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24 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Alexander Hamilton
A strong nationalist and the first secretary of the treasury. He supported a strong central government and was founder of the Federalist Party.
Alien and Sedition Acts
A series of acts designed to suppress perceived French agents working against American neutrality. The acts gave the president power to deport "dangerous" aliens, lengthen the residency requirement for citizenship, and restrict freedoms of speech and press.
Annapolis Convention
Meeting held at Annapolis, Maryland, in 1786 to discuss interstate commerce. Only 5 states sent delagates, but Alexander Hamilton used the forum to issue a call for the states to meet the next spring to revise the Articles of Confederation.
People who opposed ratification of the U.S. Constitution by the states. In general, they feared the concentration of power the Constitution would place in the national government.
Democratic Republican Party
Political party led by Thomas Jefferson. It feared centralized political power, supported states' rights, opposed Hamilton's financial plan, and supported ties to France. It was heavily influenced by agrarian interests in the southern states.
Farewell Address
Presidential message in which Washington warned the nation to avoid both entangling foreign alliances and domestic factions. The ideas of the address became the basis of isolationist arguments for the next 150 years.
Federalist Papers
85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay and published in newspapers to convince New York to ratify the Constituion. Taken together, they are seen as a treatise on the foundations of the Constitution.
Federalist Party
Political party led by Alexander Hamilton. It favored a strong central government, ccommercial interests, Hamilton's financial plan, and close ties to England. Its membership was strongest among the merchant class and property owners.
People who favored ratification of the U.S. Constituion by the states. They are not to be confused with the later Federalist Party.
Great Compromise
Broke the impasse at the Constitutional Convention over congressional representation. Congress would consist of two houses -- seats in the lower assigned according to each state's population and states having equal representation in the upper chamber.
James Madison
A strong nationalist who organized the Annapolis Convention, authored the Virginia Plan for the Constituuion, and drafted the constitutional amendments that became the Bill of Rights. He was also a founding member of the Democratic Republican Party.
Jay's Treaty (1794)
Agreement that provided England would evacuate a series of forts in U.S. territory along the Great Lakes. In return, the United States agreed to pay pre-Revolutionary War debts owed to Britain. The British also partially opened the West Indies to American shipping. The treaty was barely ratified in the face of strong Republican opposition.
Loose Constructionist
A person who believes that the "elastic clause" of the Constitution gives the central government wide latitude of action. Loose constructionists hold that even powers not explicitly set forth in the Constituion may be exercised if it is "necessary and proper" to carry out powers that are specifically stated.
New Jersey Plan
Offered by William Paterson to counter the Virginia Plan. It favored a one-house congress with equal representation for each state. It maintained much of the Articles of Confederation but strengthened the government's power to tax and regulate commerce.
Northwest Ordinance (1787)
The major success of Congress under the Articles of Confederation that organized the northwest territory for future statehood. The law provided territorial status for a region when its population reached 5000. At 60000, the territory could petition for statehood with the same rights as existing states. It set into law the procedure for expanding the nation that eventually led the admission of many other new states. Also, by outlawing slavery in the northwest territory, it represented the first action by the national government against that institution.
Pinckney's Treaty (1795)
Agreement with Spain that opened the Mississippi River to American navigation and granted Americans the right of deposit in New Orleans. Spain agreed to the treaty because it feared that Jay's Treaty included an Anglo-Saxon alliance.
Shays's Rebellion
An uprising in western Massachusetts between August 1786 and February 1787 that closed the courts and threatened revolution in the state. The central government's inability to suppress the revolt reinforced the belief that the Articles of confederation needed to be strengthened or abandoned.
Strict constructionist
A person who interprets the Constitution very narrowly. A strict constructionist believes that a power not explicitly stated in the Constitution could not be exerised by government. Historically, strict constructionists have hoped to restrict authority of the central government and preserve states' rights.
Thomas Jefferson
First secretary of state. He led opposition to the Hamilton/Washington plan to centralize power at the expense of the states. After founding the Democratic REpublican Party to oppose these plans, Jefferson was elected vice president in 1796 and president in 1800.
Three-Fifths Compromise
An agreement at the Constitutional Convention that broke the impasse over taxation and representation in the House of Representatives. The delegates agreed to count slaves as three-fifths of a person for both. This formula had been used in 1783 to make financial assessments among the states under the Articles.
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions
Reaction against the Sedition Act. Written by Madison for Virginia and Jefferson for Kentucky, they stated that when the national government exeeded its powers under the Constitution, the states had the right to nullify the law. Essentially, the resolutions held that the constitution was a compact among the states and they were its final arbiter.
Virginia Plan
Edmund Randolph's and James Madison's proposal for a new government that would give Congress increased taxing and legislative power. It called for two houses of Congress - and elected lower house and an upper house appointed by the lower house. Because seats in Congress would be apportioned according tot eh states' populations, this plan was favored by the large states.
Whiskey Rebellion
An uprising in western Pennsylvania in 1794 over an excise tax tevied on whiskey. Farmers saw the tax as an unjust and illegal levy, like the STemp Act. President Washington crushed the rebellion with overwhelming force and thereby demonstrated the power of the new government to maintain order and carry out the law.
XYZ Affair
Diplomatic effort by President John Adams to soothe the French, who were upset over Jay's Treaty and American neutrality in their conflict with Britain. Three American delgates to France were told they must offer a bribe before any negotiations could begin. They refused, and the humiliation heightened tensions between the two countries and set off war hysteria in the United States.