Alexander Hamilton

HamiltonHamiltonianA. Hamilton
He took an early role in the militia as the American Revolutionary War began. In 1777, he became a senior aide to General Washington in running the new Continental Army. After the war, he was elected as a representative from New York to the Congress of the Confederation. He resigned to practice law and founded the Bank of New York. Hamilton was a leader in seeking to replace the weak national government under the Articles of Confederation; he led the Annapolis Convention of 1786, which spurred Congress to call a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

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

United States Declaration of Independence

Declaration of IndependenceAmerican Declaration of IndependenceU.S. Declaration of Independence
George Mason's draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights was more influential, and its language was echoed in state constitutions and state bills of rights more often than Jefferson's words. "In none of these documents", wrote Pauline Maier, "is there any evidence whatsoever that the Declaration of Independence lived in men's minds as a classic statement of American political principles." Many leaders of the French Revolution admired the Declaration of Independence but were also interested in the new American state constitutions. The inspiration and content of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789) emerged largely from the ideals of the American Revolution.

Ohio River

OhioOhio ValleyList of cities and towns along the Ohio River
The movement across the Allegheny Mountains of British settlers and the claims of the area near modern-day Pittsburgh led to conflict with the French, who had forts in the Ohio River Valley. This conflict was called the French and Indian War. In 1763, following the war, France ceded the area to Britain, and thus to the settlers in the colonies of Britain. The 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix opened Kentucky to colonial settlement and established the Ohio River as a southern boundary for American Indian territory. In 1774, the Quebec Act restored the land east of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio River to Quebec, in effect making the Ohio the southern boundary of Canada.

Huguenots

HuguenotFrench HuguenotHugenot
Paul Revere was descended from Huguenot refugees, as was Henry Laurens, who signed the Articles of Confederation for South Carolina; Jack Jouett, who made the ride from Cuckoo Tavern to warn Thomas Jefferson and others that Tarleton and his men were on their way to arrest him for crimes against the king; Reverend John Gano was a Revolutionary War chaplain and spiritual advisor to George Washington; Francis Marion, and a number of other leaders of the American Revolution and later statesmen. The last active Huguenot congregation in North America worships in Charleston, South Carolina, at a church that dates to 1844.

Virginia

Commonwealth of VirginiaVAState of Virginia
On May 15, 1776, the Convention declared Virginia's independence from the British Empire and adopted George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was then included in a new constitution. Another Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, drew upon Mason's work in drafting the national Declaration of Independence. When the American Revolutionary War began, George Washington was selected to head the colonial army. During the war, the capital was moved to Richmond at the urging of Governor Thomas Jefferson, who feared that Williamsburg's coastal location would make it vulnerable to British attack.

James Madison

MadisonPresident MadisonPresident James Madison
Madison became a key adviser to President Washington, who looked to Madison as the person who best understood the constitution. Madison helped Washington write his first inaugural address, and also prepared the official House response to Washington's address. He played a major role in establishing and staffing the three Cabinet departments, and his influence helped Thomas Jefferson become the inaugural Secretary of State. At the start of the 1st Congress, he introduced a tariff bill similar to the one he had advocated for under the Articles of the Confederation, and Congress established a federal tariff on foreign imports through the Tariff of 1789.

John Adams

AdamsJohnPresident John Adams
Hamilton and the Federalists favored the British monarchy against what they perceived to be the political and anti-religious radicalism of the French Revolution, while Jefferson and the Republicans, with their firm opposition to monarchy, strongly supported France. The French had supported Jefferson for president and became even more belligerent at his loss. When Adams entered office, he decided to continue Washington's policy of staying out of the war. Because of the Jay Treaty, the French saw America as Britain's junior partner and began seizing American merchant ships that were trading with the British.

French and Indian War

French & Indian WarFrench and IndianSeven Years' War
The Quebec Act of 1774 addressed issues brought forth by Roman Catholic French Canadians from the 1763 proclamation, and it transferred the Indian Reserve into the Province of Quebec. The Act maintained French Civil law, including the seigneurial system, a medieval code removed from France within a generation by the French Revolution. The Quebec Act was a major concern for the largely Protestant Thirteen Colonies over the advance of "popery". It is typically associated with other Intolerable Acts, legislation that eventually led to the American Revolutionary War.

