George Washington

.       Virginia planter, first president of the United States

.       General, led American army during Revolutionary War

.       Established democratic norms for American presidency


John Adams

.       Second president of the United States, leader of Federalist Party

.       President during XYZ Affair, Jay Treaty, Alien and Sedition Acts

.       Not very popular as president, but history has been kinder to him


Alexander Hamilton

.       Strongest leader of Federalist Party, first Secretary of the Treasury

.       Brilliant political theorist, believed in using strong federal government to promote economic development

.       Funded national debt to guarantee support for new national government

.       Killed in duel with Republican rival Aaron Burr, 1804


John Jay

.       First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

.       Co-author (with Hamilton and Madison) of Federalist Papers

.       Negotiated Jay Treaty with Britain, 1795


Thomas Jefferson

.       Virginia planter, third president of the United States

.       Drafted text of Declaration of Independence

.       Leader of Republican Party, opposed to Federalists




1789 George Washington's Election

.       Revolutionary War hero won unanimous support from Electoral College in first presidential election

.       John Adams elected his Vice President

.       Re-elected to a second term, 1792; voluntarily chose to leave office, 1796


1795 Jay Treaty

.       John Jay negotiated treaty between U.S. and Britain

.       U.S. received access to West Indian ports, compensation for illegally seized American ships

.       In return, U.S. promised to repay debts owed to British dating back to Revolutionary War

.       Treaty infuriated Republicans, who saw it as too deferential to British


1798 XYZ Affair

.       American envoys sent to Paris to repair relations with France were instead met with demands for bribes from French officials

.       Led to outrage in U.S., where many called for war with France

.       X, Y, Z were pseudonyms for French officials involved


1798 Alien and Sedition Acts

.       Federalists in congress passed laws targeting foreigners and restricting civil liberties during time of tension with France

.       Naturalization Act extended residency requirement for citizenship from 5 to 14 years (because new citizens would likely vote Republican)

.       Alien Friends Act allowed president to deport any non-citizen deemed dangerous to public safety

.       Sedition Act criminalized saying or printing anything "false, scandalous, and malicious" against U.S. government

.       Negative reaction from Republicans and public led to Federalists' defeat in election of 1800



1800 Thomas Jefferson's Election

.       First peaceful transfer of power from one party to another under American democratic system

.       Ended Federalist Era; Republicans began period of dominance that lasted decades





.       Believed in strong central government, strong executive, encouragement of economic development

.       Strongest in North (New York, Massachusetts)

.       Leaders included Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, John Jay

.       George Washington was a Federalist, but treated presidency largely as nonpartisan office



.       Believed in small, weak central government, low taxes, agrarian economy

.       Feared tyranny of centralized power

.       Strongest in South and West (Virginia especially)

.       Leaders included Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr





.       Ideology of government in which authority derives from consent of the people

.       Success of system depended on virtue of its citizens

.       Republican citizens were property-owners willing to subordinate their own interests to that of the community as a whole



.       Not foreseen as part of political process by framers of U.S. Constitution

.       Arose almost immediately after formation of federal government, as Republicans opposed Federalists

.       Feared by Washington; he thought it would divide population and cause people to ignore common interests




New York City

.       Original seat of federal government, 1789-90


.       Site of Constitutional Convention, 1787

.       Seat of federal government from 1790 to 1800


Washington, D.C.

.       New city built out of swampland along Potomac River to serve as seat of federal government after 1800