidenote: Question of the site of the national capital.]
[Sidenote: Jefferson and Hamilton.]
[Sidenote: The District of Columbia.]
205. The National Capital.--In these days of fast express trains it
makes little difference whether one is going to Philadelphia or to
Baltimore--only a few hours more or less in a comfortable railroad car.
But in 1791 it made a great deal of difference whether one were going to
Philadelphia or to Baltimore. Traveling was especially hard in the
South. There were few roads or taverns in that part of the country, and
those few were bad. The Southerners were anxious to have the national
capital as far south as possible. They were also opposed to the
assumption of the state debts by the national government. Now it
happened that the Northerners were in favor of the assumption of the
debts and did not care very much where the national capital might be. In
the end Jefferson and Hamilton made "a deal," the first of its kind in
our history. Enough Southerners voted for the assumption bill to pass
it. The Northerners, on their part, agreed that the temporary seat of
government should be at Philadelphia, and the permanent seat of
government on the Potomac. Virginia and Maryland at once ceded enough
land to form a "federal district." This was called the District of
Columbia. Soon preparations were begun to build a capital city
there--the city of Washington.
[Illustration: A LADY OF THE "REPUBLICAN COURT."]
[Sidenote: Hamilton's plan for a United States bank. _McMaster_, 201]
[Sidenote: Jefferson's argument against it.]
[Sidenote: The bank established.]
206. The First Bank of the United States.--Two parts of Hamilton's
plan were now adopted. To the third part of his scheme there was even
more opposition. This was the establishment of a great Bank of the
United States. The government in 1790 had no place in which to keep its
money. Instead of establishing government treasuries, Hamilton wanted a
great national bank, controlled by the government. This bank could
establish branches in important cities. The government's money could be
deposited at any of these branches and could be paid out by checks sent
from the Treasury. Furthermore, people could buy a part of the stock of
the bank with the new bonds of the United States. This would make people
more eager to own the bonds, and so would increase their price. For all
these reasons Hamilton thought the bank would be very useful, and
therefore "necessary and proper" for the carrying out of the powers
given by the Constitution to the national government. Jefferson,
however, thought that the words "necessary and proper" meant necessary
and not useful. The bank was not necessary according to the ordinary use
of the word. Congress therefore had no business to establish it. After
thinking the matter over, Washington signed the bill and it became a
law. But Jefferson had sounded the alarm. Many persons agreed with him,
many others agreed with Hamilton. Two great political parties were
formed and began the contest for power that has been going on
RISE OF POLITICAL PARTIES
[Sidenote: Formation of the Federalist party. _McMaster_, 202.]
207. The Federalists.--There were no political parties in the
United States in 1789. All the leading men were anxious to give the new
Constitution a fair trial. Even Patrick Henry supported Washington. Many
men, as Alexander Hamilton and Gouverneur Morris, believed a monarchy to
be the best form of government. But they saw clearly that the American
people would not permit a monarchy to be established. So they supported
the Constitution although they thought that it was "a frail and
worthless fabric." But they wished to establish the strongest possible
government that could be established under the Constitution. This they
could do by defining in the broadest way the doubtful words in the
Constitution as Hamilton had done in the controversy over the bank
charter (p. 162). Hamilton had little confidence in the wisdom of the
plain people. He believed it would be safer to rely on the richer
classes. So he and his friends wished to give to the central government
and to the richer classes the greatest possible amount of power. Those
who believed as Hamilton believed called themselves Federalists. In
reality they were Nationalists.
[Sidenote: Formation of the Republican party.]
208. The Republicans.--Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Albert
Gallatin, and their friends entirely disagreed with the Federalists on
all of these points. They called themselves Republicans. In the Great
Declaration Jefferson had written that government rested on the consent
of the governed. He also thought that the common sense of the plain
people was a safer guide than the wisdom of the richer classes. He was
indignant at the way in which Hamilton defined the meaning of phrases in
the Constitution. He especially relied on the words of the Tenth
Amendment. This amendment provided that "all powers not delegated to the
United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states are
reserved to the states respectively or to the people." Jefferson thought
that phrases like "not delegated" and "necessary and proper" should be
understood in their ordinary meanings. He now determined to arouse
public opinion. He once declared that if he had to choose between having
a government and having a newspaper press, he should prefer the
newspaper press. He established a newspaper devoted to his principles
and began a violent and determined attack on the Federalists, calling
them monarchists. These disputes became especially violent in the
treatment of the questions which grew out of the French Revolution.
[Sidenote: The French Revolution, 1789.]
209. The French Revolution.--In 1789 the French people rose against
their government. In 1792 they imprisoned their king and queen. In 1793
they beheaded them, and set up a republic. The monarchs of Europe made
common cause against this spirit of revolution. They made war on the
French Republic and began a conflict which soon spread to all parts of
[Sidenote: Effect of the French Revolution on American politics.
[Sidenote: Federalists and Republicans.]
210. The French Revolution and American Politics.--Jefferson and
his political friends rejoiced at the overthrow of the French monarchy
and the setting up of the Republic. It seemed as if American ideas had
spread to Europe. Soon Jefferson's followers began to ape the manners of
the French revolutionists. They called each other Citizen this and
Citizen that. Reports of French victories were received with rejoicing.
