Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

LafayetteMarquis de LafayetteGeneral Lafayette
Thomas Jefferson Letter, 30 November 1813 From the Collections at the Library of Congress.

Federalist Party

FederalistFederalistsF
They appealed to business and to conservatives who favored banks, national over state government, manufacturing, and (in world affairs) preferred Britain and opposed the French Revolution. The Federalists called for a strong national government that promoted economic growth and fostered friendly relationships with Great Britain as well as opposition to Revolutionary France. The party controlled the federal government until 1801, when it was overwhelmed by the Democratic-Republican opposition led by Thomas Jefferson. The Federalist Party came into being between 1792 and 1794 as a national coalition of bankers and businessmen in support of Alexander Hamilton's fiscal policies.

American Revolution

RevolutionRevolutionary WarRevolutionary
The Founding Fathers were strong advocates of republican values, particularly Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Washington, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton, which required men to put civic duty ahead of their personal desires. Men had a civic duty to be prepared and willing to fight for the rights and liberties of their countrymen. John Adams wrote to Mercy Otis Warren in 1776, agreeing with some classical Greek and Roman thinkers in that "Public Virtue cannot exist without private, and public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics."

Age of Enlightenment

Enlightenmentthe Enlightenment18th-century philosophy
According to Darnton, more importantly the Grub Street hacks inherited the "revolutionary spirit" once displayed by the philosophes and paved the way for the French Revolution by desacralizing figures of political, moral and religious authority in France. The increased consumption of reading materials of all sorts was one of the key features of the "social" Enlightenment. Developments in the Industrial Revolution allowed consumer goods to be produced in greater quantities at lower prices, encouraging the spread of books, pamphlets, newspapers and journals – "media of the transmission of ideas and attitudes".

John Adams

AdamsJohnJ. Adams
On July 14, 1789, the French Revolution began. Republicans were jubilant. Adams at first expressed cautious optimism, but soon began denouncing the revolutionaries as barbarous and tyrannical. Washington eventually consulted Adams more often, but not until near the end of his administration, by which point Hamilton, Jefferson, and Edmund Randolph had all resigned. The British had been raiding American trading vessels, and John Jay was sent to London to negotiate an end to hostilities. When he returned with a peace treaty on terms unfavorable to the United States, Adams urged Washington to sign it to prevent war. Washington chose to do so, igniting protests and riots.

Democratic-Republican Party

Democratic-RepublicanDemocratic-RepublicansRepublican
The Republic of Letters: The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, 1776–1826 Volume 2 (1994).

First Party System

first political partiesparty politicsparty system
They supported the French Revolution, which had just seen the execution of King Louis XVI, and generally supported the Jeffersonian cause. The word "democrat" was proposed by Citizen Genet for the societies, and the Federalists ridiculed Jefferson's friends as "democrats". After Washington denounced the societies as unrepublican, they mostly faded away. In 1793, war broke out between England, France, and their European allies. The Jeffersonians favored France and pointed to the 1778 treaty that was still in effect. Washington and his unanimous cabinet (including Jefferson) decided the treaty did not bind the U.S. to enter the war; instead Washington proclaimed neutrality.

American Revolutionary War

Revolutionary WarAmerican RevolutionAmerican War of Independence
George Washington in the American Revolution. Intelligence in the American Revolutionary War. List of American Revolutionary War battles. List of British Forces in the American Revolutionary War. List of Continental Forces in the American Revolutionary War. List of infantry weapons in the American Revolution. List of plays and films about the American Revolution. List of revolutions and rebellions. Naval operations in the American Revolutionary War. Treaty of El Pardo (1778). Black, Jeremy. War for America: The Fight for Independence, 1775–1783. 2001. Analysis from a noted British military historian. Benn, Carl Historic Fort York, 1793–1993. Toronto: Dundurn Press Ltd. 1993.

Deism

deistdeistsdeistic
Particularly heated is the debate over the beliefs of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. Benjamin Franklin wrote in his autobiography, "Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

Quasi-War

undeclared wara threatened war with Francewar with France
The Kingdom of France, a crucial ally of the United States in the American Revolutionary War after early 1776, had loaned the U.S. large amounts of money, and in 1778 it signed a treaty of alliance against Great Britain. However, Louis XVI of France was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution, and the French monarchy was abolished. In 1794 the U.S. government reached an agreement with Great Britain in the Jay Treaty, which was ratified the following year. It resolved several points of contention between the United States and Britain that had lingered since the end of the American Revolution.

