The cold war in Europe United States Asia summary




The cold war in Europe United States Asia summary


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The cold war in Europe United States Asia summary


History of the Americas II Notes
Cold War Series :: Dividing the World
There are now two great nations in the world, which starting from different points, seem to be advancing toward the same goal: the Russians and the Anglo-Americans . . . Each seems called by some secret design of Providence one day to hold in its hands the destinies of half the world.
-- Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

  1. A Quick Comparison
    1. In 1835, the United States was already the world’s most democratic republic, and the Russian empire its greatest example of monarchical authoritarianism. 
    2. We know now that Tocqueville’s prophecy did come to pass as enormous power combined with intense hostility to engulf all of Europe and much of the world.  Our quest is to discuss HOW these two superpowers came face to face on the verge of nuclear holocaust, only to each blink often. And we will consider, with a great deal of help from Dr. Gaddis, if this HAD to happen.
  1. See Cold War Socratic Seminar Questions for Background information on U.S. Soviet relations prior to the conclusion of World War II.


  1. NATO and the Marshall Plan
    1. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, created in April 1949, was as explicit an invitation as had ever been extended from smaller powers to a great power to construct an empire and include them in it (Gaddis, 49).
      1. George Kennan set forth a plan to restore self confidence in Western European nations, provided that those nations establish democratic traditions.
      2. The Truman Administration extended a postwar loan to Great Britain to replace Lend-Lease on the condition that the Labour government dismantle barriers to trade and investment (Gaddis, 50).
      3. The Americans then moved to relieve further strain on the British economy by assuming responsibility for economic and military assistance to Greece and Turkey.
      4. The United States then extended its offer of reconstruction aide to all of Europe under the Marshall Plan. 
      5. The West Europeans agreed to the Americans increased influence on the condition that they be allowed to enter into a formal military alliance with the U.S. with the understanding that the British, French, and their immediate neighbors would in turn agree to the formation of an independent West German state.
    2. What is significant about the development of NATO is not that the West Europeans invited the United States to construct a sphere of influence and include them in it, but that the Americans encouraged the Europeans to share the responsibility for determining how it would function (Gaddis, 51).
  1. Creation of The American Empire
    1. At the conclusion of World War II, Washington officials were not convinced that their interests would require protecting half the European continent.  Instead, they looked toward a revival of a balance among the Europeans to provide postwar stability.
    2. It was the Europeans, themselves, who insisted that their security required a military shield as well as an economic jump start.
      1. During the war, Europeans welcomed American forces as liberators, but feared western forces. 
      2. They did so because they clearly understood how different American and Soviet empires were likely to be.  It is true that the extent of the American empire quickly exceeded that of the Soviet Union, but that was precisely because RESISTANCE to expanding American influence was never as great (Gaddis, 52).
      3. The American empire may have become greater because the American APPETITE for empire was less than that of the Soviet Union.


History of the Americas II Notes
Cold War Series :: The Cold War In Asia
It is not unprecedented for small states situated along the periphery of empires, through their own self-centered behavior, to embroil great powers in unintended confrontations with another.  The sudden eruption of fighting on the Korean peninsula at the end of June 1950 is as clear a demonstration of that process as one can hope to find.
-- John Lewis Gaddis, p.70

  1. The Cold War Shifts to Asia
    1. Through 1948, the Cold War had been primarily a European conflict, so the Cold War’s sudden expansion into Asia in 1949-50 caught everyone by surprise.
    2. WWII left several power vacuums in Asia.
      1. Japan’s defeat destroyed an empire that had dominated northeast Asia for decades.
      2. In China, the war had weakened the ruling Nationalist government, (controlled by Chiang Kai Shek), and strengthened its long term Communist rival (led by Mao Zedong); the result was a renewed and intensified civil conflict.
    3. The most significant difference between the situations in Asia and in Europe at the end of WWII was that the Soviet Union had played no significant role in defeating Japan.  As such, the Americans, who had done the lion’s share of the fighting in the pacific, were adamant that they would determine Japan’s future (Gaddis, 55-56).
      1. Unlike the situation in Germany, there would be no joint occupation, although the United States would consult with its allies about its occupation policies in Japan.
      2. The Soviet Union did retain port and railroad rights in Manchuria and were granted the southern half of Sakhalin island and all of the Kurile Islands. 
      3. As a result of the sudden Japanese military collapse, Soviet and American forces each occupied half of Korea.
    4. The Chinese people chose to transfer their allegiance from the Nationalists to the Communists, hence Mao’s victory for the Communists in 1949.


