American Revolution/Government

The American Revolutionary War


During the 1770's, Great Britain ruled over the Thirteen Colonies in North America. The colonists liked being owned by Britain, because they provided the colonists with protection. During this time, Britain's King George III and Parliament taxed the Patriots (colonists), and passed several laws which stripped the Patriot's freedom away. They eventually became very upset with the taxes, and finally decided to revolt against England. The American Revolutionary War finally came to an end in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris signed, and England left America alone until 1812.

This famous cartoon was done was Benjamin Franklin, and it's telling the colonists to join together, and defeat the British.

Important People

George Washington- General of the Continental Army, lead troops crossing the Delaware River, member of the Continental Congress, "Father of our Country", and the first president.

John Adams-A member of the Continental Congress, and signed the Declaration of Independence. Vice-President under Washington, and a Founding Father.

Paul Revere- Rode his horse at midnight warning the Americans "The British are coming, the British are coming" Silversmith during the revolution.

Thomas Jefferson- Member of the Continental Congress, author of the Declaration of Independence, signed the Declaration of Independence, and a Founding Father.

Patrick Henry- A member of the Continental Congress, and said "Give me liberty, or give me death"!

Ethan Allen- Led the Green Mountain Boys to take Ford Ticonderoga, and told Captain William Delaplace to surrender Fort Ticonderoga.

John Hancock- Wanted by the British, member of the Continental Congress, wrote his name the largest on the Declaration of Independence.

Samuel Adams- Founding Father who was wanted by the British, cousin of John Adams, member of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence, and he organized the Sons of Liberty.

Benjamin Franklin- Member of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence, scientist, and persuaded members of Parliament to repel the Stamp Act, and was a Founding Father.

King George III- Ruler of England, taxed the colonists, shut down American ports due to the Boston Tea Party, and passed lots of laws.

General Cornwallis- British army surrendered without being present at the Battle of Yorktown.

Benedict Arnold- American general who switched sides to join with the British, and told the British all the strategies that the Americans had.

General William Prescott- commanded American troops at the Battle of Bunkerhill and said "don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes."

Who vs. Who?

The Patriots, Minutemen, or the Continental Army

. People who were not loyal to England

. People who wanted to break away from England

. People who wanted to be independent

The British, Redcoats, or Loyalists

. Remained loyal to King George III

. Wore Redcoats (British soldiers got the name Redcoats, because that was the color of their uniform.)

. Wanted England to rule the colonists


. The colonists didn't like being taxed by King George III, and Parliament, and the Patriots cried out "No taxation without representation". This slogan meant if the colonists didn't have a say in Parliament, then they shouldn't be taxed by the British.

. Salutary Neglect was when Britain didn't enforce the law at first even though laws were already in place. However, this all changed when England started to enforce the laws on the colonies which eventaully made them upset.

. The French and Indian War was a war fought before the Revolution, and England her colonies fought against the French and the Native Americans. As a result, England and her colonies won the war. Then, England taxed the colonies in order for them to pay off Britain's war debts.

. The Proclamation of 1763 established the Proclamation Line of 1763 which declared that the colonists could NOT settle west of the Appalachian Mountains.

. The Sugar Act of 1764- Britain placed a tax on sugar, wine, and other products that were imported to the colonies from other countries. This got rich New England merchants upset.

. The Stamp Act of 1765- All documents and/or papers had to have a British stamp on it. This got politicians and lawyers upset. This eventually led to the Stamp Act Congress which was when the colonies met together to petition Britain to repeal the Stamp Act. As a result, Britain repealed the Stamp Act.

. The Quartering Act of 1765- The colonists had to house British soldiers in their home.

. The Townshend Acts of 1767- All paper, glass, lead, paint, tea, and anything imported to the colonists had have a tax. This got everyone else in the colonies upset.

. The Boston Tea Party- Colonists dressed as Mohawk Indians, and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor.

. The Intolerable Acts of 1773 (Coercive Acts) - (Result from the Boston Tea Party) Closed the ports of the Boston Harbor, which angered the colonists even more.

. The Boston Massacre-British troops shot five colonists in Boston, Massachusetts which made the them very angry!

