“Revolution” of 1800 (pp. 211–215) The election of 1800 was the first between organized political parties and the first of several to be decided on the basis of quirks in the Constitution. Why did Jefferson consider his victory in 1800 over the Federalist John Adams and his own vice-presidential running mate Aaron Burr to be “revolutionary”?
What other “revolutionary” aspect of this election is added by the authors on p. 215? (1) Jefferson’s point: Revolutionary because it ended the Federalist rule and led the party into oblivion because Adams was the last Federalists President. Revolutionary also because his election represents a return to what he considered the original spirit of Revolution.
The authors’ point: Revolutionary because it ended the decade of division and Americans could take justifiable pride in vigor their experiment in democracy.
2. Jefferson (pp. 216–218) Jefferson was an aristocrat whose sympathies were with the common man— perhaps like F. D. Roosevelt and J. F. Kennedy in the twentieth century. Although his stump speeches called for a maximum of personal liberty and a minimum of government intervention, cite two examples of how he accepted some Federalist programs and became a moderate in practice:
Except for the excise tax, Jefferson left the Hamiltonian framework essentially intact. (2) Did not tamper with the Federalists programs for funding national debt at par and assuming the Revolutionary debt of the states.
3. Power to the Supreme Court (pp. 218–219) The details of the case of Marbury v. Madison (1803) are interesting but not nearly as important as the precedent it set. There will always be disputes as to the constitutionality of laws. Remember that Jefferson had made the case in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions that individual states had the right to “nullify” laws they felt were unconstitutional.
What extremely important legal principle did Jefferson’s cousin, the Federalist Chief Justice John Marshall, establish in this case? Read the excerpt from the case (p. 219) and try to summarize the reasoning of the Court in claiming such power for itself.
Principle: Established the idea of Judicial Review that the Surpreme Court alone had the last word on the question of Constitutionality. (2) Rationale: Claimed that if the Constitution was so alterable and the central government was so weak, there is no point and thus needs to have a higher power to ultimately decide the question of constitutionality.
4. Louisiana Purchase (pp. 219–225)
a. True to his noninterventionist principles, Jefferson cut back the military forces, even though he did have to confrontsome Barbary Pirates on the “shores of Tripoli.” But he was willing to abandon his scruples about the limited power of the federal government when the opportunity came to buy Louisiana.
What two reasons caused Napoleon to be willing to sell not only New Orleans but all of the Louisiana Territory to U.S. envoys Robert R. Livingstone and James Monroe in 1803 for $15 million? (1) Failed in his efforts to reconquer the sugar-rich islands of Santo Domingo, for which Louisiana was to serve as a source of foodstuffs. (2) The sugar-rich islands had mosquitoes carrying yellow fever that had swept away thousands of crack French troops.
b. In 1804, Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the northern part of the purchased territory and Zibulon M. Pike to explore the southern part. Besides the acquisition of territory, list two of the consequences of the Louisiana Purchase that the authors mention at the end of this section. (1) It would be difficult for the government to govern such large land effectively. (2) Led to the possibility of it being seceded and separating the country through people like Aaron Burr.
5. Foreign Policy–Jefferson’s Second Term (pp. 225–228) Again the fragile young nation risked being swallowed up by European conflicts between Britain and France. The issues involved the rights of U.S. ships to trade with the belligerents (the same issues which precipitated U.S. Involvement in World War I, by the way), and the impressments of U.S. sailors onto British warships.
(Note: You might note later how Jefferson’s policies differed from those of Woodrow Wilson over a century later during World War I over many of these same issues!) To avoid getting sucked into the European wars, Jefferson tried the Embargo Act of 1807, effectively making most U.S.
foreign trade illegal.
After much opposition, not only from Federalist commercial interests in the Northeast, but also from western and southern farmers who couldn’t ship their cotton and other crops, the Embargo was replaced by the milder Non-Intercourse Act of 1809. *** After reviewing the authors’ analysis, what do you think of Jefferson’s attempt to stay out of war by removing the potential flash-points of ocean commerce with the belligerents? – I didn’t think it was a smart idea because they themselves need to trade to be prosperous.
Because France and Great Britain had many other colonies and trade from other counties, not trading to them would hurt themselves more than them.