CHAPTER 8

COMPLETING THE REVOLUTION

USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides," Boston Navy Yard.

8.a.08

Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian visions of America

8.a.09

The two-party system

8.c.03

Republicanism defined

8.d.09

Land Hunger and the War of 1812

8.d.10

American Strategy--1812

8.d.11

British Strategy--1812

8.d.13

Militia Performance--another failure

8.d.14

Effects of the British naval blockade, War of 1812

8.d.17

Treaty of Ghent (1814)

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a.8

JEFFERSON AND HAMILTONIAN VISIONS FOR AMERICA

Compare the views of Thomas Jefferson (Democrat-Republican) and Alexander Hamilton (Federalist) on the chart below.

JEFFERSON-DEMOCRAT
FEDERALIST

Economy

agrarian based.

commerce and maufacturing base.

France v. Britain

pro-French.

pro-British.

militia v. regular army

Favored militia under state control. The stationing of British troops in America before 1775 showed Republicans that military forces could threaten liberties of the people.

Favored standing forces under national control. Federalists believed an army and navy symbolized national power & prestige. Such forces would protect American interests from foreign powers.

title of President

Keep it simple: "Mr. President."

Wanted more stately title, like "His Executive Highness," etc. This woul add prestige to the office.

power of President

weak executive.

strong executive.

tariff

low

high

Revolutionary War debt

The value of debt notes was low. Southerners in particular feared the wealthy northeasterners would purchase the securities at rock-bottom prices, thus making money of widows and orphans of the American Revolution when the gov't paid back the note-holders at 4% interest.

The First Report on the Public Credit (1790) argued that assumption of the debt by the national gov't would attract wealthy investors and creditors, thus adding to the prestige of the new republic.

Federal bank

Formation of a bank was not a power granted to Congress. Therefore the US gov't should not establish a national bank.

Argued a bank is related to the collecting of taxes, which the Constitution desiganated a responsibility of Congress. A bank would also stabilize currency.

"strict constructionalism"

limited government.

National government to assume wide powers.

views on democracy

Man is "perfectable," and therefore capable of governing himself. Still, Jeffersonians could be elitist.

Distrusted people's ability to govern. Believed in elite rule far more than the Jeffersonians.

a.9

TWO PARTY SYSTEM

PARTY SYSTEM

POL
ERA

DOM
PARTY: EXEC

DOM PARTY: CONGRS

STYLE
OF ERA

PARTY S YSTEM'S CHAR'STICS

PRSDT

Pre-Party
1788-1796

Early years under Constitution of 1787

administration under Washington

Continued deferential voting patterns; divisions in New Congress beginning to be firm over policies of national gov't.

Parties develop in a few states, not in most. Campaigning individually based. No formal parties yet.

Washington

1st Party System 1796-1815

Began in administration of John Adams (F).

Democrat-
Republicans

Democrat- Republicans

Beginnings of partisan
self-identification,
belief in party's fate and success tied to nation's concept of loyal opposition began.

Nominations by caucus of party office holders. Slightly expanded electorate. Newspaper campaigning.

Adams (F)
Jefferson (DR) Madison (DR)

Source: Ronald J. Hrebenar and Ruth Scott, Parties in Crisis: Party Politics in America, (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1984), 46.

c.3

REPUBLICANISM DEFINED

Republicanism a way of life

Republicanism was the ideology of the revolutionary generation and it still defines what Americans believe today. Republicanism is more than a particular type of political organization; it is a way of life. Its basic tenets are listed below:

  1. The term republicanism is derived from the Roman Republic. The Founding Fathers read the words of Roman writers and wanted to establish a republic of their own.


  2. The republican spirit entailed civic virtue. Leaders of the nation were to be men of high character, above partisan bias. They would serve selflessly in government then return to private life. No one ever thought there would be professional politicians. The people of our early republic generally believed that some men were more fit to serve by virtue of education.


