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Chapter 6: Establishing National Institutions American

1664 words - 7 pages

Chapter 6: Establishing National Institutions AMERICAN--Launching the New Government: Washington = easily and unanimously elected President. Adams = Veep: "complicated man, vain enough to invite laughter, but so quick, so keen, so talented" that no one dared. Adams set trend for Veep by keeping himself i n background.--A Strong Executive: Washington's strength = in his simplicity of mind. Completel devoted to making the new government a success. First job = to establish respect for his own office: Experiences with England equated executive power with hereditary, i rresponsible monarchy in minds of most Americans. Also, extent of executive power = not clearly defined in Constitution, and it = up to Washington to set the precedents.--Just by taking office, Washington helped prestige greatly. Also surrounded himself almost regally.--Washington's head advisor = Madison--Washington quickly seized departments of Treasury, State, and War for executive, thus establishing executive independence. But still, treated his secretaries as simple assistants to himself: he still made all the decisions. Washington did not invol ve himself in legislation, though. Very reluctant to use veto. Thought his business = to administer laws, not make them. Took no active part in formation of public policy by legislation. Instead, Madison, Hamilton (Treasury), and Jefferson (State) guided Congress.--The Bill of Rights: Madison first opposed it: thought explicit enumeration of people's rights = ineffective in republican government, where people = lawmakers, and and could limit people's freedom instead of their authority. But when people demnled it, he wrote it to make sure these did not happen.--Bill of Rights = first 10 Amendments to Constitution. 9th said that enumeration in Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. 10th gave state governments or the people all powers not ex plicitly given to United States in Constitution. In writing Bill, Madison saw its effectiveness, and became a strong supporter.--Meanwhile, Judiciary Bill of 1789 = passed, establishing the Supreme Court and 13 district courts. Supreme Court = given power to review decisions of state courts and nullify state laws violating US Constitution, laws, or treaties.The Shaping of Domestic Policy--National Credit and National Debt: Hamilton demanded that America repay entire national and state debt, foreign and domestic, at face value to establish a firm credit. Thus, many speculators who bought bonds cheap during war got rich. Congressmen al so combed country for bonds.--The Hamiltonian Program: Hamilton believed that future of USA depended on large-scale expansion of industry and commerce. To get the growth Hamilton wanted, the primary need = $, esp. money in the hands of people who = willing to risk investing. Ham ilton created such a class by paying national debt at face value to risk-taking speculators, now wealthy. These speculators now had...

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