  1. The Occupation of Japan
    1. The unilateral American occupation of Japan contrasted sharply with the multilateral occupation to which Germany was subjected.
      1. Although MacArthur’s method’s were authoritarian, his results were remarkably democratic; Within five years, General Douglas MacArthur had imposed a constitutional democracy on Japan with a bicameral legislature, a bill of rights, and an independent judiciary. 
      2. MacArthur therefore presided over Japan’s transformation into a liberal, capitalist, and even pacifist society.
      3. In fact, the General so preoccupied himself with democratization that he neglected the Soviet-American rivalry preoccupying his superiors in Washington. 
  2. Nationalists vs. Communists in China
    1. Both the Americans and the Soviet Union acknowledged the legitimacy of the Nationalists during WWII. 
    2. The U.S. favored the Nationalists and considered the Communists an obscure group of revolutionaries who engaged in long marches, lived in caves, and lectured one another on their own peculiar understanding of Marxism-Leninism.
      1. Washington did not begin to take the Communists seriously until 1944, when it became apparent that they might provide military assistance in fighting the Japanese.
      2. Even so, Washington maintained a tepid relationship with the Communists in China due to its preference for Chiang Kai Shek and the fear that Moscow’s influence in China would increase should Mao assume power.
      3. Stalin transferred captured Japanese weaponry to Mao’s forces in Manchuria at the end of WWII, but he preferred to deal with Chiang Kai-shek because he wanted to avoid conflicts with the United States in East Asia.
      4. Stalin thought the Nationalists were in a better position than the Communists to deliver the territorial concessions Roosevelt had promised at Yalta, and considered using Nationalist China as a buffer against American influence in Japan (Gaddis, 59 – 60).
      5. Stalin, therefore, encouraged Mao Zadong to cooperate with Chiang Kai-shek, and both the American and Soviet leadership assumed that the Nationalists would reassert control over China in the wake of the Japanese surrender; and both tried to convince the Chinese Communists to accept that outcome.
  3. The Chinese Outlook
    1. It is difficult for those outside a particular country, regardless of how powerful or influential, to prevent those on the inside from trying to kill one another if they choose to do so, particularly a nation as ill-tempered to outside influence as China has always been (Gaddis, 60).
      1. Both the Nationalists and Communists had viewed WWII, not as a global conflict, but rather as a distraction from their own civil war, which had raged since the 1920s. 
      2. After Japan surrendered, each side sought to test the other’s strength, to see who could control northeastern China, particularly Manchuria; and at the end of 1945 it appeared that the Chinese Communists would succeed.
      3. To prevent this, the Truman administration authorized the use of American air and naval forces to transport Chiang’s troops from southern to northeastern China to stop the Communist advance.
      4. Truman also ordered General George C. Marshall to go to China negotiate a political settlement between the Nationalists and Communists.
    2. Meanwhile, Chiang Kai-shek’s supporters in Congress and the media forced the administration to continue military and economic assistance to the Nationalists as a condition for supporting the Marshall Plan in Europe, even though some State Department strategists had already concluded that a communist China would not upset the overall balance of world power (Gaddis, 61).
    3. This line of thinking was possible because Japan, the most important military-industrial center in East Asia, was under firm American control and MacArthur was quickly shoring up the Japanese economy so that Japan could be included in a chain of defensible strongpoints capable of containing Soviet expansion.
    4. At the end of the day, Truman and Marshall (in 1948) felt that China was not its primary concern.  Hence Marshall’s quote, “We cannot afford, economically, or militarily, to take over the continued failures of the present Chinese government to the dissipation of our strength in more vital regions” (Gaddis, 62).
    5. The United States would seek economic recovery and the stability it would bring, but only where America could control the process and see quantifiable results – Japan.
    6. We did however, engage in a covert strategy to drive a wedge between the communists in China and Moscow, referring to
  1. Mao Zedong’s Outlook
    1. The Chinese communist leader regarded himself as a Marxist and the Soviet Union’s achievement in industrializing itself impressed Mao.
    2. Mao regarded the Soviet system as laden with techniques which, once adapted to Chinese conditions, could bring his country out of its decline. (Great Leap Forward).
    3. Mao also felt betrayed and rejected by the United States; he was jealous of its constant support of Chiang Kai-shek, in particular of his troop movements in Manchuria (Gaddis, 63).
    4. Finally, Mao had little understanding of how the American government worked and he was greatly influenced by Stalinist propaganda that the U.S. would intervene in the Chinese civil war on the side of the Nationalists.
    5. Despite warnings that the U.S. might intervene in the Chinese Civil War if Mao’s troops crossed the Yangtze River, Mao ordered the crossing of the Yangtze in April 1949;his armies occupied Shanghai that May;the U.S. did not intervene (Gaddis, 65).


