First Five Presidents

Group members - Harmonie W, Hannah M, Karrington B, Caitlin M

Conflicts and Issues:

I) George Washington: Political Parties & Foreign Affairs:


  • Foreign policy is always doomed to failure. If the U.S. seeks to negotiate with rogue states like Iran or North Korea, it only gives legitimacy and support to their controlling.
  • American citizens work hard to make our nation successful, and often give their lives in its defense. For the U.S.A. to put the interests of other people in front of theirs is a betrayal of this loyalty.
  • Our U.S. government tries to stay out of global issues to prevent terrorists' attacks.
  • Missile defense is a very well-shown example of this system which is strengthened by international cooperation (much like the current U.S. plans to place radar stations in Europe).
  • The U.S. has to focus on its own soil without any foreign affairs. This would certainly demand that it gave up many of its foreign resources and business interests, which would hardly help support the "American Way of Life." The U.S. would really uphold its own principles of freedom and justice if it closed its eyes to ethnic cleansing, war crimes or even another holocaust to bring us down.
  • Despite our success, our nation still has global issues like terrorism.
Pros for political parties
- This gave people an opinion on what they thought about the U.S. government.
- It made the U.S. different and unique from other nations.
- It gave us more standards on how we make decisions; we are loose, not strict.
Cons for political parties
-People, at times, want to revenge and gain more power than others.
- When elected president, you might have a vice president with an opposing party, causing strife.
- Washington thought this was a huge harm to our society.

Imperialism: The policy of extending a nation's power by gaining political and economic control over ether countries.
Revolutionary War Allies: Holland, Spain, France (We won).
War of 1812 Allies: France, Great Britain (No one won).
George Washington suggested that we believe in "neutrality" to prevent our new nation from from liberty and war.

Quote George Washington:
"To steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world." George Washington mentioned in his speech of farewell that One day we would come to play with presidency. He also mentioned that political groups cause lots of political arguments and giving different parties more power therefore he thought political groups where a harm to society.

This is the foreign affairs interview with Harmonie and her dad:

II) John Adams: Aliens-Sedition Act:


Notes / Research:
  • During John Adams’ term as President of the United States, there were many criticisms happening towards the government and especially Federalists.
  • Due to these raging criticisms, four acts known as the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed to decrease immigration and the freedom of speech.

The Naturalization Act- To become a citizen of the United States, you have to have lived in the U.S. for at least fourteen years (previously only five years).

The Alien Act- The President has the power to kick any “dangerous” aliens (foreigners) out of the country.

The Alien Enemy Act- The President can send enemy aliens to jail during any time of war.

The Sedition Act- Anyone who protests or forms a riot against the national government would result in an extreme misdemeanor and will be punished immediately.

Provision of Alien and Sedition Acts - Why did they feel this was necessary?
  • The Federalist-controlled U.S. Congress felt that passing these acts was necessary because with all of the criticisms going on due to the French Revolution, they wanted to limit free speech and alien immigration.

Conflict - How did this issue relate to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
  • Federalists didn't realize that they were violating the first amendment of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution by creating acts that prohibited citizens of the freedom of speech and the freedom of press.

More Research / Notes:
  • Many people protested against these four newly passed acts, which resulted in trials in court for not following the Sedition Act.
  • Finally, between 1800 - 1802, the new Republican-controlled U.S. Congress ended the Alien and Sedition Acts.

How is the Alien and Sedition Act connected with today's society and current issues today? - Explain correlation of past-present with two issues.
  • Today, there are many Americans who are protesting against the national government each and every day. Similarly, citizens formed riots against the government in the late 1700s.
  • Also, many foreigners are illegally crossing the border from Mexico to America without officially applying to be a U.S. resident. Like this modern-day situation, in American history, the government passed laws that allowed the President to kick out or send any foreigners to jail. Even though the Alien and Sedition Acts were already repealed, modern-day society is still biased against foreigners.

  • Naturalization Act: Now, all citizens are assured that they're American with the age requirement for becoming a citizen changing from five years to fourteen years.
  • Alien/Alien Enemy Acts: There will be much less crime in America with these acts since they keep "dangerous" foreigners out of the country and enemy foreigners in jail.
  • Sedition Act: This will keep protests and riots out of the way; the government will no longer be offended by them and the streets will be clear.
  • Naturalization Act: Foreigners are less welcome in the United States; they have to live in the U.S.A. nine more years than before to become a citizen.
  • Alien/Alien Enemy Acts: Since the President is in charge of these acts, some foreigners might be sent to jail or kicked out of America because the President may have biased decisions.
  • Sedition Act: The first amendment in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution give citizens the freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition. The government is violating this amendment by not allowing the people their freedom of speech and press.

