The new nation 1789-1820 study guide



The new nation 1789-1820 study guide


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The new nation 1789-1820 study guide

THE NEW NATION (1789-1820)

1.01 - Major domestic issues and conflicts experienced by the nation during the Federalist Period.

• What was the impact of the major domestic issues and conflicts experienced by the nation during the Federalist Era?
• How did the U.S. government emerge out of competing processes of conflict and compromise?
• How did the Federalist Period contribute to the long-standing debate in America about the role of government and the distribution of power?
• How is the U.S. Constitution a document subject to change and interpretation?


  • Secretary of Treasury under President George Washington
  • A Federalist who supported a strong national government.
  • Had a loose interpretation of the constitution, meaning that the federal government should be able to interpret the constitution, which gave the federal government more power.
  • Made an Economic Plan to make the United States stronger, which included a national bank.
  • Supported by businesses and the wealthy, primarily in the northeast.
  • Supported the British.



  • Secretary of State under President George Washington
  • A Democratic-Republican who supported strong state governments.
  • Had a strict interpretation of the constitution, meaning he believed that only what was written in the constitution should be allowed. This limited the power of the federal government and gave the states more power.
  • Argued that Hamilton’s Economic Plan was unconstitutional.
  • Supported by farmers and the “common man,” primarily in the south.
  • Election of 1860 - Jefferson and Burr get the same number of votes – Jefferson wins.
  • Made the Louisiana Purchase, nearly doubling the size of the United States.
  • Supported the French



Judicial System

  • Judiciary Act of 1789 - started the Judicial branch of the US government.
    • Created the Supreme Court
    • State courts could appeal to federal courts when constitutional issues were involved.
  • Judiciary Act of 1801
    • On John Adams’ last day as president, he pushed through the “midnight judges” – last minute appointments to the Supreme Court. Some of the appointments were not delivered and Jefferson (the new president) said they were not valid.
    • The Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison, led by Chief Justice John Marshallruled that the court could abolish legislative acts by declaring them unconstitutional – this established judicial review.
    • John Marshall – Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1801-1835) who strengthened the Federal government.


Federal Power v. State Power

  • Federal Power
    • Whiskey Rebellion – a tax was put on the manufacturing of whiskey. Farmers refused to pay and the federal government sent in troops to enforce the law
    • Alien & Sedition Acts – limited the rights of freedom of speech and immigration.
    • Marbury v. Madison (Chief Justice John Marshall)
  • States Rights
    • Virginia & Kentucky Resolutions – a response to the Alien and Sedition Acts which said that states could ignore any act of congress they considered unconstitutional.





1.02 - Political freedoms available to the following groups prior to 1820: women, wage earners, landless farmers, American Indians, African Americans

• How did the distribution of political and economic power reflect the social structure and geographic diversity of the Federalist Era?
• How effective were the political, social, and economic institutions of the emerging republic in creating a democratic foundation for the United States?
• How can individual rights and the government’s view of the “common good” create conflict or stability?


  • Could not own property or vote and they had very few roles/jobs outside the home.
  • Formed clubs (reading groups, church organizations, temperance groups, antislavery groups, social welfare.)
  • Abigail Adams (wife of President John Adams) was a women’s advocate who once wrote her husband asking him to “remember the ladies…”


  • Slavery was a regional institution - There was emancipation in the north, but opportunities were limited for African Americans
  • The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney increased the need for slaves in the south.
  • 1808 – Slave trade was outlawed.
  • Thomas Jefferson believed slavery was a “necessary evil” – he thought it was morally wrong, but economically necessary for the south.

Native Americans

  • The general policy of the United States was to forcibly remove them from their lands and push them west.
  • Tecumseh – a Native American who united many tribes in their efforts to stay strong.  He sides with Britain in the War of 1812.
  • Westward expansion hurt the Native Americans.



1.03 - Commercial and diplomatic relationships with Britain, France, and other nations.

• How did the U.S. confront internal and international conflicts during this era?
• How does a nation’s involvement in international conflicts affect its identity?
• Should a nation form trade agreements with nations it disagrees with politically?

George Washington

  • It was decided unanimously that George Washington would be the first president of the United States.
  • Proclamation of Neutrality – stay out of European affairs
  • Washington’s Farewell Address – He warned against forming permanent alliances and political parties.