  1. Stalin’s Outlook and the Sino-Soviet Pact of 1949
    1. At the conclusion of WWII, Stalin made it clear that he preferred to deal with the Chinese Nationalists (Gaddis, 66).
    2. But Stalin’s views began to change:
      1. (1948, as told to I.V. Kovalev): “If socialism is victorious in China and our countries follow a single path, then the victory of socialism in the world will be virtually guaranteed.  Nothing will threaten us. Therefore, we cannot withhold any effort or means in our support of the Chinese Communists.”
    3. Stalin put off a direct meeting with Mao until his victory was complete, but had never abandoned his commitment to world domination and he now acknowledged that it might come not only through Soviet territorial expansion but also through that of another great communist state, namely China (Gaddis, 67).
    4. Stalin would take the lead in securing communism in Europe, while China played that role in Asia. 
    5. After the official proclamation of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1, 1949, Mao took a trip to Moscow to finally meet the nearly 70 year old Stalin (Gaddis, 68).
    6. Their meeting with full of cultural gaffes on both sides, but the Chinese Prime Minister, Zhou Enlai, emerged from the talks with a formal treaty obligating the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China to come to one another’s aide in the event of an attack from a third party.  The purpose of the treaty was to prevent Japan or the U.S. from invading China (Gaddis, 69).
    7. In a sense, this treaty mirrored the call for collective security embodied in the formation of NATO in April 1949.
      1. Both commitments were a form of extended deterrence, agreed to reluctantly by the superpowers involved, with a lot of contemplation re: danger of war they might precipitate.
      2. Both were directed against what we now know was the threat of a highly improbable attack.
  1. The Korean War
    1. The early history of the Cold War demonstrated that it was easier for the U.S. and the Soviet Union to occupy a country, but very difficult to leave one.
      1. By the end of 1945, the joint American-Soviet administration of Korea looked strikingly like the situation in Germany.
      2. Although neither side considered Korea significant, both sides were reluctant to withdraw its soldiers for fear that the other side would not.
      3. Hence the familiar Cold War pattern; the sheer presence of one side convinced the other that it must remain present as well (Gaddis, 70).


    1. After the Japanese surrender, Soviet and American forces supported whichever faction seemed to promote its own interests.  As a result:
      1. Stalin settled on Kim Il-Sung, a young Russian trained Korean communist who had fought the Japanese alongside the Chinese Communists.
      2. The Americans threw their support Syngman Rhee, an elderly rebel against the Japanese who had spent a great deal of his life in exile.
      3. Both Kim and Rhee were determined to end the occupation of Korea; both detested the artificially imposed 38th parallel as a national dividing line; both claimed the right to lead the entire nation; they were both unpredictable, and they hated one another (Gaddis, 70).
    2. The United Nations held elections in South Korea in 1948 (which brought Syngman Rhee to power), providing the U.S. the opportunity it sought to end its occupation.
    3. The Soviet Union would not allow elections in North Korea, but they did remove their forces from Korea in late 1948; America removed its forces from S. Korea mid-1949.
      1. For a brief moment, it looked as though Korea would be one territory over which the superpowers would choose not to compete (Gaddis, 71).
      2. However, as irony would have it, Korea proved to be the most bitterly contested Cold War battleground.
    4. Was the Korean War inevitable?
      1. With or without Soviet-American intervention, the Korean Civil War was inevitable since both Kim and Rhee were determined to unify the country on their own terms.
      2. Both sides had sponsored raids across the 38th parallel for some time prior to the outbreak of hostilities (Gaddis, 71).
      3. However, neither Korean leader could mount a serious invasion without significant equipment and support from its superpower sponsor, so the million dollar question was whether the U.S. or the Soviet Union would give the green light reunify Korea by military means.
      4. In early 1950, Stalin gave Kim Il-Sung the license to do just that.
    5. Why did Stalin Approve the Invasion?
      1. The success of the Marshall Plan, the failure of the Berlin blockade, the formation of an independent West Germany, and the organization of NATO combined to significantly limit the Soviet attempts to develop a real sphere of influence in Europe.
      2. The Chinese had shown that nationalism more readily aligned with Communism in Asia than in Europe.
      3. Stalin had grown to resent the Truman administration’s policy of rejecting all Soviet influence in the occupation of Japan (Gaddis, 72).
      4. Both Stalin and Rhee concluded, incorrectly, that having watched China fall to Communism without intervening, President Truman would not assist the South Koreans (Gaddis, 73).
      5. Kim Il-Sung also believed that in the event that the Americans did intervene, the conflict would draw to a close within days because the North Korean attack would encourage guerilla uprisings from communist sympathizers in South Korea. (Gaddis, 74).
      6. Meanwhile, Stalin, averse to risking nuclear war with the U.S. while the Soviets where so ill-equipped, warned his Korean allies “not to expect great assistance and support from the Soviet Union because it had more important challenges to meet than the Korean problem.”  And he added, “If you get kicked in the teeth, I shall not lift a finger.  You have to ask Mao for all the help.”
  1. The American Response
    1. The Invasion of South Korea was the first overt military assault across an internationally recognized boundary since the conclusion of WW II (Gaddis, 75).
    2. The United States responded immediately because:
      1. It would not again risk having it demonstrated that aggression would go unchecked;
      2. The United States held a deep fear that its allies would suffer a collapse of psychological self confidence if the U.S. allowed the invasion.
      3. The Truman administration was very sensitive to the allegation that it had done nothing to prevent the fall of China to communism.
      4. Truman was very committed to the United Nations and to the ideal of collective security.
      5. The United States would not have to act alone as its decision to resist the North Korean invasion had strong support among many nations, several of whom sent their own troops to fight in the U.N.-led coalition (Gaddis, 75–76).


