American Heritage 100 :: Fall 2006 [/\\] BYU

my student notes and resources from amh 100 at byu. i can make mistakes, so corrections are welcome.

use 'search this blog' above to search through my notes.

as an international student, i don't know much about american heritage either.

Oct 30, 2006

Politics as Usual 
Day 1: Unity vs. Opposition

I. The Birth of Political Parties
A. Federalists vs Democratic Republicans
1. 12th Amendment (1804) recognizes parties
B. Roots of Bitterness
1. Alien and Sedition Acts
2. Jay’s Treaty
3. Partisan newspapers

II. Unity vs Loyal Opposition
A. Washington’s "Farewell Address"

III. From Deference to Democracy


At first in the united states they had two political parties run by two prominent people:

-headed by Alexander Hamilton (the first secretary of treasury in washington's cabinet)
-strong central government
-broad interpretation of constitution ("implied powers")
-john adams also a leader, so was washington

Democratic Republicans or The "Republicans" (different from today)
-headed Thomas Jefferson -
-"That government is best that governs least"
-strict interpretation of constitution- beyond enumerated powers, they weren't to have any influence
-pro-agrarian (farmers, countryside)
-james madison also a leader

(Today's republican party started from Abraham Lincoln)

MEDIA CLIP: differences between federalist party and democratic republican party
-sharp divisions between leadership in federal government
-emerged in 1790s
-constitution creates a set of ambiguous structures allowing people and parties to interpret them differently
-Hamilton wanted to make a government that replicated european empires
-Jefferson was opposed to this
-Hamilton wanted to make a national bank
-Without a bank you need to wait for taxes to be collected
-With a bank, you can use funds immediately to fight wars, run government

In the old days,
1st place person was President
2nd place person was vice-president

(so then, leaders of opposite parties become president and vice-president)
This caused a lot of contention in the executive.
then they made:
Amendment 12, changed things so they are like today

"Venerate the Plough" - Farmer a noble citizen, Democratic Republican ideal

Sources of party bitterness
-Alien and Sedition Acts, 1798
--Naturalization Act (made it harder to become an american citizen)
--Alient Act (make it easy to kick out non-american citizens)
--Alien Enemies Act (made it easy to label non-americans as enemies)
--Sedition Act (against the law to write or say anything against government or governing party)

-2nd President was John Adams
-first act was Alien and Sedition Bills, 1798
-People were outraged against Adams uses of powers, to extend powers of government
-people spoke out against government but were locked up (violation of constitution)
-they were restricting freedom of speech and the press (unconstitutional)
-Jefferson made 3rd president (1800) (called a revolution)

-John Adams alien and seditions act (jailed americans for speaking out against government)
-Woodrow Wilson espionage act (jailed americans during WWI)
-Franklin D Roosevelt Executive Order 9966 (jailed japanese americans during WWII)
-some say George W Bush is also doing similar stuff with his anti-terror act

some leaders suspend Habeas Corpus
lincoln did it

2nd thing divided government into 2 parties:

Jay's Treaty 1795
-American weak, Britain strong
-it passed senate by the slim majority
-america agreed to humiliating terms
-people hated john jay for agreeing to a stupid treaty

3rd thing:
-Newspapers printing things along party lines
-and attacked the other parties

MEDIA CLIP: Newspapers
-A few newspapers wrote good things about Alexander Hamilton and his bank
-Thomas Jefferson hired a poet with Madison
-poet was to start a rival newspaper to criticize the Federalist party policies
-Federalist party
-launched personal attacks against jefferson,
-another wrote "top 20 things I hate about hamilton"
-Washington wrote both sides asking for ceasefire in war of words

Washington in his closing address
-laments the idea of ruling factions
-he didn't know it can be good to have an opposition to check the ruling party

One more principle:
-shift from old political system: deference (elite people in power)
-to new system: rule by the people

Not too many people voted in the early 1800s
start in 15% to 40% voting participation
it changed to 68% to 98%
-why? newspapers
-party loyalty
-emphasis on the common man

[see last few slides for pictures of people celebrating common man]


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