The Boston Tea Party

The Sons of Liberty and the First Continental Congress

In 1770, Patriot men formed the Sons of Liberty led by Samuel Adams. The Sons of Liberty tared and feathered British tax collectors, because the Patriots didn't want to pay taxes to Britain. After the Intolerable Acts were passed, the First Continental Congress came together in October of 1774. The delegates talked about protesting against the Intolerable Acts, and the wrong doings of the king. The First Continental Congress was the first peaceful attempt to end King George's rule.

Lexington and Concord

In April 1775, the Battle of Lexington began with one side firing the first bullet (we still don't know who fired it). The firing of the first bullet was known as "the shot heard round the world" which in turn led to the deaths of several soldiers on both sides. After the British won the battle of Lexington, they then headed for Concord. Then, silversmith Paul Revere rode his horse to Concord to warn the Minutemen "The British are coming, the British are coming!" Then, at Concord, Patriots surprisingly fired at the British which then led to the Patriots winning the Battle of Concord. The Battles at Lexington and Concord proved that freedom was very far off, and the Revolution would take several years to fight before it would be over.

The Second Continental Congress and Fort Ticonderoga

The Second Continental Congress met in May of 1775 to talk about forming the Continental Army. At this meeting, Congress choose the brave fighter George Washington to lead the army to victory. After this, the Continental Army surprisingly attacked the famous British Fort Ticonderoga. The Patriot general Ethan Allen led his Green Mountain Boys to take over Fort Ticonderoga. Allen told British General Captain William Delaplace to "surrender or die". As a result, the British general surrendered.

Ethan Allen told the British general to surrender Fort Ticonderoga or the general would die.

The Battle of Bunker Hill (The Battle of Breed's Hill)

After the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, Patriot General Israel Prescott built a fort on top of Breed's Hill. As the British came closer to the fort, Prescott's orders to his army were "don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes"! Very soon the Minutemen and British started to fire. During this time, the British retreated, but came back moments later with more troops. After, the Patriots drove the British to retreat once again after fighting, the colonists became low on bullets. Eventually, the Redcoats came back and overwhelmed the Continental Army which led to a British victory.

Battle of Bunkerhill

The Declaration of Independence and Common Sense

Thomas Pain wrote a pamphlet called "Common Sense" which persuaded the colonists that freedom is the only option for America. Then, on July 2, 1776, delegates of the Second Continental Congress all voted on the Declaration of Independence. Two days later, Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence was signed. Thomas Jefferson's idea of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was based off the Enlightenment philosopher John Locke's idea of "life, liberty, and property" (the Declaration of Independence says "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". The Declaration of Independence guaranteed that America was now independent.

The Declaration of Independence

The Battle of Trenton and Crossing of the Delaware River

George Washington led his troops across the Delaware River in November of 1776. When the troops made it to Trenton, the harsh winter set in. Troops were freezing, some didn't have shoes, there was a lack of food, etc. Then, Washington and his troop attacked the Hessians (soldiers from Germany who helped the British) unexpectedly. As a result, the Americans won and took many Hessians prisoner.

This is a false painting of the Crossing of the Delaware River

The Battle of Saratoga

In 1777, the Patriots and Loyalists met on the battlefield of Saratoga. There, they fought for several days, but the Loyalists ran out of supplies, they were short of men, and couldn't escape the battle. As a result, the Redcoats surrendered, and America was victorious. The Battle of Saratoga also is a turning point of the war, because it convinced the French to join America in the war against England. However, before the battle the French didn't know what side to join.

The British surrendering to the Americans at the Battle of Saratoga.

"The World Turned Upside Down" and the Treaty of Paris

The last battle of the American Revolution was in 1781, with the British and Patriots meeting up at Yorktown, Virginia. General Cornwallis's British army fought for days against Washington's Patriots. Finally, Cornwallis realized that the British were in trouble. As a result, the British surrendered to the Americans and General George Washington on October 18, 1781. The American Revolution was over, and in 1783 the Americans and Loyalists signed the Treaty of Paris!

