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The Federalists

The Federalists

Challenges & Opportunities

Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching The Federalists: Hamilton, Washington & Adams Teacher Pass


Teaching The Federalists: Hamilton, Washington & Adams Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Challenges & Opportunities


Most likely, your students will arrive in class with a certain reverence for the first presidents. And indeed, one of your opportunities will be to explore Washington's and Adams's considerable achievements. But your challenge also lies in pointing out the flaws in their performance and limitations in their visions. Neither was flawless, but your examination of their flaws should be framed by a consideration of the newness of the nation. Much of what we now take for granted—America's strength and permanence, stable political processes, well-understood rights of speech—had not yet been worked out.

Three of the activities included here, therefore, focus on the immaturity of the United States. Two ask your students to explore the meaning of free speech and its compatibility with the Sedition Act. Another looks at the foreign policy advice of Washington.