America on the Brink: How the Political Struggle Over the by Richard Buel

By Richard Buel

Many humans will be stunned to profit that the fight among Thomas Jefferson's Republican celebration and Alexander Hamilton's Federalist social gathering defined--and jeopardized--the political lifetime of the early American republic. America at the Brink seems at why the Federalists, who labored so difficult to consolidate the government ahead of 1800, went to nice lengths to subvert it after Jefferson's election. as well as taking the aspect of the British within the diplomatic dance earlier than the battle, the Federalists did every thing they can to hamper the prosecution of the conflict, even threatening the Madison management with a separate peace for brand spanking new England in 1814. Readers enthusiastic about the area of the Founding Fathers will come clear of this riveting account with a brand new appreciation for the way shut the hot state got here to falling aside nearly fifty years earlier than the Civil War.

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Extra info for America on the Brink: How the Political Struggle Over the War of 1812 Almost Destroyed the Young Republic

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Qxd 2/11/04 1:03 PM Page 22 22 America on the Brink might expand beyond the borders defined by the peace of 1783, and the Constitution made no provision for the incorporation of new territories into the nation. Jefferson was doubly sensitive to the constitutional dilemma that Louisiana posed. Not only did he wish to reconcile honest opponents to Republican rule, but Federalist actions in the late 1790s had shown how important constitutional safeguards were to the preservation of public liberty.

All expressed concern that Britain intended to use the Rule of 1756 to assert arbitrary control over America’s commerce and complained of the sudden, unexpected change in British policy as a violation of the nation’s neutral rights. 68 The Boston Memorial was the one exception. While it asserted that acquiescing in Britain’s claims would constitute “an abandonment of rights openly recognized, and a dereliction of the most important commercial interests of our country,” it recommended that the federal government send a special mission to Britain.

In retrospect the success of this diplomatic initiative in producing an accommodation with France even made it seem wise. The news of the Franco-American Convention of 1800 arrived in the United States just before the Electoral College met to choose the next president. But instead of politically benefiting the administration, the diplomatic initiative worked to Jefferson’s advantage. Cabinet opposition to his peace initiative had finally led Adams to dismiss Timothy Pickering, his secretary of state, and James McHenry, his secretary of war.

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