Treaty of Paris being signed

Results of the American Revolutionary War

. American became independent

. British control of trade in the U.S. ended

. The revolution gave other countries the idea to overthrow their ruler. (like France)

. Britain gave the U.S. more land

The Birth of a New Nation


Since the American Revolution ended, the U.S. needed a system of government without a king ruling. As a result, the Articles of Confederation (or the Articles) were written but proved to be very weak. For example, Congress couldn't pay for anything or tax anyone. After the Articles were written, the Federalists and Anti-Federalists debated if a constitution should be written. As a result, the Constitutional Convention met in 1787 and signed the Constitution. The Constitution then become the "supreme law of the land". However, the Anti-Federalists believed that the Constitution was too powerful, and wanted the states and the people to have rights as well. This led to the Bill of Rights being added or amended to the Constitution. It took years to establish a government that satisfied the United States' needs, and we are still a work in progress.

The Liberty Bell is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Important People

George Washington- "Father of our Country", America's first president, signed the Constitution, formed the first cabinet, and he didn't want the U.S. to have political parties.

John Adams- Founding Father, signer of the Constitution, signed the Alien and Sedition Act, and the second president of the U.S.

Thomas Jefferson- Signed the Constitution, bought Louisiana as U.S. territory, third president, and one of the Founding Fathers

James Madison- Fourth president of the U.S., one of the signers of the Federalist Papers, president during the War of 1812, "Father of the Constitution", and writer (and signer) of the Constitution

Dolly Madison- wife of James Madison, saved the picture of Washington during the War of 1812.

James Monroe- 5th president of U.S., and signed the Monroe Doctrine

Andrew Jackson- 6th president of the U.S., involved in the Nullification crisis, didn't listen to the Supreme Court's decisions or Checks and Balances, forced natives on the Trail of Tears, signed the Indian Removal Act, and liked the idea of the Spoils System.

Francis Scott Key- author of the Star Spangled Banner.

Daniel Shay- led Shay's Rebellion.

Alexander Hamilton- Federalist, one of the Federalist Papers signers, Washington's Secretary of Treasury, Founding Father, and created the National Bank.

John Jay- one of the signers of the Federalist Papers.

The Articles of Confederation

After the American Revolution was over, the U.S. decided that it needed a system of government. Therefore, in 1781, the Articles of Confederation (or the Articles) established the first American government. The Articles created a weak unstable government, and the weaknesses are listed below.

The Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

. The Government couldn't enforce laws that the states had to follow

. No power to tax

. No power to enforce laws

. Congress had an unstable leadership

. No army or navy

. No court system

. Every state issued its own paper money

. Every state could put taxes on importing goods from other states or countries (tariffs)

The Strengths of the Articles of Confederation

. Religious Freedom

. The Land Ordinance of 1785 gave free land to people.

. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 provided a government for the western territory, and was a way for states to be part of the U.S.

Shay's Rebellion

After the Revolutionary War, America was in debt due to the conflict with England. As a result, the banks taxed the citizens very heavily, and Massachusetts was hit hard by this. The banks payed the soldiers who served in the Revolution fake money since they couldn't be payed with real money. As a result, soldiers became really upset about this, and a Revolutionary War veteran named Daniel Shay led a rebellion. This event proved to the nation that the Articles of Confederation were weak, and so it was back to the drawing board to discuss how the United States of America would be governed.

Shay's Rebellion

The Federalist Era

1789- 1801

During the Federalist Era, two groups emerged before the Constitution was ratified. The two groups were the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The Federalists supported the idea of Federalism which is when power is shared between the states and the federal government. John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison supported the Federalists. Patrick Henry then supported the Anti-Federalists. In addition, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison all came together to write the Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers were a collection of essays that supported the ratification of the Constitution. However, the Anti-Federalists totally disagreed with everything the Federalists believed in. The Anti-Federalists believed in states and individual rights, and they thought that the Constitution provided too much power to the national government. The Anti-Federalists supported a Bill of Rights. Then, on September 25, 1789 the Bill of Rights were ratified and added to the "law of the land". After Washington was president, the Anti-Federalist party was renamed the Democratic-Republicans. The Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists were constantly feuding about the United States' government. The Democratic-Republicans were supported by Thomas Jefferson, but the Federalist Party was supported by John Adams and Alexander Hamilton. The Federalists views on things didn't change, but the Democratic-Republicans believed in states having more power than the federal government, and the idea of strict interpretation. However, during the French Revolution the Federalists and Democratic- Republicans were split. The Federalists said that the U.S. should support Britain, but the Democratic-Republicans supported the French since they supported us in the Revolutionary War. The Federalist and Anti-Federalists were not political parties

