Maddy's personal timeline, a place to collect and share things from Maddy's life.
Created by mstarrsvms on Nov 10, 2008
Last updated: 03/10/10 at 09:28 PM
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In 1823, Latin American colonies rebelled against Spain and they expected America's support. Unfortunately, the Neutrality Proclamation stopped this from happening, but other European countries were considering helping Spain regain their colonies. Britain wanted America to band with them in warning Europe to stay out of Latin America. President Monroe decided to say a speech that became known as the Monroe Doctrine. This speech warned the rest of the world to stay out of both of the Americas. This tested the Constitution because it is foreign affairs, which is dictated in the Constitution.
This treaty, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty, settled the disputes between Spain and America about their borders. President Monroe sent troops led by Andrew Jackson to Florida to put down the Seminole raiders, who would raid American settlements and help slaves. This was called the First Seminole War. Jackson succeeded in overthrowing Florida's governor in this war. The army's presense in the colony gave Spain the push they needed to sign the Adams-Onis Agreement. This agreement gave the United States East Florida and the U.S. gave Spain Texas and $5 million. This tested the Constitution because it was yet another foreign agreement.
During the Era of Good Feelings, there arose a conflict about Missouri. The Senate was considering adding it as a state, but the conflict was on whether to make it a slave state or not. There were an equal number of slave and free states in the country- 11. There was an amendment passed to keep this balance, and this amendment made it so that, although it was a slave state, slaves couldn't be brought into Missouri and all second generation slaves were set free. This amendment was unpopular and rejected. Then, Henry Clay had Congress create a compromise, one that kept the free and slave states equal: Missouri would be admitted as a slave state, Maine would join the Union as a free state, and all lands north of 30 30' latitude would be free. This tested the Constitution because it involved voting, amendments, and agreements, which were all addressed in the Constitution.
On October 20, 1818, Britain and America came to another agreement, this one on the boundary between North American colonies and the United States. This boundary was the 49 N parallel, or the northwestern most point of Lake of the Woods. Oregon Country, western of the Rockies, was decided to be open to settlers from America and Britain. It also opened Newfoundland and Labrador to American fisherman. This was another agreement that tested the Constitution.
After the Treaty of Ghent, both Britain and America wanted to keep their naval forces on the Great Lakes. So, they decided to come to an agreement and limit the army equally for each country. The agreement decreed that forces were limited to one ship each on Lake Ontario and Champlain. The other lakes were limited to two ships each. The name comes from American delegate Richard Rush and British delegate Sir Charles Bagot. This event tested the Constitution because it was a foreign treaty or agreement, and followed the guidelines given in the Constitution.
When Monroe ran for president the first time against Madison, he lost, creating a rift between lifetime friends that was solved when Monroe was appointed as Madison's secretary of state in 1811. The second time, he won, beating Rufus King. His election started the "era of good feelings." This tested the Constitution because it was an election an switch of power. This was from Article One of the Constitution.
The Treaty of Ghent was signed in Belgium on December 24, 1814. American and British delegates met in Belgium to discuss a treaty for the end of the war. The treaty had Britain relinquish their Northwest Territory claims and had both countries work towards ending the slave trade. America became know as being strong after this war. Unfortunately, the news traveled slowly and didn’t reach America until after the Battle of New Orleans, about a month later. This tested the Constitution because it was a foreign treaty.
In June of 1812, Congress declared war on Britain, this being the first war America had ever been in. Britain had extremely powerful ships and many of them, but America had new and powerful ships like the USS Constitution and well-trained soldiers. There were many battles throughout the years of war. In 1813, the main objective was to destroy British control of Lake Erie. The goal was met on September 10, when Oliver Hazard Perry led the Battle of Lake Erie, which the British surrendered at the end. This victory gave America hope, but in October of 1812, the Brits teamed up with the Native Americans at the Battle of the Thames. General Harrison defeated them and Tecumseh died in the process. Britain attacked Washington, D.C., then moved on to New Orleans. Andrew Jackson led the American forces there and won. He became a war hero. The Battle of New Orleans was the last large battle of this war. This tested the Constitution because it was a war, the first war, and the people’s will was tested.
