Ap Us History Dbq Essay

1106 Words5 Pages

In the last years of their tenures, the earliest presidents of U.S. history were either confronted with new issues or haunted by old ones which lingered throughout their presidency. The leaders of the first 50 years or so of American politics left the American people with a legacy of both effective and ineffective approaches to foreign policy, state affairs, oppositions, and economic parabolas. However, as the end of each of the presidencies neared, the “consent of the governed” went unnoticed, and Presidents George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson struggled to create and uphold the values and individual rights as promised under the new Constitution. Out of all four presidents mentioned above, George Washington …show more content…

He was even endowed with powers to deport any non-U.S. Citizen that he “judged dangerous to the peace and safety of the U.S...” (Ayers, American Passage, 162). The purpose was to limit the powers of Republican opposition as “Federalists rode the crest of patriotism” (Ayers, American Passages, 162). The situation worsened when the Sedition Act of 1798 trampled on the Constitution's freedom of speech, by restricting anyone to “write, print, utter or publish...any false, scandalous, or malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress...or the President” (Ayers, American Passages, 162). Though Adams did not support this Act, he did little to stop it. Republicans were accused of being pro-French during a time when the French were confiscating U.S. ships in retaliation to the Jay Treaty which revoked the pact between the U.S. and France signed in 1778—the Supreme Court finally became involved and even set trials for the accused Republicans to be tried. Even worse, Adams lacked the diplomatic skills of his predecessor, refusing to be flexible and seeking a compromise between the U.S. and France. Instead, he demanded that the French acknowledge the end of their 1778 treaty. An accord …show more content…

In his remaining years as president, Jefferson passed the Embargo Act of 1807, which prohibited export to all countries. Just as Washington and Adams before him, Jefferson wanted to put an end to Britain's impressments of U.S. soldiers; Britain continued to refuse. The embargo act was violated in many ways as businesses strained, smuggling increased, and the U.S. treasury suffered a huge loss of customs revenue. Everyone opposed the embargo which had successfully ended trade altogether and had crippled U.S. economy “New Englanders became strident in their demands for termination of the embargo” (Ayers, American Passages, 182). Just days before the end of Jefferson's tenure, the Republicans in Congress allowed trade again with every nation except France and England through the passage of the Non-Intercourse

Open Document