The Constitution, and Three Branches of Government

After Shay's Rebellion was over, members of the Constitutional Convention started to think about writing a constitution. On September 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States of America was signed. The Constitution is the basic setup for our government, and states the different laws that citizens have to follow. The "law of the land" also lists certain types of powers, and who they belong to. For example, the Enumerated Powers are powers that are directly listed in the Constitution are given to the federal government. The Reserved Powers are powers are not listed in the Constitution are given to the states and the people. There are several articles(7) in the document, but only Articles I, II, and III are the ones that you need to know. Article I sets up the Legislative Branch, Article II sets up the Executive Branch, and Article III sets up the Judicial Branch.

The Constitutional Convention

Plans and Compromises

The Plans

Virginian lawyer James Madison came up with his Virginia Plan which called for three branches of government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches. The plan said that Congress should be bicameral (made up of two houses) a House of Representatives (the House), and a Senate. The Virginia Plan also declared that the number of representatives in each state would be based on the state's population in both the House and the Senate.

Another plan called the New Jersey Plan declared that every state has to have one vote in Congress instead of having the number of votes being based on a state's population.

The Compromises

The Great Compromise was a combined compromise of the Virginia and New Jersey Plans. The Great Compromise declared that Congress should be bicameral or made up of two houses (a House of Representatives, and a Senate). In addition, the compromise stated that there needs to be equal representation in both the House and Senate. Also, each state must have two representatives in the House, and the House's representation is based on state's population.

The Three-Fifths Compromise declared that every slave in the U.S. is counted as three-fifths of a person. The South liked this idea, but the North did not. This would eventually be a cause of the American Civil War.

The Amendment Process

The Amendment Process allows for flexibility in the Constitution:

The Six Major Points of the Constitution

1. Popular Sovereignty is when the people have the power ("We the People...").

2. Federalism is when power is shared between federal and state governments. There are five types of powers that are involved in Federalism. Delegated powers are powers that are given to the federal government, and are listed in the Constitution. For example, the federal government has the right to regulate commerce, declare war, sign treaties, etc. Concurrent powers are powers are are shared between the federal and state governments. For example, the state and federal government have the right to tax citizens, can barrow money, and can maintain the courts. Reserved powers are powers that are not given to the federal government, but are reserved or given to the states. For example, the states can establish schools, run elections, regulate intrastate trade, etc. Denied powers are powers that are denied to the federal government. The last power that is involved in Federalism is Implied Powers. These powers are powers that aren't written, but are given to the federal government.

3. Separation of Powers is when each branch has it's own power, so not one branch has all the power.

4. Checks and Balances is when each branch of government checks the other branches to make sure not one branch has too much power.

Separation of Powers

5. Judicial Review is the process when the Supreme Court reviews laws to see if they are constitutional or unconstitutional. Judicial Review also allows for flexibility in the Constitution.

Marbury vs. Madison

When President John Adams's term was almost up, he decided to appoint several people to federal office including William Marbury. However, future president Thomas Jefferson wouldn't recognize that fact that Marbury can be appointed. After that, Marbury asked Secretary of State James Madison for a commission or "an instruction, command and/or duty given to a person or groups of people". Madison wouldn't give Marbury his commission, and Marbury sued Madison in the Supreme Court. Marbury told Chief Justice John Marshall that the Judiciary Act of 1789 told the court to issue "a order that told all officials to perform or refrain from performing a certain duty". But, Madison disagreed with this. The case was then voted unconstitutional, and set up the principal of Judicial Review.

