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The Brief American Pageant , Sixth Edition
David M. Kennedy, Stanford University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
Thomas A. Bailey
Mel Piehl, Valparaiso University
Suggested Lecture Topics
Chapter 10
Developing The Chapter: Suggested Lecture Or Discussion Topics


  • Elaborate on the reasons for skepticism about the new government, particularly the view that factionalism would eventually destroy a republican government that extended over such a large territory. Show how Washington deliberately acted to assert the durability of the new regime.

    REFERENCE: Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800 (1993).

  • Explain why the French Revolution was such a dangerously divisive world event, even in America. Point out that part of the disagreement in America was over whether the French were only carrying out the principles of the American Revolution or whether they were advocating a more radical doctrine of class conflict.

    REFERENCE: Daniel Lang, Foreign Policy in the Early Republic (1985).

  • Show how the Federalist-Republican conflict over foreign policy embittered domestic politics, since it raised charges of "disloyalty" on both sides. The GenÍt affair, Jay's Treaty, the quasi-war with France, and the Alien and Sedition Acts might all be viewed in this light.

    REFERENCE: Leonard Levy, Legacy of Suppression (1960).

  • Consider the Adams-Jefferson contest of 1796 in relation to both foreign and domestic-policy disagreements. The focus might be on how, despite the depth of the conflict over issues, the Federalists and Republicans finally kept their contest within the bounds of peaceful electoral politics and the shared value of republicanism.

    REFERENCE: Lance Banning, ed., After the Constitution: Party Conflict in the New Republic (1989).



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