American politics in the 1790’s were shaped more importantly by domestic affairs. Domestic affairs marked turning points in the history of the nation, exemplified the United States as a diverse but whole union, and helped aid foreign affairs that were also crucial to the shaping of American politics. The economic health of the nation was the most important domestic affair. During George Washington’s presidency, Alexander Hamilton & Thomas Jefferson, his two closest advisors, faced off on opposing views of what the role of government should be, thus forming political parties.
Congress and President Washington went over Hamilton’s economic plan for the new nation. Hamilton called for protective tariffs, a bank of the U. S. , and the encouragement of industry: all domestic issues. But Jefferson only wanted a strict constructional view of the constitution, sticking only to what the constitution says exactly, as opposed to Hamilton’s loose construction view. As a result, political parties, such as the Democratic-Republican and the Federalist Party, were formed.
Democratic-Republican was created by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and the Federalist Party was created by Alexander Hamilton. The Whiskey Rebellion of 1974’s purpose was to the remove tax on whiskey in which federal revenue officials were tarred and feathered, riots were formed, and the threat of an assault on Pittsburgh. The results showed that the new government was capable of enacting laws and making sure they were enforced and obeyed.
The government also had to provide protection in the western areas as settlers moved into those areas to establish farms, homes, and towns and cities. As stated earlier, divisions developed in the United States between those who supported the French, including Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, and those who supported the British, including Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Fearing the impact of a war with Britain, President George Washington sided with Hamilton and sent pro-British Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British Government.
Jay looked to Hamilton for specific instructions for the treaty but he was unsuccessful in negotiating an end to the impressments of American sailors into the Royal Navy, which later became one of the key issues that led to the War of 1812. Domestic and foreign treaties made during the 1790’s also had a significant impact on the molding of politics in the United States. The French Revolution led to war between Britain and France in 1793. On November 19, 1794, representatives of the United States and Great Britain signed Jay’s Treaty to regulate commerce and navigation between both nations.
It corrected problems arising from violations of the Treaty of Paris of 1793 but it was proved unpopular with American public but it accomplished maintaining peace between the two nations and maintaining America’s neutrality. The Proclamation of Neutrality issued by George Washington in 1794 explained the American standing regarding foreign affairs and their decision to remain neutral. The Federalists and their support for the British and the support of the French by the Republicans led to conflicts within the United States as to whether or not to get involved.
The Alien and Sedition Acts, impressed by the Federalists also played a role in both domestic and foreign affairs as it opposed foreign immigrants by denying them of many rights. George Washington warned in his farewell address to the United States to refrain from making permanent treaties with foreign nations. Most of the foreign affairs first depended on how it was form through the domestic affairs. In this period of time, big changes and alterations in American politics are the development of political parties, and the proclamation of neutrality which would lead U. S. to start using isolationism and becoming an independent nation.