Chapter 6 - The Origins of American Politics

Summary

In the years following the ratification of the Constitution, American leaders fought passionately over the formation of the new government. Some groups that were not represented in the new legislatures, including Native Americans and African Americans, tried to acquire or maintain liberty by other means. The new nation enjoyed prosperity and political harmony for a short period following the War of 1812.

Chapter Outline

Section 1: Liberty Versus Order in the 1790s

Americans became sharply divided in the 1790s over which was more important, order or liberty.

Section 1: Analyzing Primary Sources: The Whiskey Rebellion

Using the links below, examine George Washington's response to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. How did our first President react to the insurrection? Write a brief report summarizing your findings.
The Whiskey Rebellion: A Proclamation
The Whiskey Insurrection
The Whiskey Rebellion

Section 2: The Election of 1800

With the election of 1800, Americans peacefully accomplished the nation's first transfer of power from one party to another.

Section 2: Writing a Newspaper Article: The Election of 1800

Using the links below, research one of the events mentioned in this section of your textbook, such as the elections of 1796 and 1800, the Alien and Sedition Acts, and the Gabriel Prosser Slave Rebellion. Based on your research, write a newspaper article on the event in the style of the time.
The Alien and Sedition Acts
The Alien Enemies Act
The Gabriel Prosser Slave Revolt

Section 3: The Jefferson Administration

President Jefferson sought to reduce the power of the federal government, but he also demonstrated the government's power when he bought new lands and restricted foreign trade.

Section 3: Virtual Field Trip: The Lewis and Clark Expedition

Using the links below, take a tour of the expedition of Lewis and Clark. Based on what you learned during your tour, write a brief essay describing an artifact or section of the trail that you were able to view. Be sure to include a detailed description of the artifact or site you selected.
PBS Online: Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
The Lewis & Clark Expedition
Lewis & Clark: National Historic Trail
Lewis & Clark Trail

Section 4: Native American Resistance

As the United States continued to expand onto Native American lands, Indians responded in various ways, ranging from acceptance to war.

Section 4: Writing an Editorial: Treaty of Greenville

Using the links below, research and review the Treaty of Greenville between Native American tribes and the federal government. Then, create a newspaper editorial voicing your opinion in favor of or against the stipulations of this historic agreement.
The Treaty of Greenville
Tippecanoe Battlefield
Fallen Timbers Battlefield (Archaeological Project)
Fallen Timbers Battlefield
Treaties Between the United States and Native Americans

Section 5: The War of 1812

Americans emerged from the War of 1812 with a new sense of national pride, but economic and moral conflicts continued to trouble the country.

Section 5: Writing a Diary Entry: The War of 1812

Using the links below, read firsthand accounts from the War of 1812. How is the conflict described? Based on what you have read, create a diary entry as if you were a citizen during the period.
Letters from the War of 1812
Thomas H. Warner: His Letters
"Star-Spangled Banner"
The War of 1812

 
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