United states history study guide questions and answers




United states history study guide questions and answers


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United states history study guide questions and answers

Chapter 6:  The New Republic

Chapter 6, section 1


  1. Who was elected the first president of the United States of America?

The electoral college (a group of people representing each state) elected George Washington as the first president in 1789.

  1. What steps did President Washington and Congress take to establish a new government?

Since there were no precedents, Washington and Congress filled in the details with the Judiciary Act of 1789 and creating the cabinet.

  1. What was the significance of the Judiciary Act of 1789?

It created a Supreme Court--consisting of a chief justice and five associate justices.  It also established federal circuit and district courts which allowed state court decisions involving the federal constitution to be appealed to a federal court.

  1. Why did federal law have to be “the supreme law of the Land” in the new nation?

If states could pass laws that contradicted federal law, the authority of the federal
government might be underminded and this would jeopardize the stability of the union.

  1. What is a cabinet?  What departments comprised the nation’s first cabinet?  List their names and the functions of each department?

Cabinet is a group of advisors who are part of the Executive branch of the government.  It only consisted of four (4) members under George Washington.
Thomas Jefferson (author of Declaration of Independence) was the Secretary of State –deals with foreign affairs.  HenryKnox—Secretary of War—authorize to
handle military matters.  Alexander Hamilton was the Secretary of Treasury—authorized to manage finances.  Edmund Randolph was the Attorney General—
chief lawyer of the federal government.

  1. What were the differences between Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s views of government?

Hamilton—wanted a strong central government; wanted an economy that will help with trade and industry; wanted to set up the Bank of the U.S.; distrusted the common people, loose interpretation of the Constitution.   Jefferson—wanted a weak central government; wanted an economy that favored farmers; thought the Bank of U.S. was unconstitutional; trusted the common people, strict interpretation of the Constitution.

  1. What were the main components of Hamilton’s economic plan?
  • Funded by both the federal government and wealthy private investors. 
  • This bank would issue paper money and handle tax receipts.
  • The economic plan was to pay off national debts from the Revolutionary War. 
  • This would tie the wealthy investors to the nation’s success of stabilizing the financial part of the country. 


  1. Why did the new nation need to pay off its debts?

If the country demonstrated that the new government was financially responsible it
would show the creditors, including foreign governments the country was credible.  It would also bolster the government’s reputation.

  1. How did the nation’s capital come to be located in Washington, D.C.?

The nation’s capital moved to the location of Washington D.C. because many politicians wanted to win the support of the debt problem from the southern states.  Madison and Jefferson believed that a southern site for the capital would make the government more responsive to their interest.

  1. What were the main differences between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republican?

Federalists—wanted a strong central government; wanted the wealthy and elite to contribute to the national bank; received support from wealthy investors; economy based on trade and industry, supported loose construction of the Constitution.  Democratic-Republican—wanted a strong state government; opposed the national bank; received support from farmers and southerners; economy based on agriculture, supported a strict construction of the Constitution.

  1. What prompted the Whiskey Rebellion and how did it end?

In 1789, Congress had passed a protective tariff, an import tax on good produced in Europe.  This was their way of encouraging American production of goods.  Farmers in western Pennsylvania found that the most economical way to transport their (corn) harvest was to first distill it into whiskey and then bring it to market.  The federal government passed an excise tax on the whiskey (extra tax on whiskey).  The tax discouraged the sale of whiskey which hurt the farmers’ economy and the farmers revolted. This revolt was quickly put down by 15,000 militiamen who were called by the government.

  1. How was the Whiskey Rebellion an opportunity for the federal government to demonstrate its authority?

George Washington’s orders to end revolt by exercising his right as Commander in Chief (authority to act within a state).  It also showed that the new government would act decisively in times of a crisis. 

Chapter 6, Section 2


  1. What was America’s reaction to the French Revolution?

Most Americans initially support the French Revolution because it was inspired by the ideal of Republican rule (American Revolution).  In this revolution the French set out to create a government based on the will of the people.