Louisiana Purchase

LouisianaLouisiana TerritorySale of Louisiana
In 1800, Napoleon, then the First Consul of the French Republic, regained ownership of Louisiana as part of a broader project to re-establish a French colonial empire in North America. However, France's failure to put down a revolt in Saint-Domingue, coupled with the prospect of renewed warfare with the United Kingdom, prompted Napoleon to consider selling Louisiana to the United States. Acquisition of Louisiana was a long-term goal of President Thomas Jefferson, who was especially eager to gain control of the crucial Mississippi River port of New Orleans. Jefferson tasked James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston with purchasing New Orleans.

John Marshall

Chief Justice MarshallMarshallChief Justice John Marshall
Vice President John Adams, a member of the Federalist Party, defeated Jefferson in the 1796 presidential election and sought to continue Washington's policy of neutrality in the French Revolutionary Wars. After Adams took office, France refused to meet with American envoys and began attacking American ships. In 1797, Marshall accepted appointment to a three-member commission to France that also included Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Elbridge Gerry. The three envoys arrived in France in October 1797, but were granted only a fifteen-minute meeting with French Foreign Minister Talleyrand.

Kingdom of Great Britain

Great BritainBritishBritain
In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began, as the Americans trapped the British army in Boston and suppressed the Loyalists who supported the Crown. In 1776 the Americans declared the independence of the United States of America. Under the military leadership of General George Washington, and, with economic and military assistance from France, the Dutch Republic, and Spain, the United States held off successive British invasions. The Americans captured two main British armies in 1777 and 1781. After that King George III lost control of Parliament and was unable to continue the war.

Intolerable Acts

Coercive Actsactsamong other actions
As tensions escalated, the American Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, leading in July 1776 to the declaration of an independent United States of America. Relations between the Thirteen Colonies and the British Parliament slowly but steadily worsened after the end of the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War) in 1763. The war had plunged the British government deep into debt, and so the British Parliament enacted a series of measures to increase tax revenue from the colonies.

Articles of Confederation

Articles of Confederation and Perpetual UnionConfederationArticles
In 1786, Thomas Jefferson, concerned over the failure of Congress to fund an American naval force to confront the Barbary pirates, wrote in a [[Proposals for concerted operation among the powers at war with the Pyratical states of Barbary|diplomatic correspondence]] to James Monroe that, "It will be said there is no money in the treasury. There never will be money in the treasury till the Confederacy shows its teeth." Furthermore, the 1786 Jay–Gardoqui Treaty with Spain also showed weakness in foreign policy.

List of delegates to the Continental Congress

Delegate to the Continental CongressDelegateContinental Congress Delegate
When the Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states, the Continental Congress became the Congress of the Confederation, which helped guide the new nation through the final stages of the Revolutionary War. Under the Articles, the Confederation Congress had limited power. It could declare war, sign treaties, and settle disputes between the states. It could also borrow or print money, but did not have the power to tax; nor could it compel the individual states to comply with its decisions.

History of Virginia

VirginiaCommonwealth of Virginia19th-century
Four of the first five presidents were Virginians: George Washington, the "Father of his country"; and after 1800, "The Virginia Dynasty" of presidents for 24 years: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. During the first half of the 19th century, tobacco prices declined and tobacco lands lost much of their fertility. Planters adopted mixed farming, with an emphasis on wheat and livestock, which required less labor. The Constitutions of 1830 and 1850 expanded suffrage but did not equalize white male apportionment statewide. The population grew slowly from 700,000 in 1790, to 1 million in 1830, to 1.2 million in 1860.

Thomas Paine

Tom PainePainePaine, Thomas
President George Washington had conspired with Robespierre to imprison him. He had felt largely betrayed that Washington, who had been a lifelong friend, did nothing while Paine suffered in prison. While staying with Monroe, he planned to send Washington a letter of grievance on the former President's birthday. Monroe stopped the letter from being sent just in time and after Paine's criticism of the Jay Treaty Monroe suggested that Paine reside somewhere else. Still embittered by the perceived betrayal, Paine tried to ruin Washington's reputation by calling him a treacherous man who was unworthy of his fame as a military and political hero.

