Early Republic, 1789-1815 Flashcards Preview

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1
Q

Define:

Articles of Confederation

A

The Articles of Confederation were established during the Revolutionary War by the Continental Congress. Due to fears of concentrated power, the Articles intentionally established a weak central government.

2
Q

What two key provisions were part of the Land Ordinance of 1785, passed under the Articles of Confederation?

A

The Land Ordinance of 1785 (a) set a method for surveying and settling western territory, and (b) provided a section of land in each township be set aside for public education.

The Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 were the two key pieces of legislation passed under the Articles of Confederation.

3
Q

In addition to the Land Ordinance of 1785, the Articles of Confederation Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. What three key provisions did this Act contain?

A

One of two major pieces of legislation passed under the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance:

  1. Set rules for creating new states;
  2. Banned slavery in the new states of the Northwest;
  3. Provided for limited self-government in territories not yet made states
4
Q

In Shays’ Rebellion, a group of farmers led by Daniel Shays in Western Massachusetts shut down county courts. Why?

A

Shays and his followers shut down the county courts to prevent land seizures and imprisonment for debt. Debts were required to be repaid in hard currency, which was scarce.

Shays’ Rebellion was a response to the economic depression and high taxes resulting from Revolutionary War debt, and highlighted the weakness of the government established by the Articles of Confederation.

5
Q

Define:

unicameral

A

Unicameral is a legislature with one chamber. The Articles of Confederation established a unicameral legislature.

6
Q

Define:

bicameral

A

A bicameral legislature is a legislature with two chambers. The legislative branch, as established by the Constitution, is bicameral.

7
Q

What is a tariff?

A

A tariff is a tax imposed upon goods when they are either imported or exported. As an example, a country may charge a tax of 10% of the value of a table when that table is exported to a foreign country.

8
Q

What was the Annapolis Convention?

A

The Annapolis Convention was held in 1786. Twelve delegates from five states met to discuss barriers to trade and commerce that existed due to the Articles of Confederation. The Convention concluded with a call for an additional convention to be held in Philadelphia to discuss revising the Articles.

9
Q

The Constitutional Convention was called in response to the Annapolis Convention. What was the Constitutional Convention’s initial purpose?

A

The Constitutional Convention’s initial purpose was to revise the Articles of Confederation. A group of strong nationalists, including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, convinced the Convention to draft an entirely new governing document.

10
Q

The first act of the Constitutional Convention was to name George Washington to preside over their activities. Why?

A

Washington was universally respected throughout the 13 colonies. As the presiding officer, Washington would hold the Constitutional Convention together, and provide legitimacy to the Convention’s activities.

11
Q

To whom did the Constitutional Convention assign the task of drafting the Constitution?

A

James Madison

In preparing the section detailing the legislative branch, Madison suggested the Virginia Plan.

12
Q

What was the Virginia Plan?

A

The Virginia Plan, drafted by James Madison, called for a bicameral legislature with two branches. Each state would send legislators to each branch based upon the size of their population.

13
Q

Describe the New Jersey Plan.

A

The New Jersey Plan called for a unicameral legislature where each state, regardless of population, had the same number of legislators.

William Paterson proposed the New Jersey Plan as a means of protecting small-population states from being overwhelmed by states with large populations.

14
Q

How did the Constitutional Convention resolve the differences between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan?

A

The Convention adopted the Connecticut Plan, otherwise known as the Great Compromise. The Connecticut Plan established a bicameral legislature, in which the number of legislators in the House of Representatives was determined by population, while each state had an equal number of legislators in the Senate.

15
Q

Slavery proved a divisive issue during the Convention, with the South wanting slaves counted for purposes of population, and the North insisting that they not be counted. How was the issue resolved?

A

The Convention passed the Three Fifths Compromise. For purposes of representation in the House of Representatives, each slave counted as 3/5 of a person.

In addition, the Constitution banned the importation of slaves after 1808.

16
Q

Many different proposals were put forth regarding the office of the President. What powers did the Convention eventually provide the President?