  1. Why did the United States want to maintain its neutrality?

There was a general agreement that war was not in the nation’s best interest (due to weak military and slow economy).  Also, George Washington did not want to take the chance of probably fighting against the British.

  1. What was the result of Pinckney’s Treaty with Spain?

1.  Spain gave up all rights to territory east  of the Mississippi River (except Florida).  2.  the 31st parallel as the southern boundary the United States and the northern boundary of Florida.  3.  The Mississippi River was now open to all traffic whether by Spanish subjects and U.S. citizens to allow traders to use the port of New Orleans.

  1. Why did the United States want access to the Mississippi River?

Travel and trade were difficult on the frontier and the access to the Mississippi River would offer an easier means of transportation for frontier farmers and merchants. 

  1. Why did Native Americans demand negotiations with the United States over the Northwest Territory?

In the past the Native Americans have been excluded from negotiation that led to the Treaty of Paris and therefore has no influence over what was being done to their

  1. Who was Little Turtle?

Little Turtle was a brilliant military strategist chieftain of the Miami tribe who defeated the American generals.

  1. What were the causes and consequences of the battle of Fallen Timbers?

With many defeats over the present-day Ohio Territory, George Washington appointed General Anthony Wayne to lead federal troops against the Native Americans.  General Wayne defeated the Miami Confederacy in a 40 minute battle which was later called the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Victory ended Native Americans resistance and they gave up most of the land in Ohio in exchange for $20,000 worth of goods and an annual payment of nearly $10,000.  This agreement was known as the Treaty of Greenville. 

  1. What was the outcome of Jay’s Treaty?

The nation would control territories west of the Appalachian mountains British would evacuate the northwest territory posts but continue to fur trade.

  1. Why were so many Americans dissatisfied with Jay’s treaty with Britain?

Jay’s Treaty barely passed the U.S. Senate, because it allowed for the British to continue their fur trade on the U.S. side of the Canadian land.

  1. How did political parties affect the results of the election of 1796?

Because the two top vote getters in 1796 were Federalists (John Adams) and Democratic-Republican (Thomas Jefferson).  Respectively in the Constitution, the highest vote getter will become President and the next highest would become Vice President.  This caused sectionalism in the Executive branch.  The president was John Adams and the Vice President was Thomas Jefferson.  Both had different views for the country and always caused political turmoil. 

  1. What was the XYZ affair?

The American delegation planned to meet with the French foreign minister, Talleyrad.  Instead the directory sent three low level officials (Adams adressed as X, Y, Z in his Congress report) who demanded a $250,000 bribe to meet with Talleyrad in order to stop harrassment of the American ships.  This proved a wave of Anti-French feeling at home and the United States declared naval war with France.

  1. What was the purpose of the Alien and Sedition Acts?

The Anti-French feelings caused many people to believe the French would try to overthrow our government (because of the new arrivals of French immigrants).  To counter this increase of immigrants…the government sought measures for protection.  Alien acts—raised the residence requirement for American citizenship from 5 to 14 yrs and allowed the government to deport or jail any alien considered undesireable.  Sedition acts—set fines and jail terms for anyone trying to hinder the operation of government or expressing “false, scandalous, and malicious statements” against the government

  1. How did the Kentucky Resolutions challenge the authority of the federal government?  What was the theory of nullification? 

They asserted the principal of nullification, which held that, if a state considered an act by congress to be unconstitutional, it had the right to declare that action null and void—that is not binding to the law.

      14.  How was the presidential election of 1800 decided? 

The Electoral College balloting resulted in a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, the House of Representatives were called upon to choose between the two highest vote getters:  Thomas Jefferson finally won and Aaron Burr became Vice President.

Chapter 6, Section 3


  1. How did Jefferson simplify the presidency? What were the successes and failures of the Jefferson administrations?

Jefferson simplified the federal government and emphasized the importance of ordinary citizens through policies such as free trade, cut spending and taxes. Successes:  reduction of the nation’s debts, the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, peace treaty with the Barbary States; Failures:  the British embargo, refusal to build a bigger navy.  

