The Federalist Party, referred to as the Pro-Administration Party
until the 3rd United States Congress, was the first American political
party. It existed from the early 1790s to 1816, though its remnants
lasted into the 1820s.
The Federalists called for a strong national government that promoted
economic growth and fostered friendly relationships with Great Britain
as well as opposition to revolutionary France. The party controlled
the federal government until 1801, when it was overwhelmed by the
Democratic-Republican opposition led by Thomas Jefferson. The
Federalist Party came into being between 1792 and 1794 as a national
coalition of bankers and businessmen in support of Alexander
Hamilton's fiscal policies. These supporters developed into the
organized Federalist Party, which was committed to a fiscally sound
and nationalistic government. The only Federalist President was John
Adams since although
George Washington was broadly sympathetic to the
Federalist program, he remained officially non-partisan during his
Federalist policies called for a national bank, tariffs and good
Great Britain as expressed in the
Jay Treaty negotiated
in 1794. Hamilton developed the concept of implied powers and
successfully argued the adoption of that interpretation of the United
States Constitution. Their political opponents, the
Democratic-Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson, denounced most of the
Federalist policies, especially the bank and implied powers; and
vehemently attacked the
Jay Treaty as a sell-out of republican values
to the British monarchy. The
Jay Treaty passed and the Federalists won
most of the major legislative battles in the 1790s. They held a strong
base in the nation's cities and in New England. After the
Democratic-Republicans, whose base was in the rural South, won the
hard-fought presidential election of 1800, the Federalists never
returned to power. They recovered some strength by their intense
opposition to the War of 1812, but they practically vanished during
Era of Good Feelings
Era of Good Feelings that followed the end of the war in 1815.
The Federalists left a lasting legacy in the form of a strong Federal
government with a sound financial base and after losing executive
power they decisively shaped Supreme Court policy for another three
decades through the person of Chief Justice John Marshall.
1.1 Religious dimension
2 Party strength in Congress
3 Effects of foreign affairs
3.1 Jay Treaty
4 Whiskey Rebellion
5 Newspaper editors at war
5.1 Ceremonies and civil religion
6 Adams Administration: 1797–1801
6.1 Alien and Sedition Acts
7 Election of 1800
8 Federalists in opposition
8.1 Jefferson Administration
8.2 Anti-war party
8.3 Madison Administration
9 Opposition to the War of 1812
12 Electoral history
12.1 Presidential elections
12.2 Congressional election
13 See also
16 External links
On taking office in 1789, President
Washington nominated New York
Alexander Hamilton to the office of Secretary of the Treasury.
Hamilton wanted a strong national government with financial
credibility. Hamilton proposed the ambitious Hamiltonian economic
program that involved assumption of the state debts incurred during
the American Revolution, creating a national debt and the means to pay
it off and setting up a national bank, along with creating tariffs.
James Madison was Hamilton's ally in the fight to ratify the new
Constitution, but he and
Thomas Jefferson opposed Hamilton's programs
by 1791. Political parties had not been anticipated when the
Constitution was drafted in 1787 and ratified in 1788, even though
both Hamilton and Madison played major roles. Parties were considered
to be divisive and harmful to republicanism. No similar parties
existed anywhere in the world.
By 1790, Hamilton started building a nationwide coalition. Realizing
the need for vocal political support in the states, he formed
connections with like-minded nationalists and used his network of
treasury agents to link together friends of the government, especially
merchants and bankers, in the new nation's dozen major cities. His
attempts to manage politics in the national capital to get his plans
through Congress, then, "brought strong" responses across the country.
In the process, what began as a capital faction soon assumed status as
a national faction and then, finally, as the new Federalist party."
Federalist Party supported Hamilton's vision of a strong
centralized government, and agreed with his proposals for a national
bank and heavy government subsidies. In foreign affairs, they
supported neutrality in the war between France and Great Britain.
A portrait of
Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1806
The majority of the Founding Fathers were originally Federalists.
James Madison and many others can all be
considered Federalists. These Federalists felt that the Articles of
Confederation had been too weak to sustain a working government and
had decided that a new form of government was needed. Hamilton was
made Secretary of the Treasury and when he came up with the idea of
funding the debt he created a split in the original Federalist group.
Madison greatly disagreed with Hamilton not just on this issue, but on
many others as well and he and
John J. Beckley created the
Anti-Federalist faction. These men would form the Republican party
under Thomas Jefferson.
By the early 1790s, newspapers started calling Hamilton supporters
"Federalists" and their opponents "Democrats," "Republicans",
"Jeffersonians" or—much later—"Democratic-Republicans".
Jefferson's supporters usually called themselves "Republicans" and
their party the "Republican Party". The
Federalist Party became
popular with businessmen and New Englanders as Republicans were mostly
farmers who opposed a strong central government. Cities were usually
Federalist strongholds whereas frontier regions were heavily
Republican. However, these are generalizations as there are special
cases: the Presbyterians of upland North Carolina, who had immigrated
just before the Revolution and often been Tories, became
Federalists. The Congregationalists of New England and the
Episcopalians in the larger cities supported the Federalists while
other minority denominations tended toward the Republican camp.
Catholics in Maryland were generally Federalists.
The state networks of both parties began to operate in 1794 or 1795.
Patronage now became a factor. The winner-takes-all election system
opened a wide gap between winners, who got all the patronage; and
losers, who got none. Hamilton had many lucrative Treasury jobs to
dispense—there were 1,700 of them by 1801. Jefferson had one
part-time job in the State Department, which he gave to journalist
Philip Freneau to attack the Federalists. In New York, George Clinton
won the election for governor and used the vast state patronage fund
to help the Republican cause.
Washington tried and failed to moderate the feud between his two top
cabinet members. He was re-elected without opposition in 1792. The
Democratic-Republicans nominated New York's Governor Clinton to
John Adams as Vice President, but Adams won. The
balance of power in Congress was close, with some members still
undecided between the parties. In early 1793, Jefferson secretly
prepared resolutions introduced by William Branch Giles, Congressman
from Virginia, designed to repudiate Hamilton and weaken the
Washington Administration. Hamilton defended his administration of
the nation's complicated financial affairs, which none of his critics
could decipher until the arrival in Congress of the Republican Albert
Gallatin in 1793.
Federalists counterattacked by claiming the Hamiltonian program had
restored national prosperity as shown in one 1792 anonymous newspaper
To what physical, moral, or political energy shall this flourishing
state of things be ascribed? There is but one answer to these
inquiries: Public credit is restored and established. The general
government, by uniting and calling into action the pecuniary resources
of the states, has created a new capital stock of several millions of
dollars, which, with that before existing, is directed into every
branch of business, giving life and vigor to industry in its
infinitely diversified operation. The enemies of the general
government, the funding act and the National Bank may bellow tyranny,
aristocracy, and speculators through the Union and repeat the
clamorous din as long as they please; but the actual state of
agriculture and commerce, the peace, the contentment and satisfaction
of the great mass of people, give the lie to their assertions.
Jefferson wrote on February 12, 1798:
Two political Sects have arisen within the U. S. the one believing
that the executive is the branch of our government which the most
needs support; the other that like the analogous branch in the English
Government, it is already too strong for the republican parts of the
Constitution; and therefore in equivocal cases they incline to the
legislative powers: the former of these are called federalists,
sometimes aristocrats or monocrats, and sometimes tories, after the
corresponding sect in the English Government of exactly the same
definition: the latter are stiled republicans, whigs, jacobins,
anarchists, disorganizers, etc. these terms are in familiar use with
In New England, the Federalist party was closely linked to the
Congregational church. When the party collapsed, the church was
disestablished. In 1800 and others elections, the Federalists
targeted infidelity in any form. They repeatedly charged that
Republican candidates, especially Jefferson, were atheistic or
nonreligious. Conversely, the Baptists, Methodists and other
dissenters as well as the religiously nonaligned favored the
Republican cause. Jefferson told the Baptists of Connecticut there
should be a "wall of separation" between church and state.