At Boston an ox, roasted whole, bread, and punch were distributed to the
people in the streets, and cakes stamped with the French watchwords,
Liberty and Equality, were given to the children. But, while the
Republicans were rejoicing over the downfall of the French monarchy, the
Federalists were far from being happy. Hamilton had no confidence in
government by the people anywhere. Washington, with his aristocratic
ideas, did not at all like the way the Republicans were acting. He said
little on the subject, but Lady Washington expressed her mind freely and
spoke of Jefferson's followers as "filthy Democrats."
[Sidenote: Genet at Charleston.]
[Sidenote: His contest with the government.]
211. Citizen Genet.--The new French government soon sent an agent
or minister to the United States. He was the Citizen Genet. He landed at
Charleston, South Carolina. He fitted out privateers to prey on British
commerce and then set out overland for Philadelphia. Washington had
recently made a tour through the South. But even he had not been
received with the enthusiasm that greeted Genet. But when Genet reached
Philadelphia, and began to confer with Jefferson about getting help from
the government, he found little except delay, trouble, and good advice.
Jefferson especially tried to warn Genet not to be over confident. But
Genet would not listen. He even appealed to the people against
Washington, and the people rallied to the defense of the President. Soon
another and wiser French minister came to the United States.
[Sidenote: The Treaty of Alliance of 1778.]
[Sidenote: The Neutrality Proclamation, 1793.]
212. The Neutrality Proclamation, 1793.--Washington and his
advisers had a very difficult question to settle. For the Treaty of 1778
with France (p. 115) gave to French ships the use of United States
ports in war time, and closed those ports to the enemies of France. The
treaty might also oblige the United States to make war on Great Britain
in order to preserve the French West India Islands to France. It was
quite certain, at all events, that if French warships were allowed to
use American ports, and British warships were not allowed to do so,
Great Britain would speedily make war on the United States. The treaty
had been made with the King of France. Could it not be set aside on the
ground that there was no longer a French monarchy? Washington at length
made up his mind to regard it as suspended, owing to the confusion which
existed in France. He therefore issued a Proclamation of Neutrality. In
this proclamation he warned all citizens not to aid either of the
fighting nations. It was in this way that Washington began the policy of
keeping the United States out of European conflicts (p. 224).
[Sidenote: Internal revenue taxes.]
[Sidenote: The Whiskey Rebellion, 1794. _McMaster_, 203-204.]
213. The Whiskey Insurrection, 1794.--The increasing expenses of
the government made new taxes necessary. Among the new taxes was an
internal revenue tax on whiskey. It happened that this tax bore heavily
on the farmers of western Carolina and western Pennsylvania. The farmers
of those regions could not take their grain to the seaboard because the
roads were bad and the distance was great. So they made it into whiskey,
which could be carried to the seaboard and sold at a profit. The new tax
on whiskey would make it more difficult for these western farmers to
earn a living and to support their families. They refused to pay it.
They fell upon the tax collectors and drove them away. Washington sent
commissioners to explain matters to them. But the farmers paid no heed
to the commissioners. The President then called out fifteen thousand
militia-men and sent them to western Pennsylvania, under the command of
Henry Lee, governor of Virginia. The rebellious farmers yielded without
fighting. Two of the leaders were convicted of treason. But Washington
pardoned them, and the conflict ended there. The new government had
shown its strength, and had compelled people to obey the laws. That in
itself was a very great thing to have done.
[Sidenote: Relations with Great Britain. _McMaster_, 207-209;
[Sidenote: Jay's Treaty, 1794.]
214. Jay's Treaty, 1794.--Ever since 1783 there had been trouble
with the British. They had not surrendered the posts on the Great Lakes,
as the treaty of 1783 required them to do. They had oppressed American
commerce. The American states also had broken the treaty by making laws
to prevent the collection of debts due to British subjects by American
citizens. The Congress of the Confederation had been too weak to compel
either the British government or the American states to obey the treaty.
But the new government was strong enough to make treaties respected at
home and abroad. Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to London to
negotiate a new treaty. He found the British government very hard to
deal with. At last he made a treaty. But there were many things in it
which were not at all favorable to the United States. For instance, it
provided that cotton should not be exported from the United States, and
that American commerce with the British West Indies should be greatly
[Sidenote: Contest over ratification of Jay's Treaty, 1795.]
215. Ratification of Jay's Treaty, 1795.--After a long discussion
the Senate voted to ratify the treaty without these two clauses. In the
House of Representatives there was a fierce debate. For although the
House has nothing to do with ratifying treaties, it has a great deal to
do with voting money. And money was needed to carry out this treaty. At
last the House voted the necessary money. The British surrendered the
posts on the Great Lakes, and the debts due to British subjects were
paid. Many people were very angry with Jay and with Washington for
making this treaty. Stuffed figures of Jay were hanged, and Washington
was attacked in the papers as if he had been "a common pickpocket"--to
use his own words.
[Illustration: SOUTHERN BOUNDARY OF UNITED STATES 1795]
[Sidenote: Treaty with Spain, 1795.]
[Sidenote: Right of deposit.]