  1. What was the principle of judicial review?

This gave the Supreme Court the right of Judicial Review--ability to declare a law, an act of Congress, or Executive branch action Unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court checks the power of Congress and President to determine if they are constitutional.

  1. Why was Marbury v. Madison so important?

It established the concept of judicial review, which helped to expand the power of the Supreme Court and of the federal government.

  1. How did America gain the Louisiana Territory?  Why was the United States concerned about the Louisiana Territory?

The United States purchased Louisiana in 1803, (under the administration of President Thomas Jefferson) from Napoleon Bonaparte of France.  It cost 15 million dollars.  It doubled the size of the United States.  Jefferson wanted to resolve any problems with French presence in the U.S.

  1. What parts of the country did Lewis and Clark explore? 

Thomas Jefferson was the President during the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804.  They explored the area for two years and four months.  It was called the Corps of Discovery (from St. Louis to the pacific coast) they was to collect scientific information about unknown plants and animals in route to the pacific and learn as much as possible about the Native American tribes encountered along the way.

  1. Who was Sacajawea?

Sacajawea was the Native American woman who served as an interpreter and guide.


  1.  What British activities angered Americans?

The war between France and Great Britain threatens American shipping.  Great Britain had seized more than 1,000 American ships and confiscated their cargoes.  This action restricted American shipping.  Great Britain decided that the best way of attacking Napoleon’s Europe was to blockade it.  The British policy of impressment infuriates the United States (practice of seizing American ships at sea and “impressing” or drafting them into the British navy).

  1. What was Jefferson’s reasoning behind the embargo of 1807?

Thomas Jefferson declared an embargo—a ban on exporting products to other countries.  He believed that the Embargo Act of 1807 would hurt Britain and force them to honor American neutrality.  The Embargo Act 1807, blockades of European ports, and seizures of American vessels at sea which hurt all American foreign trade.

Chapter 6, Section 4


  1.  Why did many Americans blame Britain for their problems?  Why did the war hawks call for the war with Britain?

They believed that British actions were harming their economy and threatening expansion into western lands.  War Hawks discovered that Native Americans in Tecumseh’s Confederacy had been supplied with whiskey and ammunition (guns) from British Canada. James Madison decided to go to war with Britain.

  1. Why did the Americans meet with military failure in Canada?

The American military was unprepared for war with Great Britain.  In addition, after the British captured Detroit there followed many setbacks when the Americans tried to take Montreal.  Major setback—the British sack and burn Washington, D.C. in 1814.

  1. What role did Andrew Jackson play in the war?

After six (6) months of fighting (military campaign) involving four (4) battles, Jackson defeated Native Americans of the Creek tribe at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in March of 1814.  Also, the Battle of New Orleans Americans win in 1815 under the leadership of Andrew Jackson, a general from Tennessee but the war was over**

  1. What were the provisions of the Treaty of Ghent?

The Treaty of Ghent—armistice (cease fire) to end of the war which resulted in peaceful relations develop between U.S. and Great Britain.

    • In 1815, Commercial Treaty reopening trade (American industries grow).
    • In 1817, the Rush-Bagot agreement limited the number of warships on the Great Lakes.
    • In 1818, a British-American commission set the northern boundary of the Louisiana territory at the 49th parallel as far west as the Rocky Mountains.
    • 10-year joint occupation of Oregon territory
    • American independence is confirmed and nationalism grows in country.


Chapter 6 The New Republic (1789-1816)

1.  Judiciary Act of 1789it created a Supreme Court– consisting of a Chief Justice and five Associate Justices.  It also established Federal circuit and District courts which allowed state court decisions involving the federal constitution to be appealed to a federal court.

2.  Cabineta group of advisors who are part of the Executive branch of the government.

3.  Thomas Jefferson—member of George Washington’s first cabinet, he was the Secretary of State which deals with foreign affairs.  He founded the Democratic-Republicans party which believed that more power should be within the states and favored by the south and farmers.  He later became the third President of the United States.