  1. The Expansion of the Korean War to include China
    1. The Truman Administration remained committed to keeping the U.S. out of the Chinese Civil War, but the invasion of South Korea forced officials in Washington to reconsider the methods of remaining neutral in that conflict.
      1. The Seventh fleet was deployed patrol the Taiwan Strait, with orders to prevent either Chinese Communist or Nationalist military activity there while United Nations forces were fighting in Korea.
      2. This was critical since both Chiang Kai-Shek had searched for an excuse to attack the mainland and Mao had plans to “liberate” Taiwan.
    2. The U.S. could not afford to allow Taiwan to fall into Communist hands.
      1. Japanese planes had attacked the Philippines in December 1941 from bases on Taiwan.
      2. If Mao’s forces took the island and provided the Russians with air facilities, they could readily threaten the Philippines and the entire western Pacific, to include Okinawa and mainland Japan (Gaddis 78).
    3. Mao interpreted the Seventh Fleet deployment as an indication that the U.S. was planning to invade China.
      1. Mao decided that Korea was therefore a good place to face off against the U.S.
    4. Kim Il-Sung warned Stalin that if U.N. troops invaded North Korea, his forces were not equipped to stop them, and that North Korea would become a “springboard of the U.S. imperialists” (Gaddis, 79).
      1. Rather than responding to Kim, on Oct. 1st, Stalin encouraged Mao to send Chinese “volunteers” because the situation was getting grave.
      2. Mao retorted that Chinese forces were ill-equipped and were not guaranteed to succeed against American forces.
      3. On Oct. 5th, Stalin reminded Mao that he had spoken earlier to sending troops, that if he faced the Americans, the U.S. would have to accept a settlement favorable to N.Koreans.
      4. On Oct. 7th, Mao promised to eventually send up to nine divisions to Korea, but not at the present time.
      5. On Oct. 13th, Stalin ordered Kim Il-Sung to evacuate N.Korea, resigned to the idea of having the U.S. as its neighbor in East Asia (Gaddis, 80).
      6. Mao then sent word that same day that provided received Soviet air cover and other forms of Soviet military assistance, the Chinese would send nine divisions at once to aid the North Koreans, no matter how ill equipped.
    5. Its important to note that Stalin was determined to have the Chinese confront the Americans and simultaneously determined NOT to have the Soviet Union do so that he would have sacrificed North Korea altogether if Mao had refused to intervene with soldiers (Gaddis 81).
    6. We will discuss the exact REASONS for the extreme reticence on the Soviet’s part in the next lecture.




All Notes adapted from John Lewis Gaddis’ We Now Know

History of the Americas II Notes
Cold War Series :: Nuclear Weapons and the Early Cold War
Atomic bombs are meant to frighten those with weak nerves.
-- Joseph Stalin,17 September 1946