216. The Spanish Treaty of 1795.--France and Great Britain were
not the only countries with which there was trouble. The Spaniards held
posts on the Mississippi, within the limits of the United States and
refused to give them up. For a hundred miles the Mississippi flowed
through Spanish territory. In those days, before steam railroads
connected the Ohio valley with the Eastern seacoast, the farmers of
Kentucky and Tennessee sent their goods by boat or raft down the
Mississippi to New Orleans. At that city they were placed on sea-going
vessels and carried to the markets of the world. The Spaniards refused
to let this commerce be carried on. In 1795, however, they agreed to
abandon the posts and to permit American goods to be deposited at New
Orleans while awaiting shipment by sea-going vessels.
[Sidenote: Washington declines a third term.]
[Sidenote: His Farewell Address.]
217. Washington's Farewell Address.--In 1792 Washington had been
reelected President. In 1796 there would be a new election, and
Washington declined another nomination. He was disgusted with the tone
of public life and detested party politics, and desired to pass the
short remainder of his life in quiet at Mt. Vernon. He announced his
intention to retire in a Farewell Address, which should be read and
studied by every American. In it he declared the Union to be the main
pillar of independence, prosperity, and liberty. Public credit must be
carefully maintained, and the United States should have as little as
possible to do with European affairs. In declining a third term as
President, Washington set an example which has ever since been followed.
THE LAST FEDERALIST ADMINISTRATION
[Sidenote: Hamilton's intrigues against Adams.]
[Sidenote: Adams elected, President, 1796.]
218. John Adams elected President, 1796.--In 1796 John Adams was
the Federalist candidate for President. His rival was Thomas Jefferson,
the founder and chief of the Republican party. Alexander Hamilton was
the real leader of the Federalists, and he disliked Adams. Thomas
Pinckney was the Federalist candidate for Vice-President. Hamilton
suggested a plan which he thought would lead to the election of Pinckney
as President instead of Adams. But Hamilton's scheme did not turn out
very well. For by it Jefferson was elected Vice-President. Indeed, he
came near being President, for he had only three less electoral votes
[Sidenote: Relations with France, 1796-97. _McMaster, 210-212;
[Sidenote: The French government declines to receive an American
219. More Trouble with France.--France was now (1796-97) governed
by five chiefs of the Revolution, who called themselves "the Directory."
They were very angry when they heard of Jay's Treaty (p. 168), for they
had hoped that the Americans would make war on the British. James Monroe
was then American minister at Paris. Instead of doing all he could to
smooth over this difficulty, he urged on the wrath of the Directory.
Washington recalled Monroe, and sent in his stead General Charles
Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina. The Directory promptly refused to
receive Pinckney, and ordered him to leave France. News of this action
of the Directory reached Philadelphia three days after Adams's
[Sidenote: Adams's message, 1797.]
[Sidenote: A commission sent to France, 1797.]
[Sidenote: The X.Y.Z. Affair, 1797-98.]
220. The X.Y.Z. Affair, 1797-98.--Adams at once summoned Congress
and addressed the members in stirring words. He denied that the
Americans were a "degraded people, humiliated under a colonial sense of
fear ... and regardless of national honor, character, and interest." It
seemed best, however, to make one more effort to avoid war. Adams
therefore sent John Marshall, a Virginia Federalist, and Elbridge Gerry,
a Massachusetts Republican, to France. They were to join Pinckney and
together were to negotiate with the French Directory. When they reached
Paris three men came to see them. These men said that America (1) must
apologize for the President's vigorous words, (2) must lend money to
France, and (3) must bribe the Directory and the Minister of Foreign
Affairs. These outrageous suggestions were emphatically put aside. In
sending the papers to Congress, the three men were called Mr. X., Mr.
Y., and Mr. Z., so the incident is always known as the "X.Y.Z. Affair."
[Sidenote: Excitement in America.]
221. Indignation in America.--Federalists and Republicans joined in
indignation. "Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute," was the
cry of the day. French flags were everywhere torn down. "Hail Columbia"
was everywhere sung. Adams declared that he would not send another
minister to France until he was assured that the representative of the
United States would be received as "the representative of a great,
free, powerful, and independent state."
[Sidenote: Washington appointed Commander-in-chief. Hamilton and Adams.]
[Sidenote: The navy.]
[Sidenote: Naval warfare, 1798-99. _McMaster_, 213-214.]
222. War with France, 1797-98.--The organization of a provisional
army was now at once begun. Washington accepted the chief command on
condition that Hamilton should have the second place. There were already
a few vessels in the navy. A Navy Department was now organized. The
building of more warships was begun, and merchant vessels were bought
and converted into cruisers. French privateers sailed along the American
coasts and captured American vessels off the entrances of the principal
harbors. But this did not last long. For the American warships drove the
privateers to the West Indies and pursued them as they fled southward.
Soon the American cruisers began to capture French men-of-war. Captain
Truxton, in the _Constellation_, captured the French frigate
_L'Insurgent_. Many other French vessels were captured, and preparations
were made to carry on the naval war even more vigorously when a treaty
with France was signed.
[Sidenote: Another commission sent to France.]
[Sidenote: The treaty of 1800.]