6. Limited Government- The Constitution lists certain powers that each branch has and doesn't have. These powers limit the amount of power that the Constitution has. For example, the Enumerated Powers are powers that are directly listed in the Constitution are given to the federal government. The Reserved Powers are powers are not listed in the Constitution are given to the states and the people.

The Three Branches of Government

The Legislative Branch

Article I of the Constitution sets up the Legislative Branch

Location: The U.S. Capitol Building

Job: Makes the laws.

Includes: Congress which is bicameral meaning made up of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Can override a veto if 2/3 of the Senate and House vote on it. The law gets passed even though the president vetoed the law.

The Elastic Clause gives Congress the right to do whatever is "necessary and proper". The Elastic Clause is also given the name The "Necessary and Proper" Clause, and it also allows flexibility in the Constitution.


. 100 members

. 2 from each state

. Each Senator serves for 6 years

. The Vic President is in charge of the Senate.

The House of Representatives

. 435 members

. The number of representatives depends on a state's population

. Each representative serves for 2yrs

. The Speaker of the House is in charge of the House of Representatives.

Powers of Congress

1. Collect taxes

2. Borrow money, regulate the budget

3. Regulate trade with other nations

4. Raise and support the armed forces

5. Confirm appointments by the president

6. Hold trials to impeach president. The House convicts the president, while the Senate holds the trials. Impeachment is the process by which to remove an elected official from office.

7. Confirm treaties

8. Over see the federal government

How a bill becomes a law?

1. A member of Congress introduces a bill.

When a senator or representative introduces a bill, it is sent to the clerk of the Senate or House, who gives it a number and title. Next, the bill goes to the appropriate committee.

2. Committees review and vote on the bill.

Committees specialize in different areas, such as foreign relations or agriculture, and are made up of small groups of senators or representatives.

The committee may reject the bill and “table” it, meaning it is never discussed again. Or it may hold hearings to listen to facts and opinions, make changes in the bill and cast votes. If most committee members vote in favor of the bill, it is sent back to the Senate and the House for debate.

3. The Senate and the House debate and vote on the bill.

Separately, the Senate and the House debate the bill, offer amendments and cast votes. If the bill is defeated in either the Senate or the House, the bill dies.

Sometimes, the House and the Senate pass the same bill, but with different amendments. In these cases, the bill goes to a conference committee made up of members of Congress. The conference committee works out differences between the two versions of the bill.

Then the bill goes before all of Congress for a vote. If a majority of both the Senate and the House votes for the bill, it goes to the President for approval.

4. The President signs the bill—or not.

If the President approves the bill and signs it, the bill becomes a law. However, if the President disapproves, he can veto the bill by refusing to sign it.

Congress can try to overrule a veto. If both the Senate and the House pass the bill by a two-thirds majority, the President's veto is overruled and the bill becomes a law.


The Executive Branch

Article II of the Constitution sets up the Executive Branch

Location: The White House

Job: Enforce the laws

Includes: The President, Vic-President, and Cabinet members

If a president dies, wounded, or isn't in the White House the Vic-President takes over.

If the president isn't doing his or her job correctly, he or she can be impeached or removed from office.

If the president doesn't like a bill that Congress has passed, than the president can veto it

Only the president can declare war!

Do you want to become president?

. You have to be at least 35 yrs. old or over

. You have to be a natural born citizen. (you have to be born in the U.S.)

. You have to be a citizen of the U.S. for 14 yrs. or over.

Term in Office

The president can serve for 8yrs (2 terms)

Powers that the President has

1. "The president is the chief executive".

2. The president is the commander in chief of the military. The president can also ask Congress to declare war.

3. The president appoints or picks all the judges in the Supreme Court along with cabinet members, chief officers of the army, navy, and air force.