Foreign Policy

  • Proclamation of Neutrality (1793) – President Washington stated that the United States would not intervene in the warfare that went on in Europe
  • Jay’s Treaty (1795) - Chief Justice John Jay negotiated a treaty with Britain having them leave their forts in the Northwest Territory. It also encouraged trade.
  • Pinckney’s Treaty (1795) – Spain gave up rights to their land east of the Mississippi River (Opens up the river for trade), and set the northern border of Florida. This gave the US the right of deposit in New Orleans – they could use the port of New Orleans.
  • XYZ Affair (1797) – French officials demanded a $250,000 bribe to speak with French Foreign Minister Talleyrand. This created anti-French feelings in the United States.
  • Louisiana Purchase (1803) – Jefferson paid $15 million for a huge area of land west of the Mississippi River (despite his strict constructionist beliefs.)
  • Embargo Act (1807) – Because of the impressment of sailors the US decided to stop trading with Europe. This ended up hurting the American economy and was eventually lifted.
  • Adams-Onís Treaty (1819) – Spain ceded Florida to the United States.

War of 1812

  • Causes
    • Impressment – British and French were taking US sailors and forcing them into foreign military service after taking the boats and cargo.
    • War Hawks - Democratic-Republicans from the West and the South who pushed for war with Britain.
    • Native American Relations with the British
  • Treaty of Ghent (1814) – War ended with an armistice and everything went back to status quo – issues like impressment and shipping rights still remained. While no one “won” the war, it showed that the US had substantial power.
  • Battle of New Orleans (1815) – Andrew Jackson was made a hero with his victory over the British; however, the battle was unnecessarily fought, as the Treaty of Ghent had already been signed. This led to increased feelings of nationalism.

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The new nation 1789-1820 study guide

Goal 1
U.S. History


The New Nation

Goal 1: The New Nation (1789-1820) - The learner will identify, investigate, and                       assess the effectiveness of the institutions of the emerging republic.

1.01 Identify the major domestic issues and conflicts experienced by the nation during the Federalist Period.

1.02 Analyze the political freedoms available to the following groups prior to 1820: women, wage earners, landless farmers, American Indians, African Americans, and other ethnic groups.

1.03 Assess commercial and diplomatic relationships with Britain, France, and other nation

It took a lot of energy to win the revolution against Great Britain, but once the war was over, our founding fathers got busy! The Articles of Confederation guided our nation for awhile, but it was too weak. The U.S. Constitution was then written and ratified, with the first ten amendments added soon after that. The time period right after ratification of the Constitution is known as the “Federalist Era.”

Key Concept: Development of the Two-Party System


President Washington wanted the best people in his cabinet, even if they didn’t always agree with each other.  In a nutshell, Hamilton and Jefferson were opposites! Let’s take a look:

Alexander Hamilton grew up poor, but became snooty as he gained power and wealth.  He distrusted the common man.  He was leader of the Federalist Party.  This party believed in a loose interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.  Basically, if something isn’t listed in the Constitution, then it COULD be done.  Federalistsbelieve in a strong central government. They are pro-tariff and most were from New England. Federalists supported Great Britain and wanted a national bank.  They were the pro-business party! 

Hamilton’s Economic Plan: Hamilton made America stronger by making it LOOK financially powerful, even though it wasn’t.  His plan was simple: 1. Pay-off national debt 2. Assume (take over) state debt 3. Pay-off bonds at full face value 4. Create a national bank. Question:  How could Hamilton pay-off debt with little cash coming in?  Answer: Tax whiskey, place a tariff on incoming goods, and borrow $$ from the French.  If the French have an investment in the U.S., it will want to see the U.S. successful. Wow!  Brilliant thinking, Mr. Hamilton!  His plan made America strong.

Thomas Jefferson, grew up in a wealthy family, but acted like a regular guy.  He thought that farmers were the most important group in America.  He hated the snooty upper class! He was the leader of the Democratic-Republicans(also known as Anti-Federalists, Jeffersonians, or just Republicans) Democratic-Republicans believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution.  If something isn’t listed in the document, then it COULD NOT be done! Democratic-Republicans believe in state’s rights, personal rights, farmer’s interests, and they supported the French Revolution.  Most of the Democratic-Republicans lived in the southern and western areas of the United States.