  1. The Great Nuclear Deterrent
    1. On August 6, 1945 the world learned simultaneously of the existence and power of nuclear weapons.
      1. Prior to that moment, improvements in weaponry had, with few exceptions, increased the cost of fighting without reducing the probability of doing so.
      2. From the invention of axes and spears through bows and arrows, gunpowder and guns, warships, tanks, submarines, high explosives, and aerial bombardment, each advance in technology increased the devastation wrought by war.
    2. By the beginning of the 20th century, weapons themselves were contributing to the outbreak of war.
      1. Without the naval arms race of the pre-1914 Era (see Kagan’s On the Origins and War and the Preservation of Peace for more details) and particularly without the development of the Dreadnought, the Great War might never have taken place.
      2. Without U-boats and German unrestricted submarine warfare, the United States probably would not have entered World War II beyond our limited assistance to the Allies. 
      3. And of course without a carrier based air force, Japan could hardly have attached Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
    3. It is therefore an historical anomaly that for over 60 years the most striking innovation in military history has served the cause of peace rather than provoking war.
      1. In the wake of President Truman’s order to drop the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, tens of thousands or nuclear weapons have been produced by the U.S. and Russia, most of which were aimed at one another. 
      2. And yet not a single nuclear weapon was used during the Cold War, despite its many tensions and actual battles.
  2. What Caused such a Radical Change?
    1. The cause of the paradigm shift was the level of violence wrought by nuclear weapons.
      1. To use a football metaphor, the distance from conventional to nuclear weapons was the difference between getting a new kind of shoe that allowed for better traction in tackling the other team’s players – and developing a device capable of instantly destroying not only the other team but also one’s own, not to mention the playing field, the spectators, the stadium, the parking lot, and the television studio airing the game.
      2. So from the very beginning (that mankind fully understood their colossal impact, nuclear weapons caused rational people to reflect before choosing to wage war.
      3. The most striking thing about nuclear weapons is that they forced the emergence of the realization that modern weapons had become so devastating that they were rendered obsolete for actual usage.


  1. How Did Nuclear Weapons become the ultimate inducement to peace?
    1. The U.S. had typically imitated others rather than originate new weapons. 
    2. But when F.D.R. perceived that Hitler’s Germany threatened the U.S. in the most fundamental way, he prepared to counter that danger by authorizing the development of an atomic bomb, made possible by the following:
      1. By the 1930s, public and private funding had made several American Universities competitive with their European counterparts in the field of nuclear physics.
      2. The rise of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany drove many of Europe’s best physicists to the United States.
    3. Having acquired the atomic bomb, the U.S. used it against Japan to achieve victory as rapidly, as decisively, as economically, and with as little loss of life as possible.
    4. Contrary to some revisionist opinion, Germany would have been a target had the bomb been ready in time.  Truman stated “Let there be no mistake about it, I regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubt that it should be used.”
    5. The Administration also exploded the bombs to intimidate the Soviet Union; and some of the scientists who developed the bomb hoped it would frighten the U.S. government, the Russians, and the rest of the world into a collective abhorrence of war.
  2. The United States Very Unorthodox Behavior
    1. Why didn’t the United States resort to preventive war to keep the Soviet Union from developing a nuclear weapon?
      1. Americans had a particular image of itself as a nation that did not start wars; as late as 1948 President Truman doubted the utility of nuclear weapons for offensive operations “because the people of the United States might not at the time permit their use for aggressive purposes.” (Gaddis, 89).
    2. The production of atomic weapons had proceeded at a very relaxed pace.
      1. There were only fourteen nuclear weapons available when the Truman Doctrine was announced in 1947.
      2. There were only 50 unassembled weapons when the Berlin blockade began in 1948.
      3. There were only 30 B-29s capable of delivering those weapons. As such the Soviet ability to march into Western Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East would not have been seriously impaired by an American nuclear strike.
    3. Rather than keeping secret the means of producing nuclear weapons, Truman’s administration sought to place all atomic weapons under the authority of the U.N. (Baruch Plan).
      1. We had a great deal of faith in the U.N. and the international legal procedures it would rely upon.
      2. The scientists who built the bomb strongly supported this plan.
      3. We had a lingering hope of avoiding a hostile relationship with Moscow.
      4. American felt a deep sense of guilt over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and so they sought to reform the methods in which nuclear weapons would be used in the future – they sought to redeem themselves for bombing the Japanese.
      5. Stalin rejected the Baruch Plan (Spring 1946); his scientists had long been developing a nuclear weapon of their own.
  3. The Soviets and Nuclear Weapons.
    1. The Soviets first learned of the possibility of nuclear weapons from a NY Times article on May 5, 1940.
    2. The Soviets extensive spy network informed them that the Americans and the British were developing nuclear capabilities, but Stalin was skeptical, “I do not believe this. And I advise you not to believe that it is possible to win a war using some kind of chemical element that no one has seen.  Doesn’t this seem like pure propaganda to you? Done deliberately to distract our scientists from work on new kinds of weapons for the army?” (Gaddis, 93).
    3. Soviet agents continued to discover proof of the development of nukes from contacts with nuclear physicists, include J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Director of the Manhattan Project, Klaus Fuchs (a German émigré scientists who joined the British project and went to Los Alamos.
    4. Ultimately, it was Georgii Flerov, a young Soviet physicist looking for citations to his own work in British and American journals, who noticed that references to nuclear physics were no longer appearing in scientific journals.  Stalin was now convinced that the Americans and British were developing a nuclear weapon.
    5. Roosevelt had considered telling the Soviet Union about its little secret in 1944 and he was well aware that the Soviets had been spying on us for over a year (Gaddis,94).  But espionage didn’t seriously help the Soviets because:
      1. Kremlin leaders were slow to understand what atomic weapons could actually do.
      2. Molotov, who was initially assigned the responsibility for Nuclear research, had little since of its capabilities.
      3. Beria, who replaced Molotov in 1945, understood the capabilities more, but he never trusted the intelligence reports he received from his spies on the Manhattan Project, “If this is disinformation, I’ll put you all in the cellar.”
  4. Stalin finally “gets it.”
    1. When Truman informed Stalin about our nuclear capabilities at the Potsdam Conference on July 24, 1945 (after the test in Los Alamos), Stalin was not surprised.