A

The Convention gave the President the power to:

  • Engage in foreign policy as the nation’s representative
  • Have a four-year term limit (but could be re-elected to multiple terms)
  • Veto legislation passed by Congress
17
Q

As established in the Constitution, how did the Electoral College work?

A
  1. The President would be elected by an Electoral College
  2. Each state was given the same number of votes as they had Representatives and Senators
  3. The person with the most votes in the Electoral College would be elected President
  4. The person with the second most votes in the Electoral College would be elected Vice President
18
Q

What political development did the Electoral College system not anticipate?

A

The Electoral College system originally provided that the President would be the person who won the most votes in the College, and the person who won the second most votes would be Vice President.

The Electoral College system did not anticipate the development of political parties, which for a short time led to a President and Vice President being from different parties. The problem was resolved by having separate elections for President and Vice President.

19
Q

Between the President and Congress, the Constitution created three essential checks and balances, to prevent each from gaining too much power. What were they?

A

The three key checks and balances were:

  1. The President can exercise a veto over acts of Congress
  2. Congress can override a Presidential veto only with a 2/3 vote in each house
  3. Treaties negotiated by the President must be ratified by the Senate
20
Q

When would the newly drafted Constitution take effect?

A

The Constitution would only take effect when it was ratified by nine states. Each state called a separate convention to decide whether to accept the Constitution.

21
Q

Those in favor of the new Constitution were known as _____.

A

Federalists

The Federalists, led by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, thought that a strong central government was essential to the survival of the United States.

22
Q

What did the Anti-Federalists believe?

A

The Anti-Federalists believed that a strong federal government would impinge upon the rights of the states and the people.

The Anti-Federalists, led by George Mason and John Hancock, appealed to the fear of a strong government stemming from the colonial period.

23
Q

To induce the state constitutional committees to ratify the Constitution, the Federalists guaranteed they would pass what legislation?

A

The Federalists promised the passage of a Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights, suggested by Thomas Jefferson, established limits to the power of the federal government, and guaranteed unto the people certain rights. By 1790, all 13 states had ratified the Constitution.

24
Q

John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton wrote a series of 85 newspaper articles advocating for the Constitution. Collectively, what are these documents known as?

A

The Federalist Papers

25
Q

The First Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789. What did the Act accomplish?

A

The only court mentioned in the Constitution was the Supreme Court. The Judiciary Act of 1789 (a) placed five associate justices and one Chief Justice on the Court’s bench, (b) established 13 District Courts – one for each state, and (c) organized three Courts of Appeals as a layer between the District and Supreme Courts.

26
Q

What was Alexander Hamilton’s proposal to put the new nation on a firm financial footing?

A

As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton made three proposals:

  1. The federal government would assume the individual states’ Revolutionary War debt, and the debt would be paid off at face value
  2. A high tariff on imported goods, to protect domestic manufacturers
  3. A national bank, to protect the nation’s credit at home and abroad
27
Q

Hamilton’s economic plan received strong support in the Northern states. Why?

A

Most Revolutionary War debts had been bought by Northern merchants at a discount, and they stood to make a substantial profit when the government repaid them at face value.

In addition, the Northern states had a growing manufacturing base, which would be protected from foreign competition by Hamilton’s tariff, and benefit from a strong, stable currency.

28
Q

Alexander Hamilton supported high tariffs on imported goods. Why?

A

Hamilton believed that high tariffs would help protect nascent American industry, allowing the United States to establish a firm manufacturing base. Further, high tariffs would provide income for the new national government.

Although Congress passed a tariff, it was not as high as Hamilton wished. The revenue shortfall was made up through increased taxes on items such as whiskey.

29
Q

Many Anti-Federalists, led by Thomas Jefferson, opposed Hamilton’s plan to create a strong central government. Why?

A

Jefferson and his supporters had two main objections to Hamilton’s plan. First, they viewed Hamilton’s plan with suspicion, because they were concerned that as the federal government gained power, the states would lose it. They also felt that it would benefit the rich and hurt poor farmers.

30
Q

What was Hamilton’s view of Congress’ power under the Constitution?