223. Treaty with France, 1800.--This vigor convinced the French
that they had been hasty in their treatment of the Americans. They now
said that if another minister were sent to France, he would be honorably
received. Adams wished to send one of the American ministers then in
Europe, and thus end the dispute as soon as possible. But the other
Federalist leaders thought that it would be better to wait until France
sent a minister to the United States. Finally they consented to the
appointment of three commissioners. Napoleon Bonaparte was now the ruler
of France. He received the commissioners honorably, and a treaty was
soon signed. On two points, however, he refused to give way. He declined
to pay for American property seized by the French, and he insisted that
the treaty of 1778 (pp. 115, 166) was still binding on both countries.
It was finally agreed that the Americans should give up their claims for
damages, and the French government should permit the treaty to be
annulled. John Adams always looked upon this peaceful ending of the
dispute with France as the most prudent and successful act of his whole
life. But Hamilton and other Federalists thought it was treachery to the
party. They set to work to prevent his reelection to the presidency.
[Sidenote: Repressive Laws. _McMaster_, 211-212.]
[Sidenote: The naturalization act.]
[Sidenote: The alien acts.]
[Sidenote: The Sedition Act.]
224. Alien and Sedition Acts, 1798.--The Federalists, even if they
had been united, would probably have been defeated in the election of
1800. For they had misused their power to pass several very foolish
laws. The first of these laws was the Naturalization Act. It lengthened
the time of residence in the United States from five to fourteen years
before a foreign immigrant could gain the right to vote. This law bore
very harshly on the Republicans, because most of the immigrants were
Republicans. Other laws, called the Alien Acts, were also aimed at the
Republican immigrants. These laws gave the President power to compel
immigrants to leave the United States, or to live in certain places that
he named. The worst law of all was the Sedition Act. This was aimed
against the writers and printers of Republican newspapers. It provided
that any one who attacked the government in the press should be severely
punished as a seditious person. Several trials were held under this law.
Every trial made hundreds of persons determined to vote for the
Republican candidate at the next election.
[Sidenote: Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions 1798-99. _McMaster_,
[Sidenote: Jefferson and Madison on the Constitution.]
[Sidenote: The Kentucky Resolutions of 1799.]
225. Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, 1798-99.--In the exciting
years before the Revolutionary War the colonial legislatures had passed
many resolutions condemning the acts of the British government (see pp.
77, 84). Following this example Jefferson and Madison now brought it
about that the Virginia and Kentucky legislatures passed resolutions
against the Alien and Sedition Acts. They declared that the Constitution
was a compact between the states. It followed from this that any state
could determine for itself whether any act of Congress were
constitutional or not. It followed from, this, again, that any state
could refuse to permit an Act of Congress to be enforced within its
limits. In other words, any state could make null or nullify any Act of
Congress that it saw fit to oppose. This last conclusion was found only
in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1799. But Jefferson wrote to this effect
in the original draft of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. The Virginia
and Kentucky Resolutions called the voter's attention to the Federalist
abuse of power and did much to form public opinion.
[Sidenote: Death of Washington, 1799.]
226. Death of Washington, 1799.--In the midst of this excitement
George Washington died. People forgot how strongly he had taken the
Federalist side in the last few years, and united to do honor to his
memory. Henry Lee spoke for the nation when he declared that Washington
was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his
countrymen." To this day, we commemorate Washington's birthday as we do
that of no other man, though of late years we have begun to keep
Lincoln's birthday also.
[Sidenote: Election of 1800. _McMaster_, 215.]
[Sidenote: Jefferson and Burr.]
[Sidenote: The election in the House of Representatives.]
227. Election of 1800.--It was for a moment only that the noise of
party conflict was hushed by the death of America's first President. The
strife soon began anew. Indeed, the election of 1800 was fought with a
vigor and violence unknown before, and scarcely exceeded since. John
Adams was the Federalist candidate, and he was defeated. Jefferson and
Burr, the Republican candidates, each received seventy-three electoral
votes. But which of them should be President? The Republican voters
clearly wished Jefferson to be President. But the Federalists had a
majority in the House of Representatives. They had a clear legal right
to elect Burr President. But to do that would be to do what was morally
wrong. After a useless struggle the Federalists permitted Jefferson to
be chosen, and he was inaugurated on March 4, 1801.
[Illustration: PRESIDENT WASHINGTON, 1790. "Observe good faith and
justice towards all nations."--_Farewell Address._]
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS
Sec.Sec. 192-194.--_a_. Describe the method of electing President employed at
_b_. Describe Washington's journey to New York and the inaugural
ceremonies, and compare them with the inauguration of the last
Sec.Sec. 195, 196.--_a_. In whose hands do appointments to federal offices
_b_. What was the great difference mentioned in Sec. 196? Why was the
difference so great?
Sec.Sec. 197, 198.--_a_. Why was Washington "stiff and aristocratic"?
_b_. Would Washington have accepted the title of king? Give the reasons
for your answer.
Sec.Sec. 199-202.--_a_. Give the reasons for the different views expressed in
Congress as to customs duties. What are customs duties?
_b_. Explain how slavery influenced the views of the Southern members.
_c_. Compare the extent and population of the United States in 1791 with
the extent and population to-day.
_d_. What two new states were admitted in 1791-92? What was their
attitude on slavery? What changes would their admission make
Sec.Sec. 203, 204.--_a_. Explain carefully Hamilton's plan. What were its
advantages? What is meant by the phrase "public credit"?
