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HIST211: Introduction to United States History - Colonial Period to Reconstruction

Unit 3: The Early Republic   The Early American Republic emerged amidst a period of modernization, expansion, and international conflict. The fragile new nation faced a number of threats that challenged its strength and stability, including the emergence of factionalism, divisive political parties, international crises, and the new pressures brought about by westward expansion. The Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, slavery, and new agricultural and commercial developments forced Americans to rethink the nature of their union.

In this unit, you will begin by examining Jefferson’s ascendancy to the presidency – what he termed the “revolution of 1800” – as well as the successes and pitfalls of his tenure in office. You will then examine the tremendous innovation and expansion characteristic of the growing nation, including the development of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and new settlements in the Louisiana territory. Finally, you will define the period known as the Era of Good Feelings, characterized by a wave of nationalism and new foreign policy.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take approximately 13.25 hours.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 7 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 3.75 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - explain the emergence of political parties and assess their impact on the Early National Era; - explain the geographic, industrial, and economic expansion of the Early Republic; - describe the changes created during the presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe; - explain the development of American foreign policy in the Early National Era; and - analyze and interpret primary source documents from the era, using historical research methods.

3.1 The “Revolution of 1800”   3.1.1 Jefferson’s “Revolution”   - Reading: Yale Law School: Thomas Jefferson’s “First Inaugural Address” Link: Yale Law School: Thomas Jefferson’s “First Inaugural Address” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the address. In this March 4, 1801 speech, a
newly sworn in President Jefferson attempted to bridge the divide
between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans and proclaim his
belief in the fundamental right of religious freedom.  

 Reading this address and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is in the Public Domain.
  • Reading: Henry J. Sage’s Sage American History: “The Jeffersonian Republic: The United States 1800–1828” Link: Henry J. Sage’s Sage American History“The Jeffersonian Republic: The United States 1800–1828” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this text Jefferson’s political philosophy and governing style during the beginning of the 19th century. This reading provides an overview of the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison up to the outbreak of the War of 1812. This reading will also cover the topics outlined in subunits 3.1.2 through 3.1.4.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Web Media: University of California: UC College Prep’s U.S. History: “Lesson 19: John Adams” Link: University of California: UC College Prep’s U.S. History: “Lesson 19: John Adams” (Flash)

    Instructions: Click on the link above, click the “Start Lesson” button, and watch the presentations for all three topics: “XYZ Affair,” ”Alien and Sedition Acts,” and “Election of 1800.” Click on the “Text” tabs and read all of the pages. Then click on the links under “Explore” and read the accompanying text.

    The third presentation provides a sense of the hotly contested presidential election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson, the Democratic-Republican candidate, and John Adams, the Federalist candidate. This election was one of the most controversial in American history, marked with intrigue, betrayal, and a tie in the Electoral College. However, many historians refer to this election as a case study in the peaceful transition of power.

    Watching these presentations and reading the accompanying text should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.1.2 The Louisiana Purchase   Note: This subunit is also covered by the material beneath subunit 3.1.1.

  • Reading: United States Library of Congress: Thomas Jefferson’s “Instructions for Meriwether Lewis” Link: United States Library of Congress: Thomas Jefferson’s “Instructions for Meriwether Lewis” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this transcript of Jefferson’s instructions for Meriwether Lewis which contain not only the commission for the journey but also reveal Jefferson’s hopes for the trip and set an agenda for all future exploration on the North American continent. Taking note of what Jefferson wanted Lewis and Clark to investigate will help you gain insight into Jefferson’s long-term goals for the western territories.

    Reading this transcript and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is in the Public Domain. 

  • Web Media: National Atlas: “U.S. Territorial Acquisitions Map” Instructions: As you look over this map, note the continual expansion of the United States and the changing frontier line. Consider the political implications of such expansion. 

    Studying this map should take less than 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is in the Public Domain.

  • Web Media: University of California: UC College Prep’s U.S. History: “Lesson 20: Jefferson as President” Link: University of California: UC College Prep’s U.S. History: “Lesson 20: Jefferson as President” (Flash)

    Instructions: Click on the link above, click the “Start Lesson” button, and watch the presentations for all four topics: “The Louisiana Purchase,” “Lewis and Clark,” “The Aaron Burr Conspiracy,” and “Marbury v. Madison.” Click on the “Text” tabs for each topic and read all of the pages.Then click on the links under “Explore” and read the accompanying text.

