Chapter 6: The Constitution and the New Republic

The Confederation Congress

by the mid 1780's this group of delegates became very unpopular among colonists, causing its members to have to leave Philadelphia and take refuge in New Jersey and New York, away from army veterans demanding to be paid. (established by articles, weak not

Alexander Hamilton

1789-1795; First Secretary of the Treasury. He advocated creation of a national bank, assumption of state debts by the federal government, and a tariff system to pay off the national debt.

James Madison

Strict constructionist, 4th president, father of the Constitution, leads nation through War of 1812

The "Founding Fathers

The men who attended one or more sessions of the convention at the Philadelphia State House from May to Sept. 1787. Well educated men of the time who were mostly property owners. Feared "turbulence and follies" of democracy. Leaders of writing constitutio

Constitutional Convention

The meeting of state delegates in 1787 in Philadelphia called to revise the Articles of Confederation. It instead designed a new plan of government, the US Constitution.

Virginia Plan

The Virginia Plan called for a new national legislature consisting of two houses. In the lower house the states would be represented by their population. In the upper house members were to be elected by members of the lower house, by no rigid system of re

Edmund Randolph

Introduced the Virginia Plan as an outline for a new form of National Government.

William Paterson

Many colonists were upset with the new Virginia Plan because it un fairly represented the smaller states in the Union. As a result William Paterson made an alternative to the Virginia Plan a proposal for a "federal" as opposed to a "national" government.

New Jersey Plan

William Paterson's plan, it preserved the existing one-house legislature, in which each state had equal representation, but it gave Congress expanded powers to tax and to regulate commerce. The proposal was looked over by delegates, but not without noting

The great compromise

A state's representation in the House of Representation would be based on population; Two senators for each state; all bills would originate in the house; direct taxes on states were to be assessed according to population

Popular Sovereignty

The concept that political power rests with the people who can create, alter, and abolish government. People express themselves through voting and free participation in government

Checks and Balances

A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power.


Supporters of the Constitution that were led by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. They firmly believed the national government should be strong. They didn't want the Bill of Rights because they felt citizens' rights were already well protected by the Con

John Jay

United States diplomat and jurist who negotiated peace treaties with Britain and served as the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1745-1829)


latin for "of the people". was the foundation of the Federalist papers and was a central idea during the constitutional convention.

The Federalist Papers

This collection of essays by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, explained the importance of a strong central government. It was published to convince New York to ratify the Constitution.


They opposed the ratification of the Constitution because it gave more power to the federal government and less to the states, and because it did not ensure individual rights. Many wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation. The Antifederalists were ins

Patrick Henry

a leader of the American Revolution and a famous orator who spoke out against British rule of the American colonies (1736-1799)

Samuel Adams

Founder of the Sons of Liberty and one of the most vocal patriots for independence; signed the Declaration of Independence

The Bill of Rights

First 10 amendments of the Const. 1st 9 limited Congress' Power, the 10th gave states the power to make laws not included in the Constitution.

The Judiciary Act of 1789

Congress provided for a Supreme Court of six members and a system of lower district courts and courts of appeal, also giving the Supreme Court the power to make the final decisions in cases involving the constitution or state laws.

Henry Knox

In 1775 George Washington ordered him, the nation's first secreatry of war, to bring the British artillery back to the siege of Boston that was captured at Fort Ticonderoga.

Thomas Jefferson

Virginian, architect, author, governor, and president. Lived at Monticello. Wrote the Declaration of Independence. Second governor of Virgina. Third president of the United States. Designed the buildings of the University of Virginia.

Report on manufactures

A proposal written by Hamilton promoting protectionism in trade by adding tariffs to imported goods in order to protect American industry Though congress did not do anything with it, the report later influenced later industrial policies.

the bank of the united states

..., Hamilton's Bill created this national establishment which produced heated debates about whether national government had authority to create it since this establishment wasn't mention in the constitution.


Rivals of the Federalists who believed in a smaller government based on state rights. Their rivalry sparked tensions with Federalists, creating a political party system.

First Party System

loosely organized Federalist party and Democratic-Republican party; 1796 & 1800 Thomas Jefferson and John Adams ran for president 1800 election: often called Revolution of 1800

Whiskey Rebellion

In 1794, farmers in Pennsylvania rebelled against Hamilton's excise tax on whiskey, and several federal officers were killed in the riots caused by their attempts to serve arrest warrants on the offenders. In October, 1794, the army, led by Washington, pu

Jay's Treaty

Was made up by John Jay. It said that Britain was to pay for Americans ships that were seized in 1793. It said that Americans had to pay British merchants debts owed from before the revolution and Britain had agreed to remove their troops from the Ohio Va

Thomas Pinkney

in 1796 Thomas Pinkney negotiated with Spain. America was allowed to use New Orleans Port, gave rights to US to use Mississippi River, and agreed florida would be boundary of 31st parallel

Pinkney's Treaty

a treaty with apin that gave the U.S. unrestricted access to the Mississippi River and New Orleans

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

SC. Sent to France. Jay's Treaty regarded by French as a silent declaration of war. Arrived and was ignored. XYZ Affair. Ran against Madison in 1808 as a Fed and lost.

Prince Talleyrand

French foreign minister demanded a loan for France and a bribe for French officials before any negotiations would begin, but Pinckney denied him the commission.

XYZ affair

An insult to the American delegation when they were supposed to be meeting French foreign minister, Talleyrand, but instead they were sent 3 officials Adams called "X,Y, and Z" that demanded $250,000 as a bribe to see Talleyrand.

The quasi war

The undeclared war between America and The French in 1798-99. During this time Adams persuaded Congress to cut off all trade with France, to abrogate the treaties of 1778, and to authoritize American vessles to capture French armed ships on the high seas.

the alien and sedition acts

The Alien act placed obstacles on foreigners who wanted to become American citizens and strengthened the president's hand in dealing with them. The Sedition Acts allowed the govenment to prosecute those who engaged in sedition against the government.

Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

Written anonymously by Jefferson and Madison in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, they declared that states could nullify federal laws that the states considered unconstitutional.

Matthew Lyon

was the first person to be put to trial for violating the acts on charges of criticizing Federalist president John Adams and disagreeing with Adams' decision to go to war against France. Lyon was sentenced to four months in jail and ordered to pay a $1,00

Roger Griswold

Lyon's nemesis; fed. congressmen from CT; 1st documented altercation between congressmen

Aaron Burr

served as the 3rd Vice President of the United States. Member of the Republicans and President of the Senate during his Vice Presidency. He was defamed by the press, often by writings of Hamilton. Challenged Hamilton to a duel in 1804 and killed him.

Tammany Society

A fraternal organiszation of artisans begun in the 1780s that evolved into a key organization of the new mass politics in new york city. Affilliated with the Democratic party, it was a "political machine" led by a "boss" who represented the interests of h

The Judiciary act of 1801

passed by the Federalist congress where the old capital was located. It was one of the last laws passed by the federalist congress. This law allowed the president, then President Adams, would stay up until midnight signing in new federal judges across the

John Marshall

1755-1835. U.S. Chief Supreme Court Justice. Oversaw over 1000 decisions, including Marbury v Madison and McCulloch v. Maryland.

Midnight Appointments

Adams signed the commissions for these Federal judges during his last night in office. Demonstrated the Federalists' last minute attempt to keep some power in the newly Republican Government.

Revolution of 1800

Jefferson's view of his election to presidency. Jefferson claimed that the election of 1800 represented a return to what he considered the original spirit of the Revolution. Jefferson's goals for his revolution were to restore the republican experiment, c