4. The president can make treaties with other nations with Senate's approval or consent.

The Electoral College

The Electoral College elects the president and vice president.The electoral votes are determines by a state's total number of representatives in the House plus the two senators that each state has. Both presidential candidates must receive at least 270 votes to be the winner. However, you could win the presidency by winning the electoral vote, and losing the popular vote. This has happened four times in U.S. History. During the election of 1824, Democratic candidate Andrew Jackson won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote to John Quincy Adams. As a result, the House of Representatives decided that Quincy Adams would become the next president. Then, in 1876 Rutherford B. Hayes ran against Samuel Tilden. Hayes won the electoral vote while Tilden won the popular vote. This resulted in Hayes becoming the next president. After, in 1888 Grover Cleveland won the popular vote, and Benjamin Harrison won the electoral vote. This led to Benjamin Harrison winning the Election of 1888. A couple of decades later, Democratic candidate Al-Gore won the popular vote, but Republican George W. Bush won the electoral vote during the election of 2000. Before announcing the winner, the Supreme Court declared that Florida's electoral votes needed to be recounted, so after this happened Bush got Florida's electoral votes.

The Judicial Branch

Article III of the Constitution sets up the Judicial Branch

Location: The Supreme Court Building

Job: Interpret the laws

Includes: The Supreme Court Justices

The Supreme Court

. The judges serve for life, or unless they die or retire

. 9 justices in the Supreme Court

. Judges are elected by the president

Powers of the Judicial Branch

1. Interpret the Constitution

2. Decide if laws are constitutional or unconstitutional

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the Constitution. There are 27 amendments all together, and the word amendment means a change to the Constitution.

The Amendments

The amendments in bold are the ones that teachers would normally quiz you on.

1st Amendment- Freedom of speech, religion, and the press

2end Amendment- The right to bear arms

3rd Amendment- People can't be forced to house soldiers

4th Amendment- Protection against the right to search and seizure

5th Amendment-People don't have to testify against themselves and have the right to remain silent

6th Amendment- You have the rights of a speedy trial, and a lawyer

7th Amendment- You have the right to a trial by jury

8th Amendment- Protection against cruel and unusual protection

9th Amendment- (Unenumerated Powers) Rights that aren't listed in the Constitution are given to the people

10th Amendment- (Reserved Powers) Rights that aren't listed in the Constitution are given to the states

11th Amendment-Doesn't allow a person from one state to blame the government of a different state

12th Amendment- Elections for president and Vic-president need to be separate

13th Amendment- Slavery is abolished

14th Amendment- African Americans are citizens of the U.S.

15th Amendment- States that African American males can vote only

16th Amendment- Congress as the right to collect income tax

17th Amendment- The direct election of senators

18th Amendment- Prohibition of alcoholic beverages

19th Amendment- Women's suffrage

20th Amendment- Beginning of president and vice- president's terms

21st Amendment- Repeal of Amendment 18 (Alcohol is allowed)

22end Amendment- Doesn't allow a president from serving more than two terms

23rd Amendment- D.C. is allowed electoral votes

24th Amendment- Eliminates poll tax

25th Amendment- If something happen to the president, the vice-president can assume office

26th Amendment- You have to be at least 18 to vote

27th Amendment- Congress's pay raise doesn't go into effect until the new term

The Early Presidents

This section looks at presidents George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and Andrew Jackson. This section also explores their accomplishments as well as some major events that occurred during their years as president.

George Washington

(Independent Party)

George Washington (or"the Father of our Country") was in office from 1789-1797. While in office, Washington set the precedents for future presidents in several different ways. For example, he created the presidential cabinet which gives the president advice on certain issues, the president has to give an Inaugural Address before becoming president, the president has to give a State of the Union Address twice in his/her term, etc. However, the Constitution didn't say anything about setting up a cabinet, giving a Inaugural or State of the Union Address. The presidential cabinet is an example of Unwritten Constitution which is when the president does something that's not written anywhere in the Constitution. Also, the presidential cabinet is an example of Loose Interpretation of the Constitution which is when the president does something that isn't denied or listed in the Constitution. During his presidency, Alexander Hamilton served as his Secretary of the Treatury. Hamilton then started the National Bank in order to stabilize the economy which is another example of Loose Interpretation. Later, people debated wheather or not the National Bank was a good idea. Soon after, people started to get upset over the Whiskey Tax. As a result, farmers started to rebel and this became known as the Whiskey Rebellion. As a result, Washington sent an army to quell or stop the rebellion which was the first time a leader sent federal troops to stop a rebellion. After this, the people in France started to rebel and overthrow their king. Washington believed that the U.S. shouldn't get involved in other countries, because that causes conflict with other nations. As a result, he declared the Proclamation of Neutrality in 1793 which stated that the U.S. won't get involved in France's conflict. He also didn't want to get the U.S. to get involved in another war, because we weren't prepared to fight, and it was none of our business. A year later, the president signed the Jay Treaty which declared that Britain had to remove all forts from the U.S. As a result, Britain agreed to the treaty, but only if the U.S. paid their pre-war debts. Then, in 1796 Washington gave his Farewell Address before leaving office. In the address, he warned that political parties will corrupt America, he said the U.S. shouldn't get involved in other country's business, and the U.S. shouldn't form alliances with other countries. However, political parties started to rise which meant that the people were starting to disagree with one another. Unfortunately, the United State never listened to Washington's advice.