_b_. What is meant by the phrase "assumption of the state debts"?
Sec.Sec. 205, 206.--_a_. What question arose concerning the site of the
national capital? How was it settled? Was this a good way to settle
_b_. Why did Hamilton want a Bank of the United States? Was this bank
like one of the national banks of to-day?
Sec.Sec. 207, 208.--_a_. Compare carefully the principles of the Federalists
and the Republicans. Which party would you have joined had you lived
then? Why? Which ideas prevail to-day?
_b_. Discuss Jefferson's views as to the value of newspapers.
Sec.Sec. 209-212.--_a_. Why did the Republicans sympathize with the French
_b_. How was the action of the Republicans regarded by Washington? By
_c._ Why did Washington issue the Proclamation of Neutrality?
Sec. 213.--_a_. What is the difference between a tax laid by a tariff on
imported goods and an internal revenue tax?
_b_. How was the rebellion suppressed? Compare this with Shays's
Sec.Sec. 214-216.--_a_. State the reasons for the trouble with Great Britain.
How was the matter settled?
_b._ Explain the trouble over the traffic on the Mississippi.
_c_. How was this matter settled?
Sec. 217.--_a_. Why did Washington decline a third term?
_b_. What are the important points in his Farewell Address?
_c_. How far has later history proved the truth of his words?
Sec. 218.--_a_. How did Hamilton set to work to defeat Adams? Do you think
his action justifiable?
_b_. What was the result of Hamilton's intrigues?
Sec.Sec. 219-221.--_a_. To what was the refusal to receive Pinckney
equivalent? Describe the X. Y. Z. Affair.
_b_. What is a bribe? How must bribery in political life affect a
_c_. How was the news of this affair received in America? What does this
show about the feeling of both parties toward the government?
Sec.Sec. 222, 223.--_a_. Describe the preparations for war. Why was a Navy
_b_. Why was France wise to make peace with the United States?
_c_. How was the matter finally settled?
Sec.Sec. 224, 225.--_a_. Describe the Naturalization Act.
_b_. What power did the Alien Act give the President? What danger is
there in such power?
_c_. What is sedition? Compare the Sedition Act with the First
_d_. What were the theories on which the Kentucky and Virginia
Resolutions were based?
Sec.Sec. 226, 227.--_a_. What position does Washington hold in our history?
Why is it deserved? _b_. Describe the election of 1800. Why was it
fought so bitterly? _c_. Why should disputes as to elections for
President go to the House? _d_. How was it known that Jefferson's
election was the wish of the voters?
_a_. Write an account of life in the United States about 1790, or life
in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Charleston.
_b_. Prepare a table of the two political parties mentioned, with dates
and account of origin. As you go on, note upon this table changes in
these parties and the rise of new ones.
_c_. On an Outline Map color the thirteen original states and then fill
in, with dates, new states as they are admitted. Write on each state F.
for free or S. for slave, as the case may be.
TOPICS FOR SPECIAL WORK
_a_. Early life of Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, or Hamilton.
_b_. Washington's Farewell Address.
In this period we meet two questions, which are still important, tariff
legislation and political parties. In connection with the Tariff Act of
1789 (Sec. 200), touch upon the industries of the different sections of the
country and explain how local interests affected men's actions. Show how
compromise is often necessary in political action.
It is a good plan to use Outline Maps to show the important lines of
development, as the gradual drifting apart of the North and the South on
the slavery question.
Illustrate by supposed transactions the working of Hamilton's financial
measures. By all means do not neglect a study of Washington's Farewell
Address. Particular attention should be given to the two views of
constitutional interpretation mentioned in Sec. 207, and considerable time
should be spent on a study of Sec.Sec. 224 and 225.
[Illustration: THE UNITED STATES IN 1800.]
THE JEFFERSONIAN REPUBLICANS,
Books for Study and Reading
References.--Higginson's _Larger History_, 344-365; Scribner's
_Popular History_, IV, 127-184; Schouler's _Jefferson_.
Home Reading.--Coffin's _Building the Nation;_ Drake's _Making the
Ohio Valley States;_ Hale's _Man Without a Country_ and _Philip
THE UNITED STATES IN 1800
228. Area and Population, 1800.--The area of the United States in
1800 was the same as at the close of the Revolutionary War. But the
population had begun to increase rapidly. In 1791 there were nearly four
million people in the United States. By 1800 this number had risen to
five and one-quarter millions. Two-thirds of the people still lived on
or near tide-water. But already nearly four hundred thousand people
lived west of the Alleghanies. In 1791 the centre of population had been
east of Baltimore. It was now eighteen miles west of that city (p. 157).
[Sidenote: New York.]
[Sidenote: The new capital.]
229. Cities and Towns in 1800.--Philadelphia was the largest city
in the United States. It had a population of seventy thousand. But New
York was not far behind Philadelphia in population. Except these two, no
city in the whole United States had more than thirty thousand
inhabitants. The seat of government had been removed from Philadelphia
to Washington. But the new capital was a city only in name. One broad
long street, Pennsylvania Avenue, led from the unfinished Capitol to the
unfinished White House. Congress held its sessions in a temporary wooden
building. The White House could be lived in. But Mrs. Adams found the
unfinished reception room very convenient for drying clothes on rainy
Mondays. A few cheaply built and very uncomfortable boarding-houses
completed the city.