History of the Americas II Notes
Cold War Series :: The Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Federalist and Republican Mudslingers
    • In the election of 1800, the Federalists had a host of enemies stemming from the Alien and Sedition Acts.
    • The Federalists had been most damaged by John Adams’ not declaring war.
      • They had raised a bunch of taxes and built a good navy, and then had not gotten any reason to justify such spending, therefore making themselves seem like cheap, as they had also swelled the public debt.
      • John Adams became known as “the Father of the American Navy.”
    • Thus, they also launched attacks on Jefferson, saying that he had robbed a widow and her children of a trust fund, fathered numerous children with his slaves (‘tis true too), calling him an atheist, and using other inflammatory remarks.
  • The Jeffersonian “Revolution of 1800”
    • Jefferson won the election of 1800 by a majority of 73 electoral votes to 65, and even though Adams got more popular votes, Jefferson got New York, but even though he triumphed, but a technicality, he and Aaron Burr tied for presidency.
      • The vote, according to the Constitution, would now go to the Federalist-dominated House of Representatives.
      • Hateful of Jefferson, many wanted to vote for Burr, and the vote was deadlocked for a long time until Hamilton and John Adams persuaded a few House members to change their votes, knowing that if the House voted for Burr, the public outcry would doom the Federalist Party.
      • Finally, a few changed their minds, and Jefferson was elected to presidency.
    • The revolution was that there was a peaceful transfer of power; Federalists stepped down from office after Jefferson won and did so peacefully, though not necessarily happily.
  • The Federalist Finale
    • It turns out that Adams was the last Federalist president, and the party sank away afterwards.
    • Still, the Federalists had been great diplomats, signing advantageous deals with the European nations, and their conservative views had given the U.S. balance.
      • Their only flaw was that they couldn’t yield to the American public, and since they couldn’t adapt and evolve, they died.
  • Responsibility Breeds Moderation
    • On March 4, 1801, Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated president in the new capital of Washington D.C.
      • In his address, he declared that all Americans were Federalists, all were Republicans, and all were all, implying that Americans were a mixture, and he also pledged “honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”
    • Jefferson was simple and frugal, and did not seat in regard to rank during his dinners; he also was unconventional, wearing sloppy attire, and he started the precedent of sending messages to Congress to be read by a clerk.
    • There were two Thomas Jeffersons: the scholarly private citizen who philosophized in his study, and the harassed public official who discovered that bookish theories worked out differently in practical politics.
    • Jefferson also dismissed few Federalist officials, and those who wanted the seats complained.
    • Jefferson also had to rely on his casual charm because his party was so disunited still.
  • Jeffersonian Restraint Helps to Further a “Revolution”
    • Jefferson pardoned those who were serving time under the Sedition Act, and in 1802, he enacted a new naturalization law that returned the years needed for an immigrant to become a citizen from fourteen to five.
    • He also kicked away the excise tax, but otherwise left the Hamiltonian system intact.
    • The new secretary of the treasury, Albert Gallatin, reduced the national debt substantially while balancing the budget.
    • By shrewdly absorbing the major Federalist programs, Jefferson showed that a change of regime need not be disastrous for the exiting group.
  • The “Dead Clutch” of the Judiciary
    • The Judiciary Act, passed by the Federalists in their last days of Congress domination in 1801, packed newly created judgeships with Federalist-backing men, so as to prolong their legacy.
    • Chief Justice John Marshall, a cousin of Jefferson, had served at Valley Forge during the War, and he had been impressed with the drawbacks of no central authority, and thus, he became a lifelong Federalist, committed to strengthening the power of the federal government.
      • Marbury vs. Madison (1803): William Marbury had been one of the “midnight judges” appointed by John Adams in his last hours as president.  He had been named justice of peace for D.C., but when Secretary of State James Madison decided to shelve the position, he sued for its delivery.  Marshall dismissed the case, but he said that the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional, thus suggesting that the Supreme Court could determine the constitutionality of laws (judicial review).
    • In 1804, Jefferson tried to impeach the tart-tongued Supreme Court justice, Samuel Chase, but when the vote got to the Senate, not enough votes were mustered, and to this day, no attempt to alter the Supreme Court has ever been tried through impeachment.
  • The Pacifist Jefferson Turns Warrior
    • Jefferson reduced the militia to 2500 men, and navies were reduced a bit to peacetime footing.
    • However, the pirates of the North African Barbary States were still looting U.S. ships, and in 1801, the pasha of Tripoli indirectly declared war when he cut down the flagstaff of the American consulate.