Party strength in Congress
Many Congressmen were very hard to classify in the first few years,
but after 1796 there was more certainty.
Source: Kenneth C. Martis, The Historical Atlas of Political Parties
in the United States Congress, 1789–1989 (1989). The numbers are
estimates by historians.
The affiliation of many Congressmen in the earliest years is an
assignment by later historians. The parties were slowly coalescing
groups; at first there were many independents. Cunningham noted that
only about a quarter of the House of Representatives up until 1794
voted with Madison as much as two-thirds of the time and another
quarter against him two-thirds of the time, leaving almost half as
Effects of foreign affairs
French Revolution and the subsequent war
between royalist Britain and republican France—decisively shaped
American politics in 1793–1800 and threatened to entangle the nation
in wars that "mortally threatened its very existence". The French
revolutionaries guillotined King Louis XVI in January 1793, leading
the British to declare war to restore the monarchy. The King had been
decisive in helping the United States achieve independence, but now he
was dead and many of the pro-American aristocrats in France were
exiled or executed. Federalists warned that American republicans
threatened to replicate the horrors of the
French Revolution and
successfully mobilized most conservatives and many clergymen. The
Republicans, some of whom had been strong Francophiles, responded with
support even through the Reign of Terror, when thousands were
guillotined, though it was at this point that many began backing away
from their pro-France leanings. Many of those executed had been
friends of the United States, such as the Comte D'Estaing, whose fleet
had fought alongside the Americans in the Revolution (Lafayette had
already fled into exile, and
Thomas Paine went to prison in France).
The Republicans denounced Hamilton, Adams and even
friends of Britain, as secret monarchists and as enemies of the
republican values. The level of rhetoric reached a fever
In 1793, Paris sent a new minister,
Edmond-Charles Genêt (known as
Citizen Genêt), who systematically mobilized pro-French sentiment and
encouraged Americans to support France's war against Britain and
Spain. Genêt funded local
Democratic-Republican Societies that
attacked Federalists. He hoped for a favorable new treaty and for
repayment of the debts owed to France. Acting aggressively, Genêt
outfitted privateers that sailed with American crews under a French
flag and attacked British shipping. He tried to organize expeditions
of Americans to invade Spanish Louisiana and Spanish Florida. When
Secretary of State Jefferson told Genêt he was pushing American
friendship past the limit, Genêt threatened to go over the
government's head and rouse public opinion on behalf of France. Even
Jefferson agreed this was blatant foreign interference in domestic
politics. Genêt's extremism seriously embarrassed the Jeffersonians
and cooled popular support for promoting the
French Revolution and
getting involved in its wars. Recalled to Paris for execution, Genêt
kept his head and instead went to New York, where he became a citizen
and married the daughter of Governor Clinton. Jefferson left
office, ending the coalition cabinet and allowing the Federalists to
Jay Treaty battle in 1794–95 was the effort by Washington,
John Jay to resolve numerous difficulties with Britain.
Some of these issues dated to the Revolution, such as boundaries,
debts owed in each direction and the continued presence of British
forts in the Northwest Territory. In addition, the United States hoped
to open markets in the British Caribbean and end disputes stemming
from the naval war between Britain and France. Most of all the goal
was to avert a war with Britain—a war opposed by the Federalists,
that some historians claim the Jeffersonians wanted.
As a neutral party, the United States argued it had the right to carry
goods anywhere it wanted. The British nevertheless seized American
ships carrying goods from the French West Indies. The Federalists
favored Britain in the war and by far most of America's foreign trade
was with Britain, hence a new treaty was called for. The British
agreed to evacuate the western forts, open their West Indies ports to
American ships, allow small vessels to trade with the French West
Indies and set up a commission that would adjudicate American claims
against Britain for seized ships and British claims against Americans
for debts incurred before 1775. One possible alternative was war with
Britain, a war that the United States was ill-prepared to fight.
The Republicans wanted to pressure Britain to the brink of war (and
assumed that the United States could defeat a weak Britain).
Therefore, they denounced the
Jay Treaty as an insult to American
prestige, a repudiation of the French alliance of 1777 and a severe
shock to Southern planters who owed those old debts and who were never
to collect for the lost slaves the British captured. Republicans
protested against the treaty and organized their supporters. The
Federalists realized they had to mobilize their popular vote, so they
mobilized their newspapers, held rallies, counted votes and especially
relied on the prestige of President Washington. The contest over the
Jay Treaty marked the first flowering of grassroots political activism
in the United States, directed and coordinated by two national
parties. Politics was no longer the domain of politicians as every
voter was called on to participate. The new strategy of appealing
directly to the public worked for the Federalists as public opinion
shifted to support the Jay Treaty. The Federalists controlled the
Senate and they ratified it by exactly the necessary ⅔ vote
(20–10) in 1795. However, the Republicans did not give up and public
opinion swung toward the Republicans after the Treaty fight and in the
South the Federalists lost most of the support they had among
The excise tax of 1791 caused grumbling from the frontier including
threats of tax resistance. Corn, the chief crop on the frontier, was
too bulky to ship over the mountains to market unless it was first
distilled into whiskey. This was profitable as the United States
population consumed per capita relatively large quantities of liquor.
After the excise tax, the backwoodsmen complained the tax fell on them
rather than on the consumers. Cash poor, they were outraged that they
had been singled out to pay off the "financiers and speculators" back
East and to salary the federal revenue officers who began to swarm the
hills looking for illegal stills.
Insurgents in western Pennsylvania shut the courts and hounded federal
officials, but Jeffersonian leader
Albert Gallatin mobilized the
western moderates and thus forestalled a serious outbreak. Washington,
seeing the need to assert federal supremacy, called out 13,000 state
militia and marched toward
Washington, Pennsylvania to suppress this
Whiskey Rebellion. The rebellion evaporated in late 1794 as Washington
approached, personally leading the army (only two sitting Presidents
have directly led American military forces,
Washington during the
Whiskey Rebellion and Madison in an attempt to save the
during the War of 1812). The rebels dispersed and there was no
fighting. Federalists were relieved that the new government proved
capable of overcoming rebellion while Republicans, with Gallatin their
new hero, argued there never was a real rebellion and the whole
episode was manipulated in order to accustom Americans to a standing
Angry petitions flowed in from three dozen Democratic-Republican
Societies created by Citizen Genêt.
Washington attacked the societies
as illegitimate and many disbanded. Federalists now ridiculed
Republicans as "democrats" (meaning in favor of mob rule) or
"Jacobins" (a reference to The Terror in France).
Washington refused to run for a third term, establishing a two-term
precedent that was to stand until 1940 and eventually to be enshrined
in the Constitution as the 22nd Amendment. He warned in his Farewell
Address against involvement in European wars and lamented the rising
North-South sectionalism and party spirit in politics that threatened
The party spirits serves always to distract the Public Councils, and
enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with
ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one
part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It
opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a
facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of
party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are
subjected to the policy and will of another.
Washington never considered himself a member of any party, but broadly
supported most Federalist policies.