III) Thomas Jefferson: Louisiana Territory/Purchase


Question: Why did Jefferson purchase the territory?

Answer: Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana territory because the American farmers needed the land to farm and crop. In 1800, most farmers were settling in the land to the west of the Appalachian Mountains. The farmers wanted the port city, New Orleans. New Orleans is near the mouth of the Mississippi River. They needed to get their crops to the market to earn money. The only way possible was to float the crops down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. In New Orleans, they loaded the crops onto ships bound for Europe or for cities on the East Coast. Jefferson also purchased the Louisiana territory so he could double the size of the nation.

Question: How did Thomas Jefferson justify the purchase?

Answer: Most people thought that the Louisiana was unconstitutional. But Thomas Jefferson believed that the US Constitution didn’t contain any rules against purchasing the territory. So Jefferson justified the purchase by using his presidential privileges to make treaties. He argued that land purchases from foreign countries were similar to treaties, so that makes it constitutional. We bought the the Louisiana Territory from the French Leader, Napoleon Bonaparte for $15 million (2 to 3 cents an acre).

Question: Why might others argue he should not have purchased the territory?

Answer: Most Americans thought the Louisiana Purchase was the greatest land deal in history. But not everybody approved of this purchase. Some people were afraid that the country would be too large to govern. Politicians in the East said that they would lose power. Others thought that $15 million was way too much money to spend.

Pros and Cons of purchasing the territory:

Doubled the country’s size
The territory would be too big to govern
The price was a bargain for 2-3 cents an acre
Politicians in the East thought they would lose power
Farmers could use the free navigation of the Mississippi River
Went against the US Constitution for purchasing foreign territory
After the Louisiana Purchase, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and parts of Minnesota.

IV) James Madison:


  • Madison should have declared war on Britain in the War of 1812. He should have because it showed that America was now a fully independent country and should be thought as one.
  • France’s role in the War of 1812 was that France was the U.S.’s trading partner and Britain found it unfair that the U.S. was getting so much from France.
  • The War of 1812 relates to Napoleon because during the war he was defeated in Europe.
  • There was no winner in the war of 1812 even though both sides claimed victory.
Pros of War of 1812
Cons of War of 1812
- Two new heroes were revealed in the war.
- U. S. was considered an independent country and wanted to be thought of as one.
- Americans won the Battle of New Orleans.
- There were many Native American raids that the British supported on Americans.
- British invaded and burned down several important building including the White House and the Capitol.
- Did not solve any of the problems that lead to war but instead they faded away.

  • William Henry Harrison: In office from March 4, 1841 to April 4, 1841. He represented Ohio. He attended the Presbyterian Hampton-Sydney College for three years and then the Academy of Southampton County for one year. One conflict he faced as president was that he died before he could complete his tasks as president.
  • Andrew Jackson: In office from 1829 to 1837, he was in office for two terms. He represented Tennessee. He attended the Salisbury College. One conflict he faced as president was a severe depression from 1837 to 1844.

V) James Monroe: Monroe Doctrine


In 1828, the Monroe Doctrine was made by our fifth President James Monroe, which stated for European nations to not get involved in political matters in North and South America.

Using information and criteria of the Monroe Doctrine, please identify how that could be used in our society today around the world?

This would benefit our society today because it keeps countries out of our affairs. Also, this would benefit our society because if we did have an affair with another country, we would have disagreements, which could result in war. Therefore, the Monroe Doctrine would prevent worldwide war.

What growing power might want to protect its interests in its geographic area?

Growing powers might want to protect its interests in its geographic area because it shows that we don’t deal with foreign affairs, making our nation very strong and confident. It also gives us respect and peacefulness. It gives us respect because we don’t get involved with affairs, which might result in war, which makes our country peaceful.

Give illustration of where and when this has taken place in the past 50 years that involves the USA:
In the photo: American representative Hillary Clinton with Chinese representatives
In the photo: American representative Hillary Clinton with Chinese representatives

Link to our glog:

Persuasive Essays:
Here is the persuasive essay of the cons of the Alien and Sedition Acts:

Here is the persuasive essay of the cons of the War of 1812:


George Washington
John Adams
History Alive Textbook
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe

Extra Notes: