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tv   Lectures in History Politics of the Early Republic  CSPAN  January 29, 2021 4:43pm-5:28pm EST

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and supported him. >> madison originally called it the freedom of the use of the press and it is the freedom to print and publish things. >> lectures in history on american history tv on c-span 3. it is also available as a pod cast, find it wherepodcasts. >> we continue now from the university of north carolina at chapel hill with kathleen duval. she describes the mixed receptions to the french and hatian revolutions and the whisky tax. the university of north carolina
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at chapel hill presented this impackage. >> the u.s. constitution written and ratified at the end of the 1780s was intended to deal with the constitution. it was also intended to persuade american that's was worth it to stick together. that it was better than going it alone or rejoining one of the european empires into would it work? would the constitution provide the right balance between liberty and order? many people felt that the articles of con fez ration created in opposition to the federal government aired too far
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on the side of liberty and the constitution should bring the government back into blast as governments always had to do. they had to balance liberty and order. so how would the constitution distribute political and economic power. and would it create a country that could last? at first the constitution seemed to be working.,wh
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teo late to stop ratification, really. once the bill of rights was clear that it was past and would
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be they would take rights away from individuals and the bill of rights was a compromise that the federalists made to try to assure opponents that it would not, that the national government would still provide rights. so with the bill of rights well on it's way to becoming part of the social security, they had no issue to keep them together. the new government then moved quickly to fix these problems of the 1780s. they established a federal judicial system, and one of the problems with the articles of confederation is they had no way to raise revenue. congress moves quickly and passes a tariff of 1789.
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that was about a 5% import duty coming into the united states. president george washington moved quickly to set up the executive branch. under the articles of confederation you hem the executive functions of the national government that took place in three committees, their committees of congress that ran the government. and jarge washington set up the three same executive functions as now was under the president. the department of state under thomas jefr sop. the department of war under henry knox, andd2j
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government issued during the war and right after the war at face value. most people believe these pieces o
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his second proposal was for a banks>á
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began with decreasing aristocratic privileges. and most americans were thrilled. they were delighted to welcome france into the era of revolutions, the era of increasing political power to the people. jefferson, who was in paris when the french revolution began, believed that the american revolution had sparked this beginning of a worldwide republican movement against absolute monarchy and against aristocratic privilege. other americans agreed. they seized on the slogan of the french revolution, liberty, equality and fraternity. boston, for example, renamed royal alley into equality lane. urban artisans in american cities formed democratic republican clubs modelled on the
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clubs in paris. but as the french revolution got more radical in the 1790s people started to worry. beginning in 1793 revolutionaries in france beheaded thousand of people. they beheaded aristocrats including king louie xvi and the royal family. even thomas payne, one of the greatest radicals of the american revolution was imprisoned until james mad con managed to get him out. when news arrived in the united states of the beheading of louie xvi, the philadelphia democratic republican club celebrated at a dinner in which they cut off the head of a roasted big and hailed it as the -- the head -- as the decapitated former king of france, and put a liberty cap on
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his head. this, to put it mildly, worried some people. one federalist in philadelphia denounced the tendency to approve of everything the french revolution did because it was a republic. this federalist wrote, the word "republic" outweighs in the estimation of some persons all the horrors that have been and can be committed in that country. one of the modern republicans will tell you that he does not deny that hundreds of thousands of innocent persons have been murdered in france, that the people have neither religion nor morals, that all the ties of nature are thunder, that its commerce, manufacturers, sciences, arts and honor are no more. but at the end of this, he will tell you that it must be happy because it is a republic. this federalist warned shall we say that these things shall never take place among us? we have seen the guillotine toasted to three times three cheers. we might see the banks of the
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delaware covered with human carcasses and its waters tinged with blood. we might see our parents butchered and even the head of our admired and beloved president rolling on a staff. as important as the philosophical debates over the french revolution were, they became more urgent when the french republic declared war on britain. george washington's policy was neutrality. try to stay out of war and benefit economically by trading with both sides. and, indeed, at first it worked. with the disruptions in agriculture due to warfare in europe, the price of wheat rose from five shillings a bushel to eight shillings a bushel. farmers increased exports and reaped profits. merchants in the sea ports of
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the united states benefitted even more as shipping increased for these new wheat exports. and also they -- some shippers took advantage of new tralty to carry trade. they brought in tremendous profits. the income in american shipping was around $20 million a year, huge amount. but this kind of neutrality would anger both britain and france. the british navy began seizing those american ships on the route between france and the french west indies, agreeing that they were assisting british enemy and were within the purview of britain to seize. george washington was afraid this was going to spark a war with britain, and george washington therefore sent john jay to britain to negotiate.