Newspaper editors at war
The spoils system helped finance Federalist printers until 1801 and
Republican editors after that. Federalist Postmasters General, Timothy
Pickering (1791–94) and
Joseph Habersham (1795–1801) appointed and
removed local postmasters to maximize party funding. Numerous printers
were appointed as postmasters. They did not deliver the mail, but they
did collect fees from mail users and obtained free delivery of their
own newspapers and business mail.
To strengthen their coalitions and hammer away constantly at the
opposition, both parties sponsored newspapers in the capital
(Philadelphia) and other major cities. On the Republican side,
Philip Freneau and
Benjamin Franklin Bache blasted the administration
with all the scurrility at their command. Bache in particular targeted
Washington himself as the front man for monarchy who must be exposed.
Washington was a cowardly general and a money-hungry baron
who saw the Revolution as a means to advance his fortune and fame;
Adams was a failed diplomat who never forgave the French their love of
Benjamin Franklin and who craved a crown for himself and his
Alexander Hamilton was the most inveterate monarchist
of them all.
The Federalists, with twice as many newspapers at their command,
slashed back with equal vituperation.
John Fenno and "Peter Porcupine"
(William Cobbett) were their nastiest penmen and
Noah Webster their
most learned. Hamilton subsidized the Federalist editors, wrote for
their papers and in 1801 established his own paper, the New York
Evening Post. Though his reputation waned considerably following his
Joseph Dennie ran three of the most popular and influential
newspapers of the period, The Farmer's Weekly Museum, the Gazette of
the United States and The Port Folio.
Ceremonies and civil religion
The Apotheosis of
Washington as seen looking up from the Capitol
rotunda in Washington, D.C.
The Federalists were conscious of the need to boost voter
identification with their party. Elections remained of central
importance, but the rest of the political calendar was filled with
celebrations, parades, festivals and visual sensationalism. The
Federalists employed multiple festivities, exciting parades and even
quasi-religious pilgrimages and "sacred" days that became incorporated
into the American civil religion.
George Washington was always their
hero and after his death he became viewed as a sort of demigod looking
down from heaven to bestow his blessings on the party. At first, the
Federalists focused on commemorating the ratification of the
Constitution and organized parades to demonstrate widespread popular
support for the new Federalist Party. The parade organizers
incorporated secular versions of traditional religious themes and
rituals, thereby fostering a highly visible celebration of the
nation's new civil religion.
The Fourth of July became a semi-sacred day—a status it maintains in
the 21st century. Its celebration in Boston emphasized national over
local patriotism and included orations, dinners, militia musters,
parades, marching bands, floats and fireworks. By 1800, the Fourth of
July was closely identified with the Federalist Party. Republicans
were annoyed and staged their own celebrations on the same day—with
rival parades sometimes clashing with each other, which generated even
more excitement and larger crowds. After the collapse of the
Federalists starting in 1815, the Fourth of July became a nonpartisan
Adams Administration: 1797–1801
Main article: John Adams
President John Adams
Hamilton distrusted Vice President Adams—who felt the same way about
Hamilton—but was unable to block his claims to the succession. The
election of 1796 was the first partisan affair in the nation's history
and one of the more scurrilous in terms of newspaper attacks. Adams
swept New England and Jefferson the South, with the middle states
leaning to Adams. Adams was the winner by a margin of three electoral
votes and Jefferson, as the runner-up, became Vice President under the
system set out in the Constitution prior to the ratification of the
The Federalists were strongest in New England, but also had strengths
in the middle states. They elected Adams as President in 1796, when
they controlled both houses of Congress, the presidency, eight state
legislatures and ten governorships.
Foreign affairs continued to be the central concern of American
politics, for the war raging in Europe threatened to drag in the
United States. The new President was a loner, who made decisions
without consulting Hamilton or other "High Federalists". Benjamin
Franklin once quipped that Adams was a man always honest, often
brilliant and sometimes mad. Adams was popular among the Federalist
rank and file, but had neglected to build state or local political
bases of his own and neglected to take control of his own cabinet. As
a result, his cabinet answered more to Hamilton than to himself.
Hamilton was especially popular because he rebuilt the Army—and had
commissions to give out.
Alien and Sedition Acts
After an American delegation was insulted in Paris in the XYZ affair
(1797), public opinion ran strongly against the French. An undeclared
"Quasi-War" with France from 1798 to 1800 saw each side attacking and
capturing the other's shipping. It was called "quasi" because there
was no declaration of war, but escalation was a serious threat. At the
peak of their popularity, the Federalists took advantage by preparing
for an invasion by the French Army. To silence Administration critics,
the Federalists passed the
Alien and Sedition Acts
Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798. The Alien
Act empowered the President to deport such aliens as he declared to be
dangerous. The Sedition Act made it a crime to print false, scandalous
and malicious criticisms of the federal government, but it
conspicuously failed to criminalize criticism of Vice President Thomas
Several Republican newspaper editors were convicted under the Act and
fined or jailed and three
Democratic-Republican newspapers were shut
down. In response, Jefferson and Madison secretly wrote the
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions passed by the two states'
legislatures that declared the Alien and Sedition Acts
unconstitutional and insisted the states had the power to nullify
Undaunted, the Federalists created a navy, with new frigates; and a
large new army, with
Washington in nominal command and Hamilton in
actual command. To pay for it all, they raised taxes on land, houses
and slaves, leading to serious unrest. In one part of Pennsylvania,
the Fries' Rebellion broke out, with people refusing to pay the new
taxes. John Fries was sentenced to death for treason, but received a
pardon from Adams. In the elections of 1798, the Federalists did very
well, but this issue started hurting the Federalists in 1799. Early in
1799, Adams decided to free himself from Hamilton's overbearing
influence, stunning the country and throwing his party into disarray
by announcing a new peace mission to France. The mission eventually
succeeded, the "Quasi-War" ended and the new army was largely
disbanded. Hamiltonians called Adams a failure while Adams fired
Hamilton's supporters still in the cabinet.
Hamilton and Adams intensely disliked one another and the Federalists
split between supporters of Hamilton ("High Federalists") and
supporters of Adams. Hamilton became embittered over his loss of
political influence and wrote a scathing criticism of Adams'
performance as President in an effort to throw Federalist support to
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Inadvertently, this split the Federalists
and helped give the victory to Jefferson.
Election of 1800
Main article: United States presidential election, 1800
Adams's peace moves proved popular with the Federalist rank and file
and he seemed to stand a good chance of re-election in 1800. If the
Three-Fifths Compromise had not been enacted, he most likely would
have won reelection since many Federalist legislatures removed the
right to select electors from their constituents in fear of a
Democratic victory. Jefferson was again the opponent and Federalists
pulled out all stops in warning that he was a dangerous revolutionary,
hostile to religion, who would weaken the government, damage the
economy and get into war with Britain. Many believed that if Jefferson
won the election, it would be the end of the newly formed United
States. The Republicans crusaded against the Alien and Sedition laws
as well as the new taxes and proved highly effective in mobilizing
The election hinged on New York as its electors were selected by the
legislature and given the balance of North and South, they would
decide the presidential election.
Aaron Burr brilliantly organized his
forces in New York City in the spring elections for the state
legislature. By a few hundred votes, he carried the city—and thus
the state legislature—and guaranteed the election of a Republican
President. As a reward, he was selected by the Republican caucus in
Congress as their vice presidential candidate. Alexander Hamilton,
knowing the election was lost anyway, went public with a sharp attack
on Adams that further divided and weakened the Federalists.
