New Nation

The First Five Presidents: 1789-1825

Key Concept for this Unit:

Early America often struggled as it expanded geographically and developed politically, economically and socially.

We Are Officially A Country! Finally We Have A Constitution That Has Been Ratified (Approved but...)

Foreign Policy

How should the US react to foreign affairs (affairs with other nations)

Domestic Policy-

How will the new nation deal with HUGE debt from the American Revolution?

How will the government react to happenings within US borders?

Foreign Policy: The French Revolution

French citizens want rights!

Down with the French monarchy!

We want a republic (to have a voice in government).

Inspired by the American Revolution and new form of government (democracy).

The storming of the Bastille in France. Interesting facts: King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were executed in 1793. Estimates of the death toll range between 16,000 and 40,000 by guillotine during the French Revolution.

To the left see a picture of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (August 1789), a fundamental document of the French Revolution.

The Declaration was directly influenced by Thomas Jefferson, working with General Lafayette, who introduced it. Influenced also by the doctrine of “natural right,” which states that the rights of man are universal.

It became the basis for a nation of free individuals protected equally by law.

Foreign Policy: The Neutrality Proclamation

“Whereas it appears that a state of war exists between Austria Prussia, Sardinia and Great Britain and the United Netherlands of the one part and France on the other, and the duty and interest of the United States require that they should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct friendly and impartial (remain neutral) toward the belligerent powers (parties at war).”

by George Washington


France and Great Britain at war? We declare to stay neutral!

Foreign Policy: Trade Impressment

Impressment The British practice of manning naval ships with “pressed” men, who were forcibly placed into service became a key reason for a future war (the War of 1812).

We (the British and later the French) are seizing American merchantmen trading with the West Indies. We are taking the ships and the cargo as a prize, and enforcing impressment on their crews!


Foreign Policy: Washington's Farewell Address

In this speech, I say goodbye.

 I warn America against the dangers of establishing strong political parties and to stay clear of permanent alliances with the foreign world!

“As the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion be enlightened.” George Washington

What does this mean? Do you agree?

Foreign Policy: The XYZ Affair

President John Adams

1.I want a treaty with France to protect US shipping, so I sent a few diplomats to France to negotiate.

French Foreign Minister Talleyrand




2.I refuse to meet with the American diplomats unless I received a bribe of $250,000. Also I tell them that the French want a $12,000,000 loan. They refuse.

President John Adams




3.I describe the event to Congress, but in my explanation,  I substitute France’s requests as “X, Y and Z,” hence the name XYZ Affair.

Foreign Policy: Embargo Act and Non-Intercourse Act

  1. Due to impressment,
    I support an embargo, and Congress passes an Embargo Act, which bans trade with all foreign countries (1807).




  1. But this is devastating for American merchants and the American economy.





  1. Thus, in order to revive the nation’s trade I create the Non-Intercourse Act, which bans trade with Great Britain and France. (1809)

Foreign Policy: Political Tensions Heighten

We are War Hawks, a  group of young members of Congress (mostly from the South and West) and we want to declare war against Great Britain! We also want to invade British Canada,and expel the Spanish from Florida to kick out meddling European powers.




No! In the North, we want to restore trade with Britain! Our economy has already suffered enough!

Foreign Policy: The War of 1812

I, President James Madison, persuade Congress to declare war on Great Britain.







The war is called the Second War of Independence. I, Andrew Jackson, would become a war hero by leading the U.S. to victory at the Battle of New Orleans. We win the war!







Foreign Policy: Revolutions in South America

Inspired by the American Declaration of Independence I, Simon Bolivar, led South American rebel nations to gain independence from Spain!





We want independence!


Foreign Policy: The Monroe Doctrine

I, President James Monroe, am concerned that the newly independent countries of South America are weak. Thus, European powers can easily take them over.

Dear Europe,

  1. No interfering with newly independent nations in the Americas.
  2. The Western Hemisphere is off-limits to any more colonization by European powers.
  3. The US will not interfere with affairs of European Nations.

Love,  Monroe Doctrine


A.How will the new nation deal with HUGE debt from the American Revolution?

B.B. How will the government react to happenings within US borders?

DOMESTIC POLICY: Hamilton's Plan: The National Bank

Federalist, Alexander Hamilton

We should have a National Bank to create a uniform currency and provide a place for the national government to deposit money (collected from state debts). Also, states can borrow if needed.






I disagree, states can make their own banks and the Constitution does not give the government the power to create such a bank!

DOMESTIC POLICY: Hamilton's Plan: Tariff Program

Federalist, Alexander Hamilton

I say, “Whereas it is necessary for the support of government, for the discharge of the debts of the United States, and the encouragement and protection of manufactures, that duties (taxes) be laid on goods, wares and merchandise.“  Taxes, or tariffs on imported goods would help pay our debt from the Revolution.




I oppose! The Southerners import more goods, so we end up paying more for the products. This forces us to buy goods from Northern manufacturers.

DOMESTIC POLICY: Hamilton's Plan: Bonds

Federalist, Alexander Hamilton

A bond is issued by the national government with a promise to pay both interest payments and the face value of the bond on a set date. I want to pay for the old debt by issuing new government bonds that would be paid for by the revenues (money gained) from the tariff (tax on imports).




I oppose! The old bonds were traded at 20 to 25 percent of their value, then speculators quickly pushed the price up to 40 to 45 percent. Speculators should not benefit from their recent purchases. 

DOMESTIC POLICY: Hamilton's Plan: State Debt and DC

Federalist, Alexander Hamilton

The government is going to assume the states’ debts incurred in the Revolution.








I oppose! Some states, notably Virginia, had paid off their revolutionary debts, while other states, such as those in New England, had not.





We’ll compromise by moving the capital from the North to be in between the North and South, to an area off of Virginia, Washington D.C.-Jefferson

DOMESTIC POLICY: The Whiskey Rebellion

We refuse to pay taxes on Whiskey! We grew the crop and made the Whiskey, so we should keep the profit!

Unlike Shays’ Rebellion, when there was not a strong federal government to stop rioting, I show the strength of the federal government by sending 13,000 troops to stop rioting. The message is clear. Rebellion will not be tolerated.

DOMESTIC POLICY: Federalist's Pass The Alien and Sedition Act

We Republicans believe that the Sedition Acts were against the first amendment. The Alien Acts are aimed to destroy the Republican party, since the majority of our supporters were immigrants!

We Federalists also passed the Alien Act which included new powers to DEPORT foreigners, as well as making it harder for new IMMIGRANTS to vote.

We Federalists passed the Sedition Act which forbade anyone from publishing or voicing criticism of the federal government.