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john jay ended up negotiating jay's treaty, as it became called, in 1795 with britain. and the measures within the treaty were that britain would finally leave those posts in the west that britain was supposed to have left according to the terms of the treaty of paris, but had not yet because of outstanding debts. in jay's treaty they also agreed that american merchants could submit claims to britain for illegally seized goods. so, if goods had been seized by the british they could try to make their case in had britain. jay's treaty required the u.s. government to pay american citizens pre-war debts to british merchants. so, that's the exchange for getting the british troops to leave the west. and the treaty acknowledged the british right to seize french property if it was on an
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american ship. so, still to stop an american ship but only to take french property off of it. thomas jefferson was furious. he said, this treaty is far too cozy with the british, who we just beat in a war. and jefferson thought it was shocking to promise to repay debts to your enemy, to repay pre-war debts after having beaten that enemy in a war. in the city's crowds and also the country side, that country settlers burned jay in ep gee. hamilton was given a speech in favor of the jay treaty and was pelted with rocks and came away bloody. people accused the federalists and the jay treaty of selling out republicanism, selling out the american revolution. but federalists got it through congress. they got it passed just barely,
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passed 20-10 in the senate, which the treaty -- it requires two-thirds to pass. so, just barely passed. beginning in 1791, an even scarier revolution broke out in the eyes of leaders of a slave holding republic, which the united states was. and that was the haitian revolution. enslaved people in the sugar plantations of haiti drew on the rhetoric of the american and french revolutions, among other things. they successfully threw off the french empire. parallel, you could say, to how american revolutionarys threw off the british empire. and some americans noticed this parallel with their own struggle for liberty and they supported it. one member of the pennsylvania legislature in 1791 was -- he was opposing a measure in the pennsylvania legislature to send aid to french planters who were
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fighting against this revolution. and he wrote it would be inconsistent on the part of a free nation to take measures against a people who had availed themselves of the only means they had to throw off the yoke of the most atrocious slavery. if one teaches the insurrection of the negros as rebellion, what name can we give to that insurrection of americans which secured their independence? now, many, many black americans agreed with that position, that the haitian revolution was parallel with and even superior to the american revolution. but most white americans sympathized more with the french planters, the french slavers in haiti who were being overthrown. on january 1st, 1804, the republic of haiti became the second nation in the western hemisphere to throw off european leaders and become a republic. and it was ruled by triumphant
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black revolutionaries. the new ruler of haiti took the french red, white and blue flag and tore the white out of it. that was an image that would frighten white americans, and very few of them would see the parallels with themselves and their own revolution, that that pennsylvania legislator, when of their black neighbors and haitians themselves saw. while revolutions in other parts of the world affected americans' beliefs and fears about their new nation, rebellions within the country threatened its security more directly. the whiskey rebellion began in 1794 in western pennsylvania. it was started by farmers who were protesting hamilton's tax on whiskey. his tax raised their prices and decreased the demand for the corn whiskey that they produced.