Members of the Republican Party planned to vote evenly for Jefferson
and Burr because they did not want for it to seem as if their party
was divided. The party took the meaning literally and Jefferson and
Burr tied in the election with 73 electoral votes. This sent the
election to the House of Representatives to break the tie. The
Federalists had enough weight in the House to swing the election in
either direction. Many would rather have seen Burr in the office over
Jefferson, but Hamilton, who had a strong dislike of Burr, threw his
political weight behind Jefferson. During the election, neither
Jefferson nor Burr attempted to swing the election in the House of
Representatives. Jefferson remained at Monticello to oversee the
laying of bricks to a section of his home. Jefferson allowed for his
political beliefs and other ideologies to filter out through letters
to his contacts. Thanks to Hamilton's support, Jefferson would win the
election and Burr would become his Vice President. Many Federalists
held to the belief that this was the end of the United States and that
the experiment they had begun had ended in failure. This
unintended complication led directly to the proposal and ratification
of the 12th Amendment. "We are all republicans—we are all
federalists", proclaimed Jefferson in his inaugural address. This
election marked the first time power had been transferred between
opposing political parties, an act that occurred remarkably without
bloodshed. Though there had been strong words and disagreements,
contrary to the Federalists fears, there was no war and no ending of
one government system to let in a new one. His patronage policy was to
let the Federalists disappear through attrition. Those Federalists
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams (John Adams' own son) and
Rufus King willing
to work with him were rewarded with senior diplomatic posts, but there
was no punishment of the opposition.
Federalists in opposition
Fisher Ames (1758–1808) of
Massachusetts ranks as one of the more
influential figures of his era. Ames led Federalist ranks in the
House of Representatives. His acceptance of the Bill of Rights
garnered support in
Massachusetts for the new Constitution. His
greatest fame came as an orator who defined the principles of the
Federalist Party and the follies of the Republicans. Ames offered one
of the first great speeches in American Congressional history when he
spoke in favor of the Jay Treaty. Ames was part of Hamilton's faction
and cautioned against the excesses of democracy unfettered by morals
and reason: "Popular reason does not always know how to act right, nor
does it always act right when it knows". He warned his countrymen
of the dangers of flattering demagogues, who incite dis-union and lead
their country into bondage: "Our country is too big for union, too
sordid for patriotism, too democratic for liberty. What is to become
of it, He who made it best knows. Its vice will govern it, by
practising upon its folly. This is ordained for democracies".
Main article: Thomas Jefferson
President Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson had a very successful first term, typified by the Louisiana
Purchase, which was ironically supported by Hamilton, but opposed by
most Federalists at the time as unconstitutional. Some Federalist
leaders (Essex Junto) began courting Jefferson's Vice President and
Aaron Burr in an attempt to swing New York into an
independent confederation with the New England states, which along
with New York were supposed to secede from the United States after
Burr's election to Governor. However, Hamilton's influence cost Burr
the governorship of New York, a key in the Essex Junto's plan, just as
Hamilton's influence had cost Burr the presidency nearly four years
before. Hamilton's thwarting of Aaron Burr's ambitions for the second
time was too much for Burr to bear. Hamilton had known of the Essex
Junto (whom Hamilton now regarded as apostate Federalists) and Burr's
plans and opposed them vehemently. This opposition by Hamilton would
lead to his fatal duel with Burr in July 1804.
The thoroughly disorganized Federalists hardly offered any opposition
to Jefferson's reelection in 1804 and Federalists seemed doomed.
Jefferson had taken away most of their patronage, including federal
judgeships. The party now controlled only five state legislatures and
seven governorships. After again losing the presidency in 1804, the
party was now down to three legislatures and five governorships (four
in New England). Their majorities in Congress were long gone, dropping
in the Senate from 23 and 1796, 218 and 1800 to only six in 1804.
In New England and in some districts in the middle states, the
Federalists clung to power, but the tendency from 1800 to 1812 was
steady slippage almost everywhere as the Republicans perfected their
organization and the Federalists tried to play catch-up. Some younger
leaders tried to emulate the
Democratic-Republican tactics, but their
overall disdain of democracy along with the upper class bias of the
party leadership eroded public support. In the South, the Federalists
steadily lost ground everywhere.
The Federalists continued for several years to be a major political
party in New England and the Northeast, but never regained control of
the presidency or the Congress. With the death of
Hamilton and the retirement of Adams, the Federalists were left
without a strong leader as Chief Justice
John Marshall stayed out of
politics. However, a few younger leaders did appear, notably Daniel
Webster. Federalist policies favored factories, banking and trade over
agriculture and therefore became unpopular in the growing Western
states. They were increasingly seen as aristocratic and unsympathetic
to democracy. In the South, the party had lingering support in
Maryland, but elsewhere was crippled by 1800 and faded away by
Massachusetts and Connecticut remained the party strongholds.
Historian Richard J. Purcell explains how well organized the party was
It was only necessary to perfect the working methods of the organized
body of office-holders who made up the nucleus of the party. There
were the state officers, the assistants, and a large majority of the
Assembly. In every county there was a sheriff with his deputies. All
of the state, county, and town judges were potential and generally
active workers. Every town had several justices of the peace, school
directors and, in Federalist towns, all the town officers who were
ready to carry on the party's work. Every parish had a "standing
agent," whose anathemas were said to convince at least ten voting
deacons. Militia officers, state's attorneys, lawyers, professors and
schoolteachers were in the van of this "conscript army." In all, about
a thousand or eleven hundred dependent officer-holders were described
as the inner ring which could always be depended upon for their own
and enough more votes within their control to decide an election. This
was the Federalist machine.
After 1800, the major Federalist role came in the judiciary. Although
Jefferson managed to repeal the
Judiciary Act of 1801
Judiciary Act of 1801 and thus
dismissed many lower level Federalist federal judges, the effort to
impeach Supreme Court Justice
Samuel Chase in 1804 failed. Led by the
last great Federalist,
John Marshall as Chief Justice from 1801 to
1835, the Supreme Court carved out a unique and powerful role as the
protector of the Constitution and promoter of nationalism.
As the wars in Europe intensified, the United States became
increasingly involved. The Federalists restored some of their strength
by leading the anti-war opposition to Jefferson and Madison between
1807 and 1814. President Jefferson imposed an embargo on Britain in
1807 as the
Embargo Act of 1807
Embargo Act of 1807 prevented all American ships from
sailing to a foreign port. The idea was that the British were so
dependent on American supplies that they would come to terms. For 15
months, the Embargo wrecked American export businesses, largely based
in the Boston-New York region, causing a sharp depression in the
Northeast. Evasion was common and Jefferson and Treasury Secretary
Gallatin responded with tightened police controls more severe than
anything the Federalists had ever proposed. Public opinion was highly
negative and a surge of support breathed fresh life into the
The Republicans nominated Madison for the presidency in 1808. Meeting
in the first-ever national convention, Federalists considered the
option of nominating Jefferson's Vice President George Clinton as
their own candidate, but balked at working with him and again chose
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, their 1804 candidate. Madison lost New
England excluding Vermont, but swept the rest of the country and
carried a Republican Congress. Madison dropped the Embargo, opened up
trade again and offered a carrot and stick approach. If either France
or Britain agreed to stop their violations of American neutrality, the
United States would cut off trade with the other country. Tricked by
Napoleon into believing France had acceded to his demands, Madison
turned his wrath on Britain and the
War of 1812
War of 1812 began. Young
Daniel Webster, running for Congress from New Hampshire in 1812, first
gained overnight fame with his anti-war speeches.