4. Alexander Hamilton—member of George Washington’s first cabinet, he was the Secretary of Treasury which was authorized to manage the country’s financesHe gained the support of the Federalists party and wanted to expand the power of the government to stabilize the nation and its economy.  He encouraged the approval of a National Bank that could pay off the nation’s debts and monitor currency flow.

5.  National Bank/Bank of the United States—supported by Hamilton and other Federalists, funded by both the federal government and wealthy private investors.  This bank would issue paper money and handle tax receipts.  The economic plan was to pay off national debts from the revolutionary war. This would tie the wealthy investors to
the nation’s success of stabilizing the financial part of the country.

6.  Democratic-Republicans (Republicans of 1800s)Known as the political party of Thomas Jefferson (second political party of the United States), they wanted a strong state government; opposed the national bank; received support from farmers and southerners; economy based on agriculture.

7.  Two-Party Systemthe political parties that formed under the administration of President George Washington—Federalists and Democratic-Republicans.

8.  Excise TaxA federal or state tax imposed on the manufacture and distribution of certain non-essential consumer goods. Examples of excise taxes included tax on whiskey which led to the Whiskey rebellion.

9.  Whiskey RebellionA rebellion that occurred in Pennsylvania in 1789 due to an excise tax on whiskey. The tax discouraged the sale of whiskey which hurt the farmers’ economy and the farmers revolted. This revolt was put down by Washington when he ordered troops to the area.  It proved the actions Washington took as Commander-In-Chief supported a strong central government, because Washington was able to enforce his constitutional authority within the states.
10.  NeutralityThis statement stated that the United States would not become involved on either side.  This non-intervention in Europe proved that the United States was concerned about the best interests of their own country over all others.

11.  Thomas Pinckneyan American diplomat who negotiated a favorable treaty with Spain that allowed for free shipping rights on the Mississippi river and access to New Orleans.  It also established the northern boundary of Spanish Florida.

12.  John JayChief Justice under Washington’s administration, he was sent to negotiate with Great Britain a treaty in which the British would give up their forts on America’s soil once America repaid its war debts.  It ultimately led to the British keeping restrictions on American ships.

13.  SectionalismSectionalism is loyalty to the interests of one's own region or section of the country, rather than to the country as a whole.  Sectionalism refers to the
different economies, social structures, customs, and political values of the North and South.

14.  Washington’s Farewell Addressthe end of Washington’s second term, he resigns and bids farewell.  He warned against the formation of political parties and against involvement of the United States in foreign affairs establishing long-term foreign alliances.

15.  XYZ AffairThis was the result of building tensions between the United States and France because they were seizing American ships and refused to accept the new French Ambassador from the United States.  President Adams sent a delegation of 3 men to try to work out the disagreements. When they arrived the delegation met with 3 lower French officials instead of the Prime Minister. These officials X, Y, and Z demanded a $250, 000 bribe.  This led to anti-French sentiment.

16.  Alien and Sedition Acts (1798)These acts increased the residency requirement for American citizenship from five to fourteen years and gave the president the right to deport any alien considered undesirable (Alien).  The acts also set jail terms and fines for anyone interfering with government business as well as people who made statements against the American government (Sedition).

17.  Virginia and Kentucky ResolutionsThese resolutions came as a result of the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 because they feared the federal government was over-stepping their power.  They asserted the idea of nullification.

18.  NullificationThe idea that States were allowed to void any act of Congress they considered unconstitutional.

19.  Aaron BurrThe running mate of Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1800 both tied with the same number of electoral votes.  Burr lost the presidency to Jefferson due to the vote in the House of Representatives and became the Vice President.  In 1804, he killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

20.  Judiciary Act of 1801one of the most controversial acts in history, it was passed during the administration of John Adams and repealed under the administration of Thomas Jefferson.  President John Adams wanted to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court late in his administration before Thomas Jefferson became      president. President Adams quickly filled as many of the newly created circuit judgeships as possible. The new judges were known as the Midnight Judges because        Adams was said to be signing their appointments at midnight prior to President.