A

Hamilton, who favored a strong central government, felt that the Constitution’s “necessary and proper” clause endowed Congress with the power to do whatever was necessary to carry out its enumerated powers.

31
Q

Jefferson opposed Hamilton’s view of the Constitution. What was Jefferson’s view?

A

Jefferson felt that a strong central government would be detrimental to the rights of the states. Jefferson argued that Congress’ powers were specifically limited to those which were enumerated in the Constitution.

32
Q

How did Washington react to the outbreak of war between the French and the British following the French Revolution?

A

Washington was concerned that the United States was too weak to become entangled in European affairs; and in 1793 he declared that the United States would stay strictly neutral. As such, the United States would support neither Britain nor France.

33
Q

Did the vast majority of Americans oppose or support the French Revolution?

A

Support for the French Revolution was strong in the United States, although there was concern about the intense violence and mob attacks which accompanied it.

Thomas Jefferson and his allies proved to be the French Revolution’s strongest supporters.

34
Q

The French government’s Ambassador to the United States, _____ _____ , violated diplomatic protocols by directly requesting that the American people support the French Revolution, despite Washington’s declaration of neutrality.

A

Citizen Genêt

Genêt’s conduct was a scandal and deeply offensive to the American government, and Washington asked the French to recall Genêt.

35
Q

A loose alliance of Indian tribes in the Great Lakes region, allied to resist American expansion, was known as the _____ _____.

A

Western Confederacy

The allied group of Indians scored several victories over minor American forces in 1790 and 1791, prompting George Washington to dispatch a strong force under General Anthony Wayne to the Ohio Territory.

Sometimes refered to as “the Miami Conderacy”, the Western Confederacy was armed at British forts in the region, although these forts were supposed to have been abandoned according to the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War.

36
Q

In 1794, General Anthony Wayne defeated the Western Confederacy, a loose alliance of Indian tribes, at which battle?

A

The Battle of Fallen Timbers

After the battle, the Western Confederacy signed the Treaty of Greenville, which ceded much of present-day Ohio to the United States, and opened the land for settlement.

Interestingly, before returning home, Wayne and his troops constructed a number of forts to protect the newly acquired lands. One of these forts, named in his honor, was located in modern-day Fort Wayne, Indiana.

37
Q

The Treaty of Greenville (1795) opened which area up for settlement by the rapidly expanding United States?

A

The Treaty of Greenville, signed in 1795 between the United States and the Indian tribes of the Western Confederacy, ceded much of modern-day Ohio to the United States.

38
Q

Why is the Whiskey Rebellion (1791) named after whiskey?

A

To raise funds for the new federal government (as well as to protect new American industry), Alexander Hamilton had wanted to establish a high tariff, but Congress established a lower one and raised the needed funds by taxing various domestic products, including whiskey.

Farmers in Western Pennsylvania, incensed at having to pay a tax on the whiskey they distilled from surplus corn, attacked the tax collectors.

39
Q

How did Washington respond to the Whiskey Rebellion?

A

Washington adopted some 15,000 state militiamen into the federal army, which was placed under the command of Alexander Hamilton, who was still Secretary of the Treasury, and who now had to direct troops to suppress a rebellion against a tax to which he’d been opposed.

Even so, when Hamilton’s troops arrived, the rebellion collapsed without bloodshed.

40
Q

How did many western citizens view Washington’s dispatch of a 15,000-man army under Alexander Hamilton to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion?

A

With the Revolutionary War still a fresh memory (it was fought over taxes after all), Washington’s decision provoked outcry throughout the west. As the chief critic of the federal government, Thomas Jefferson became an outspoken supporter of the western farmer.

41
Q

Upon which group of citizens did Thomas Jefferson believe the nation’s strength depended?

A

Thomas Jefferson believed that farmers were central to American success. Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, believed that the nation could best be strengthened through manufacturing and trade.

42
Q

By Washington’s second term, two political parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, had arisen. What did the Federalist Party believe?

A

Under leaders such as Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, the Federalist Party believed in a strong central government, and favored business, high tariffs, and a national bank.

The Federalist Party was pro-British, and found support among wealthy landowners and Northern businessmen.