Main article: James Madison
President James Madison
The nation was at war during the 1812 presidential election and war
was the burning issue. Opposition to the war was strong in traditional
Federalist strongholds in New England and New York, where the party
made a comeback in the elections of 1812 and 1814. In their second
national convention in 1812, the Federalists, now the peace party,
nominated DeWitt Clinton, the dissident Republican Mayor of New York
City and an articulate opponent of the war. Madison ran for reelection
promising a relentless war against Britain and an honorable peace.
Clinton, denouncing Madison's weak leadership and incompetent
preparations for war, could count on New England and New York. To win,
he needed the middle states and there the campaign was fought out.
Those states were competitive and had the best-developed local parties
and most elaborate campaign techniques, including nominating
conventions and formal party platforms. The Tammany Society in New
York City highly favored Madison and the Federalists finally adopted
the club idea in 1808. Their
Washington Benevolent Societies were
semi-secret membership organizations which played a critical role in
every northern state as they held meetings and rallies and mobilized
Federalist votes. New Jersey went for Clinton, but Madison carried
Pennsylvania and thus was reelected with 59% of the electoral votes.
However, the Federalists gained 14 seats in Congress.
Opposition to the War of 1812
War of 1812
War of 1812 went poorly for the Americans for two years. Even
though Britain was concentrating its military efforts on its war with
Napoleon, the United States still failed to make any headway on land
and was effectively blockaded at sea by the Royal Navy. The British
raided and burned
Washington, D.C. in 1814 and sent a force to capture
The war was especially unpopular in New England: the New England
economy was highly dependent on trade and the British blockade
threatened to destroy it entirely. In 1814, the British Navy finally
managed to enforce their blockade on the New England coast, so the
Federalists of New England sent delegates to the Hartford Convention
in December 1814.
During the proceedings of the Hartford Convention, secession from the
Union was discussed, though the resulting report listed a set of
grievances against the
Democratic-Republican federal government and
proposed a set of Constitutional amendments to address these
grievances. They demanded financial assistance from
compensate for lost trade and proposed constitutional amendments
requiring a two-thirds vote in Congress before an embargo could be
imposed, new states admitted, or war declared. It also indicated that
if these proposals were ignored, then another convention should be
called and given "such powers and instructions as the exigency of a
crisis may require". The Federalist
Massachusetts Governor had already
secretly sent word to England to broker a separate peace accord. Three
Massachusetts "ambassadors" were sent to
Washington to negotiate on
the basis of this report.
By the time the Federalist "ambassadors" got to Washington, the war
was over and news of Andrew Jackson's stunning victory in the Battle
of New Orleans had raised American morale immensely. The "ambassadors"
hastened back to Massachusetts, but not before they had done fatal
damage to the Federalist Party. The Federalists were thereafter
associated with the disloyalty and parochialism of the Hartford
Convention and destroyed as a political force. Across the nation,
Republicans used the great victory at New Orleans to ridicule the
Federalists as cowards, defeatists and secessionists. Pamphlets,
songs, newspaper editorials, speeches and entire plays on the Battle
of New Orleans drove home the point.
They fielded their last presidential candidate (Rufus King) in 1816.
With its passing partisan hatreds and newspaper feuds declined and the
nation entered the "Era of Good Feelings". After the dissolution of
the final Federalist congressional caucus in 1825, the last traces of
Federalist activity came in Delaware and
Massachusetts local politics
in the late 1820s, where in 1829 Harrison Gray Otis was elected Mayor
of Boston and became the last major Federalist office holder. As late
as 1828, the party won control of the Delaware state legislature and
as late as 1830 the Federalists controlled the
Intellectually, Federalists were profoundly devoted to liberty. As
Samuel Eliot Morison
Samuel Eliot Morison explained, they believed that liberty is
inseparable from union, that men are essentially unequal, that vox
populi ("voice of the people") is seldom if ever vox Dei ("the voice
of God") and that sinister outside influences are busy undermining
American integrity. Oxford-trained British historian Patrick
Allitt concludes that Federalists promoted many positions that would
form the baseline for later American conservatism, including the rule
of law under the Constitution, republican government, peaceful change
through elections, judicial supremacy, stable national finances,
credible and active diplomacy and protection of wealth.
In terms of "classical conservatism", the Federalists had no truck
with European-style aristocracy, monarchy, or established religion.
John P. Diggins says: "Thanks to the framers, American
conservatism began on a genuinely lofty plane. James Madison,
Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall, John Jay, James Wilson, and, above
John Adams aspired to create a republic in which the values so
precious to conservatives might flourish: harmony, stability, virtue,
reverence, veneration, loyalty, self-discipline, and moderation. This
was classical conservatism in its most authentic expression".
The Federalists were dominated by businessmen and merchants in the
major cities who supported a strong national government. The party was
closely linked to the modernizing, urbanizing, financial policies of
Alexander Hamilton. These policies included the funding of the
national debt and also assumption of state debts incurred during the
Revolutionary War, the incorporation of a national Bank of the United
States, the support of manufactures and industrial development, and
the use of a tariff to fund the Treasury. In foreign affairs, the
Federalists opposed the French Revolution, engaged in the "Quasi War"
(an undeclared naval war) with France in 1798–99, sought good
relations with Britain and sought a strong army and navy.
Ideologically, the controversy between Republicans and Federalists
stemmed from a difference of principle and style. In terms of style,
the Federalists feared mob rule, thought an educated elite should
represent the general populace in national governance and favored
national power over state power. Republicans distrusted Britain,
bankers, merchants and did not want a powerful national government.
The Federalists, notably Hamilton, were distrustful of "the people",
the French and the Republicans. In the end, the nation synthesized
the two positions, adopting representative democracy and a strong
nation state. Just as importantly, American politics by the 1820s
accepted the two-party system whereby rival parties stake their claims
before the electorate and the winner takes control of majorities in
state legislatures and the Congress and gains governorships and the
As time went on, the Federalists lost appeal with the average voter
and were generally not equal to the tasks of party organization, hence
they grew steadily weaker as the political triumphs of the Republican
Party grew. For economic and philosophical reasons, the
Federalists tended to be pro-British—the United States engaged in
more trade with
Great Britain than with any other country—and
vociferously opposed Jefferson's
Embargo Act of 1807
Embargo Act of 1807 and the seemingly
deliberate provocation of war with Britain by the Madison
Administration. During "Mr. Madison's War", as they called it, the
Federalists made a temporary comeback. However, they lost all
their gains and more during the patriotic euphoria that followed the
war. The membership was aging rapidly, but a few young men from
New England did join the cause, most notably Daniel Webster.
After 1816, the Federalists had no national power base apart from John
Marshall's Supreme Court. They had some local support in New England,
New York, eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. After the
collapse of the
Federalist Party in the course of the 1824
presidential election, most surviving Federalists (including Daniel
Webster) joined former Republicans like
Henry Clay to form the
National Republican Party, which was soon combined with other
anti-Jackson groups to form the Whig Party in 1833. By then, nearly
all remaining Federalists joined the Whigs. However, some former
Federalists like James Buchanan,
Louis McLane and Roger B. Taney
became Jacksonian Democrats.