Alexander Hamilton

HamiltonHamiltonianA. Hamilton
Washington hesitated to sign the bill, as he received suggestions from Attorney-General Edmund Randolph and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson dismissed the 'necessary and proper' clause as reasoning for the creation of a national bank, stating that the enumerated powers "can all be carried into execution without a bank." Along with Randolph and Jefferson's objections, Washington's involvement in the movement of the capital from Philadelphia is also thought to be a reason for his hesitation.

James Madison

MadisonPresident MadisonPresident James Madison
Madison and Jefferson continued to look favorably upon the French Revolution despite its increasingly violent nature, but Washington proclaimed American neutrality. War with Britain became imminent in 1794, after the British seized hundreds of American ships that were trading with French colonies. Madison believed that the United States was stronger than Britain, and that a trade war with Britain, although risking a real war by that government, would probably succeed, and allow Americans to assert their independence fully. Great Britain, he charged, "has bound us in commercial manacles, and very nearly defeated the object of our independence."

George Mason

George Mason IVaddressedMason
He also wrote a constitution for the state; Thomas Jefferson and others sought to have the convention adopt their ideas, but they found that Mason's version could not be stopped. During the American Revolutionary War, Mason was a member of the powerful House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly but, to the irritation of Washington and others, he refused to serve in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, citing health and family commitments. Mason was in 1787 named one of his state's delegates to the Constitutional Convention and traveled to Philadelphia, his only lengthy trip outside Virginia.

United States Declaration of Independence

Declaration of IndependenceindependenceAmerican Declaration of Independence
Jefferson the Virginian. Volume 1 of Jefferson and His Time. Boston: Little Brown, 1948. Mayer, Henry. All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998. ISBN: 0-312-18740-8. McDonald, Robert M. S. "Thomas Jefferson's Changing Reputation as Author of the Declaration of Independence: The First Fifty Years". Journal of the Early Republic 19, no. 2 (Summer 1999): 169–95. McPherson, James. Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. ISBN: 0-19-505542-X. Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789. Revised and expanded edition.

James Monroe

MonroePresident MonroePresident James Monroe
As the 1790s progressed, the French Revolutionary Wars came to dominate U.S. foreign policy, with British and French raids both threatening U.S. trade with Europe. Like most other Jeffersonians, Monroe supported the French Revolution, but Hamilton's followers tended to sympathize more with Britain. In 1794, hoping to find a way to avoid war with both countries, Washington appointed Monroe as his minister (ambassador) to France. At the same time, he appointed the anglophile Federalist John Jay as his minister to Britain. After arriving in France, Monroe addressed the National Convention, receiving a standing ovation for his speech celebrating republicanism.

Edmond-Charles Genêt

Citizen GenêtCitizen GenetEdmond-Charles Genet
He encouraged Democratic-Republican societies, but President Washington denounced them and they quickly withered away. He was also hosted by the Democratic-Republican society, the Tammany Society, in 1793. His actions endangered American neutrality in the war between France and Britain, which Washington had pointedly declared in his Neutrality Proclamation of April 22. When Genêt met with Washington, he asked for what amounted to a suspension of American neutrality. When turned down by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and informed that his actions were unacceptable, Genêt protested.

Anti-clericalism

anti-clericalanticlericalanticlericalism
Anti-clericalism became extremely violent during the French Revolution because revolutionaries believed the church had played a pivotal role in the systems of oppression which led to it. Many clerics were killed, and French revolutionary governments tried to control priests by making them state employees. Anti-clericalism appeared in Catholic Europe throughout the 19th century, in various forms, and later in Canada, Cuba, and Latin America. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was passed on July 12, 1790, requiring all clerics to swear allegiance to the French government and, by extension, to the increasingly anti-clerical National Constituent Assembly.