43
Q

The Democratic-Republican Party was comprised mainly of former Anti-Federalists, and arose during Washington’s second term as President. What did the Democratic-Republican Party believe?

A

The Democratic-Republican Party, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, desired a weak central government with limited powers as clearly enumerated in the Constitution. The Democratic-Republicans favored western farmers and agriculture, argued for a low tariff, and were pro-French.

44
Q

Why did Washington send Chief Justice John Jay to Britain?

A

John Jay’s mission was to negotiate a treaty with the British to stop the British policy of impressment. Since the Revolutionary War, British naval vessels had been searching American merchant ships, and impressing (forcing) American sailors into the British navy.

45
Q

John Jay signed a treaty with Great Britain, which was narrowly approved by the Senate. The Jay Treaty provoked outcry. Why?

A

Although John Jay had been sent to negotiate a treaty regarding the British policy of impressment, he returned with a treaty that said nothing about impressment. Instead, it was an agreement by the British to abandon their forts on the western frontier, which the British had already agreed to do at the end of the Revolutionary War.

In addition, Washington’s willingness to negotiate with the British irritated pro-French Democratic-Republicans.

46
Q

Following Jay’s Treaty, Thomas Pinckney, the American Ambassador to Spain, negotiated a treaty with that country in 1795. What did Pinckney’s treaty establish?

A

Under Pinckney’s treaty, Spain agreed that the northern boundary of Florida would be at the 31st parallel. More importantly, Spain (which controlled New Orleans at the time), agreed that Americans could transfer cargo at New Orleans, without paying duties to the Spanish government.

The duty free transfer, known as the right of deposit, spurred transit on the Mississippi River, a natural highway, and led to the growth of New Orleans as a large shipping port.

47
Q

In 1796, Washington announced that he would retire after two terms, setting a precedent for future American Presidents. What did Washington warn against in his Farewell Address?

A

First, Washington warned Americans against forming political parties, a process which was already well underway. Throughout the country’s early years, political parties were coalescing around the two leading figures of the day, Hamilton and Jefferson.

More importantly, Washington warned against involvement in European affairs and “permanent alliances” with European powers. Washington’s advice has continued to guide American Presidents.

48
Q

In the 1796 election, John Adams, a Federalist, was elected President, and Thomas Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican, was elected Vice President. How did it come about that the President and Vice President were from different political parties?

A

The Constitution as written did not allow for political parties, and merely stated that the person who got the most electoral votes would be President, and that the person who got the second most electoral votes would be Vice President. Thomas Jefferson finished in second place, by three electoral votes.

The Twelfth Amendment, passed in 1804, allowed electors to cast two separate votes for President and Vice President.

49
Q

What was the XYZ Affair?

A

Like the British, French naval ships were impressing American sailors and searching American ships. President Adams sent American diplomats to negotiate with France. Three French ministers, whose names were never revealed and were known only as X, Y, and Z, requested bribes before the negotiations could begin. Insulted, the American diplomats returned home.

50
Q

How did most of the American public respond to news of the XYZ Affair?

A

Most Americans were outraged at the insult, and although popular support for war against Britain had been strong for a few months, now most Americans advocated for war against France.

Although national sentiment, voiced in the expression “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute,” argued strongly for war against France, Adams did not ask Congress to declare war, concerned that the U.S. Army and Navy was still too weak to fight a European power.

51
Q

In 1798, the Federalists won a majority of seats in the Senate and House due to anti-French sentiments after the XYZ affair. What three laws did they pass?

A

With their new majorities, the Federalists attempted to silence the Democratic-Republicans and passed:

  1. the Alien Act
  2. the Sedition Act
  3. the Naturalization Act
52
Q

What powers did Congress give the President in the Alien Act of 1798?

A

The Alien Act gave the President the power to deport foreigners he deemed dangerous, and to detain foreigners in times of war. The Act was fiercely opposed by the Democratic-Republicans, who saw in it a dangerous expansion of federal power.

53
Q

How did the 1798 Sedition Act violate principles of free speech?