  3. Republican government was anti-monarchy.


  4. The people of a republic were to be free from bad influences, which included despotism , city life, and wage earning.


  5. A republican people were self-sufficient and independent.


  6. Merit--not blood and patronage--determined promotion and recognition in a republic.


  7. Farm life was the surest path to self-suffiency and the building of moral character.


  8. Until the formation of the United States under the 1787 Constitution, it was believed that republics had to be small.

Republican ideology survives today.

Despite political scandals, military defeat in Vietnam, an industrial economy, and class and race consciousness, the spirit of republicanism has survived to the present day. American remained obsessed with the inherent goodness of their republican experiment, knowing as well that we are also vulnerable to corruption.

Source: Eric Foner and John A Garraty, Readers's Companion to American History, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991), 930-931.

d.9

CAUSES OF THE WAR OF 1812

Causes of the War of 1812

The War of 1812 had many causes. Unresolved issues left over from the American Revolution and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars raised the anxieties within the young American republic. Historians have cited the following reasons:

  1. Diplomatic Bungling. French foreign minister Duc de Cadore bamboozled President James Madison into thinking the Berlin and Milan Decrees had been repealed. Britain's demand for proof when none was available forced the US into war. Basically, the US became frustrated and declared war.


  2. Land Hunger . Northern, Southern, and Western "War Hawks" sought the removal of Spain in Florida, and Britain from the Old North West.


  3. Indian Menace. Many westerners believed British agents were stirring up the Indians.


  4. Maritime Grievances. British press crews had kidnapped 6,000 sailors by 1812. Assaults on the high seas struck at American honor, and hurt trade. Westerners and southerners also believed the British interference hurt American grain exports.


  5. Canada. Some land hungry zealots wanted to take Canada. Historian Julius Pratt argues that southerners and westerns linked Florida and Canada together in a general plan of American expansion.


  6. Napoleon's invasion of Russia. In 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia. Some historians argue that the Democrat-Republicans saw an opportunity to hit Britain while Britain kept its eyes on Napoleon advancing deep into Eurasia.

The West agitates for war

Ten western Congressmen voted for a declaration of war in 1812. They wanted to remove Indian and British presence and end the British blockade that kept good western produce bottled up in New Orleans.

New England's disenchantment with war

Interestingly, New England, where the shippers were, was the least enthusiastic about the war, despite the fact that crew members from this region were being pressed by the Royal Navy. Its principle trade partner was Britain, and notwithstanding impressment, New England's economy would be hurt by a general war with Britain.

d.10

AMERICAN STRATEGY, WAR OF 1812

US not ready for war.

Rarely do nations go into war as reluctantly as the US in 1812. The country was as divided over war then as it would become during the 1960's over Vietnam. The US was also under prepared. The army numbered only 6,700 regular troops and the militia was worthless. The US navy numbered 16 warships; Great Britain boasted 600. American strategy followed the following broad contours:

Broad contours

  1. Take Canada, hold it hostage, and force Britain to recognize American rights. This meant the capture of Montreal or Quebec. The area of operations against Canada were focused around the Great Lakes and the Lake Champlain route in New York.


  2. Naval strategy included commissioning privateers to cripple British trade. Five hundred privateers ultimately captured 1,300 prizes.


  3. In 1814, the US, unsuccessful against Canada, went on the defensive.

d.11

BRITISH STRATEGY, WAR OF 1812

Britain's attention focused on Napoleon at first

 British strategy was opposite the Americans in the first two years of war. Napoleon drew off much British attention, forcing London to allocate scant resources to North America. The principle objective in the first part of the war was to defend Canada. In this, the British were successful.


  1. Napoleon was defeated in 1814. Britain now threw its weight against the Americans. A British force operating in the Chesapeake Bay burned down Washington D.C. but was unable to reduce Ft. McHenry outside of Baltimore.


  2. Late in 1814 the British targeted New Orleans. on 8 January 1815, two weeks after the Treaty of Ghent, Andrew Jackson defeated a British force under Sir Edward Packenham at the Battle of New Orleans.