    The first video will give you a sense of why and how Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 as well as other important events of Thomas Jefferson’s presidency (1801–1809). Please watch especially the interactive video on the Louisiana Purchase, which is one of the links under “Explore.” Also, under “Explore” click and read the historic Supreme Court decision Marbury v. Madison.

    Watching these presentations and reading the accompanying text should take approximately 2 hours.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.1.3 War and Embargo   Note: This subunit is also covered by the material beneath subunit 3.1.1.

  • Reading: Henry J. Sage’s Sage American History: “The War of 1812: The ‘Forgotten War’” Link: Henry J. Sage’s Sage American History: “The War of 1812: The ‘Forgotten War’” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this text to learn about the causes, military campaigns, and aftermath of the War of 1812. Why has this conflict been dubbed the “forgotten war”?

    Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Web Media: University of California College Prep’s U.S. History: “Lesson 21: The War of 1812” Link: University of California College Prep’s U.S. History: “Lesson 21: The War of 1812” (Flash)

    Instructions: Click the link above, click the “Start Lesson” button, and watch the presentations for all three topics: “Jefferson’s Embargo,” “Election of Madison,” and “The War.” Click on the “Text” tabs for each topic and read all of the pages. Then click on the links under “Explore” and read the accompanying text.

    This resource covers the events leading up to the War of 1812, the 1812 election of James Madison, and the major events of the War of

    1. Take time to examine the interactive map showing the major battles and military campaigns of this war.

    Watching these presentations and reading the accompanying text should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.1.4 Party Tensions   Note: This subunit is also covered by the material beneath subunit 3.1.1.

  • Reading: Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “Amendments to the Constitution Proposed by the Hartford Convention: 1814” Link: Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “Amendments to the Constitution Proposed by the Hartford Convention: 1814” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this text. The New England Federalists, who convened at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1814, rejected secession and instead proposed a series of amendments to the Constitution designed to weaken the political influence of Southern and western states, which were dominated politically by the Republican Party.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is in the Public Domain.

3.2 Expansion and Innovation   3.2.1 Internal Improvements   - Reading: H-Net: Tom Downey’s “We Have Met the Market Revolution, and It Is Us!” Link: H-Net: Tom Downey’s “We Have Met the Market Revolution, and It Is Us!” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this review of John Lauritz Larson’s *Internal
Improvement*: *National Public Works and the Promise of Popular
Government in the Early United States*, in which Tom Downey
discusses the topic of internal improvements in the early American
Republic.  

 Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is hosted witih the permission of Tom
Downey and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. The original
verison can be
found [here](http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=6907). 

3.2.2 Expansion West   - Reading: Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Rise of the New West, 1819–1829” Link: Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Rise of the New West, 1819–1829” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read pages 3–9 and 67–83 in Turner’s book. In these
chapters, noted American historian Frederick Jackson Turner
(1861–1932) discusses the rapid western expansion of the United
States following the War of 1812. Turner focuses on the impact of
this western expansion, on the values and views of the young
republic, and especially the growth of democratic ideals.  

 Reading these chapters and taking notes should take approximately 1
hour.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain. 
  • Web Media: University of California: UC College Prep’s U.S. History: “Lesson 24: The Transportation Revolution” Link: University of California: UC College Prep’s U.S. History: “Lesson 24: The Transportation Revolution” (Flash)

    Instructions: Click on the link above, click the “Start Lesson” button, and watch the presentations for both topics: “Westward Movement” and “Innovative Transportation.” Click on the “Text” tabs for each topic and read all of the pages. Then click on the links under “Explore” and read the accompanying text.

    This resource covers the westward expansion and the development of transportation networks following the War of 1812. Please examine the maps under “Explore,” which illustrate the growth of roads, canals, and later, railroads in early 19th century.