A

The Sedition Act allowed for fines against newspaper editors who criticized the President or Congress. As the Supreme Court had not yet established the principle of judicial review (which holds that the Court can review laws to determine if they violate the Constitution), the law stood unchallenged.

54
Q

Why did the Federalists pass the Naturalization Act in 1798?

A

The Naturalization Act lengthened from 5 to 14 years the time which a person needed to reside in the United States before they could apply to become a citizen. It was passed by the Federalists because most new citizens tended to vote with the Democratic-Republican party.

55
Q

What were the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions?

A

The state legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky passed laws which stated that the Alien and Sedition Acts were invalid as being against the Constitution. After the Democratic-Republicans gained control of Congress in 1800, the Alien and Sedition Acts were allowed to expire.

The authority of states to nullify federal acts would appear again in the 1830s Nullification Crisis.

56
Q

In the presidential election of 1800, which took place before the passage of the Twelfth Amendment, two Democratic-Republicans tied in the Electoral College. Who were they?

A

Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr

Electors who cast their two votes for Jefferson and Burr thought they were electing Burr for Vice President, but when Burr realized that the tie gave him the chance at the Presidency, he attempted to convince the still Federalist House of Representatives to vote for him as opposed to Jefferson, their staunch political enemy.

Alexander Hamilton persuaded many Representatives that Jefferson was the safer choice, because he considered Burr a scoundrel. Later, Burr would shoot and kill Hamilton in a duel.

57
Q

Describe:

the Revolution of 1800

A

Federalists, who held the Presidency and a majority of House and Senate seats, lost the election of 1800, yet handed over power to the Democratic-Republicans peacefully, and without bloodshed.

Such an event was rare in history and the “revolution” was that handing over control of the Congress took place without violence.

58
Q

In 1802, Spain revoked the right of deposit, which allowed farmers tax free use of the port of New Orleans, and which had been granted in the Pinckney Treaty. How did President Jefferson respond?

A

Jefferson dispatched diplomats to France (which had resumed control of New Orleans) to offer Napoleon $10 million for New Orleans and a small strip of Florida.

59
Q

How did Napoleon respond to the American offer to purchase New Orleans and parts of Florida for $10 million?

A

Desperate for funds to continue his war in Europe, and distracted by a slave revolution in Haiti, Napoleon and his ministers offered America the entirety of the Louisiana Territory for $15 million. Shocked at the fantastic bargain, the American diplomats made the deal, without seeking approval from Jefferson or the Congress.

60
Q

Why did the Louisiana Purchase put Jefferson in a difficult political position?

A

Since its passage, Jefferson had argued that the President could only exercise those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution. No Constitutional provision allowed the President to purchase territory. Nevertheless, the Louisiana Purchase was such an amazing deal, Jefferson ignored his qualms and supported the transaction.

61
Q

What were the effects of the Louisiana Purchase?

A

The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States, and removed a potentially troubling foreign presence from the American frontier. Containing parts of what would eventually become 13 states, Jefferson hoped that this new land would strengthen the position of his cherished American farmer.

62
Q

Thomas Jefferson dispatched _____ ___ _____ to explore the newly purchased Louisiana Territory.

A

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

In a two-year expedition, Lewis and Clark (assisted by Sacagawea, a Shoshone Indian) explored vast swaths of territory, traveling from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean, and providing descriptions of the newly acquired western lands.

The expedition also strengthened American claims to the Oregon Territory, and an eventual American outlet on the Pacific Ocean.

63
Q

Jefferson’s fiercest opponent during his first term was Aaron Burr, his own Vice President. After the Democratic-Republicans decided not to renominate Burr for Vice President in 1804, how did Burr respond?

A

Burr attempted to run for Governor of New York, hoping to gain support from the Federalists. He planned to have New York and the New England states secede from the Union, and form a new nation under his rule. Alexander Hamilton foiled his plans by convincing Federalists not to vote for Burr.

Later, convinced that Hamilton had insulted him, Burr challenged him to a duel, and shot him. Burr fled west, and attempted to start a revolution in Mexico, unite it with Louisiana, and assume control. He failed, and was arrested for treason.