House of Burgesses

Virginia House of BurgessesBurgessHouse of Burgesses of Virginia
From 1769 -1775 Thomas Jefferson represented Albemarle County as a delegate in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He pursued reforms to slavery and introduced legislation allowing masters to take control over the emancipation of slaves in 1769, taking discretion away from the royal Governor and General Court. Jefferson persuaded his cousin Richard Bland to spearhead the legislation's passage, but reaction was strongly negative.

John Jay

Chief Justice John JayJayfirst Chief Justice of the United States
Jay is portrayed by Tim Moyer in the 1984 TV miniseries George Washington. In its 1986 sequel miniseries George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation he is portrayed by Nicholas Kepros. * * List of abolitionist forerunners. List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. List of United States Chief Justices by time in office. List of United States Supreme Court cases prior to the Marshall Court. List of United States Supreme Court Justices by time in office. Bemis, Samuel Flagg. "John Jay." in Bemis, ed. The American Secretaries of State and their diplomacy V.1 (1928) pp. 193–298. Brecher, Frank W. Securing American Independence: John Jay and the French Alliance.

Quasi-War

Quasi WarQuasi-War with Franceundeclared war
The Kingdom of France was a crucial ally of the United States in the American Revolutionary War. In March 1778, France signed a treaty of alliance with the rebelling colonists against Great Britain and had loaned the new Republic large sums of money. However, Louis XVI of France was deposed in September 1792. The 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.

Richmond, Virginia

RichmondRichmond, VARichmond City
In 1786 the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (drafted by Thomas Jefferson, 1743–1826) was passed at the temporary capitol in Richmond, providing the basis for the separation of church and state, a key element in the development of freedom of religion in the United States. A permanent home for the new government, the Greek Revival style of the Virginia State Capitol building, was designed by Jefferson with the assistance of Charles-Louis Clérisseau and completed in 1788. After the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), Richmond emerged as an important industrial center.

Thirteen Colonies

American coloniescoloniescolonial
It raised an army to fight the British and named George Washington its commander, made treaties, declared independence, and recommended that the colonies write constitutions and become states. The Second Continental Congress assembled in May 1775 and began to coordinate armed resistance against Britain. It established a government that recruited soldiers and printed its own money. General Washington took command of the Patriot soldiers in New England and forced the British to withdraw from Boston. In 1776, the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence from Britain. With the help of France and Spain, they defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War.

Spain

SpanishESPKingdom of Spain
Starting in 1809 Spain's American colonies began a series of revolutions and declared independence, leading to the Spanish American wars of independence that ended Spanish control over its mainland colonies in the Americas. King Ferdinand VII's attempt to re-assert control proved futile as he faced opposition not only in the colonies but also in Spain and army revolts followed, led by liberal officers. By the end of 1826, the only American colonies Spain held were Cuba and Puerto Rico. The Napoleonic War left Spain economically ruined, deeply divided and politically unstable. In the 1830s and 1840s Anti-liberal forces known as Carlists fought against liberals in the Carlist Wars.

Colony of Virginia

VirginiaVirginia Colonycolonial Virginia
In the mid-17th century, French Huguenots arrived in the colony. In the early 18th century, German specialists arrived to establish the Germanna settlement. Scots and Scots-Irish settled on the Virginia frontier. Some Welsh arrived including the ancestors of Thomas Jefferson. With the boom in tobacco planting, there was a severe shortage of laborers to work the labor-intensive crop. One method to solve the shortage was through the usage of indentured servants. By the 1640s, legal documents started to define the changing nature of indentured servants and their status as servants.

Seven Years' War

Seven Years’ WarSeven Years WarThe Seven Years' War
The most important French fort planned was intended to occupy a position at "the Forks" where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet to form the Ohio River (present day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Peaceful British attempts to halt this fort construction were unsuccessful, and the French proceeded to build the fort they named Fort Duquesne. British colonial militia from Virginia were then sent to drive them out. Led by George Washington, they ambushed a small French force at Jumonville Glen on 28 May 1754 killing ten, including commander Jumonville. The French retaliated by attacking Washington's army at Fort Necessity on 3 July 1754 and forced Washington to surrender.