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now, these farmers grew the grain and distilled it into whiskey and sold it to eastern cities. and whiskey was easier to transport, more profitable, and more accessible to small farmers than growing enough grain to actually export to europe. so, farmers in western pennsylvania attacked tax collectors when they came out to collect the tax, and they challenged the federal government's authority to tax them. they waived banners, some of which said, liberty, equality, fraernty, echoing the french revolution. this protest seemed scarier in 1794 than shay's rebellion had in 1786, much closer to the american revolution and before the french and haitian revolutions. george washington called up 15,000 militia and he and
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alexander hamilton marched out to western pennsylvania at the head of these troops. can you imagine the president and the secretary of the treasury today leading military force against a protest in a state? well, maybe. anyway the rebels scattered when they heard that this force was coming. george washington, they asked all around pittsburgh, where are these rebels. oddly, nobody seemed to know. i don't know, maybe there was never really a rebellion. so, the rebellion itself died down. there was really nobody for these troops to attack. but local resentment remained. and so did this widening divide in the reaction to this rebellion. some people saw the rebellion -- the whiskey rebellion -- as proof that the people needed to be controlled. george washington believed that french and democratic republican agents had actually recruited the rebels, that it wasn't a
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home grown rebellion. other people in contrast saw the problem as being washington and hamilton's reaction, that that was proof that the government -- it was the government that needed to be controlled. disagreements over how to respond to crises abroad and at home help to divide citizens into what will be two political parties. the federalist party will be mainly composed of northern merchants and commercial farmers, including wheat farmers, large scale farmers and their supporters. the democratic republican party, mostly southern tobacco and rice planters, because they -- although they're also wealthy -- they oppose northern merchants and particularly oppose the tariff on imports. but also debt conscious western farmers, urban artisans, german
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and scotch irish immigrants who were settling in the back country. and in general more were subsistence farmers. federalists will support a stronger national government, central economic planning, closer ties with great britain. and if you are thinking about our spectrum of liberty and order, more on the order side for government. more of an emphasis on keeping order. democrat-republicans in contrast supported states' rights, a limit on federal power, a strict interpretation of the constitution's outlining of federal power, closer relations with france and more on the liberty side of that spectrum, erring on the side of liberty when you had to choose. george washington tried to remain above it all, but it proved as hard for him to stay neutral at home as it did
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abroad. his forceful response to the whiskey rebellion and his clear support of hamilton's policies put him clearly on the side of the federalists. it was getting harder to avoid getting dirty, getting down in the messy parts of politics, which george washington really didn't want to do. and so he decided to preserve his dignity and reputation and set the example of handing over power peacefully. and he decided not to seek a third term. so, 1796 would be the first party election. the federalists still had the majority in congress, and the federalists got the majority in the electoral college. and they chose john adams as president. but thomas jefferson got the second highest number of votes,
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so he would be vice president. now, john adams did not garner the kind of respect that george washington did. and it was also a different time by the late 1790s, as george washington knew when he got out of politics. john adams also brought quite a bit of his troubles on himself. in the first meeting of the senate? 1789, adams, who was presenting over the senate as the vice president at the time, recommended that the president's title be, his highness, president of the united states and protector of their liberties. and he really believed that the united states wouldn't be respected in the world if its leader didn't seem at least a little bit like a king. george washington had said, no, that is not a good title. people remembered this proposal when john adams himself became president, was running for president. during the the election of 1796, benjamin franklin's grandson,
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who run a newspaper, dubbed adams his rotundity. washington continued pro-british policies, which brought international trouble and increased internal divisions within the united states. after jay's treaty france started seizing ships and insisting that the united states needed to decide, was it france's enemy or france's all to push the united states out of this policy of neutrality. in response congress cut off trade with france and authorized american ships to seize french ships. so, congress is mostly controlled by federalists. the american people, many of them, criticize this assault on france. many americans considered france the natural ally of the united states rather than britain,
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france being the ally of the united states during the revolution whereas britain, of course, had been his opponent. john adams, to respond to criticism of his policies, his administration pushed through congress a series of alien and sedition acts in 1798. so, the alien acts included, first of all, the naturalization act of 1798. back in 1790, the first naturalization act -- naturalization is the process of becoming a u.s. citizen. the naturalization act in 1790 had established a process by which immigrants became citizens. and it, in that act in 1790, it had restricted naturalized citizenship to free white men. the intention there was to keep black men from becoming naturalized citizens, but it also would limit asian immigrants.
