Washington, Hamilton, and the Creation of American System

  1. George Washington

    1. Unanimous election - Federalists win big

      1. Not as popular when he left as when he started

      2. Middle-of-the-roader, few enemies - typical American president

      3. Different from European politicians, who tend to represent groups with distinct policies

    2. Cabinet

      1. Nothing in Constitution about Cabinet

      2. Washington didn't believe in parties, appointed Federalists and anti-Federalists

      3. Hamilton (Fed) as Sec. of Treasury, T. Jefferson (Anti-Fed) as Sec. of State

      4. Result - Cabinet split on all major issues

  2. Alexander Hamilton's economic program

    1. Hamilton 

      1. Young - 32 years old

      2. Represented an aristocratic viewpoint

      3. Thought commerce an banking needed development if American society were to prosper

      4. First Congress began with no leaders or clear vision - Hamilton able to present a string program to fill that gap

    2. Four Point Program

      1. Pay off national debt ($54 million)

        1. Wanted to pay off debts in full by 1818 to preserve U.S. credit

        2. Much of the debt held by speculators who had bought it at about 25 cents on the dollar

        3. Madison (anti-Fed leader), others, wanted to pay it at 25 cents on the dollar, not give speculators a big profit

        4. Hamilton wins out - probably good. Much debt held by foreigners, improves U.S. credit 

      2. Assumption of State debts ($18 to $21 million)

        1. wanted states drawn closer together and for them to look to national government for help

        2. Anti-Federalists opposed, but Jefferson pushes a compromise - support of assumption if capital is place on Potomac

      3. Bank of the United States - a perennial political hot potato

        1. Jefferson argued that a bank was not authorized under Constitution

        2. Hamilton argued for a loose interpretation (pointed to "necessary and proper" and "general welfare" clauses) - implied powers

        3. Jefferson felt means and ends had to constitutional, Hamilton felt only ends needed to be

        4. Hamilton's interpretation allowed for strong government, something Jefferson feared

        5. Bank bill passed

        6. Hamilton's argument for implied powers has generally been used since in most cases, perhaps explaining longevity of Constitution

      4. Tariff

        1. Hamilton wanted a high tariff to promote U.S. manufacturing

        2. Madison opposed it as increasing power of national government

        3. Jefferson opposed it because he didn't like cities - promoted an agrarian vision of U.S. future

        4. Southerners saw tariff as enriching Hamilton's northern friends at their expense.

        5. Tariff defeated.

  3. Judiciary

    1. Article III allowed for creation of judicial branch

      1. Mentions only Supreme court, gives it specific jurisdiction over certain kinds of cases - called original jurisdiction

      2. Constitution says nothing about how many judges there should be on S.C.

      3. Congress sets up lower, appellate courts

    2. Jurisdiction

      1. Original jurisdiction - those kinds of cases mention specifically in the Constitution

      2. Appellate jurisdiction - those cases reviewed in lower courts and appealed to S.C.

      3. But - Congress determines jurisdiction of lower courts and can change it or deny it

      4. Thus can keep some things out of court all together - like Reconstruction laws, which they did not allow to be appealed to S.C.

    3. Judicial review - right of courts to rule on constitutionality of laws

      1. Not in Constitution

      2. Established by Marbury v. Madison in 1803