When the Americans started pushing westward, Native Americans were getting angry. One chief especially, Tecumseh, thought that the Natives who signed the Treaty of Greenville were wrong because one tribe can't sell what all tribes use. He had a village set up near the Tippecanoe River, where the governor of Indiana, William Henry Harrison, attacked and won the Battle of Tippecanoe. This tested the Constitution by dealing with foreign threats.
President Jefferson's successor, James Madison, was a Republican. When he took office, he was met by much trouble. The War Hawks were pressuring him and the rest of Congress to declare war on Britain, which was a problem Jefferson didn't solve. He won cleverly. This tested the Constutution because Jefferson could have been president again, but instead he followed Washington's precedent, adding pressure for future presidents to do the same.
When France and Britain went to ware in 1803, they both wished for America to halt trade with the other. When America kept trading with them both, they both captured our ships to search for weapons. Then, Britain started to search U.S. ships for abandoners to force them back into the army, sometimes taking American sailors in the process. In response, Congress passed the unpopular Embargo Act. This act, which killed the economy, declared that America will not trade with any foreign country. Later on, on January 9, 1809, Congress passed the Non-Intercourse Acts, which declared that America would not trade with only Britain, France, and their colonies. This act was also unpopular. These acts testing the Constitution because the people spoke out against them, demonstrating free speech.
In the early 1800s, President Jefferson was dealing with France for the Louisiana Purchase. Originally, he tried to buy the lower Mississippi from the French, but then the French offered, for $15 million, the entire of Louisiana. This deal accomplished three things: 1) doubled the size of America; 2) gave more settlement opportunities; 3) ended any threat of war with France. This testing the Constitution because people thought it didn't allow purchases of land.
When President Adams left office, he appointed many Federalists into the Supreme Court to keep his party in power. The trouble was, not all of the appointment papers were sent to the appointed judges by the time Jefferson was in office. That was the case with William Marbury. When James Madison, Secretary of State, followed President Jefferson's advice and refused to hand over the appointment papers because they were supposed to be invalid. In response, Marbury sued Madison. It was taken to the federal courts, where Marbury was denied his position because his case was not the kind the Supreme Court had the authority to hear. Marbury's case depended on a law that was declared unconstitutional. This tested the Constitution because this was the first time in history a ruling was declared unconstitutional.
When John Adams tried to rerun for president, he found a strong opponent in Thomas Jefferson. Adams won 65 electoral college votes, Charles Pinckney won 64, but Jefferson and his vice president both won 73 votes. This was the first transition from one president to another when the previous president wanted to keep running. Luckily, it went peacefully. This election inspired the Twelfth Amendment, which allowed the president to choose his vice president rather than the runner-up being given the position. This makes governing much easier, because the two men were often from different parties. This tests the Constitution by creating a new amendment.
When many were afraid for the country's safety and the threat of war, Congress passed four acts, collectively called the Alien and Sedition Acts. The first, passed on June 19, required aliens to have been living in America for fifteen years rather than five, and was called the Naturalization Act. Second, called the Alien Act, declared that the president could deport aliens who, during peacetime, were disrupting the peace. This was passed on June 25. Third, this act, passed on July 6, called the Alien Enemies Act, made it so that any alien native to an enemy country may be, during wartime, arrested and deported. Fourth and last, this act made it so that "any false, scandalous and malicious writing" that is published is unlawful and one may be arrested for it. (Benjamin Franklin's son was one of the men arrested.) It was called the Sedition Act and was passed on July 14. These acts were met with anger from the American people and were repealed when Thomas Jefferson became president in 1800. All arrested were pardoned. This tested the Bill of Rights because the people being arrested for being aliens was against it and the Sedition Act contradicted amendment one.
These resolutions were in protest of the Alien and Sedation Acts. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison viewed the acts as a misuse of the power of the government. They brought them to the state level, writing these resolutions. One was passed by the Kentucky legislature in 1789 and Virginia's in 1799. This was freedom pf petition, as illustrated in the first amendment of the Bill of Rights.