These fundamental differences between the two men became the basis for our two-party system.  As you will see throughout the entire story of America, the two-party system keeps our nation from chaos. Most transitions are friendly and that’s what keeps the U.S. stable and strong!


Key Concept: Federal Government Rules Supreme

Today, we KNOW the federal government has authority over state governments, but in our early history, it wasn’t so clear.  Key people and events helped to shape the way our federal government behaved.

George Washington’s Leadership 1789-1797
George was a strong leader in times of uncertainty.  He was known as the “precedent-setting president” because his actions became traditional unwritten rules of presidential behavior.  One of these precedents was to form a group of advisors called the ‘Cabinet.'
In his first cabinet, Washington picked Edmond Randolph as Attorney General; Henry Knox as War Secretary; Alexander Hamilton as the Secretary of the Treasury; and Thomas Jefferson was selected to be Secretary of State.  Too bad for President Washington because Hamilton and Jefferson hated each other super bad! John Adams was the first Vice President.

The Whiskey Rebellion, 1794, is another example of how the federal government showed its strength in the early years.  Farmers in Pennsylvania hated an excise tax of 25% on whiskey.  They protested and when it got out of control, Washington sent troops and the rebellion was crushed! Washington believed he had the authority to do so under the U.S. Constitution due to the supremacy clause (federal government has ultimate power).  This proved that the federal government will enforce its laws.

Development of the Judicial Branch started with the Judiciary Act of 1789It organized the Supreme Court as well as federal and circuit courts.  The most important judge of all time is John Marshall.  He, and many other federal judges, had been appointed to the courts at the last minute of President Adam’s term.  These men were known as Midnight Judges,’ and President Jefferson did not think their appointments were fair.  The Midnight Judges leaned toward the Federalist Party’s point of view.   Supreme Court Chief Justice Marshall was a very strong Federalist and ruled in favor of the federal government often. Marshall ruled in Marbury v. Madison that the Supreme Court could determine a law’s constitutionality.  This is known as judicial reviewand it is one of the ways the Supreme Court becomes equal to the other two branches of government (legislative and executive).  Although Jefferson tried to kick-out the Midnight Judges, he was unsuccessful and Marshall was part of the Supreme Court for 34 years.
John Marshall 

John Adams, our nation’s 2nd president, was a Federalist. Some would say he was suspicious of the Democratic-Republicans because he pushed Congress to pass the Alien and Sedition Acts.  The Alien Act increased time for citizenship from 5 to 14 years. The Sedition Act prohibited anyone from criticizing the government. Even everyday people knew that this was a violation of the __________ Amendment. What was Adams trying to do? Well, most new immigrants voted Democratic-Republican, so this was a ploy to keep new Americans from voting. These two laws made a lot of Americans angry because it was just so obvious that Adams and the Federalists were trying to stay in power.  It didn’t work and the people voted Adams out and Jefferson in as the President of the United States!

Key Concept: Strict vs. Loose Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution


As we have already learned, Thomas Jefferson became president in 1800. Remember! Jefferson was a strict interpreter of the Constitution: if it isn’t listed in the Constitution, it CAN’T be done!  One of the greatest achievements in early U.S. history may never have happened if Thomas Jefferson had followed his strict ideas! Nowhere in the document does it authorize buying property.  But, in the end, Jefferson went against his convictions and bought the Louisiana Territory from the French ruler, Napoleon.  This action instantly doubled the size of America and opened the western lands to development.       

Why did Jefferson go against everything he believed in by buying the Louisiana Territory?


 Democracy is a style of government in which personal freedoms and rights are very important; but, for some, the struggle for equality took more time.  American Indians, African-Americans, and women are groups of people that did not see immediate freedoms.  Remember! The story of America is one of change and reaction to that change.  It hasn’t always been easy.

Key Concept: Conflict with American Indians

Since colonial times, European settlers have had some conflict with the native peoples of North America.  At the time of the earliest explorers, there were over 200 native tribes, all with their own cultures and traditions.  Most natives, however, had a similar view of land ownership, believing that land must be shared by all.  Can you buy the sun, the moon, or the stars in the sky?  Native religions concentrated on the natural world and the land was an extension of that world.

