Federalists and Republicans
By the election of 1796, the United States political system had become bipartisan, largely a result of the disagreements over Hamilton’s programs and foreign policies. The split in the Federalist party became official with Jefferson’s resignation from Washington’s cabinet in 1793, upon which he formed the Republicans, whose ideology claimed that the Federalists had become a party geared toward enriching the wealthy at the expense of the poor.
election of 1796: President Adams, Vice-president Jefferson: Jefferson was supported by the Republicans, while Adams was supported by the Federalists. Adams was victorious in the election, Jefferson was made Vice-president, as a constitutional law stated that the candidate with the second highest number of electoral votes got that position.
new states: Vt, Ky, Tenn: Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee were all admitted into the United States between 1791 and 1796 by the federal government. Their admission was spurred by the hope that they would then become completely loyal to the Union, as they had not been before.
Federalists: The Federalist party was the starting point of the movement to draft and later ratify the new Constitution. It urged for a stronger national government to take shape after 1781. Its leaders included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison, and George Washington rose to power between 1789-1801. Under Hamilton, the Federalists solved the problem of revolutionary debt, created Jay’s Treaty and also the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Democratic-Republicans: The first political party in the United States, the Democratic-Republican party was created by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in opposition to the views of Alexander Hamilton. It arose to power in the 1790s and opposed the Federalist party, while advocating states rights and an agricultural society. The party expressed sympathy towards the French Revolution but opposed close ties with the British.
Society of the Cincinnati: A post-war organization of veteran officers from the Continental Army, the Society of the Cincinnati was feared by many because its charter had the possibility of becoming a hereditary aristocracy, as it gave membership to descendants.
Democratic Societies: An organization in which the wealthy are on a level of equality with the poor. This is best exemplified by the Philadelphia Democratic Society, in which Republicans were united by wealth rather then by status, as well as believed that those with talent and ambition should not forget their dreams.
Alien and Sedition Acts: In 1798, the Neutralization Act said residence must remain in the United States for five years before becoming naturalized while the Alien Act allowed the exportation of any alien believed to be a threat to national security. The Alien Enemies Act allowed the President to export aliens during times of war and the Sedition Act made it a criminal offense to plot against government. These acts were criticized because they oppressed the people’s First Amendment rights.
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: Written by Jefferson and Madison in protest to the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Virginia Resolution stated that states possessed the right to intervene in unconstitutional acts in government, and the Kentucky Resolution stated that federal government could not extend powers outside of constitutionally granted powers.
Fries Rebellion: Pennsylvanian German farmers, in 1799, rebelled against the government after it released debtors and citizens who did not pay taxes. This action infuriated the farmers because the money was needed to fund the expansion of the nation’s army. This rebellion alerted those in power to the general disgruntlement of much of the nation.
doctrine of nullification: A group of Kentucky Resolutions adopted in 1799, the Doctrine of Nullification stated that any federal laws considered by the people to be "objectionable" may be nullified by the states. The passage of these resolutions proved the probability of upcoming violent disagreements of how the law should be interpreted.
Convention of 1800: The Federalist party split into two factions during the Convention of 1800, as the party was undecided as to who their presidential candidate should be. The Federalists wanted to nominate Adams, while the "High Federalists," led by Alexander Hamilton, denounced his candidacy.
Second Great Awakening: Occurring mainly in the frontier states, the Second Great Awakening began in the 1790s and was characterized by "camp meetings," or open air revivals which lasted for weeks at a time where revivalists spoke of the second coming of Jesus. Charles Finney, an especially prominent preacher of the time, preached not only the second coming of Jesus, but also the gospel of free will, which lead to a greater democratic power commonly seen in the ideals of Jacksonian democracy.
Fugitive Slave Law: Enacted by congress in 1793, the law required judges to give a slave back to its owner or his representative if caught after running away. This law indicated tightening racial tensions, as well as stripped slaves of the right to trial by jury or presentation of evidence of freedom.
Gabriel’s Rebellion: Led by Gabriel Prosser in August 1800, the rebellion broke out near Richmond, Virginia when 1,000 slaves marched to the capital. Thirty five slaves were executed by a swift state militia, but whites still feared what many occur in the future with slave uprisings. The rebellion increased tensions between the North and the South.
Logan Act: Enacted in 1795 by the legislative assembly, the Logan Act allowed city councils the power to establish, as well as to support and to regulate, a system consisting schools for the general public. This act led to the establishment of school systems throughout the U.S.
Legal equality for free blacks: These measures first appeared in the 1780s and 1790s, when states dropped restrictions on freedom of movement, protected the property of blacks, and allowed them to enroll in the state militia. By 1796, all but three states allowed blacks voting rights.
Alexander McGillivray: The leader of the Creek Indians, who in 1790 signed a peace treaty with the United States that allowed whites to occupy lands in the Georgia piedmont, but spared the rest of the Creek lands from white settlement. He received a large bribe for signing the treaty.
Gilbert Stuart: An American painter who is particularly well known for his many portraits of wartime hero and President George Washington. His three styles of portrait painting: the "Vaughan" half-length, the "Lansdowne" full-length, and the "Athenaeum" head have often been mimicked.
Charles Wilson Peale: As a portrait painter of the Federalist period, Peale is best known for his fourteen portraits of George Washington. In 1786, Peale began a museum of parts of nature in Independence Hall, Philadelphia of portraits and helped to found the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1805.