64
Q

After their resounding defeat in the 1800 election, the Federalists retained control only of the _____ branch of the federal government.

A

judicial

The Constitution provided that federal judges had lifetime tenure, and could only be removed from office by impeachment. Chief Justice John Marshall, a Federalist, would retain that office for 34 years. Nominated by Adams, Marshall would serve until he died in a stagecoach accident during Andrew Jackson’s presidency.

65
Q

Define:

midnight appointments

A

Shortly before he left office, President John Adams appointed a number of prominent Federalists to positions in the United States government, including appointing William Marbury as Justice of the Peace for Washington, D.C.

Thomas Jefferson ordered his Secretary of State, James Madison, not to deliver these midnight appointments, including that of William Marbury. In response, Marbury sued Madison.

66
Q

What did the case of Marbury v. Madison (1803) establish?

A

Written by Thomas Jefferson’s cousin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison established the principle of judicial review.

Marbury held that William Marbury was entitled to his appointment as Justice of the Peace for Washington, D.C., but that the Judiciary Act of 1789, which gave him the right to appeal to the Supreme Court for redress, was unconstitutional, and therefore Marbury’s request was denied.

67
Q

Define:

judicial review

A

Judicial review is a principle, established in Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, (1803) that holds that the Supreme Court has the power to review acts of Congress and the President to determine whether they are allowed under the Constitution.

In Marbury, Justice Marshall and a unanimous Court held that the Judicial Act of 1789 was unconstitutional, as it gave the federal courts more power than the Constitution allowed.

68
Q

What was the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair?

A

In 1807, a few miles off the coast of Virginia, the British ship HMS Leopard attacked and boarded the American ship USS Chesapeake, looking for British navy deserters. Four sailors were taken from the Chesapeake, one of whom was hanged.

Outraged, Americans once more clamored for war against Great Britain.

69
Q

Thomas Jefferson thought war with Britain was unwise given the small size of the American navy. How did he respond to the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, as well as continued British impressment of American sailors?

A

Jefferson convinced Congress to pass the Embargo Act in 1807, which barred American ships from sailing to any non-American port.

Jefferson hoped that Britain, cut off from American supplies, would cease violating American rights. Britain simply began importing more goods from South America, and continued her activities.

70
Q

What was the result of the Embargo Act (1807) on the American economy?

A

With overseas markets closed, a massive depression followed the Embargo Act, especially in New England, where the economy was heavily dependent on shipping and trade.

Jefferson, recognizing the failure, supported Madison’s push for repeal in 1809. Even after the repeal of the Embargo Act, Americans were forbidden to trade with the two major warring European powers, Britain and France, by the Non-Intercourse Act.

71
Q

Who were the Barbary Pirates?

A

The Barbary Pirates were a group of small city-states on the north coast of Africa that demanded tribute from the American government to refrain from attacking American ships. Although Washington and Adams paid the tribute reluctantly, Jefferson dispatched a naval expedition (and a few Marines) to deal with the Barbary Pirates.

Although there was no decisive end to the war, a force of Marines achieved the first U.S. victory on foreign soil at the Battle of Derna. Their feat is commemorated in the Marines Hymn (“…to the shores of Tripoli…”).

72
Q

The Non-Intercourse Act (1809) repealed the Embargo Act (1807), but still disallowed U.S. trade with _____ and _____.

A

Britain; France

Passed at the beginning of Madison’s first term, the Non-Intercourse Act was Madison’s attempt to ease the economic hardship caused by the Embargo Act, while still maintaining U.S. neutrality in the war between France and Britain. However, the American economy continued to suffer.

73
Q

What offer did Macon’s Bill No. 2 (1810) make to Britain and France?

A

Macon’s Bill No. 2 (1810) stated that if either France or Britain agreed to respect American rights of neutrality and freedom of the seas, trade would resume with that nation, while the United States would ban trade with that nation’s foe.

As a side note, Macon’s Bill No. 1, which barred French and British ships from American harbors, never passed the entire Congress. Nathaniel Macon, after whom it was named, neither proposed nor voted for Macon’s Bill No. 2.