      • Noninterventionalist Jefferson had a problem of whether to fight or not, and he reluctantly set the infant navy to the shores of Tripoli, where fighting continued for four years until Jefferson succeeded in extorting a treaty of peace from Tripoli in 1805 for $60,000.
      • The small, mobile gunboats used in the Tripolitan War fascinated Jefferson, and he spent money to build about 200 of them (these boats might be zippy and fast, but they did little against large battleships).  Result: bad decision.
  • The Louisiana Godsend
    • In 1800, Napoleon secretly induced the king of Spain to cede the Louisiana territory to France.
    • Then, in 1802, the Spaniards at New Orleans withdrew the right of deposit guaranteed by the treaty of 1795; deposit privileges were vital to the frontier farmers who floated their produce down the Mississippi River to its mouth to await oceangoing vessels.
      • These farmers talked of marching to New Orleans to violently get back what they deserved, an action that would have plunged the U.S. into war with Spain & France.
    • In 1803, Jefferson sent James Monroe to join regular minister Robert R. Livingston to buy New Orleans and as much land to the east for a total of $10 million, tops.
    • Instead, Napoleon offered to sell New Orleans and the land west of it, Louisiana, for a bargain of $15 million, thereby abandoning his dream of a French North American empire.
      • This was due to the rebellion in Haiti, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, which had been unsuccessful but had killed lots of French troops due to yellow fever, and also because Napoleon needed cash to renew his war with Britain.
    • The Louisiana Purchase was finalized on April 30, 1803.
    • Jefferson had a dilemma, since this was not what he had authorized, but on the other hand, THIS DEAL WAS TOO GOOD TO PASS UP!!!
      • After considering an amendment, Jefferson finally decided to go through with the deal anyway, even though nothing in the Constitution talked about land purchases, and Jefferson had been a strict interpreter of the Constitution.  Thus, he made a full 180° turnaround from his previous philosophical beliefs about the Constitution.
    • The Senate quickly approved the purchase soon afterwards, and the Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States, and was the biggest bargain in history (average 3 cents per acre).
  • Louisiana in the Long View
    • The purchase created a precedent of acquisition of foreign territory through purchase.
    • In spring of 1804, Jefferson sent William Clark and Meriwether Lewis to explore this new territory.  Along with a Shoshoni woman named Sacajawea, the two spent 21/2 years exploring the land, marveling at the expanses of buffalo, elk, deer, and antelope, and went all the way to Oregon and the Pacific before returning.
    • Other explorers, like Zebulon M. Pie trekked to the headwaters of the Mississippi River in 1805-06 and ventured to the southern portion of Louisiana and sighted Pike’s Peak.
    • The Federalists now sank lower than ever, and tried to scheme with Aaron Burr to make New England and New York secede from the union; in the process Aaron Burr killed Hamilton in a duel.
    • In 1806, Burr was arrested for treason, but the two witnesses were nowhere to be found.
    • The Louisiana Purchase was also nurturing a deep sense of loyalty in the West to the federal government, and a new spirit of nationalism surged through it.
  • America: A Nutcrackered Neutral
    • In 1804, Jefferson won with a margin of 162 Electoral votes to 14 for his opponent, but this happiness was nonexistent because in 1803, Napoleon had deliberately provoked Britain into renewing its war with France.
      • As a result, American trade sank deep as England and France, unable to hurt each other (England owned the sea thanks to the Battle of Trafalgar while France owned the land thanks to the Battle of Austerlitz), resorted to indirect blows.
      • In 1806, London issued the Orders in Council, which closed ports under French continental control to foreign shipping, including American, unless they stopped at a British port first.
      • Napoleon ordered the seizure of all ships, including American, that entered British ports.
      • Impressment (illegal seizure of men and forcing of them to serve on ships) of American seamen also incensed the U.S.; some 6000 American were impressed from 1808-11 along, angering U.S. people.
      • In 1807, a royal frigate overhauled the U.S. frigate, the Chesapeake, about 10 miles off the coast of Virginia, and the British captain ordered the seizure of four alleged deserters.  When the American commander refused, the U.S. ship received three devastating broadsides that killed 3 Americans and wounded 18.  In an incident in which England was clearly wrong, Jefferson still clung to peace.
  • Jefferson’s Backfiring Embargo
    • In order to try to stop the British and French seizure of American ships, Jefferson resorted to an embargo; after all, Britain and France depended on U.S. goods, didn’t they?
      • Also, the U.S. still had a weak navy and a weaker army.
    • The Embargo Act of late 1807 forbade the export of all goods from the United States, whether in American or foreign ships.