During John Adams's race for the White House, the voting system was different than today's. The men who represented each state were called "delegates" and were told to cast two votes each. The unexpected results of the election were Thomas Pinckney with 59 votes, 69 votes for Thomas Jefferson, and, finally, John Adams with 71 votes. This election tested the Constitution's system for electing a new president.
After the French were angered by Jay's Treaty, President Adams sent diplomats to repair the French-American relationship. But once the diplomats were in Paris, they learned that the foreign minister refused to speak with them unless they gave a $250,000 bribe to three gentlemen, nicknamed X,Y, and Z. The news exploded across the country, and outraged the American people. They might have to go to war.
But then Adams managed to get a treaty made before many people died. This tested our government and Constitution by making treaties and dealing with bribes.
This treaty was very important to our country's history. This treaty was between Spain and the United States. Spain has closed the borders and New Orleans to America in 1784, which greatly hurt the economy. Washington had Ambassador Thomas Pinckney (see picture) speak to the Spaniards. They created the Treaty of San Lorenzo, or Pinckney's Treaty. This treaty had Spain reopen New Orleans to America for trade and to acknowlegde the U.S.'s boundries at the Mississippi and the 31 N longitude line. This was important to the development of the Constitution because the president had the treaty made, but Congress approved it.
Britain was wronging America in the early 1790s. First, the soldiers were encouraging Natives to attack settlers. Second, the British navy was attacking neutral American trading ships destined for the French West Indies. So, Washinton sent Cheif Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British in London. The agreement was that America would pay their debts to Britain and Britain would abandon all forts in the northwest frontier and pay for damaged cargo ships. Washington created the treaty and Congress approved, as the Constitution dictated.
When President Washington chose General Anthony Wayne to fight against the Natives in the frontier, Wayne's troops built forts and fought bravely even though they were very sick with influenza and smallpox. Meanwhile, many American Indian groups were banding together to fight against the American troops. The Natives had around 1,000 warriors, but Wayne has 3,100 to 3,200 soldiers. The Natives were defeated after the Americans burned man of their crops and villages. The name of the battle came from the land where it was fought, which was where a tornado had recently torn many trees from the ground. Following the battle, the Treaty of Greenville was made. This treaty gave the United States land and guaranteed the settlers' protection. In return, Natives received goods worth $20,000 and a guarantee to their reserved land. This tested the Constitution because it included both treaties and battles and is significant in our history.
When the federal government passed a tariff on imported whiskey to help even out the economy, many citizens were angered. The law eliminated farmers' profits, and so many rioted. In July 1794, rioters attacked a federal marshal in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, so the federal government took action. President Washington sent the militia out to round up rioters and send them back to their homes. In the end, twelve or more men were arrested and then pardoned. This was the first time the federal government has to use the supremacy the Constitution gave it.
Shipping partners or old allies? That was the choice America had to make in 1793, when France went to war with England. After the French Revolution, many countries in Europe where unsettled. It was quite a pickle because Britain was America's main trading partner, but France was their ally in the Revolutionary War. What Washington decided was to stay neutral. According to him, any European issue was strictly European. His cabinet agreed with the desicion, although Jefferson sided with France and Hamilton agreed with Britain. This showed use of the Constitution because the persident made a descicion on war and the country followed through.
After the creation of the Constitution, Congress got to work on the Judiciary Act of 1789. This act set up the federal court system. The main author of the act was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Oliver Ellsworth, whose portrait is displayed here. The act was known for its clumsiness and hasty compromise, but both of these attributes have served the country well. This was a very important event for the development of the Constitution because it set up the judiciary branch, which was illustrated in Article 3 of said document. It was a monumental bill in history.
In January, 1789, George Wahington was chosen by electors sent by the eleven states that had passed the Constitution to be America's first president. They called themselves the "electoral college," a system we still use today to choose out president. So many people approved of Washington that he had no real opponent in the race. When he was sworn in at New York on April 30, 1789, he was laready taking his job very seriously. Washington knew that anything he did would create an example for his successors. He set the precedent for interpretation of out Contitution and the president's rule.