The Basis For John Adams's Uncertainty For The Future Prosperity Of America

1888 words - 8 pages

After the United States won its goal of independence, Americans soon discovered the intense struggle to develop the area and its people into a united country. These struggling developments, which had overall outcomes of more failures than successes, brought about a sense of doubt and uncertainty in John Adams, a founding father who was actively involved in government. In the quotation "The Union is still to me an Object of as much Anxiety as ever Independence was" implies that although he has retired from his political life, he still has worry for the future existence and prosperity of the United States. The basis for his uncertainty, distress, and doubt may be the political, economic, and ...view middle of the document...

Upon Washington's end to the presidency, he introduced the his Farewell Address in 1796, in which he warned against foreign alliances and political parties, as he had seen increasing intensity and division within the cabinet and party supporters. This event is significant because Washington could envision the long-term effects of political parties; however, John Adams, the next president, would only continue the political party tradition. The next step in Adams's unsuccessful political career was his close call to the presidency. Hamilton's organized conspiracy, influencing all Federalist elector votes to go to Pinckney, made a close call between Adams's 71 electoral votes and Jefferson's 68. Another obstacle came when the government holdings switched from Federalist to Republican in the Election of 1800. Jefferson and Aaron Burr, both Republicans, tied. Not only did this tie bring about the division among the Republican Party, but it also brought about the failure within the Electoral College in doing its job, as a result of an absent vote from an elector. The division of the Republican Party brought along a faction known as the "Tertium Quids," meaning "nothings." Their chief spokesmen, John Randolph and John Taylor, despised commercial capitalism and urged Americans to return to the agrarian way of life. In addition to the radical faction of politicians, Burr claimed to be a mad politician as a result of his dissentious actions. First, he killed Hamilton in a duel, as a result of his attempt to gain governorship in New York. Secondly, he encouraged the secession of the Western states. He was later captured and tried under the court of John Marshall, a strong Federalist opposed to Republican intentions who ruled Burr innocent, while being accused of a miscarriage of justice. Another political problem that emerged at the time period was the Alien and Sedition Acts, which attempted to crush political dissent. The Acts, issued in 1798, authorized the use of federal courts and the powers of the president to silence the Republicans. The Acts were merely an attempt to punish the followers of Jefferson. However, in this attempt of punishment, the Federalists would create the nation's first major crisis on civil liberties. The first of the Acts, The Alien Enemies Law, although it never went into effect, showed the efforts of the Federalists to give the president extreme wartime powers. The second Act, the Alien Law, empowered the president to expel any foreigner by executive decree. The third Act, the Naturalization Law, established a fourteen-year probationary period before foreigners could apply for citizenship. It was designed to keep the Irishmen away from the polls. The Sedition Law was the most troubling. It defined citizen criticizing of the government as criminal libel. Many citizens were found guilty and were fined or jailed. The Sedition Law's significance was the Federalist's attempt to override the Bill of Right's First Amendment on the...

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