Benedict Arnold

ArnoldGeneral Benedict ArnoldGen. Benedict Arnold
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution (2016)., a novel. Rubin Stuart, Nancy. Defiant brides: the untold story of two revolutionary-era women and the radical men they married, Boston : Beacon Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780807001172. Shy, John. "Arnold, Benedict (1741–1801)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/675. ; The first major history, now entirely outdated. ; Old and outdated. Van Doren, Carl.

Republicanism

republicanrepublicansrepublic
All later revolutionary movements have this same goal... This was the complete reversal of a principle. Until then, a king who ruled by the grace of God had been the center around which everything turned. Now the idea emerged that power should come from below.... These two principles are like two opposite poles, and it is the conflict between them that determines the course of the modern world. In Europe the conflict between them had not yet taken on concrete form; with the French Revolution it did. Republicanism, especially that of Rousseau, played a central role in the French Revolution and foreshadowed modern republicanism.

George Washington's Farewell Address

Farewell AddressWashington's Farewell Address1796 ''Farewell Address
Washington continues to advance his idea of the dangers of sectionalism and expands his warning to include the dangers of political parties to the country as a whole. These warnings are given in the context of the recent rise of two opposing parties within the government—the Democratic-Republican Party led by Jefferson, and Hamilton's Federalist Party. Washington had striven to remain neutral during a conflict between Britain and France brought about by the French Revolution, while the Democratic-Republicans had made efforts to align with France and the Federalists had made efforts to ally with Great Britain.

Treaty of Alliance (1778)

Treaty of Alliance1778 Treaty of Alliancetreaty
Those Americans who disliked the proposition of being eternally tied to France, most notably the Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and his supporters in the Federalist Party, seized on the French Revolution as a chance to officially nullify the treaty. Despite a consensus of European monarchs who considered the treaty nullified by the execution of King Louis XVI during the French Revolution, President George Washington sided with his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and declared the treaty would remain in effect, despite the regime change in France.

XYZ Affair

failed diplomatic attemptsM. HautevalX.Y.Z.
In the wake of the 1789 French Revolution, relations between the new French Republic and the American administration of President George Washington became strained. In 1792, France and the rest of Europe went to war, a conflict in which Washington declared American neutrality. However, both France and Great Britain, the major naval powers in the war, seized ships of neutral powers (including those of the United States) that traded with their enemies. With the Jay Treaty, ratified in 1795, the United States reached an agreement on the matter with Britain that angered members of the Directory that governed France.

Marie Antoinette

Marie-AntoinetteQueen Marie AntoinetteQueen Marie-Antoinette
The primary motive for the queen's involvement in political affairs in this period may arguably have more to do with court factionalism than any true interest on her part in politics themselves, but she played an important role in aiding the American Revolution by securing Austrian and Russian support for France, which resulted in the establishment of a neutral league that stopped Great Britain's attack, and by weighing in decisively for the nomination of Philippe Henri, marquis de Ségur as Minister of War and Charles Eugène Gabriel de La Croix, marquis de Castries as Secretary of the Navy in 1780, who helped George Washington to defeat the British in the American Revolutionary War, which ended

Jeffersonian democracy

JeffersonianJeffersoniansJeffersonian Democrat
Americans had a duty to spread what Jefferson called the "Empire of Liberty" to the world, but should avoid "entangling alliances". Britain was the greatest threat, especially its monarchy, aristocracy, corruption and business methods—the Jay Treaty of 1794 was much too favorable to Britain and thus threatened American values. At least in the early stages of the French Revolution, France was the ideal European nation. According to Michael Hardt, "Jefferson's support of the French Revolution often serves in his mind as a defense of republicanism against the monarchism of the Anglophiles". On the other hand, Napoleon was the antithesis of republicanism and could not be supported.

1800 United States presidential election

18001800 presidential electionelection of 1800
On top of this, the election pitted the "larger than life" Adams and Jefferson, who were former close allies turned political enemies. The campaign was bitter and characterized by slander and personal attacks on both sides. Federalists spread rumours that the Democratic-Republicans were radicals who would ruin the country (based on the Democratic-Republican support for the French Revolution). In 1798, George Washington had complained "that you could as soon scrub the blackamoor white, as to change the principles of a professed Democrat; and that he will leave nothing unattempted to overturn the Government of this Country".