  3. Early in the war the Royal Navy clamped a tight blockade around American ports. Seventy five British ships kept watch, forcing all but the most adventurous Americans to stay in port.

d.13

AMERICAN MILITIA

Militia fails

The militia failed to meet the challenge of America's second war against Britain. Several New England militias refused to cross state lines to support the invasion of Canada, severely reducing the ability of the US to project military power. Specific examples listed below

  1. At the Battle of Blandensburg (1814), the militia ran as the British approached, allowing the British to enter Washington D.C. and to burn the public buildings.


  2. New York militia refused to cross over to Canada to re-inforce US Army at the Battle of Queenstown. The Americans were annihalated.

Faulty legacy

Americans did not learn from 1812-1814 failures. Just as in the case of Bunker Hill (1775), Jackson's victory at New Orleans gave the impression that militia, under good command, could take-on European professionals. That nation would learn only slowly that warfare was too serious to entrust to purely "citizen soldiers."

EFFECTS OF THE BRITISH NAVAL BLOCKADE, WAR OF 1812 d.14

War bound to hurt US commerce

During the early period of the Republic (pre-1820) American commerce remained oriented on Europe. At first the Napoleonic wars (1792-1815) benefited the American merchants and shippers. The table below shows the percentage of trade carried in American ships.

US MERCHANT MARINE STATS, 1807-1814
Tonnage shipped in American vs. ships of foreign registry.

1807

1811

1814

EXPORTS

$130 million

$45 million

$7 million

IMPORTS

$13 million

$6 million

PERCENT OF TRADE CARRIED IN US SHIP

about 80%

65%

35%

Some things the statistics tell:

  1. Until the War of 1812, only England exceeded the US in total trade tonnage.


  2. The British blockade was effective, but only at considerable allocation of naval forces by Great Britain to American waters.


  3. American smugglers and privateers were able to sneak through the blockade, but only by going way out to sea then trying to come back in. Such maneuvering cost money. Sugar quoted at $9 per hundredweight in New Orleans cost $21 per hundredweight in New York by 1813.


  4. Ships of foreign registry carried increased cargo tonnage as Yankee shippers were shut up in port.


  5. The reduced imports hurt the U.S. treasury, as import duties had been a major source of revenue.


  6. The blockade starved economy of New England led to protest. The Hartford Convention (1814) was an attempt by wealthy New Englanders to end the war by signing a separate peace with England. Since most were Federalists, the Federalist Party emerged from the war as "traitors."


  7. The shippers and manufactures of the northeast celebrated when the war finally ended in December 1814.

Source: Faulkner, Harold Underwood. American Economic History 6th ed. (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1949), 229-39; and Harry Coles The War of 1812, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965), 88-90.

d.17

TREATY OF GHENT, 1814

Significance

The Treaty of Ghent, signed between Great Britain and the US, ended the War of 1812 and ushered in the age of Anglo-American cooperation. Never again would the two countries resort to war to settle their difference. Atlantic solidarity between the two English speaking nation became a trademark of the modern age.

What did the Treaty say?

While the treaty said nothing about the impressment or any other causes of the War of 1812, the treaty did establish an Anglo-American commission for the settlement of differences. During the years that followed, England and the US agreed to the following:

  1. Britain recognized the American right to extend to the Pacific Ocean.


  2. Britain withdrew its demand for free navigation on the Mississippi River.


  3. Britain and the US would jointly occupy the fur trapping region of the Rocky Mountains and Oregon Country.

The Rush-Bagot Treaty (1818) demilitarized the Great Lakes, ensuring a free border between British held Canada and the US.

Why did Castlereigh do it?

British Prime Minister Robert S. Castlereigh had new problems on this mind:

  1. He wanted American good will to ensure the flow of American cotton to English mills.
  2. England felt it had to divert its energy to containing the new power in Europe: Russia. In this sense, this sense, the Cold War began between Britain and Russia, to be joined wholeheartedly by the US in 1945.

SOURCE: Paul Johnson, The Birth of the Modern, 1815-1830, Chapter 1.

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