The "Old Republicans", led by John Randolph of Roanoke, refused to
form a coalition with the Federalists and instead set up a separate
opposition since Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin, Monroe, John C. Calhoun
and Clay had in effect adopted Federalist principles of implied powers
to purchase the Louisiana Territory and after the failures and lessons
War of 1812
War of 1812 raised tariffs to protect factories, chartered the
Second national bank, promoted a strong army and navy and promoted
internal improvements. All these measures were opposed to the strict
construction of the Constitution, which was the formal basis of the
Republicans, but the drift of the party to support them could not be
checked. It was aided by the Supreme Court, whose influence under John
Marshall as a nationalizing factor now first became apparent. The
whole change reconciled the federalists to their absorption into the
Republican Party. Indeed, they claimed, with considerable show of
justice, that the absorption was in the other direction: that the
Republicans had recanted and that the "Washington-Monroe policy", as
they termed it after 1820, was all that federalists had ever
The name "Federalist" came increasingly to be used in political
rhetoric as a term of abuse and was denied by the Whigs, who pointed
out that their leader
Henry Clay was the Republican Party leader in
Congress during the 1810s.
The Federalists had a weak base in the South, with their main base in
the Northeast and especially New England. It was the reverse for the
Republicans. As a result, anti-slavery elements were largely based in
the Federalist Party. Several leading Federalists, most notably John
Jay and Alexander Hamilton, were leaders of the anti-slavery movement.
They led the successful battles to abolish the international slave
trade in New York City and the battle to abolish slavery in the state
of New York.
March 4, 1797
March 4, 1801
Outcome of election
132 / 132
71 / 138
Charles C. Pinckney
65 / 138
Charles C. Pinckney
14 / 176
47 / 176
89 / 217
John E. Howard
34 / 217
0 / 232
^ While commonly labeled as the Federalist candidate, Clinton
technically ran as a
Democratic-Republican and was not nominated by
Federalist Party itself, the latter simply deciding not to field a
candidate. This did not prevent endorsements from state Federalist
parties (such as in Pennsylvania), but he received the endorsement
from the New York state Democratic-Republicans as well. The Virginia
Federalist Party rejected the Clinton–Ingersoll ticket and
Rufus King for President and William Richardson
Davie for Vice President—this ticket earned 27% of the state vote
and 2% of the national vote.
^ The Federalist caucus did not even bother to make a formal
nomination, although many Federalists supported Rufus King.
House of Representatives
overall seats won
47 / 105
57 / 106
60 / 106
38 / 106
39 / 142
28 / 142
26 / 142
Joseph Bradley Varnum
48 / 142
36 / 143
68 / 182
64 / 183
40 / 185
26 / 186
32 / 187
overall seats won
20 / 30
21 / 32
22 / 32
17 / 32
9 / 32
7 / 34
6 / 34
8 / 34
7 / 34
8 / 36
11 / 36
13 / 36
Daniel D. Tompkins
9 / 42
4 / 46
5 / 48
Blue light federalists
First Party System
List of political parties in the United States
The Port Folio
^ a b Viereck, Peter (1956, 2006), Conservative Thinkers: From John
Adams to Winston Churchill. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers,
^ "Anti-Federalist vs. Federalist". Diffen.
^ The Federalists were supporters of the Federal Government, so for a
strong central government.
^ a b
John P. Diggins (1994). Up from Communism. Columbia UP.
p. 390. ISBN 9780231084895.
^ Parades and the Politics of the Street: Festive Culture in the Early
American Republic. Simon P. Newman, p. 163.
^ a b Chambers, Political Parties in a New Nation (1963).
^ Wood, Empire of Liberty: A history of the Early Republic,
^ Formisano (2001).
^ Chambers, Parties in a New Nation, pp. 39–40.
^ Miller The
Federalist Era 1789–1801 (1960) pp 210–28.
^ John C. Miller, The
Federalist Era 1789–1801 (1960) pp 84–98
^ After 1793–4, with the Terror in the French Revolution, "Democrat"
became a negative term, until the middle of Madison's presidency; the
Federalists continued to use it to describe their opponents. Robert A.
Dahl, "James Madison: Republican or Democrat?." Perspectives on
Politics 3#3 (2005): 439–448; Dumas Malone, Jefferson, 3:162.
^ Manning J. Dauer, The Adams Federalists, chapter 2.
^ L. Marx Renzulli, Maryland: the Federalist years p 142, 183, 295
^ Leonard D. White, The Federalists. A Study in Administrative History
(1948) p 123.
^ a b Miller, The
Federalist Era 1789–1801 (1960).
^ Eugene R. Sheridan, "
Thomas Jefferson and the Giles Resolutions,"
William and Mary Quarterly 49#4 (1992), pp. 589–608 in JSTOR
^ The Gazette of United States, September 5, 1792, in Charles A.
Beard, Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy. (1915) p. 231.
^ letter to John Wise in Francis N. Thorpe, ed "A Letter from
Jefferson on the Political Parties, 1798," American Historical Review
v.3#3 (April 1898) pp 488–89 in JSTOR
^ Kelly Olds, "Privatizing the church: disestablishment in Connecticut
and Massachusetts." Journal of Political Economy (1994): 277–297. in
^ Amanda Porterfield, Conceived in Doubt: Religion and Politics in the
New American Nation (2012)
^ Jonathan J. Den Hartog, Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics
and Religious Struggle in the New American Nation (2015).
^ Constance B. Schulz, "'Of Bigotry in Politics and Religion':
Jefferson's Religion, the Federalist Press, and the Syllabus." The
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 91#1 (1983): 73–91. in
^ Cunningham (1957), 82.
^ Elkins and McKitrick, ch 8; Sharp (1993) p. 70 for quote
^ Elkins and McKitrick pp. 314–16 on Jefferson's favorable
^ Marshall Smelser, "The Federalist Period as an Age of Passion,"
American Quarterly 10 (Winter 1958), 391–459.
^ Smelser, "The Jacobin Phrenzy: Federalism and the Menace of Liberty,
Equality and Fraternity," Review of Politics 13 (1951) 457–82.
^ Elkins and McKitrick, Age of Federalism, pp 451–61
^ Eugene R. Sheridan, "The Recall of Edmond Charles Genet: A Study in
Transatlantic Politics and Diplomacy". Diplomatic History 18#4 (1994),
^ Elkins and McKitrick, pp. 330–65.
^ Elkins and McKitrick, pp. 375–406.
^ Elkins and McKitrick, pp. 406–50.
^ Miller (1960) p. 149.
^ Todd Estes, "Shaping the politics of public opinion: Federalists and
Jay Treaty debate." Journal of the Early Republic 20.3 (2000):
393–422. in JSTOR
^ Sharp 113–37.
^ Miller (1960) pp. 155–62
^ "History of the Federal Judiciary".
^ Carl E. Prince, "The
Federalist Party and Creation of a Court Press,
1789–1801." Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 53#2 (1976):
^ Si Sheppard, The Partisan Press: A History of Media Bias in the
United States (2007).
^ Jeffrey L. Pasley. "The Tyranny of Printers": Newspaper Politics in
the Early Republic (2001)
^ Donald H. Stewart, The Opposition Press of the Federalist Period
^ Lora, Ronald (1999). The Conservative Press in Eighteenth-and
Nineteenth-century America. Greenwood Publishing Group.
pp. 103–111. ISBN 0-313-31043-2.
^ David Waldstreicher, In the midst of perpetual fetes: The making of
American nationalism, 1776–1820 (1997).
^ Jürgen Heideking, "The federal processions of 1788 and the origins
of American civil religion." Soundings (1994): 367–387. in JSTOR
^ Len Travers, "Hurrah for the Fourth: Patriotism, Politics, and
Independence Day in Federalist Boston, 1783–1818." Essex Institute
Historical Collections 125: 129–161.