74
Q

How did France and Britain react to Macon’s Bill No. 2 (1810)?

A

Napoleonic France agreed to respect American rights. Madison’s suspicions that Napoleon had no intention of actually doing so turned out to be correct.

The British were offended by the bill, increasing tensions between the two countries which had already been on the brink of war a number of times since the Revolution. The British strengthened their naval blockade of the American coast.

75
Q

Who were the War Hawks?

A

The War Hawks were Congressmen who favored war with Great Britain. Led by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, most War Hawks came from the new states of the American West, such as Tennessee and Kentucky.

The War Hawks contended that war with Britain was a matter of national honor, and the only way to ensure freedom of the seas and to stop British aid to Indian tribes of the West. They also argued that in the event of war, Canada could be taken by the United States.

76
Q

Why did Madison ask Congress for a declaration of war against Britain in 1812?

A

Throughout his first term, Madison had done his best to stay neutral in the decades-long conflict between France and Britain. Continued impressment by the British Navy, the blockade of the American coast, and the pressure of the War Hawks led to Madison’s request that Congress declare war.

Ironically, after war was declared, Madison received word that the British had agreed to stop their blockade.

77
Q

How did Federalists react to the declaration of war against Britain?

A

Centered in New England, New York, and New Jersey, Federalists denounced the war as an attempt by the Democratic-Republicans to conquer Canada and Florida in an effort to increase the number of Democratic-Republican voters.

78
Q

In addition to the Federalists, New England merchants (many of whom were Federalists) opposed the War of 1812 for different reasons. Why?

A

Despite Britain’s blockades, the Embargo Act (1807), and the Non-Intercourse Act (1809), New England merchants made substantial profits off of both sides in the Napoleonic Wars, and were reluctant to sever trading with Britain.

79
Q

What was the target of the initial American attack during the War of 1812?

A

American forces launched a three-prong attack into Canada. Poorly equipped and poorly led, American troops were defeated, achieving only one notable success by burning York (modern-day Toronto).

80
Q

Who was Tecumseh?

A

Tecumseh was a Shawnee, who tried to unite the Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River in a confederacy to resist white expansion.

Tecumseh’s army was defeated by William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Since they provided aid to the Indians, the British were blamed by Americans for Tecumseh’s activities, leading to further difficulties between the United States and Britain.

81
Q

Under Oliver Hazard Perry, American naval forces achieved a resounding victory during which battle?

A

The Battle of Lake Erie

Due to Perry’s victory, General William Henry Harrison was able to deploy more sizable forces to protect Detroit, and to win a notable victory over the remainder of Tecumseh’s forces at the Battle of the Thames River in Canada.

82
Q

In 1814, after Napoleon’s first surrender, the British launched a counterattack with their freshly available forces. Where did this attack take place?

A

The British campaign was centered on the Chesapeake region. They captured and burned Washington, and then attempted to take Baltimore and Fort McHenry.

Fort McHenry withstood the British attack, and Francis Scott Key, who’d observed the bombardment of the fort, was inspired to write the “Star Spangled Banner.”

83
Q

Who led American troops in the South during the War of 1812?

A

Andrew Jackson fought a successful campaign against Britain’s allies, the Creek Indians (opening Alabama for settlement), then withstood a British attack at New Orleans.

The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815. A stirring American victory, it actually took place two weeks after a peace treaty had been signed between the British and Americans at Ghent, in Belgium.

84
Q

What were the terms of the Treaty of Ghent?

A

The Treaty of Ghent restored the status quo antebellum (a Latin phrase meaning: the state in which things were before the war), and formalized the American/Canadian boundary. Neither side had achieved decisive victory in the War of 1812.

85
Q

What was the Hartford Convention?

A

The Hartford Convention was a meeting of New England Federalists opposed to the War of 1812, many of whom supported secession. Although a vote for secession failed, the Hartford Convention urged opposition to the War and amendment to the Constitution to stop the growth of Democratic-Republican power.

After the War and Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans, the Federalists were castigated as unpatriotic, and by 1820, the Federalists had disintegrated as a national political force.