As the United States grew, natives were pushed out of their lands, some tribes ceased to exist. There were periods of Indian resistance, however.  In 1794, American Indians fought in the Great Lakes region and the conflict was crushed immediately.  In 1795, Indians gave up the lands in the Ohio Valley as the
Treaty of Greenville settled the question of native land rights.   Tecumseh, a powerful Shawnee warrior and other native leaders disagreed with the treaty and tried to form a confederation amongst all tribes to fend off the settlers, but it was too little, too late for the American Indians.  They lost their resistance at the Battle of Tippecanoe against future President William Henry Harrison.

Key Concept: Status of Slavery during the Federalist Era

Slavery, the ownership of one person by another, was part of the American experience since early colonial times.  While it was a part of everyday life, the different regions of the U.S. developed different economies, causing slaves to be a necessary evil’ in the agricultural South. 
In the late 1700s, slave populations were decreasing, but in 1793, Eli Whitney developed a machine, the cotton gin, that made cotton growing profitable.  Slaves were needed to pick the cotton and so southern planters began to defend slavery.  The South’s major trading partner, Great Britain, was full of textile mills and the South provided cheap cotton.  ‘Cotton is King’ was the saying of the day for it showed how the South was dependent on cotton for their survival and how production of cotton needed slave labor.  The South developed into the Cotton Kingdom, which means they were wealthy due to the cotton production. 


Key Concept: the Place of Women in Society, 1793-1800


Women in the early years of our nation, and generally, throughout the world, were 2nd class citizens.  Young women obeyed their fathers.  Married women owned no property and their husbands had complete authority.  Women could not vote, attend college, or otherwise make decisions for themselves. But when the Constitution was written, some women began to think that the document’s freedoms pertained to them and said so!  Abigail Adams, President John Adams’ wife, reminded her husband “not to forget the ladies” in regards to rights.  She was ahead of her time, but her comments show women had hopes for equality and the Constitution was going to be the basis for it!


Key Concept: The Differences between Classes of People in the New Nation



Education in early USA: New England: public education, southern states: only children of wealthy: private tutors; middle-states: private school (small fee).

Voting rights in the early USA: White, male, landowners had suffrage rights in early times. That’s it.                                           

Key Concept: Foreign Problems Plague New Nation

There were many problems and challenges that faced the first few presidents.  We will review them now. 

England and France always seemed to fight with each other.  President Washington realized that we were too new and young to get involved in European conflicts; therefore, he issued the Neutrality Proclamationin 1793. It was one of the best decisions Washington made for his country.

John Adams also faced international peril.  French diplomats mysteriously identified as X, Y, and Z told our government that unless the U.S. paid money to France, American ships would be harassed by French ships and crew.  Oh, this really angered Adams! He screamed, “Millions for defense, not one cent in tribute!”  Nobody is going to extort money from the U.S., NOBODY!  The ‘XYZ Affair’ made the American citizen distrust all foreigners, not just the French.

The French Revolution caused Americans to take sides.  Jeffersonians (Democratic-Republicans) supported the revolutionaries and the Federalists did not. 

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President, had foreign troubles of his own!  While President, both France and Britain seized American ships and cargo. Both nations practiced impressment, forced labor on ships.
Jefferson wanted to punish the Europeans for what they did to American sailors, so in 1807, the infamous Embargo Act (also known as Embargo Act of 1807) was passed. But there are very serious unintended consequences.

Embargo means to refuse to sell.  The U.S. refused to sell to England and France. While the embargo didn’t affect the Europeans much, it did hurt the United States, especially in New England.  New Englanders are angry, angry at whom?

What does OGRABME spell backwards? ____________________­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Key Concept: Treaties Signed as a New Nation

Jay’s Treaty with Britain (1794/1795):

Problem: Britain is harassing American ships in the Atlantic, they impress American sailors, they still have military posts near the Great Lakes, and they encourage the American Indians to raid pioneer settlements!

Terms of the Treaty: Britain agrees to remove troops from the Great Lakes region and any financial disputes since the war will be handled by third parties.

What happened? Many of the treaty terms were not met; it did, however keep the U.S. and Britain from going to war for awhile.

Treaty of Greenville: (1795)

Problem: American pioneers move into American Indian lands.  The Indians and the settlers are fighting over the land.