^ Kevin Coe, et al. The Rhetoric of American Civil Religion: Symbols,
Sinners, and Saints (Lexington Books, 2016).
^ Bernard A. Weisberger, America afire: Jefferson, Adams, and the
first contested election (Perennial, 2001).
^ Philip J. Lampi, "The
Federalist Party Resurgence, 1808–1816:
Evidence from the New Nation Votes Database." Journal of the Early
Republic 33.2 (2013): 255–281.
^ Richard H. Kohn, Eagle and sword: The Federalists and the creation
of the military establishment in America, 1783–1802 (1975).
^ James Morton Smith, "President John Adams, Thomas Cooper, and
Sedition: A Case Study in Suppression" Mississippi Valley Historical
Review (1955) 42#3 pp. 438–465 in JSTOR.
^ Marc A. Franklin, David A. Anderson, & Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky,
Mass Media Law (7th ed. 2005).
^ a b Manning Dauer, The Adams Federalists (Johns Hopkins UP, 1953).
^ Brian Phillips Murphy, "' A Very Convenient Instrument': The
Manhattan Company, Aaron Burr, and the Election of 1800." William and
Mary Quarterly 65.2 (2008): 233–266.
^ Miller, John C. "The
Federalist Era 1789–1801" (1960)
^ "Thomas Jefferson: First Inaugural Address. U.S. Inaugural
^ Susan Dunn, Jefferson's second revolution: The Election Crisis of
1800 and the Triumph of Republicanism (2004)
^ Elisha P. Douglass, "Fisher Ames, Spokesman for New England
Federalism." Proceedings of the
American Philosophical Society
American Philosophical Society 103.5
(1959): 693–715. in JSTOR
^ Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot (2001). p.
^ Fisher Ames, letter of October 26, 1803, Works, p. 483. As cited in
Kirk, The Conservative Mind p. 83.
^ David H. Fischer, "The Myth of the Essex Junto." William and Mary
Quarterly (1964): 191–235.
^ Lampi, "The
Federalist Party Resurgence," p 259
^ Google Books.
^ Richard J. Purcell, Connecticut in Transition: 1775–1818 1963. p.
^ Jerry W. Knudson, "The Jeffersonian Assault on the Federalist
Judiciary, 1802–1805; Political Forces and Press Reaction." American
Journal of Legal History 14.1 (1970): 55–75. in JSTOR
^ Lampi, "The
Federalist Party Resurgence,"
^ James M. Banner, To the Hartford Convention: The Federalists and the
origins of party politics in Massachusetts, 1789–1815 (1970).
^ Kenneth E. Shewmaker, '"This Unblessed War': Daniel Webster's
Opposition to the War of 1812" Historical New Hampshire 53#1 (1998) pp
^ William Alexander Robinson, "The
Washington Benevolent Society in
New England: a phase of politics during the War of 1812", Proceedings
Massachusetts Historical Society (1916) vol 49 pp 274ff.
^ Joseph F. Stoltz, "'It Taught our Enemies a Lesson:' The Battle of
New Orleans and the Republican Destruction of the Federalist Party."
Tennessee Historical Quarterly 71#2 (2012): 112–127. in JSTOR
^ Samuel Eliot Morison, Harrison Gray Otis, 1765–1848: the urbane
Federalist (2nd ed. 1969) pages x–xi
^ Patrick Allitt, The Conservatives (2009) p 26
^ Chernow (2004)
^ Shaw Livermore, Jr., The Twilight of Federalism: The Disintegration
Federalist Party 1815–1830 (1962)
^ Robert Vincent Remini (1997). Daniel Webster: The Man and His Time.
W. W. Norton. pp. 94–95. ISBN 9780393045529.
^ James H. Broussard (1978). The Southern Federalists: 1800–1816.
LSU Press. p. 274. ISBN 9780807125205.
^ Lynn Parsons (2009). The Birth of Modern Politics : Andrew
Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828: Andrew Jackson,
John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828. Oxford University Press.
p. 164. ISBN 9780199718504.
^ John Joseph Lalor. Cyclopedia of Political Science, Political
Economy, and the Political History of the United States (1881).
^ Hans Sperber and Travis Trittschuh. American Political Terms: An
Historical Dictionary (1962). p. 150.
^ Paul Finkelman,"Federalist Party" in Robert A. Rutland, ed. James
Madison and the American Nation 1751-1836: An Encyclopedia (1994) pp
Ben-Atar, Doron S., and Liz B. MacMillan, eds. Federalists
Banner, James M. (1970). To the Hartford Convention: The Federalists
and the Origins of Party Politics in Massachusetts, 1789–1815.
Beeman, Richard R. (1972). The Old Dominion and the New Nation,
Broussard, James H. (1978). The Southern Federalists:
Buel, Richard, Jr. (1972). Securing the Revolution: Ideology in
American Politics, 1789–1815. Cornell University Press.
Chambers, William Nisbet. Political Parties in a New Nation: The
American Experience, 1776–1809 (1963).
William Chambers, ed., ed. (1972). The First Party System: Federalists
and Republicans. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
ISBN 0-471-14340-5. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list
Chernow, Ron (2004). Alexander Hamilton. Penguin Books.
Chernow, Ron. Washington: A Life (2010).
Cunningham, Noble E., Jr. (1965). The Making of the American Party
System 1789 to 1809.
Elkins, Stanley and Eric McKitrick. The Age of Federalism - The Early
American Republic, 1788 - 1800 (1990). A major scholarly survey;
Ferling, John. John Adams: A Life (1992).
Fischer, David Hackett (1965). The Revolution of American
Federalist Party in the Era of Jeffersonian
Formisano, Ronald (1983). The Transformation of Political Culture:
Massachusetts Parties, 1790s–1840s.
Formisano, Ronald P. "State Development in the Early Republic", in
Boyd Shafer and Anthony Badger, eds. Contesting Democracy: Substance
and Structure in American Political History, 1775–2000, (2001) pp.
Fox, Dixon Ryan (1919). The Decline of Aristocracy in the Politics of
New York, 1801–1840. Longmans, Green & Co., agents. ASIN
Hartog, Jonathan J. Den. Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics and
Religious Struggle in the New American Nation (University of Virginia
Press; 2015) 280 pages.
Hickey, Donald R. "
Federalist Party Unity and the War of 1812".
Journal of American Studies (1978) 12#1 pp. 23–39.
vol 4 of Richard Hildreth, History of the United States (1851)
Humphrey, Carol Sue (1996). The Press of the Young Republic,
Jensen, Richard. "Federalist Party," in Encyclopedia of Third Parties
(M E Sharpe, 2000).
Knudson, Jerry W. Jefferson and the Press: Crucible of Liberty (2006)
how 4 Republican and 4 Federalist newspapers covered election of 1800;
Thomas Paine; Louisiana Purchase; Hamilton-Burr duel; impeachment of
Chase; and the embargo.
Lampi, Philip J. "The
Federalist Party Resurgence, 1808–1816:
Evidence from the New Nation Votes Database". Journal of the Early
Republic 33#2 (2013). pp. 255–281. online.
McCormick, Richard P. (1966). The Second Party System: Party Formation
in the Jacksonian Era. details the collapse state by state.
McCullough, David (2002). John Adams. Simon and Schuster.
McDonald, Forrest (1974). The Presidency of George Washington.
University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0110-4.
Mason, Matthew, "Federalists, Abolitionists, and the Problem of
Influence", American Nineteenth Century History 10 (March 2009), pp.
