HST 141 Dr.
The Unfinished Nation: Chapter 6: The
Constitution And The New Republic
Chapter 6 Main Themes:
- The origins of and debates surrounding the US
Constitution, and how they were resolved.
- The differing views of what the nation should
become, and how these differences led to the rise of the Federalists, the
Republicans, and America's "first party system."
- The ways in which the new United States tried to
establish itself as a nation in the eyes of both foreign powers and its
- The rise and fall of the Federalist Party and the
background of the "Revolution of 1800."
A thorough study of Chapter 6
should enable the student to understand:
- The groups that advocated a stronger national
government and how they, probably a minority, were able to achieve their
- The historical debate concerning the motives of
the delegates to the Constitutional Convention.
- The debate over the Virginia and New Jersey plans and how it was resolved.
- The idea of federalism and the working design of
the American Constitution.
- The importance of The Federalist Papers in the
ratification struggle, and the arguments of the antifederalist
- The financial program of Alexander Hamilton, and
its contribution to the success of the new government.
- The emergence of the first party system, the
political philosophies of the Federalists and Republicans, and their
respective influence through the election of 1800.
- The ways in which the
weak new nation coped with various domestic and international problems,
including the Whiskey Rebellion, Native American unrest, and the
"Quasi-War" with France.
- The presidency of John Adams, the passage of the
Alien and Sedition Acts, and their role in helping to bring about the
"Revolution of 1800."
A system of government in which powers are divided
between a central government and local governments, giving each authority in
its own sphere. The extent of and
the limitations on this authority are defined in a constitution, which in the United States, also reserves certain powers to the people. It was
such a system that many argued existed under the British Empire, whereas others insisted that a true
"federal" system existed under the Articles. This latter group
further argued that the Constitution of 1787 put too much power in the hands of
the central government and hence created a national rather than a federal
that are not clearly defined in the Constitution, but, by implication, are
granted to the government. Those who believe in the existence of such powers
favor a "loose" interpretation of the Constitution, whereas those who
hold that the Constitution authorizes nothing that is not spelled out
specifically follow a "strict" interpretation.
Implied Powers Doctrine:
idea put forth by Hamilton in his argument in favor of the Bank, which held that
the government has powers other than those enumerated in the Constitution.
These "implied powers" rise from the government's right to select the
means to exercise the powers given it and from the "necessary and
proper" clause of the Constitution. Later this was stated even more
directly by Chief Justice John Marshall: "Let the end . . . be within the
scope of the constitution and all means which [are] appropriate . . . which are
not prohibited . . . are constitutional."
A private (as opposed to government) institution into
which government revenue is deposited. This bank issues currency, grants loans, and generally encourages
commercial activity while stabilizing the economy.
system of government (as opposed to a federal system) in which the central
government is supreme and the local units (states) surrender most of their
sovereignty to it.
A tax on
goods that are brought into the country and compete with that country's own
products. It is designed to drive up the cost of foreign goods and protect
native manufacturers from disruptive competition.
Separation of Powers:
division of governmental power among the various branches (legislative,
executive, judicial) to prevent one branch from dominating the government.
tax on goods imported or exported by a country; in the United States, a tax on imported goods.