      • The net result was deserted docks, rotting ships in the harbors, and empty soup kitchens, and Jefferson's embargo hurt the same New England merchants that it was trying to protect.
      • The commerce of New England was harmed more that that of France and Britain.
      • Farmers of the South and West were alarmed by the mounting piles of unexportable cotton, grain, and tobacco.
      • Illegal trade mushroomed in 1808, where people resorted to smuggling again.
    • Finally, coming to their senses and feeling the public’s anger, Congress repealed the act on March 1, 1809, three days before Jefferson’s retirement and replaced it with the Non-Intercourse Act, which reopened trade with all the nations of the world, except France and England.
      • Thus, economic coercion continued from 1809 to 1812, when war struck.
    • The embargo failed for two main reasons: (1) Jefferson underestimated the bulldog British and their dependence on American goods and (2) he didn’t continue the embargo long enough or tightly enough to achieve success.
      • Even Jefferson himself admitted that the embargo was three times more costly than war, and he could have built a strong money with a fraction of the money lost.
    • During the tie of the embargo, the Federalist Party regained some of its lost power.
    • However, during this embargo, resourceful Americans also opened and reopened factories, and thus, the embargo helped to promote industrialism—another irony, since Jefferson was committed to an agrarian country.
    • Also, the embargo did affect Britain, and had it been continued, it might have succeeded.
      • In fact, two days before Congress declared war in June 1812, London ordered the Orders in Council to be suspended.
  • Jefferson’s Legacy
    • Jefferson, fearing setting a precedent for a dictatorship, didn’t run for a third term, and since Washington didn’t really want to while Jefferson purposely did not run again, it was he who truly set the two term precedent.
    • Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826 (Jefferson a few hours earlier), but Thomas Jefferson still survives in the democratic ideals and liberal principles of the great nation that he risked his all to found and that he served so long and faithfully.
  • Madison: Dupe of Napoleon
    • Madison took the oath on March 4, 1809; he was short, bald, and not a great speaker.
    • In 1810, Congress adopted a bargaining measure called Macon’s Bill No. 2, which while permitting American trade with all the world, also promised American restoration of trade to France and/or England if either dropped their commercial restrictions.
      • Napoleon had his opportunity: in August of 1810, he announced that French commercial restrictions had been lifted, and Madison, desperate for recognition of the law, declared France available for American trade.
      • Of course, Napoleon lied, and never really lifted them, but meanwhile, America had been duped into entering European affairs against Great Britain.  JJJ
  • War Whoops Arouse the War Hawks
    • In 1811, new young politicians swept away the older “submission men,” and they appointed Henry Clay of Kentucky, then 34 years old, to Speaker of the House.
    • The western politicians also cried out against the Indian threat on the frontier.
    • Indians had watched with increasing apprehension as more and more Whites settled in Kentucky, a traditionally sacred area where settlement and extensive hunting was not allowed except in times of scarcity.
      • Thus, two Shawnee brothers, Tecumseh and the Prophet, decided that the time to act was now, and gathered followers, urging them to give up textile clothing for traditional buckskin garments, arguing eloquently for the Indian’s to not acknowledge the White Man’s “ownership” of land, and urging that no Indian should cede control of land to whites unless all Indians agreed.
      • On November 7, 1811, American general William Henry Harrison advanced upon Tecumseh’s headquarters at Tippecanoe an burned it to the ground.
      • Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, and the Indian confederacy dream perished.
      • In the South, Andrew Jackson crushed the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814, effectively breaking the Indian rebellion and leaving the entire area east of the Mississippi open for safe settlement.
    • The war hawks cried that the only way to get rid of the Indians was to wipe out their base: Canada, since the British had helped the Indians.
      • War was declared in 1812, with a House vote of 79 to 49 and a very close Senate vote of 19 to 13, showing America’s disunity.
  • Mr. Madison’s War
    • Why war with Britain and not France? Because England’s impressments stood out, France was allied more with the Republicans, and Canada was a very tempting prize that seemed easy to get, a “frontiersman’s frolic.”
    • New England, which was still making lots of money, damned the war for a free sea, and Federalists opposed the war because (1) they were more inclined toward Britain anyway and (2) if Canada was conquered, it would add more agrarian land and increase Republican supporters.
    • Thus, a disunited America had to fight both Old England and New England in the War of 1812, since Britain was the enemy while New England tried everything that they could do to frustrate American ambitions in the war.


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