Miller, John C. (1960). The Federalist Era: 1789–1801. Harper.
ISBN 1-57766-031-5. scholarly online free.
Mitchell, Broadus (1962). Alexander Hamilton: The National Adventure,
Morison, Samuel Eliot. Harrison Gray Otis, 1765–1848: The Urbane
Jeffrey L. Pasley, et al. eds., ed. (2004). Beyond the Founders: New
Approaches to the Political History of the Early American
Republic. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
Norman Risjord, ed., ed. (1969). The Early American Party System.
Harper & Row. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
Risjord, Norman K. "The Virginia Federalists", Journal of Southern
History Vol. 33, No. 4 (November 1967), pp. 486–517 in JSTOR.
Sharp, James Rogers (1993). American Politics in the Early Republic:
The New Nation in Crisis. Yale University Press. , detailed
political history of 1790s.
Sheehan, Colleen. "Madison v. Hamilton: The Battle Over Republicanism
and the Role of Public Opinion" American Political Science Review 2004
98(3): 405–424. in JSTOR.
Siemers, David J. Ratifying the Republic: Antifederalists and
Federalists in Constitutional Time (2002).
Smelser, Marshall (1968). The Democratic Republic 1801–1815.
Theriault, Sean M. "Party Politics during the Louisiana Purchase",
Social Science History 2006 30(2) pp. 293–324;
Tinkcom, Harry M. (1950). The Republicans and Federalists in
Viereck, Peter (1956, 2006) Conservative Thinkers from
John Adams to
Winston Churchill. New Brunswick, NJ. Transaction Publishers.
Waldstreicher, David. "The Nationalization and Racialization of
American Politics: 1790–1840", in Boyd Shafer and Anthony Badger,
eds. Contesting Democracy: Substance and Structure in American
Political History, 1775–2000, (2001) pp. 37–83.
Wood, Gordon S. Empire of Liberty: A history of the Early Republic,
Media related to
Federalist Party (United States) at Wikimedia
A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825
National political parties in the United States
List of political parties in the United States
African People's Socialist
All-African People's Revolutionary
American Party of Labor
Black Riders Liberation
Freedom Road Socialist
Legal Marijuana Now
National Socialist Movement
Peace and Freedom
Socialism and Liberation
American (Know Nothing)
National States' Rights
National Union (1864)
States Rights (Dixiecrat)
1 Recognized as a major national party by the FEC
2 Not recognized as a major national party by the FEC
State and local political parties (without national body)
Presidential nominating conventions
Politics of the United States
Senior Officer of the United States Army, 1799–1800
1st Secretary of the Treasury, 1789–1795
Delegate, Congress of the Confederation, 1782–1783, 1788–1789
A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress (1774)
The Farmer Refuted (1775)
Delegate, 1786 Annapolis Convention
Delegate, 1787 Constitutional Convention
Initiated, main author, The Federalist Papers
written by Hamilton
First Bank of the United States
Revenue Marine (United States Coast Guard)
United States Customs Service
Hamiltonian economic program
Compromise of 1790
"First Report on the Public Credit", 1790
Funding Act of 1790
"Operations of the Act Laying Duties on Imports", 1790
"Second Report on Public Credit", a.k.a. "Report on a National Bank",
"Report On Manufactures", 1791
Tariff of 1790
Tariff of 1792
Coinage Act of 1792
United States Mint
New York Provincial Company of Artillery
In the Revolutionary War
Battles: Harlem Heights
General Washington's Aide-de-Camp
Siege of Yorktown
Founder, Federalist Party
Founder, Bank of New York
Bank of North America
Advisor, George Washington's Farewell Address
President-General of the Society of the Cincinnati
Founder, New-York Evening Post
Hamilton–Reynolds sex scandal
Rutgers v. Waddington
Relationship with slavery
Alexander Hamilton (Fraser statue)
Alexander Hamilton (Ceracchi bust)
Alexander Hamilton (Conrads statue)
Alexander Hamilton (Trumbull portrait)
Alexander Hamilton Bridge
Alexander Hamilton High School (Los Angeles)
Hamilton Grange National Memorial
Hamilton Hall (Columbia University)
Hamilton Hall (Salem, Massachusetts)
Hamilton Heights, Manhattan
Trinity Church Cemetery
United States ten-dollar bill
Hamilton (2015 musical)
Hamilton (1917 play)
Alexander Hamilton (1931 film)
Liberty! (1997 documentary series)
Liberty's Kids (2002 animated series)
John Adams (2008 miniseries)
Age of Enlightenment
American Philosophical Society
Liberty Hall (New Jersey)
New York Manumission Society
African Free School
"American System" economic plan
Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton
Philip Hamilton (oldest son)
Angelica Hamilton (daughter)
Alexander Hamilton Jr. (son)
Alexander Hamilton (son)
John Church Hamilton
John Church Hamilton (son)
William S. Hamilton (son)
Eliza Hamilton Holly
Eliza Hamilton Holly (daughter)
Philip Hamilton (youngest son)
Schuyler Hamilton (grandson)
Alexander Hamilton Jr. (grandson)
Allan McLane Hamilton
Allan McLane Hamilton (grandson)
Robert Ray Hamilton (great-grandson)
2nd President of the United States, 1797–1801
1st Vice President of the United States, 1789–1797
U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, 1785–1788
U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, 1782–1788
Delegate, Second Continental Congress, 1775–1778
Delegate, First Continental Congress, 1774
Founding of the
Braintree Instructions (1765)
Boston Massacre defense
Novanglus; A History of the Dispute with America, From Its Origin in
1754 to the Present Time (1775)
Thoughts on Government
Thoughts on Government (1776)
Declaration of Independence
May 15 preamble
Committee of Five
Treaty of Amity and Commerce
Treaty of Alliance
Board of War
Chairman of the Marine Committee, 1775-1779
Staten Island Peace Conference
Treaty of Paris, 1783
Quasi War with France
Commerce Protection Act
United States Marine Corps
Convention of 1800
Alien and Sedition Acts
Naturalization Act of 1798
Navy Department Library
Treaty of Tellico
Treaty of Tripoli
Midnight Judges Act
Marbury v. Madison
State of the Union Address (1797
Federal judiciary appointments
Massachusetts Historical Society holdings
Adams Papers Editorial Project
Early life and education
Adams National Historical Park
John Adams Birthplace
Family home and
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams birthplace
Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University
Presidents House, Philadelphia
Co-founder and second president, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
United First Parish Church and gravesite
United States presidential election 1788–1789
Adams House at Harvard University
John Adams Building
U.S. Postage stamps
Profiles in Courage (1964 series)
American Primitive (1969 play)
1776 (1969 musical
The Adams Chronicles (1976 miniseries)
Liberty! (1997 documentary series)
Liberty's Kids (2002 animated series)
John Adams (2001 book
Sons of Liberty (2015 miniseries)
"Adams and Liberty" campaign song
Adams' personal library
First Party System
American Philosophical Society
Gazette of the United States
The American Museum
Abigail Adams Smith (daughter)
John Quincy Adams
Charles Adams (son)
Thomas Boylston Adams (son)
George W. Adams (grandson)
Charles Adams Sr. (grandson)
John Adams II (grandson)
John Q. Adams (great-grandson)
Henry Adams (great-grandson)
Brooks Adams (great-grandson)
John Adams Sr. (father)
Susanna Boylston (mother)
Elihu Adams (brother)
Samuel Adams (second cousin)
← George Washington
Thomas Jefferson →