21.  John MarshallChief Justice of the Supreme Court (served for 34 years) appointed by President John Adams; set precedents that established vital powers of the federal      courts.  He ruled in favor of Madison in the Marbury vs. Madison case.

22.  Marbury vs. MadisonSupreme Court case in 1803 that established the principle of judicial review which allowed the Supreme Court the power to rule a law       unconstitutional if it violates the US Constitution.

23.  Judicial Review—Elevated the Supreme Court by granting the power to review state laws and state court decisions to determine if they are constitutional.

24.  Louisiana Purchase—Purchase by President Thomas Jefferson from Napoleon of France in 1803.  The territory doubled the size of the United States; it stretched from     the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains.  Napoleon sold the territory for 15 million dollars because he needed money and the Jefferson purchased it to decrease the 
French presence in the United States.

25.  Meriwether Lewis—Leader, with William Clark, of the expedition of the Louisiana territory in 1804; brought back scientific samples, maps, and information on Native Americans.
26.  William ClarkSecond in Command, with Meriwether Lewis, of the expedition of the Louisiana territory in 1804; brought back scientific samples, maps, and information on Native Americans.

27.  Sacajaweathe Shoshone woman who served as an interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark on their exploratory journey through the West in 1804.

28.  BlockadeTo isolate, or close off, a place from outside contact.  This was done during the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain in order to defeat the British.

29.  ImpressmentThe policy of forcing people into military or public service.  The British seized American ships and forced their Navy to fight against the French.  This led to the United States eventually declaring war on Britain (War of 1812).

30.  EmbargoA ban or a restriction on trade.  President Jefferson encouraged this to punish the British for seizing our ships at sea.  This hurt American businesses.

31.  War of 1812War between the United States and Great Britain due to their impressment of our sailors on sea.  This war ended in an armistice in which the United States began to develop an increase in nationalism.

32.  War Hawksmembers of Congress from the South and West (led by John Calhoun) that encouraged war with Britain mainly because of the British providing ammunition and whiskey to attack American forts.

33.  William Henry HarrisonHe negotiated the Treaty of Fort Wayne with Native American tribes in 1809, as Governor of Indiana which resulted in Native Americans giving up much of south-central Indiana.  He defeated the Native American tribes in the Battle of Tippecanoe.  He later becomes our ninth president

34.  TecumsehA Native American lead in the late 1700s and early 1800s, he fought against the United State in 1780s and 1790s and earned a reputation as a talented war chief.  He refused to participate in talks that led to the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.  He led a pan-Indian movement that tried to unite several groups despite their differences. 

35.  Andrew JacksonAs a General from Tennessee, in the War of 1812, he defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and became a national hero.  Ironically, his victory came after the negotiations were to end the war.  He later becomes our seventh president.

36.  Battle of New OrleansThe last battle of the War of 1812 lead by Andrew Jackson; it was a remarkable victory for the United States.  The battle allowed Americans to end an unhappy war on a powerful, positive note.  The battle unified the country, restored patriotism, and made Andrew Jackson a national hero.

37.  Francis Scott KeyA successful lawyer in Washington, D.C. who wrote as a hobby.  After the British burned Washington, Key wrote a poem called “The Star Spangled Banner” after seeing the U.S. flag still flying.

38.  Star Spangled BannerA poem written by Francis Scott Key, it was adopted by the Army and Navy as a song that became our National Anthem.  It was not until 1931 that Congress adopted it as our official national anthem.

39.  Treaty of GhentThe treaty that ended the War of 1812 which resulted in a peaceful relations developing between U.S. and Great Britain.  In 1815, Commercial treaty reopening trade (American industries grew); in 1817, the Rush-Bagot agreement limited the number of warships on the Great Lakes.  In 1818, a British-American commission set the northern boundary of Louisiana territory at the 49th parallel as far west as the Rocky Mountains; 10-year joint occupation of Oregon territory; American independence is confirmed and nationalism grows in country

40.  Armisticea cease-fire or truce.


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