Robert Kennedy's  United States History Class

Subtitle

Learning Objective One
Federalist v. Anti-Federalist 
Discuss the differences  between Federalism and anti-federalism

  In 1789, the United States was a nation in name only as people still thought of themselves as citizens of their state first and than the nation.  As a result of the weakness of the Articles of Confederation the majority of the people realized the need for a new and stronger government BUT everyone was not in agreement as to how much power the new government should have.

 It is important to keep in mind that the country was large and sparsely settled, that communication was primitive, and that the central government did not influence the lives of most people to any great degree.
Opponents of the Constitution were called Antifederalists who drew their support primarily from rural areas with subsistence agriculturally based economies, but their leaders came from all regions and classes.

The supporters of the new Constitution called themselves Federalists. In order to counter the Antifederalists arguments some of them (James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton) published a series of newspapers articles called The Federalist  Papers.

The Federalists also argued that the new government would provide economic, social and political stability; something that the government under the Articles could not provide.

 With the ratification of the new Constitution the political debates that took place on the national level were more than ever directly related to (1) sectional, (2) social and (3) economic interest groups rather than
individual states

Discuss the development of the Federal court system and show how John Marshall played a key role in its development and contributed to the creation of national identity in the United States.  

 Congress passed the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789.    The Judiciary Act created a Supreme Court staffed by a chief justice and five associate justices, three circuit courts with two supreme court justices on each circuit court, and 13 district courts authorized to review the decisions of the state courts.


 There are two types of judicial  review: 

(1) reviewing the Constitution and federal legislation used a loose or strict interpretation (WHAT DOES
"A LOOSE OR STRICT INTERPRETATION of the CONSTITUTION  MEAN????)

 Marshall's significance lies in the fact that he gets people to start thinking nationally as a result of his 34 years as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. :

KEY CASES THAT DEMONSTRATE MARSHAL's LOOSE INTERPRETATION and JUDICIAL REVIEWS:


Marbury  vs. Madison  (1803)

McCulloch  vs. Maryland 1819

Dartmouth  College vs. Woodward   1819.  

Hamilton

Learning Objective One
Explain why Hamilton developed the trickled down approach in structuring our economy

Hamilton's government policies supported the wealthy   because his view of human nature made him afraid of total democracy.  

From Hamilton's  perspective. there was no conflict between  private  greed and public  good: one was the source of the other. 
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Hamilton realized America's strength and prosperity depended upon incentives for the wealthy and powerful,as well as the striving masses. Today this philosophy is referred to by the Reagan and Bush Administrations as "supply side economics"  or the trickle down theory.

The "trickle down" theory provides financial incentives to business and wealthy individuals to invest in the economy. The direct benefits in the form of more wealth go to the wealthy and big business while the indirectbenefits "trickle down" to the common man in the form of more jobs and thus more purchasing power.

The above-mentioned theory is clearly demonstrated by reviewing Hamilton's reports on public credit and on a national banking system.  Hamilton justified both reports by the doctrine of "implied powers."

THIS ECONOMIC PHILOSOPHY TIED THE INTERESTS OF THE MONIED CLASSES AND THE NEW GOVERNMENT TOGETHER AND STARTED THE WEALTHY TO THINK NATIONALLY.  Other significant contributions of the reports:



Learning Objective Two
Discuss Hamilton’s Report on the Public Credit

The unsettled state of the nation's finances presented the new government with a staggering challenge. In September 1789, the House of Representatives asked Hamilton for suggestions. Hamilton responded with three reports within two years: (1) on public credit, (2) a proposed  national bank, and (3) manufacturing and trade guidelines.

Hamilton's Report on Public Credit contained two major recommendations covering FUNDING and ASSUMPTION.

Learning Objective Three:
Discuss Hamilton's Report on the National Bank. As the cornerstone of his financial system, Hamilton proposed a Bank of the United States.

The federal government would not only have a convenient strongbox, but federal funds would stimulate business by remaining in circulation. The bank would also print urgently needed paper money and thus provide a sound and stable national currency. Hamilton also argued that a growing financial community required a central bank to facilitate increasingly complex commercial transactions.


The Bank of the United States, as created by Congress in 1791, was chartered for 20 years. The bank would have one central branch in Philadelphia with branch banks located in the major cities of the country.

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The "foregoing Powers" upon which Hamilton placed so much weight were (1) taxation, (2) regulation of commerce, and (3) making war. HE BOLDLY ARTICULATED A DOCTRINE OF IMPLIED POWERS, AN INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT NEITHER MADISON NOR JEFFERSON HAD ANTICIPATED.

Hamilton's so-called loose construction carried the day, and on February 25, 1791, Washington signed the bank into law.

Finally, Hamilton's programs bolstered faith in the government's credit and stabilized the economy and money supply by providing a sound banking program and a uniform currency system.