Presidential Politics 1788-1824
England's Political Influence Finally Ends

Other Elections     1798-1824    1856-1892    

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Return to Political Era 1788-1824


The Federalist Party favored a strong central government, close ties to Britain, a centralized
banking system and a strong federal government
of wealthy businessmen.

The Republican Party of Jefferson strongly opposed Alexander Hamilton's Federalist agenda. Instead they wanted more states rights in a developing pastoral Democratic Federalist Republic.
source Notes History

Elections of 1788 and 1792 George Washington ran unopposed.
His Farewell Address warned that a
union of states would come
under frequent attacks by foreign and domestic enemies: he felt
separation of powers was important,
that checks and balances
were needed and that political factions would be destructive.

Presidents Contributions

1. George Washington was a sound administrator who
took a wealthy bride.
Think President Eisenhower.

2. The Bill of Rights added to the Constitution but they
didn't apply to state laws until 1925.
1973 Finally Brings Fast Track Civil Rights

3. Executive privilege used to keep Jay Treaty papers
 from Congress. Think Pentagon Papers.

4. 1791 Whiskey Rebellion Pennsylvania's farmers protesting
 federal taxes failed as Washington sent military.
 Tea Party movement.

See G. Washington made voters unhappy
Do You Want a Revolution?
The Revolution 1774-76


Election of 1796
had political parties with Jeffersonian-Republicans accusing ruling Federalists of favoring an Oligarchy run by the wealthy. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, the most propionate Federalists, was not nominated as he had created many enemies and many felt he would not beat Jefferson.

"And Now the Rest of the Story"

1. John Adams, an intellectual,
 spent most his presidency in Massachusetts.

2. A Liberal Democratic Revolutions ravaged Europe.

An undeclared Quasi-War with France raged. U.S. refused
to pay revolutionary war debt to the new French government.
Fear and p
aranoia allowed Federalist to limited citizen liberties
with the Alien and Sedition Acts
Some anti-Federalist
newspaper reporters went to jail. Adams avoided pressure
 from his Federalist party, minimized war activities and
managed to a and stayed out of war with France

3. The 1835 Zenger Trial would begin much needed
Freedom of the Press  as most Presidents would use
 war to limit freedom in the name of national security. 

Think Japanese internment, War on Terror.

4. Marbury v. Madison resulted in the Supreme Court
assuming the Judicial Review responsibility of
determine the constitutionality of some laws.
See Managing the United States Constatution


Ask  Did the Supreme Court ad to the constitution?
 Did the court go from 3rd to 1st in the power battle?

Election of 1800
resulted in an Electoral College tie with the outgoing
House of Reprehensive dumping Adams for Jefferson
He who was
known as The Negro President because
the three-fifths compromise got him elected.
Slave numbers increased and with them came more
future southern victories and much future consternation.

Election of 1804
was an easy Jefferson because of his
widely popular Louisiana Purchase.
Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution
had recently reformed presidential voting procedures.

"And Now the Rest of the Story"

1. T. Jefferson, a polymath who led a stylish life,
was persistent in his unwelcomed advances
toward a good friend's wife and he also married well.

2. Jefferson's philosophical inconsistency was typified by the
Louisiana Purchase
as he ignored his strict constructionist
beliefs and his desired for limits to government powers.

3. His Embargo Act of 1807 was another example.
The act halted trade with Europe's warring countries
who were not respecting freedom of the seas.
It disproportionately hurt New England merchants and
farmers who perceived it as favoring France as the south
always did over Federalist New England favored Britain.

4. He ignored British Impressment of U.S. merchant ships,
and the Chesapeake Affair country wide war fever to avoid
 war with England. Think Bush Two turning 9/11 into three wars.

5. "Enlightenment" theories of government were from Europe,
but attributed to Jefferson because he wrote the
Declaration of Independence still guide democratic ideals.

Election of 1808
featured opposition to Jefferson's export ban but friend
Madison still won over Charles Pinckney.

Election of 1812
was fought in the shadow of war with England.
President Madison was opposed by fellow party member
 D. Clinton, nephew of Madison's late VP G. Clinton.
Candidate Clinton was anti-war in the North and for war in the South.
Think Change his mind Trump Federalist R. King got no electoral votes.

"And Now the Rest of the Story"

1. J. Madison, a shy intellectual made a poor first impression.
He founded the
Democratic-Republican Party and is considered
the  Father of the Bill of Rights

2. The Bank of United States charter was not renewed
 in an attempt to limit business influence.

3. The War of 1812 was caused British Impressment
of US seamen and US desirers to control Canada.
The war could have ended quickly when Britain agreed
to stop Impressment with its Repeal of the Orders in Council
but American pride and the no longer meek
President Madison kept the war going.


The war, which really hurt northern shipping, was
so unpopular that
Blue Light Federalists put blue
lights in windows when British needed warning.

4. Madison eventually agreed to paying for the War of 1812.
Neither side benefited from war's death and carnage.
It ended with the
Rush–Bagot Treaty brought extended
quiet between the two countries. 

Think Bush 3 had three wars on
Terror, in Afghanistan
and Iraq an unfunded Medicare expansion and a tax cuts.

4. The Infant industry argument and a need for revenue
resulted in the Tariff of 1816.
profits increase as do consumer prices.

Election of 1816 began the Era of Good Feelings from 1816–1824.

1. The First Party System run by Eastern moneyed interests ended.
It had fostered protective tariffs revenue and help for industry while
Rural Americans wanted low tariffs with the resulting cheaper goods.

2. Federalist elitism diminished their influence.
Their anti-war stance proved devastating when the war ended well.
Plus some Federalist beliefs were adopted by easy winner Monroe.

Election of 1820
was the last election of a president from the Revolutionary generation.
Winner Monroe became the last unopposed candidate for president.

"And Now the Rest of the Story"

J. Monroe had a warm George H.W. Bush type personality.

1. 1819 McCulloch v. Maryland case had  Supreme Court established that Congress had implied powers
to do what was necessary and proper to carry out constitutionally granted Congressional responsibilities.
The state of Maryland state could not impede (tax)  case the Second Bank of the United States
 as doing so stopped Congress from fulfilling a responsibility.
this was the beginning of expanded federal power

2. The 1823 Monroe Doctrine kept U.S out of European politics until WWI.
It also kept Europe out of the Caribbean and far western territories.
These were to be U.S. spheres of influence.
Think Russia wants a Eastern Europe as a sphere of influence.

Editor's Note: The liberal Northeast business interest battle vs. conservative South/West rural interests continues today. See  American Nations


Election of 1824
had a divided 4 presidential candidates
Democratic-Republican Party with .

1. None had an Electoral College majority.
Jackson led but the House elected Adams.
Some have considered this a corrupt bargain.

2. A Second Party System emerged as Jackson's
faction became the modern Democratic Party

3. Factions led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay
 became the National Republican Party

4. It had less restrictive Federalists agenda and became the Whig Party.

J. Q. Adams was a great American Secretaries of State.

1. The "American System" of road-building,
a national bank to help Eastern business and
a national currency envisioned by Hamilton
were financed by the 1828 "Tariff of Abominations.

2. It later caused a Nullification Crisis as states
questioned federal authority over states. 

Editor's Note: Political discussions over a large
expensive central government vs. pastoral federal states
has continued during the development of our
Democratic Federalist Capitalist Republic.
First Party System



Political eras of the United States refer to a model of American politics used in history and political science to periodize the political party system existing in the United States.

The party systems (with periods indicated in parenthesis) include: