Ch.10 “Launching the New Ship of State” 1789-1800
12 yrs. Amer. had overthrown the British and the Art. of Confed. (AOC); law breaking+ constitution smashing=no good gov.
trainin; A.ppl regarded central autho.
as necessary evil (to be not trusted, watched, curbed)
gov. $ very little; public debt high; paper $ (lots), metallic (-$); A.ppl still tried to estab. a republic (no other ppl had ever done)
1789 Constitution (Con.) launched; country pop. X2 ~25 yrs.; 1790 4 mil. ppl; cities grew: Phila.: 42tho., N.Y.C.: 33tho, Bost.:
18tho., Charleston: 16tho., Baltimore: 13tho; country pop. 90% rural; 95% lived East of App.Mts.; pioneers went to Kent.; Tenn.;
Ohio; Spanish owned Miss.R.; Brit. still at forts
Washington for President
1789 G.W. was unanimously drafted as Pres. by Electoral College; preferred Mt. Vernon; G.W. tall balanced rather than brilliant;
didn’t angle for his exalted office; commander followers by strength of character, not art of politician; N.Y.C. was temp. country
capital; greeted on way to N.Y.C. by fans; took oath Apr.30, 1789, Wall Street;
G.W. estab. cabinet; 1
3: Sec. of $: A.Hamilton,
Sec. of State: T.Jefferson, Sec.
of War: Henry Knox
The Bill of Rights
unfinished business: federalists promised freedoms for individuals to go w/ Con.; ROR must be done 1
; amendments (amen.) to
Con.: new Con. Conven. w/ 2/3 vote (both houses of Cong.); James Madison decided to write it himself (didn’t want another conv.
to reveal how narrow federalists got the orig. vote); J.Mad.
guided Cong., 1791 the right # of states approved the 1
10 amen. to
the Con. (BOR), guarded freedom of: Religion, Press, Speech, Bear Arms; Tried by jury; Assemble; Petition; prohibited cruel &
unusual punishment; seizure of private property; 9
amen. not only limited to those freedoms; built strong central gov. w/
indiv. protection & rights for ppl; Judiciary Act of 1789: effective fed. Courts, Supreme Court (w/ chief Just., 5 associates, fed.
District, circuit courts, estab. attorney general; John Jay: 1
chief Just., collaborator to J.Mad.’s
papers,1 of Amer.’s
most seasoned diplomats
Hamilton Revives the Corpse of Public Credit
A.Ham. key fig. in gov., native of Brit. W. Indies; (saw himself as outsider); put his hands in other cabinet member’s affairs;
including T.Jeff. (archrival); A.Ham. wanted to fix $ prob.; plan: shape fiscal policies of the admin. to favor wealthy ppl, they would
lead gov., fed. regime thrives, propertied classes grow; prosperity who eventually go to masses; strengthen national credit (but
not w/o public confidence in gov.=no $ to do his plan); asked Congress to fund the entire national debt “at par” (ea. State debt of
recent war); “at par”=fed. gov. would pay off all debts at face value, plus w/ interest (amounted to $54mil); Congress passed the
measure in 1790; A.Ham. was eager to have new gov. take on additional obligations, “assumption”: wanted Congress to take on