John Adams

(Federalist Party)

John Adams was in office from 1797-1801, and he was the first president to live in the White House. He was also the first person to have a son to become president. During Adam's term in office, he sent American agents X, Y, and Z to France to solve the naval attack problem. This event is known as the XYZ Affair. After that, the Alien and Sedition Acts were signed but made the citizens of the U.S. very angry. The Alien Act declared that all immigrants who criticized the government needed to be deported back to where they came from, and the Sedition Act declared that the citizens of the U.S. aren't allowed to criticize the government. The acts violated the first, fifth, and, eighth amendments. After, Jefferson and Madison signed the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions which canceled out or nullified the Alien and Sedition Acts. During Adam's last few months in office, he appointed the midnight judges to ensure that the Federalist Party still held position in the federal government. After Adam's term was up, the Revolution or Election of 1800 began. Thomas Jefferson creamed Adams in the election, and became the next president in office. The Democratic-Republicans peacefully took power in the federal government over the Federalists.

Thomas Jefferson

(Democratic-Republican Party)

Thomas Jefferson was in office from 1801-1809, and wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776. During Jefferson's years in office, he sent Lewis and Clark to explore the territory of Louisiana in 1803. After, Jefferson doubled the size of the U.S. by buying the Louisiana Territory from France. The Louisiana Territory also gave America access to the trading port of New Orleans which made it easier for goods to be imported. Also, the Louisiana Purchase was an example of strict interpretation of the Constitution. Strict Interpretation is when the president does something that isn't listed in the Constitution. After this, Jefferson faced the conflict known as the Barbary War(1805). Tripoli ( the Barbary state) started to increase their security from the Barbary pirates. The president refused to pay, and he instead sent a small little navy to fight the pirates. The Barbary War is very important because this was the first time America won a naval battle. After this, a blockade was established around the French West Indies. Goods that were made in France were brought to the U.S. by America's merchants, and then labeled as American. After, the goods would then be sent and resold back to France. This soon caused a war between France and Britain. This event is known as the Reexport Trade. In response to this, England responded with the policy of impressment. The British basically captured several men and forced them into working for the British Royal Navy. Britain then took American ships and cargo which resulted in Jefferson passing the Embargo Act of 1807 which banned all illegal exports from America. The Embargo Act also ruined the American economy, because it didn't allow anything to be sold out of the country.

James Madison

James Madison was in office from 1809-1817, and he was nicknamed "The Father of the American Constitution". Madison was president during the War of 1812 as well. His wife Dolly Madison saved the picture of George Washington from the burning White House as well.

The War of 1812


The War of 1812 is commonly known as "the second war for independence". This war was fought between the British, and America over the right for countries to trade with foreign nations without other countries interfering.

Causes of the War of 1812

. Impressiveness- The British began capturing American sailors and forcing them to work on their ships.

. Embargo Act of 1807- President Jefferson believed the Embargo Act would hurt Britain, but instead it hurt the U.S.

. England kept sinking American vessels.

The Battle of Tippecanoe

The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought between the British and the Americans in 1811. At the end of the battle, the British crushed the Americans, and it convinced the Indians that they needed Britain's support in order to stop American settlers from driving the Indians out of their homeland.

A Declaration of war, and the Battle of Lake Erie

After the Battle of Tippecanoe, President James Madison was the first person to declare a war. A year later, the Battle of Lake Erie was fought, and ended with an American victory. The Americans gained the Northwest Territory as a result.