[Sidenote: Roads, coaches, and inns.]
[Sidenote: Traveling by water.]
230. Traveling in 1800.--The traveler in those days had a very hard
time. On the best roads of the north, in the best coach, and with the
best weather one might cover as many as forty miles a day. But the
traveler had to start very early in the morning to do this. Generally he
thought himself fortunate if he made twenty-five miles in the
twenty-four hours. South of the Potomac there were no public coaches,
and the traveler generally rode on horseback. A few rich men like
Washington rode in their own coaches. Everywhere, north and south, the
inns were uncomfortable and the food was poor. Whenever it was possible
the traveler went by water. But that was dangerous work. Lighthouses
were far apart, there were no public buoys to guide the mariner, and
almost nothing had been done to improve navigation.
[Illustration: THE "CLERMONT," 1807.]
[Sidenote: The first steamboat]
[Sidenote: Fulton's steamboat, 1807. _Higginson_, 241-242.]
231. The Steamboat.--The steamboat came to change all this. While
Washington was still President, a queer-looking boat sailed up and down
the Delaware. She was propelled by oars or paddles which were worked by
steam. This boat must have been very uncomfortable, and few persons
wished to go on her. Robert Fulton made the first successful steamboat.
She was named the _Clermont_ and was launched in 1807. She had paddle
wheels and steamed against the wind and tide of the Hudson River. At
first some people thought that she was bewitched. But when it was found
that she ran safely and regularly, people began to travel on her. Before
a great while steamboats appeared in all parts of the country.
[Sidenote: Western pioneers.]
[Sidenote: Settlements on the Ohio. _Eggleston_, 232-234; _Higginson_,
232. Making of the West.--Even before the Revolutionary War
explorers and settlers had crossed the Alleghany Mountains. In
Washington's time pioneers, leaving Pittsburg, floated down the Ohio
River in flatboats. Some of these settled Cincinnati. Others went
farther down the river to Louisville, in Kentucky, and still others
founded Wheeling and Marietta. In 1811 the first steamboat appeared on
the Western rivers. The whole problem of living in the West rapidly
changed. For the steamboat could go up stream as well as down stream.
Communication between the new settlements, and New Orleans and
Pittsburg, was now much safer and very much easier.
[Sidenote: Cotton growing.]
[Sidenote: Beginning of exportation, 1784.]
233. Cotton Growing in the South.--Cotton had been grown in the
South for many years. It had been made on the plantations into a rough
cloth. Very little had been sent away. The reason for this was that it
took a very long time to separate the cotton fiber from the seed. One
slave working for a whole day could hardly clean more than a pound of
cotton. Still as time went on more cotton was grown. In 1784 a few bags
of cotton were sent to England. The Englishmen promptly seized it
because they did not believe that so much cotton could be grown in
America. In 1791 nearly two hundred thousand pounds of cotton were
exported from the South. Then came Whitney's great invention, which
entirely changed the whole history of the country.
[Illustration: THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA. As designed by Thomas
[Sidenote: Eli Whitney.]
[Sidenote: His cotton gin, 1793. _McMaster_, 195-196.]
234. Whitney's Cotton Gin, 1793.--Eli Whitney was a Connecticut
schoolmaster. He went to Georgia to teach General Greene's children. He
was very ingenious, and one day Mrs. Greene suggested to him that he
might make a machine which would separate the cotton fiber from the
cotton seed. Whitney set to work and soon made an engine or gin, as he
called it, that would do this. The first machine was a rude affair. But
even with it one slave could clean one hundred pounds of cotton in a
day. Mrs. Greene's neighbors promptly broke into Whitney's shop and
stole his machine. Whitney's cotton gin made the growing of cotton
profitable and so fastened slavery on the South. With the exception of
the steam locomotive (p. 241) and the reaper (p. 260), no invention has
so tremendously influenced the history of the United States.
[Sidenote: Early manufactures.]
235. Colonial Manufactures.--Before the Revolutionary War there
were very few mills or factories in the colonies. There was no money to
put into such undertakings and no operatives to work the mills if they
had been built. The only colonial manufactures that amounted to much
were the making of nails and shoes. These articles could be made at home
on the farms, in the winter, when no work could be done out of doors.
[Sidenote: New manufactures established.]
[Sidenote: Invention of cotton spinning machinery.]
236. Growth of Manufactures, 1789-1800.--As soon as the new
government with its wide powers was established, manufacturing started
into life. Old mills were set to work. While the Revolution had been
going on in America, great improvements in the spinning of yarn and the
weaving of cloth had been made in England. Parliament made laws to
prevent the export from England of machinery or patterns of machinery.
But it could not prevent Englishmen from coming to America. Among the
recent immigrants to the United States was Samuel Slater. He brought no
patterns with him. But he was familiar with the new methods of
spinning. He soon built spinning machinery. New cotton mills were now
set up in several places. But it was some time before the new weaving
machinery was introduced into America.
[Sidenote: Jefferson's political ideas. _Higginson_ 239; _McMaster_,
[Sidenote: Republican simplicity.]