    Watching these presentations and reading the accompanying text should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.3 The Cotton Gin   - Reading: Economic History Association: William H. Phillips’ “Cotton Gin” Link: Economic History Association: William H. Phillips’ “Cotton Gin” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this article to get a sense of how Eli Whitney’s
cotton gin transformed the American economy and signaled the rise of
“King Cotton” in the Early Republic.  

 Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is hosted with the permission of EH.net
for educational, noncommercial purposes. 

3.3 James Monroe and the Era of Good Feelings   3.3.1 Monroe as President   - Reading: Henry J. Sage’s Sage American History: “James Monroe and the Era of Good Feelings” Link: Henry J. Sage’s Sage American History: “James Monroe and the Era of Good Feelings” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this article to learn about the Monroe
Administration and the vast political and economic changes
experienced in the U.S. during this time. The years from 1816 to
1824 became known as the Era of Good Feelings in part because of the
political cooperation stemming from one-party politics (the
Republican Party) and also because of America’s high morale after
the War of 1812. This reading also covers the topics outlined in
subunits 3.3.2 through 3.3.4.  

 Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 1
hour.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/deed.en_US).

3.3.2 Sectional Issues   Note: This subunit is also covered by the reading assigned in subunit 3.3.1.

  • Reading: Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Rise of the New West, 1819–1829” Link: Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Rise of the New West, 1819–1829” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read pages 134–148 in Turner’s book. In these chapters, noted American historian Frederick Jackson Turner (1861–1932) discusses the Panic of 1819 and the impact of this economic crisis on the country, which was becoming increasingly divided along sectional lines.

    Reading these chapters and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

  • Reading: Ludwig von Mises Institute: Murray N. Rothbard’s *The Panic of 1819: Reactions and Policies* Link: Ludwig von Mises Institute: Murray N. Rothbard’s The Panic of 1819Reactions and Policies (PDF)

    Instructions: Read pages 1–25. You will get a good overview of why the Panic of 1819 occurred and how Americans reacted to it. This book, originally published by Columbia University Press in 1962, has been reprinted in an online version by the Mises Institute.

    Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

  • Web Media: University of California: UC College Prep’s U.S. History: “Chapter 22: James Monroe” Link: University of California: UC College Prep’s U.S. History: “Chapter 22: James Monroe” (Flash)

    Instructions: Click on the link above, click the “Start Lesson” button, and watch the presentations for all four topics: “The Era of Good Feelings,” “The Missouri Compromise,” “John Marshall,” and “The Monroe Doctrine.” Click on the “Text” tabs for each topic and read all of the pages. Then click on the links under “Explore” and read the accompanying text.

    This resource discusses the important events of the presidency of James Monroe (1817–1825), such as the acquisition of Florida, the Missouri Compromise, and the publishing of the Monroe Doctrine as well as the important decisions of the Supreme Court at this time under the leadership of Chief Justice John Marshall. Be sure to click the links and read the primary documents under “Explore” and consider the questions posed.

    Please note that the third and fourth topics cover topics outlined for subunits 3.3.3 and 3.3.4.

    Watching these presentations and reading the accompanying text should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

3.3.3 The Monroe Doctrine   Note: This subunit is also covered by the material beneath subunits 3.3.1 and 3.3.2.

  • Reading: Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “Monroe Doctrine; December 2 1823” Link: Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “Monroe Doctrine; December 2 1823” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this document in which James Monroe asserts that the Western Hemisphere cannot be further colonized by European powers and pledges that the United States will not interfere in the affairs of existing European colonies or in the internal affairs of European nations. The Doctrine demarcates a separation of Old World and New World regimes and argues that they maintain independent spheres of influence.

    Reading this document and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

3.3.4 The Marshall Court   Note: This subunit is also covered by the material beneath subunits 3.3.1 and 3.3.2.

  • Reading: University of Groningen: George M. Welling’s American History, from Revolution to Reconstruction: John Marshall’s “Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 1819” and “McCulloch v. Maryland” Link: University of Groningen: George M. Welling’s American History, from Revolution to Reconstruction: John Marshall’s “Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 1819” (HTML) and “McCulloch v. Maryland” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read Chief Justice John Marshall’s views regarding these two important Supreme Court decisions in 1819. What do the opinions expressed by Marshall in these decisions tell us about his views concerning the role and function of the Federal government under the Constitution?

    Reading these documents and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.