A Tragic Day in D.C.

In 1814, many British troops headed for Washington D.C. However, the Madison's were having a party before the British came to Washington, but they soon learned that the British were going to burn down the White House and the Capital Building. The Madison's and the people attending the party evacuated the White House, and soon the British came into the White House, and burned it down. However, Dolly Madison was able to save the portrait of George Washington from the British. After burning the White House, the British went on to burn the Capital Building.

Fort Henry, and the National Anthem

A few months after the British came to Washington D.C., they bombed the Fort Henry (this was an American fort). As the fort was being bombed and protected by the Americans, Francis Scott Key got his inspiration to write The Star Spangled Banner from the flag in which the Americans hoisted.

Results of the War of 1812

. Peace talks began between America and Britain

. Britain would leave Canada alone

. The British gave up at creating an Indian state in the Northwest

. The Treaty of Ghert was ratified in 1815 and ended the War of 1812

. Encouraged American expansionism

James Monroe

(Democratic-Republican Party)

James Monroe was president from 1817-1825, and is named after Monroe County. He signed a document called the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 which prevented Europe from establishing colonies in the Americas. The Monroe Doctrine prevented the U.S. from being the "policeman" , and it stopped Europe from being involved in America's business. In 1820, the Missouri Compromise (Compromise of 1820) was enacted which made Missouri enter the union as a slave state. However, Main would enter the union as a free state. The Compromise of 1820 also prohibited slavery above the 36 30 parallel.

36 30 parallel

John Quincy Adams

(Democratic-Republican Party)

John Quincy Adams was president from (1825-1829). He was the first president to become president of a former president(President John Adams). During the election of 1824, Democratic candidate Andrew Jackson won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote to John Quincy Adams. As a result, the House of Representatives decided that Quincy Adams would become the next president. During Quincy Adams' presidency, scientific advancements were made and sectionalism rose. Sectionalism would later contribute to the American Civil War. Secretary of State Henry Clay created the American System which improved transportation by having a protective tariff proposed. The National Road was created which brought the all the regions of the U.S. together. The Erie Canal was also created which connects Albany (in the Western New York) to Buffalo Eastern New York). Tons of supplies and goods were shipped down the Erie Canal in order to bring them to NY, and the other states.

Andrew Jackson ("Old Hickory")

(Democratic Party)

Vice President: John C. Calhoun

Andrew Jackson (the founder of the modern day Democratic Party) was president from 1829 to 1837. When Jackson took over as president, he increased democratization. He was the first president to every have been elected by men who didn't own property, but still could vote. Jackson was a huge supporter of states' rights and decreasing prices of tariffs. In 1828, the Tariff of Abominations was passed but was signed into law by the previous president John Quincy Adams. The Tariff of Abominations taxed all imported goods to the United States from Great Britain. However, this outraged Jackson's vice president John C. Calhoun (he was from South Carolina). As a result, Calhoun fiercely opposed the tariff and he championed the nullification (to cancel out a law) of the Tariff of Abominations. President Jackson decided to change the rates on tariffs, but it wasn't enough to quell Calhoun's anger. As a result, vice president John C. Calhoun resigned. After serving in Jackson's administration, Calhoun went on to run and was elected as a U.S. Senator. In the Senate, Calhoun then threatened succession and nullification. After this, the president went on to veto the National Bank, because he believed it encouraged corruption. During his years of being president, Andrew Jackson ignored the Supreme Court. For example, when the Supreme Court didn't like what the president was doing, he would ignore them (and the cases that were brought to the Court). In addition, Jackson decided to strengthen the powers of the federal government which was against Separation of Powers. He also ignored the systems of Checks and Balances as well. He then ignored the Supreme Court decision of Worcester vs Georgia which ruled in favor of the Cherokee Indians. As a response, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which forced the Cherokee Indians out of their land, and they had to move elsewhere. Several of the Indians died on the journey which was called the Trail of Tears. Jackson also believed in the Spoil System which was when he gave his supporters free government jobs if the supporters voted for him.

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