237. President Jefferson.--Thomas Jefferson was a Republican. He
believed in the republican form of government. He believed the wisdom of
the people to be the best guide. He wished the President to be simple
and cordial in his relations with his fellow-citizens. Adams had ridden
to his inauguration in a coach drawn by six cream-colored horses.
Jefferson walked with a few friends from his boarding house to the
Capitol. Washington and Adams had gone in state to Congress and had
opened the session with a speech. Jefferson sent a written message to
Congress by a messenger. Instead of bowing stiffly to those who came to
see him, he shook hands with them and tried to make them feel at ease in
[Sidenote: Proscription of Republicans by the Federalists.]
[Sidenote: Adams's midnight appointments.]
238. The Civil Service.--One of the first matters to take
Jefferson's attention was the condition of the civil service. There was
not a Republican office-holder in the government service. Washington, in
the last years of his presidency, and Adams also had given office only
to Federalists. Jefferson thought it was absolutely necessary to have
some officials upon whom he could rely. So he removed a few Federalist
officeholders and appointed Republicans to their places. Adams had even
gone so far as to appoint officers up to midnight of his last day in
office. Indeed, John Marshall, his Secretary of State, was busy signing
commissions when Jefferson's Attorney General walked in with his watch
in hand and told Marshall that it was twelve o'clock. Jefferson and
Madison, the new Secretary of State, refused to deliver these
commissions even when Marshall as Chief Justice ordered Madison to
[Sidenote: The Judiciary Act, 1801.]
[Sidenote: Repealed by Republicans]
[Sidenote: Jefferson and appointments.]
239. The Judiciary Act of 1801.--One of the last laws made by the
Federalists was the Judiciary Act of 1801. This law greatly enlarged the
national judiciary, and Adams eagerly seized the opportunity to appoint
his friends to the new offices. The Republican Congress now repealed
this Judiciary Act and "legislated out of office" all the new judges.
For it must be remembered that the Constitution makes only the members
of the Supreme Court sure of their offices. Congress also got rid of
many other Federalist officeholders by repealing the Internal Revenue
Act (p. 167). But while all this was done, Jefferson steadily refused to
appoint men to office merely because they were Republicans. One man
claimed an office on the ground that he was a Republican, and that the
Republicans were the saviors of the republic. Jefferson replied that
Rome had been saved by geese, but he had never heard that the geese were
[Illustration: THOMAS JEFFERSON.] "Honest friendship with all nations,
entangling alliances with none, ... economy in the public expense, the
honest payment of our debts, and sacred preservation of the public
faith."--_Jefferson's First Inaugural._
[Sidenote: Expenses diminished.]
[Sidenote: Internal taxes repealed.]
[Sidenote: Army and navy reduced.]
[Sidenote: Part of the debt paid. _McMaster_, 217-218.]
240. Paying the National Debt.--Jefferson was especially anxious to
cut down the expenses of the government and to pay as much as possible
of the national debt. Madison and Gallatin worked heartily with him to
carry out this policy. The repeal of the Internal Revenue Act took much
revenue from the government. But it also did away with the salaries of a
great many officials. The repeal of the Judiciary Act also put an end to
many salaries. Now that the dispute with France was ended, Jefferson
thought that the army and navy might safely be reduced. Most of the
naval vessels were sold. A few good ships were kept at sea, and the rest
were tied up at the wharves. The number of ministers to European states
was reduced to the lowest possible limit, and the civil service at home
was also cut down. The expenses of the government were in these ways
greatly lessened. At the same time the revenue from the customs service
increased. The result was that in the eight years of Jefferson's
administrations the national debt shrank from eighty-three million
dollars to forty-five million dollars. Yet in the same time the United
States paid fifteen million dollars for Louisiana, and waged a series of
successful and costly wars with the pirates of the northern coast
[Sidenote: The Spaniards in Louisiana and Florida. _McMaster_, 218-219.]
[Sidenote: France secures Louisiana.]
241. Louisiana again a French Colony.--Spanish territory now
bounded the United States on the south and the west. The Spaniards were
not good neighbors, because it was very hard to make them come to an
agreement, and next to impossible to make them keep an agreement when
it was made. But this did not matter very much, because Spain was a weak
power and was growing weaker every year. Sooner or later the United
States would gain its point. Suddenly, however, it was announced that
France had got back Louisiana. And almost at the same moment the Spanish
governor of Louisiana said that Americans could no longer deposit their
goods at New Orleans (p. 170). At once there was a great outcry in the
West. Jefferson determined to buy from France New Orleans and the land
eastward from the mouth of the Mississippi.
[Illustration: JACKSON SQUARE, NEW ORLEANS.]
[Illustration: ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.]
[Sidenote: Napoleon's policy.]
[Sidenote: He offers to sell Louisiana.]
242. The Louisiana Purchase, 1803.--When Napoleon got Louisiana
from Spain, he had an idea of again founding a great French colony in
America. At the moment France and Great Britain were at peace. But it
soon looked as if war would begin again. Napoleon knew that the British
would at once seize Louisiana and he could not keep it anyway. So one
day, when the Americans and the French were talking about the purchase
of New Orleans, the French minister suddenly asked if the United States
would not like to buy the whole of Louisiana. Monroe and Livingston, the
American ministers, had no authority to buy Louisiana. But the purchase
of the whole colony would be a great benefit to the United States. So
they quickly agreed to pay fifteen million dollars for the whole of
[Sidenote: Louisiana purchased, 1803. _Higginson_, 244-245; _Eggleston_,
234; _Source-Book_, 200-202.]
