Note: “Ship of state” is a phrase from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem The Building of the Ship. This is the final stanza: Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!Humanity with all its fears,With all the hopes of future years,Is hanging breathless on thy fate!We know what Master laid thy keel,What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,What anvils rang, what hammers beat,In what a forge and what a heatWere shaped the anchors of thy hope!Fear not each sudden sound and shock,'T is of the wave and not the rock;'T is but the flapping of the sail,And not a rent made by the gale!In spite of rock and tempest's roar,In spite of false lights on the shore,Sail on, nor fear to breast the seaOur hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,Are all with thee,--are all with thee!
I shall only say that I hold with Montesquieu, that a government must be fitted to a nation, as much as a coat to the individual; and, consequently, that what may be good at Philadelphia may be bad at Paris, and ridiculous at Petersburg (Russia).Alexander Hamilton, 1799
Introduction A. The situation for the new ship of state was not the most favorable • Within a period of 12 years, Americans and overthrown two constitutions: the British and the Articles of Confederation • Constitution smashing does not make law abiding citizens • Many Americans did not trust central authority
B. Finances of the new nation were shaky • Little revenue* b. Big debt *revenue = the money the government takes in in taxes; earnings, resources, wealth
3. Americans were trying to erect a republic on a huge scale that had never before been attempted a. Political theory said it impossible b. Europeans feared new republic would be an example to their repressed subjects c. The world was skeptical
They said it couldn’t be done Ha! Ha! Ha! The United States will never make it. It’s too BIG!!!!
I. Growing Pains • The Constitution was launched in 1789, and the American Republic was continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate 1. Population doubled every 25 years 2. First official census* (1790) recorded 4 million people *census = the process of obtaining information about every member of a population. The term is mostly used in connection with national 'population (to be taken every 10 years)
Population doubled every 25 years + 25 years = + 25 years =
2. Cities had started to grow • Philadelphia---population 42,000 • New York--- population 33,000 • Boston--- population 18,000 • Charleston--- population 16,000 • Baltimore--- population 13,000
B. America’s population was still 90 % rural despite flourishing (growing, rich, successful) cities 1. 95% of the people lived east of the Appalachians 2. Trans-Appalachian overflow was concentrated in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio---all were states within 14 years
United States Distribution of Population in 179095% of population east of the Appalachians Appalachians Appalachians
C. Foreign travelers looked down their noses at roughness and crudity of pioneer life but were impressed by the energy, self-confidence and material well-being Those Americans are so crude, they’re downright uncivilized!
People of the West were restive* and of dubious** loyalty and restless1. They depended on the Mississippi River, then controlled by Spain2. Spanish and British agents with lots of gold bought loyalty with vague promises of independence *restive = stubbornly resisting control; marked by impatience or uneasiness **dubious = questionable, of suspect nature
II. Washington for President A. The Electoral College unanimously drafted George Washington---the war hero---as president in 1789, and he has been the only president to be elected unanimously
B. Washington • Imposing man • 6’2”, 175 pounds • Broad and sloping shoulders, pointed chin, pockmarks on nose and cheeks • Preferred the quiet of Mt. Vernon to the hassle of politics---did not angle for this position • Balanced rather than brilliant • Commanded through strength of character
George Washington's Inaugural Journey through Trenton, 1789Washington received a warm welcome in Trenton, New Jersey---site of his first victory during the Revolutionary War.
C. Washington took the oath of office on April 30, 1789 on a crowded balcony overlooking Wall Street in New York City Betsy Ross Flag
Washington's reception by the Ladies, on Passing the Bridge at Trenton, N.J. , April, 1789: on his way to New York to be inaugurated first President of the United James M. Ives (1824-1895)
FYI . . . George Washington passed through several cities--including Philadelphia and Trenton--on the way from his home at Mount Vernon to his first inauguration at Federal Hall in New York City, then the temporary capital of the United States. Aware of the importance of this national ritual, Washington set many precedents during his first inauguration including: • the swearing-in took place outside • the oath was taken upon a Bible • an inaugural address was given (to the assembled Congress inside the Hall) the contents of which set the pattern for all subsequent addresses; and • festivities accompanied the inauguration, including a church service, a parade, and fireworks.
