The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
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Table of Contents
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The debts I have accumulated can never be adequately acknowledged, much less repaid. But I trust that every scholar knows exactly what I mean, and I am proud to be part of a community of scholars where such debts are never called in. I have been blessed with many great teachers (beginning with my parents). I doubt, however, that I have had a better one than Chet Hedgecoth, ...
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The Fourth of July 1795 was a joyous occasion in Rutland, Vermont, a frontier town on the periphery of the young nation. Townspeople were up at dawn to prepare for the elaborate meals, festivities, and customary toasts which would be sandwiched in among the regular duties of the day. The citizens of Rutland had, from their local newspaper of July 6, only the faintest hint of the trouble then stirring elsewhere ...
Chapter 1 - England, France, and the Foreign Context of American Politics
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This book focuses on analyzing events from July 1795 through May 1796 relating to the debate over the Jay Treaty, but little sense can be made of the import of those events without a firm grasp of the broader foreign policy context of the young nation in the 1790s. The interconnected, often tangled, relationships among the United States, Great Britain, and France intertwined the fates of all three countries. ...
Chapter 2 - Federalists, Republicans, and Popular Politics in the Early 1790s
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In many important ways, the debate over the Jay Treaty was an extension of a conflict long since underway. Federalists and Republicans—though not always organized or named as such—had already struggled over a great many issues, dating from the battle for ratification of the Constitution down to the outbreak of the Jay treaty clamor in 1795. From earlier campaigns a consistent pattern of activity ...
Chapter 3 - The Firestorm and the Counterattack: First Soundings in the Public Debate
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Those who attended the July 23 State House meeting “considered and unanimously adopted” a series of resolutions condemning the treaty and appointed a committee to prepare a memorial to President George Washington “respectfully but forcibly conveying the sentiments of the City of Philadelphia.”2 Two days later a large crowd assembled to ...
Chapter 4 - The Words of Tongue and Pen: The Rhetorical War over the Jay Treaty
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Such visceral anger was seen elsewhere from other anti-treaty activists that summer. On July 25, 1795, angry Philadelphians gathered in a mass meeting in the yard of the State House, a traditional site for gatherings going back to the days of the Revolution. On this Saturday, the crowd, consisting of members of the Society of United Irishmen and other opponents of the treaty, was sizable ...
Chapter 5 - Petitions, Instructions, and the Duties of Citizens and Representatives
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Daniel Buck, a Federalist congressman from Vermont, sat down in January 1796 to respond to a resolution sent him by a group of constituents. Those citizens from Bennington County urged Buck to investigate the constitutionality of the controversial treaty which had been denounced in the streets and newspapers the previous summer and was sure to come before the House of Representatives that spring. ...
Chapter 6 - The Final Push: The Debate in Congress and Out-of-Doors
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On Wednesday, April 20, 1796, Massachusetts Federalist congressman Dwight Foster of Brookfield rose and “took several turns” around the State House yard at Philadelphia. He “inhaled the Fresh Breezes of the Morning which I find,” he declared, “very pleasant & Salubrious.” Three days later, on Saturday, he again rose “at an early Hour” and wrote some letters. After attending to some business, he ...
Chapter 7 - Reflections on the Debate
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Citizens in Worcester, Massachusetts, gathered at three o’clock at Houghton’s Inn on May 7 for dinner and toasts. Earlier, the local approval of the Jay Treaty vote a week before in the House of Representatives had been expressed by the ringing of bells and other “demonstrations of joy.” A large group at Houghton’s heard eight toasts that day. The first was to George Washington: “The Savior of America! ...
Abbreviations Used in the Notes
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Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2006