Political Systems


  Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
[audio] The Policies of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson

  • 5 government departments established by Congress:
  • Department of State
    Department of Treasury
    Department of War
    Attorney General
    Postmaster General
  • The people who run the departments are the President's cabinet.
  • The Cabinet helps the President by giving him advice.


[audio] A New Government in Debt

The size of the federal government

  • A bond was a written promise that a person would be paid by Congress in gold or silver. It was an IOU.
  • Farmers, manufacturers, and soldiers were given bonds during the Revolutionary War.


The problem with the Whiskey Tax

  • Congress passed the whiskey tax so that the United States could get more tax money to pay for the bonds.
  • The Whiskey Tax seemed unfair to the small farmers because they were the ones making and selling whiskey, which resulted in them having to pay the tax.
  • Alexander Hamilton's second policy, The Whiskey Tax, helped the wealthy people more than it helped the ordinary people because the wealthy weren't taxed as much as the ordinary.


[audio] The Alien and Sedition Acts

  • John Adams ran in the Presidential election of 1796 and won.
  • The party of the wealthy people did not feel comfortable having the ordinary people run the country.
  • The Alien Act required that immigrants live in the Unites States for 14 years, instead of five, before they could vote. Keeping the number of new immigrants from voting would give the Federalist party a better chance of getting voted into power.
  • The First Amendment of the Bill of rights gives the newspapers the right of freedom of speech.
  • The Sedition Act would took away the newspaper's First Amendment rights and keep the newspapers from criticizing the Federalist party. This would help keep criticisms about the federalist party away from the people.

 

[audio] How Andrew Jackson Dealt with Native Americans

Cherokee world views

  • How the Cherokee and settler's society were the same:
    Both had American cultural customs.
    Both could read and write using an alphabet.
    Both took Christianity as their religion.
    Both used democratic law and constitutions.
    Many owned land.
  • President Jackson did not use his power of the Presidency to carry out the Supreme Courts ruling that Georgia could not take the land of the Cherokee.


Policy of Indian removal

  • Native Americans were forcibly removed from their lands in the East and moved to reservations on the Great Plains.
  • The Policy of Indian Removal was supposed to end the fighting over land between the settlers and the Native Americans.
  • The move was more difficult for the Native Americans than it would have been for the settlers because the Native Americans lived on the land for centuries. Their religion, customs and living styles were connected to their environment.
  • The settlers had no ties to the land or environment. The Trail of Tears was the forced removal of the Cherokee from their land to a reservation west of the Mississippi River. They suffered from starvation, poor weather, little food and shelter and cold temperatures. Many died.


[audio] Political parties

  • Political Parties are groups of people with the same ideas on how to run the country.
  • Political parties try to get the country to run their way.


The first political party

  • Alexander Hamilton ran the only political party in 1789 which was made up of rich business men, was a member of the Cabinet, and helped write a paper called the Federalist.
  • Ordinary people felt that the rich and educated were the best people to lead the country and make decisions.
  • Federal means a part of the government that has some control over the states and makes and carries out laws for the country.
  • The Federalist Party was able to control the government because they were the wealthy businessmen who ran the political party at that time.
  • Thomas Jefferson was the Presidents Secretary of State who supported those who didn't like the ideas of the wealthy businessmen's political party. He believed that the federal government should protect individual state's freedom but that it should not be involved in making business decisions.


[audio] The Policies of Alexander Hamilton and the Party of the Wealthy Business People

Alexander Hamilton Wanted the Government to Pay Its Debts

  • Hamilton thought the government should pay its debt so that the wealthy Americans would be willing to loan money to the government in the future.
  • Wealthy people thought the government would pay off the bonds but others did not.
  • The wealthy only offered the farmers10-15 cents for every dollar promised on their bonds. The farmers took the money because they thought it was better than nothing.
  • A speculator tries to make money by buying items that they believe will sell at a higher price in the future. The wealthy were speculators.
  • A speculator can make a lot of money when they sell something at a higher price than they bought it.
  • Ordinary people didn't want to increase taxes on imports to pay off the bonds, because the speculators would make a lot of money while they would lose money. This would only make the rich richer.
  • Congress passed a law in 1791 that made the government pay the full price of the bonds.
  • One of Alexander Hamilton's policies helped the wealthy business people (who owned the bonds) because they received the full price for the bonds purchased from the ordinary people.

 

[audio] The Democratic Party and Andrew Jackson

How the Democratic Party was started and the problem with the election of 1824

  • Andrew Jackson won more votes in the 1824 election but John Quincy Adams became the president.
  • The ordinary people had a problem because a wealthy educated man became President, and the wealthy did not look out for the interests of the ordinary people.
  • The solution--form a political party. The ordinary people formed a new party called the Democratic Party.


The election of 1828

  • The Whigs were supported by business people of the Northwest and plantation owners of the South.
  • Since many of the ordinary people didn't own land, the new law that dropped the voting requirement for people to own land allowed them to vote in the 1828 election.
  • Andrew Jackson received more than enough votes to win the next election for President as a result of the new law.