Washington Taking the Oath George Washington was the most admired man in eighteenth-century America. Even before the Constitution was ratified, his name was widely proposed for the presidency. "Of all Men you are best fitted to fill that Office," wrote one friend, and indeed, Washington was unanimously elected to serve as the first president of the United States. Along the route from his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia, to his inauguration at New York City, Washington was greeted by cheering crowds, bands, and parades. Barges, decorated in patriotic themes, accompanied him as he crossed the Hudson River. In this painting, the artist captures the enthusiasm and patriotism of the crowd that has gathered to see the general take the oath of office. (Library of Congress)
D. Washington soon put his own stamp on the presidency with the creation of the cabinet* • The Constitution does not mention a cabinet, but it provides that the president “may require” written opinions of the heads of the executive branch departments • This proved too cumbersome, so the cabinet gradually evolved in Washington’s administration *cabinet = a group of advisors for a head of state (like the President)
1. At first there were only 3 full-fledged department heads under the President: • Secretary of State --- Thomas Jefferson
III. The Bill of Rights • The first task that the new government undertook was drawing up a Bill of Rights, as many states had ratified the Constitution on the proviso that it would be expanded to guarantee those rights • Many of the anti-federalists had sharply criticized the Constitution for its failure to guarantee certain basic rights such as freedom of religion and trial by jury
C. Amendments to the Constitution could be proposed in one of 2 ways By a new constitutional convention requested by 2/3 of the states By 2/3 vote of both houses of Congress
There was fear of a new constitutional convention (federalists had only a narrow victory in the ratification struggle), so James Madison decided to draft the amendments himself and then he guided them through CongressE. Bill of Rights was adopted by the necessary number of states in 1791
F. Bill of Rights safeguarded some of the most precious American liberties such as Freedom of religion
The right to petition the government for redress* of grievances The right to petition includes under its umbrella the right to sue the government and the right of individuals, groups, and corporations to lobby** the government. Lobbying is an effort designed influence government authorities and elected officials. It can consist of the outreach of legislative members, public actions (e.g. mass demonstrations), or combinations of both public and private actions (e.g. encouraging constituents to contact their legislative representatives). There are also professional lobbyists who are hired by a special interest group to influence elected officials such as Council on American Islamic Relations, Americans for Peace Now , American Association for Retired Persons, National Council of La Raza, etc.There are lobbying groups for almost every “cause”. *redress = the setting right of what is wrong **lobby = concerted effort designed to effect influence, typically over government authorities
Prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment Old Sparky Controversy Lee "Tiny" Davis. Executed by the State of Florida on July 8, 1999
Protection against arbitrary* government seizure of private property Uncle Sam wants your land Take a hike. The Bill of Rights says you can’t do this. *arbitrary = capricious, frivolous, erratic, impulsive
To guard against the danger that anyone might think that the rights listed might be the only ones protected, the 9th amendment was inserted which stated that specifying certain rights “shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” James Madison's 42 rights did not cover all of the individual protections that he believed citizens needed, and certainly the 10 that were approved did not either, so he included Amendment 9. It states that there are certain rights listed in the Constitution, but that does not mean that there aren't other rights that the people have that are not listed.
11. To reassure the states righters, he included the 10th amendment which delegated all rights not explicitly delegated or prohibited by the federal Constitution “to the States respectively, or to the people” Examples: The states determine the rules for marriages, divorces, driving licenses, voting, state taxes, job and school requirements, rules for police and fire departments, and many more. States regulate many of our rights, not the national government. The national government does not control these areas because they are not mentioned in the Constitution, and so they are under the control of the states.
G. The Bill of Rights was a victory for the antifederalists and the federalist pendulum had now swung backH. The first Congress also helped shape the new government We won!!!!!
I. Judiciary Act of 1789 created effective federal courts • The act organized the Supreme Court with a chief justice and 5 associates • Established federal district and circuit courts • Established the new office of Attorney General • John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (co-author of Federalist Papers and seasoned diplomat)
Current Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, David Souter
IV. Hamilton Revives the Corpse* of Public Credit I’m Alexander Hamilton, the Money Guy. A. A key figure in the new government was Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton *corpse = dead body
B. Hamilton’s bio • 34 years old • Native of British West Indies • Clearly a genius, but critics said he loved his new country more than the people in it • Hamilton thought of himself as a sort of Prime Minister in Washington’s cabinet, and often stuck in hand in other departments including those of his arch-rival, Thomas Jefferson • Lucky for us, Hamilton was a financial wizard
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton by Charles Wilson Peale Author of many of The Federalist Papers essays and first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton was admired, even by bitter political opponents, for his intellectual brilliance and his political vision. Hamilton was a true American success story: an illegitimate son of a Barbados gentleman, he immigrated to the mainland as a teenager where he enjoyed a meteoric career. Hamilton served as Washington's aide-de-camp, became a leader of the New York bar, and entered New York's social elite by his marriage into the Schuyler family. In 1803, a political enemy, Aaron Burr, killed Hamilton in a duel.
C. Hamilton was the key figure in the new government, and his first goal was to take care of the financial problems that had crippled the Articles of Confederation