Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson was the major writer of the Declaration of Independence. This was a defining moment in his life because it shows how he invested himself completely in America as it's own country. His focus was on individual liberty and that showed later in his career when he worked for smaller federal government with limited power.
The Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation were created on November 15, 1777, ratified on March 1, 1781, and adopted into the Constitution on September 17, 1787. The first set of national standards for the United States.
End of the Revolutionary War
8,000 British soldiers march out of Yorktown, and lay down their weapons. Genral Cornwallis began negotiations with Alexander Hamilton.
George Washington Takes Office as President
George Washington takes officee as the first President of the United States under the Constitution. He took the oath of office in New York.
Alexander Hamilton appointed Secretary of the Treasury
As secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton was able to influence the building of a strong national government. He put his ideas from his Federalist Papers into action by creating a national bank and building confidence in the American economy by making national debt acceptable.
The Ratification of the Constitution
Rhode Island was the final state to ratify the Constituion. It only did so after the Bill of Rights was proposed.
The Whiskey Rebellion
The federal government imposed a tax on the making of whiskey. The western farmers rebelled and President Washington ordered troops to quiet the revolt.
Battle of Fallen Timbers
Final battle of the Northwest Indian War. Genral Anthony Wayne defeated a numerous amount of Indian tribes and forced them to leave the area.
An agreement between England and America in which England would give up their forts in American territory and give America "most favored nation" status. England would still be able to intercept ships bound for France.
Treaty between America and Spain in which America could use the Mississippi and the port of New Orleans. Farmers like this treaty because they could get their crops to market more easily.
George Washington leaves office
George Washington refused to run for office for a second term. His farwell address was a letter to the American people warning them to stay out of foreign affairs and internal division.
The X,Y,Z Affair with France
In a letter from John Marshall, a plot by three French agents to ask for a bribe in treaty negotiations was communicated to President John Adams. The plot was kept secret until April 3 of 1798 when President Adams finally released the information. This caused Americans to turn against France and soon an underclared war at sea began against France.
The Alien and Sedition Acts
Four laws that were passed to try to prevent rebellion in America. Three of them were aimed at non citizens and the other made it illegal to criticize the government.
John Adams and the Quasi War
This war with France was a significant event for John Adams because it came after the X,Y,Z Affair and forced President Adams to become more involved in foreign affairs. Adams' experience of being an ambassador during the Revolution made him able to address the issues.
The Virginia Resolutions
Secretly written by Jefferson and Madison, this law critcized the Alien and Sedition Acts. It introduced the theory of interposition meaning the state could stop illegal action of the federal government.
The Election of 1800
There was a tie between the candidates, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, which forced the vote to go to the House of Representatives. After many ballots, Thomas Jefferson was finally elected and eventually an amendment to the Constitution was added to avoid the same problem in the future.
Thomas Jefferson refused to pay ransoms to the North African pirates and went to war in the Mediterranean Sea. After four years, the American forces finally beat the Pirate States
Marbury vs. Madison
Part of a law passed by Congress was ruled unconstitutional. This is the first time the Supreme Court used the power of Judicial Review to decide whether a law is Constitutional or not.
The Lousiana Purchase
Thomas Jefferson bought the French territory in America. Napoleon needed money for the war that he was fighting in Europe and America needed access to the West.
Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark took an expedition from St. Louis up the Missouri River in search of the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean. They discovered much information about the west and learned that there is no water route to the Pacific because of the Rocky Mountains.
British Warships attacked the American Warship The Chesapeake searching for British deserters and killed 3 Americans. This forced the American Government to impose an embargo halting all trade between America and Europe.
War of 1812
The Americans declared war on England because of 4 things. They were: British intercepting American ships trading with France, British Impressment, English intervention causing Indians to clash with Americans, and pressure from warhawks who blamed the British for economic hardship.