Terms of the Treaty: American Indians lose most land in the Ohio River Valley.

What happened? Tribes are forced to move and many tribal customs and traditions were lost. 



Pinckney’s Treaty with Spain (1795)

Problem: Spain is afraid that there is a secret British-American alliance that would eventually take Spanish lands in North America. (Note: There was no alliance between the U.S. and Great Britain!)

Terms of the Treaty: Boundary line is Mississippi River and (most importantly) Spain gives free navigation of the Mississippi River and the right of deposit to Americans at New Orleans. The right of deposit allows riverboats to transfer goods onto ocean going ships without a fee. 

What happened? Western farmers use the Mississippi River and the Port of New Orleans to ship their goods.  This encourages more people to move west.

Treaty of Ghent with Britain (1815)

Problem: War between the United States and Great Britain

Terms of the Treaty: Not much changes except the U.S. gains RESPECT in the world.

What happened? “What did WE gain???  ___________  ______________  NAME!

Adams-Onis Treaty with Spain (1819)

Problem: Border dispute between Spain and the U.S.

Terms of the Treaty: Spain gave-up lands in Florida, U.S. paid $ 5 million for it.

What happened? Florida became part of the United States


Washington’s Farewell Address (September 19, 1796)

President Washington never gave this speech publically.  He just sent it into a newspaper to publish it.  The address is long, but Washington hit some important key points and warned the nation of possible dangers awaiting the U.S.  

What are the two most important points/warnings he made in this speech?




Did the U.S. follow this advice?           Yes       /       No

The First Four Presidents
1. _____________________________ from 1789 to __________ Party:_______________________

2. _____________________________ from _______ to _______ Party: _______________________

3. _____________________________ from _______ to _______ Party: _______________________

4. _____________________________ from _______ to _______ Party:  ______________________
War of 1812

                                            North America 1812
As we have already learned, both Britain and France harassed our ships on the open seas and impressed our sailors.  Yet, we went to war with Britain.  Why? The answer may be found on this map.

Many in Congress wanted more land.  Look at the map. Which country owns Canada?
Warhawks want Canada.  How are they going to get that land?
Although the U.S. officially said that the U.S. fought with Britain because of impressment and freedom of the seas, the real reason was that the Warhawks wanted Canada. 

Look at the map. There were battles on both land and sea.  

August 1814: Washington D.C., including the White House, was attacked by British troops and if it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of Dolley Madison, First Lady, many national treasures would have been destroyed!   

September 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. 

December 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed, ending the war. Due to the slow speed of communication, it took weeks for news of the peace treaty to reach America, well after the Battle of New Orleans occurred. The battle was a huge success for the Americans.  Under General Andrew Jackson, the Americans defeated the British.  The death toll for the U.S. was 21; Britain had over 2,000 fatalities.  This made Jackson a war hero!  And set the groundwork to become President later!

The results of the war were strange in that basically nothing changed except the U.S. gained respect in the world.  By the way, did we get Canada? ______

Results of the War of 1812

After the war, Americans were proud to be American.  We call this nationalism. The United States didn’t get Canada, but it did get respect from the rest of the world.  After all, to challenge the British Empire twice in such a short time . . . that’s guts! 

Back in the United States, however, New England Federalists believed the war was created to hurt their business.  Because of the British blockade, New England businesses were hurt!  In 1814, New England businessmen met in Hartford, Connecticut to consider leaving the union!  The Hartford Convention was an example of sectionalism.The incident made people hate the Federalists for even suggesting that New England break away!  The Hartford Convention is where the Federalist Party died.

 1.   Compare Hamilton to Jefferson









  1. Compare Federalists to Democratic-Republicans










The New Nation: Mapping Activity:
The United States, 1803


Directions: Use the map on page 76 of your text to recreate the map in your goal book. Make sure you follow map guidelines.

  1. What’s the difference between dark green and light green on the map?


  1. Spanish territory is shaded in which color? _________________ Britain’s color? ___________


  1. What did the purchase of the Louisiana Territory do for the United States?


  1. What does the outline in red signify? ____________________________________________
  1. Use the map on page 81 to outline in dark blue Lewis and Clark’s trip to the Pacific Ocean.


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