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this new naturalization act, naturalization act of 1798, increased the residency requirement for citizenship from five years, which it had been in the first naturalization act, to 14 years. and part of this was to keep new immigrants, particularly new irish immigrants, from voting because it was clear that these new immigrants voted for democratic republicans. naturalization act of 1798 shows that the nation, which clearly is founded by immigrants, the question of how open that door should be to immigration and to the citizenship of naturalized -- of the naturalized citizenship of immigrants will be an open question in american history. the second of the alien acts was the alien act itself of 1798 which said that the president could deport any foreigner he believed dangerous to the peace
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and safety of the united states, a huge power. the sedition act of 1798 got much more opposition from americans because it attacked them directly. it attacked people who were already citizens. the sedition act prohibited ungrounded or malicious attacks on the president or congress. under the sedition act, the federal government arrested more than 20 democratic republican newspaper editors and politicians and charged them with sedition, which is like treason, right? in newark, newark, new jersey, a man stumbled out of a tavern during a 16-gun salute for john adams and in his drunken state said something to the effect he hoped a cannon ball might land in adams prestigious buttocks. he was arrested for this. a democratic republican
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congressman from vermont named matthew ryan was running for re-election and he publicly charged that adams was mishandling international relations, a fairly normal thing one would think for someone running for congress to do, to accuse the current president of policies that were not right. but a federalist court convicted him under the sedition act and sent him to jail. while he was in jail, the election came around and his constituents re-elected him to congress. opponents of the federalists said we've only had our bill of rights, bill of rights which supposedly gives us freedom of the press, freedom of speech. we've only had it for a few years, and we knew you didn't mean it. we knew this was all a power grab and that you would take rights away from individuals. we see it in the streets. we see it with the sedition act. but it wasn't clear what to do.
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the process -- what we would do today is take them to court, right? the supreme court today has the ultimate ability to declare laws unconstitutional, which the sedition act clearly was. but that precedent hadn't been established. that wouldn't be established until mar bury versus madison in 1803. and the supreme court at this point was full of federalists anyway. john taylor of virginia recommended seceding. virginia, any other state that opposes us, should no longer be part of the united states. other people called for armed resistance against the adams administration and the federalists in congress. instead in late 1798 jefferson led a political opposition. the state legislatures of virginia and kentucky, in separate resolutions that came to be called the virginia and
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kentucky resolutions, declared the alien and sedition acts null and void. they declared the federal union is a compact. if the states feel that the national government is overreaching, the states can correct those federal actions. these issues obviously would continue to be debated and worked out through the rest of american history. what can the state, what can a person, do if they feel the federal government has overreached? these increasing partisan divisions and worries over the legacy of the revolution and the stability of the republic, all this will be on americans' minds as they enter the first truly contested presidential election in 1800. weeknights this month, we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on
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c-span3. tonight we look at the apollo space program. less than one year after the nearly disastrous apollo 13 mission that failed to land on the moon and barely made it back to earth, apollo 14 astronauts allen shepherd, edgar mitchell and stewart russo blasted off in 1971. apollo 14, a nasa film documenting the third successful mission to land on the moon. it is the name of a large crater where they touched down and spent about nine hours over two walks exploring the surface and collecting specimens. american history tv on c-span3, exploring the people and events that tell the american story every weekend. coming up this weekend, saturday at 2:00 p.m. eastern, retired u.s. army general vincent brooks on african-american military
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service and modern day challenges with cbs "60 minutes" correspondent. the nasa film "apollo 14" on the third successful mission to the moon less than one year after the nearly disastrous apollo 13 lunar mission. we visit plymouth, massachusetts, to explore a recreated 17th century colonial village depicted in 1627, seven years after the mayflower landed and when about 160 pilgrims lived there. at 6:30 p.m. eastern, a discussion on the postworld war i era in the u.s. with u.s. army command and staff college professor richard faulkner, explaining a time of racial unrest, violence, a deadly pandemic and the first red scare. exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3.
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every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3, go inside a different college classroom and hear about topics ranging from the american revolution, civil rights and u.s. presidents to 9/11. >> thanks for your patience and for logging in to class. >> with most college campuses closed due to the impact of the coronavirus, watch profess sores transfer teaching to a virtual setting to engage with their students. >> gorbachev did most of the work to change the soviet union, but reagan met him half. reagan encouraged him. reagan supported him. >> freedom of the press, which we'll get to later, i should just mention, madison originally called it freedom of the use of the press, and it is indeed freedom to print things and publish things. it is not a freedom for what we refer to institutionally as the press. >> lectures in history on american history tv on c-span3
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every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. "lectures in history" is also available as a podcast. find it where you listen to podcasts. next on "lectures in history" university of delaware professor, zara anishanslin argues assumptions about colonial america are influenced by material and popular culture including paintings depicting early american history in the u.s. capitol and statues of columbus and pocahontas. this video was provided by the university of delaware. >> so, welcome. this is history 318, the history of colonial america, and i'm professor zara anishanslin. i asked each of you to tell me what you think of when you think of colonial american history. many of


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