[Sidenote: Importance of the purchase.]
243. The Treaty Ratified.--Jefferson found himself in a strange
position. The Constitution nowhere delegated to the United States power
to acquire territory (p. 164). But after thinking it over Jefferson felt
sure that the people would approve of the purchase. The treaty was
ratified. The money was paid. This purchase turned out to be a most
fortunate thing. It gave to the United States the whole western valley
of the Mississippi. It also gave to Americans the opportunity to
explore and settle Oregon, which lay beyond the limits of Louisiana.
[Illustration: THE UNITED STATES IN 1803.]
[Sidenote: Lewis and Clark, 1804-6. _Higginson_, 245-247; _McMaster_,
[Sidenote: The mouth of the Oregon.]
244. Lewis and Clark's Explorations.--Jefferson soon sent out
several expeditions to explore the unknown portions of the continent.
The most important of these was the expedition led by two army officers,
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, brother of General George Rogers
Clark (p. 116). Leaving St. Louis they slowly ascended the muddy
Missouri. They passed the site of the present city of Omaha. They passed
the Council Bluffs. The current of the river now became so rapid that
the explorers left their boats and traveled along the river's bank. They
gained the sources of the Missouri, and came to a westward-flowing
river. On, on they followed it until they came to the river's mouth. A
fog hung low over the water. Suddenly it lifted. There before the
explorers' eyes the river "in waves like small mountains rolled out in
the ocean." They had traced the Columbia River from its upper course to
the Pacific. Captain Gray in the Boston ship _Columbia_ had already
entered the mouth of the river. But Lewis and Clark were the first white
men to reach it overland.
[Sidenote: Amendment as to the election of President.]
[Sidenote: The Twelfth Amendment, 1804.]
245. The Twelfth Amendment, 1804.--Four presidential elections had
now been held under the method provided by the Constitution. And that
method had not worked well (pp. 171, 176). It was now (1804) changed by
the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment which is still in force. The old
machinery of presidential electors was kept. But it was provided that
in the future each elector should vote for President and for
Vice-President on separate and distinct ballots. The voters had no more
part in the election under the new system than they had had under the
old system. The old method of apportioning electors among the states was
also kept. This gives to each state as many electors as it has Senators
and Representatives in Congress. No matter how small its territory, or
how small its population, a state has at least two Senators and one
Representative, and, therefore, three electors. The result is that each
voter in a small state has more influence in choosing the President than
each voter in a large state. Indeed, several Presidents have been
elected by minorities of the voters of the country as a whole.
[Sidenote: Jefferson reelected, 1804.]
[Sidenote: Strength of the Republicans.]
246. Reelection of Jefferson, 1804.--Jefferson's first
administration had been most successful. The Republicans had repealed
many unpopular laws. By the purchase of Louisiana the area of the United
States had been doubled and an end put to the dispute as to the
navigation of the Mississippi. The expenses of the national government
had been cut down, and a portion of the national debt had been paid. The
people were prosperous and happy. Under these circumstances Jefferson
was triumphantly reelected. He received one hundred and sixty-two
electoral votes to only fourteen for his Federalist rival.
[Illustration: STEPHEN DECATUR.]
CAUSES OF THE WAR OF 1812
[Sidenote: The African pirates. _Higginson_, 237-239; _Eggleston_,
[Sidenote: Tribute paying.]
[Sidenote: Jefferson ends this system.]
[Sidenote: _Hero Tales_, 103-113.]
247. The North Africa Pirates.--Stretching along the northern
shores of Africa from Egypt westward to the Atlantic were four states.
These states were named Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers, and Morocco. Their
people were Mohammedans, and were ruled over by persons called Deys or
Beys, or Pachas. These rulers found it profitable and pleasant to attack
and capture Christian ships. The cargoes of the captured vessels they
sold at good prices, and the seamen and passengers they sold at good
prices too--as slaves. The leading powers of Europe, instead of
destroying these pirates, found it easier to pay them to let their ships
alone. Washington and Adams also paid them to allow American ships to
sail unharmed. But the pirates were never satisfied with what was paid
them. Jefferson decided to put an end to this tribute paying. He sent a
few ships to seize the pirates and shut up their harbors. More and more
vessels were sent, until at last the Deys and Beys and Pachas thought it
would be cheaper to behave themselves properly. So they agreed to
release their American prisoners and not to capture any more American
ships (1805). In these little wars American naval officers gained much
useful experience and did many glorious deeds. Especially Decatur and
Somers won renown.
[Sidenote: European fighters attack American commerce. _McMaster_,
248. America, Britain, and France.--Napoleon Bonaparte was now
Emperor of the French. In 1804 he made war on the British and their
allies. Soon he became supreme on the land, and the British became
supreme on the water. They could no longer fight one another very
easily, so they determined to injure each other's trade and commerce as
much as possible. The British declared continental ports closed to
commerce, and Napoleon declared all British commerce to be unlawful. Of
course under these circumstances British and Continental ships could not
carry on trade, and American vessels rapidly took their places. The
British shipowners called upon their government to put an end to this
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