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(AH1) Objective 13 - The Adams Administration
Transcript of (AH1) Objective 13 - The Adams Administration
Alien and Sedition Acts: A Case Study
The Kentucky and Virginia Resolution: The Doctrine of Nullification
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison
- Lawyer from Boston
- Served as a writer and orator during the Continental Congress'
- Drafted several essays and responses to King George III, including the "Declaration of Right and Grievances" that would be used within teh Declaration of Independence
- Defended the British soldiers at the Boston Massacre
- Served America as a diplomat to France and England during the Revolutionary period, as well as a member of over 90 committees during the Confederation era
- America's first Vice President under Washington, but was frustrated that he did not have much sway with Washington on political issues
Europe at War:
The XYZ Affair
was a political and diplomatic episode in
1797 and 1798
, early in the administration of John Adams, involving a confrontation between the United States and Republican France that led to an
undeclared war called the Quasi-War
. The name derives from the substitution of the letters X, Y and Z for the names of French diplomats Hottinguer (X), Bellamy (Y), and Hauteval (Z) in documents released by the Adams administration.
An American diplomatic commission was sent to France in July 1797 to negotiate problems that were threatening to break out into war. The diplomats, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry, were approached by agents of the
French Foreign Minister Talleyrand
, who demanded bribes and a loan before formal negotiations could begin.
Although such demands were not uncommon in mainland European diplomacy of the time, the Americans were offended by them, and eventually left France without ever engaging in formal negotiations. Gerry, seeking to avoid all-out war, remained for several months after the other two commissioners left. His exchanges with Talleyrand laid groundwork for the eventual end to diplomatic and military hostilities.
The failure of the commission caused a political firestorm in the United States when the commission's dispatches were published. It led to the undeclared
Quasi-War (1798 to 1800).
Federalists who controlled the government took advantage of the national anger to build up the nation's military.
They also attacked the Jeffersonian Republicans for their pro-French stance, and Elbridge Gerry (a nonpartisan at the time) for what they saw as his role in the commission's failure.
American Foreign Policy
- How is Adams response viewed in a historical context?
- Why do you think that the French acted in the way that they did towards our diplomats?
- What is your opinion of Adams response? Do you believe it was justified or an over-reaction?
- What are your thoughts on the impact that this event had on the nations military build up? Is there foreshadowing to the modern era?
- What is the overall significance of this historical event?
- How does this impact Adams overall legacy?
"If I'm remembered for anything, it is that I avoided war with France in 1800." - John Adams
John Adams - Great or Not?
Read the following case studies and answer the questions provided.
- Case Study 1 - Matthew Lyons
- Case Study 2 - William Duane
- Case Study 3 - Thomas Cooper
- What were the impacts of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798?
- What were the underlying intentions of the acts and what does this say about the Adams administration?
- Why were these acts allowed to pass into law if American citizens are protected by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
- What is the overall message of the
cartoon and what does it mean for you
and me today?
- Do you think these laws could be
passed today? Why or why not?
What does this cartoon say about the acts once they were passed?
Developing a Case Study
This becomes known as the
Doctrine of Nullification
...its legality has never been confirmed, although many Americans ave tried to validate it as a Constitutional theory throughout American history
and factor that into your final assessment of the Adams administration
Case Study Prompt:
Did John Adam's Presidency create the lasting legacy that he had intended? Why or Why Not?