The Democratic-Republican Party was an American political party formed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison around 1792 to oppose the centralizing policies of the new Federalist Party run by Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury and chief architect of George Washington's administration. From 1801 to 1825, the new party controlled the presidency and Congress as well as most states during the First Party System, it began in 1791 as one faction in Congress and included many politicians, opposed to the new constitution. They called themselves Republicans after republicanism, they distrusted the Federalist tendency to centralize and loosely interpret the Constitution, believing these policies were signs of monarchism and anti-republican values. The party splintered in 1824, with the faction loyal to Andrew Jackson coalescing into the Jacksonian movement, the faction led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay forming the National Republican Party and some other groups going on to form the Anti-Masonic Party.
The National Republicans, Anti-Masons, other opponents of Andrew Jackson formed themselves into the Whig Party. During the time that this party existed, it was referred to as the Republican Party. To distinguish it from the modern Republican Party, political scientists and pundits refer to this party as the Democratic-Republican Party or the Jeffersonian Republican Party; when the modern Republican Party was founded in 1854, it deliberately chose to name itself after the Jeffersonians. In response, contemporary Democrats embraced the name Democratic-Republican to reinforce their party's claim to the party's pre-Jacksonian history. Modern Democratic politicians continue to claim Jefferson as their founder; the party arose from the Anti-Administration faction which met secretly in the national capital to oppose Alexander Hamilton's financial programs. Jefferson denounced the programs as leading to subversive of republicanism. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to challenge the Federalists, which Hamilton was building up with allies in major cities.
Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794–1795 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with the United Kingdom, at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its Revolution while the United Kingdom represented the hated monarchy; the party denounced many of Hamilton's measures as unconstitutional the national bank. The party was weakest in the Northeast, it demanded states' rights as expressed by the "Principles of 1798" articulated in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions that would allow states to nullify a federal law. Above all, the party stood for the primacy of the yeoman farmers. Republicans were committed to the principles of republicanism, which they feared were threatened by the supposed monarchical tendencies of the Hamiltonian Federalists; the party came to power in 1801 with the election of Jefferson in the 1800 presidential election. The Federalists—too elitist to appeal to most people—faded away and collapsed after 1815. Despite internal divisions, the Republicans dominated the First Party System until partisanship itself withered away during the Era of Good Feelings after 1816.
The party selected its presidential candidates in a caucus of members of Congress. They included James Madison and James Monroe. By 1824, the caucus system had collapsed. After 1800, the party dominated most state governments outside New England. By 1824, the party was split four ways and lacked a center as the First Party System collapsed; the emergence of the Second Party System in the 1820s and 30s realigned the old factions. One remnant followed Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren into the new Democratic Party by 1828. Another remnant, led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, formed the National Republican Party in 1824 while some remaining smaller factions formed the Anti-Masonic Party, which along with some National Republican groups developed into the Whig Party by 1836. Most remaining National Republicans would soon after go on to be a part of the Free Soil and modern Republican parties in the 1840s and 1850s. Congressman James Madison started the party among Representatives in Philadelphia as the "Republican Party".
He, Jefferson and others reached out to include state and local leaders around the country New York and the South. The precise date of founding is disputed, but 1791 is a reasonable estimate and some time by 1792 is certain; the new party set up newspapers that made withering critiques of Hamiltonianism, extolled the yeoman farmer, argued for strict construction of the Constitution, favored the French Revolution opposed the United Kingdom and called for stronger state governments than the Federalist Party was proposing. The elections of 1792 were the first ones to be contested on anything resembling a partisan basis. In most states, the congressional elections were recognized—as Jefferson strategist John Beckley put it—as a "struggle between the Treasury department and the republican interest". In New York, the candidates for governor were a Federalist. Four states' electors voted for Clinton and one for Jefferson for Vice President in opposition to incumbent John Adams as well as casting their votes for President Washington.
Before 1804, electors cast two votes together wi
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators and members of the party leadership of the United States Senate. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for the political parties holding the majority and the minority in the United States Senate, manage and schedule the legislative and executive business of the Senate, they are elected to their positions in the Senate by the party caucuses: the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Senate Republican Conference. By rule, the Presiding Officer gives the Majority Leader priority in obtaining recognition to speak on the floor of the Senate; the Majority Leader customarily serves as the chief representative of their party in the Senate, sometimes in all of Congress if the House of Representatives and thus the office of Speaker of the House is controlled by the opposition party. The Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate are the second-ranking members of each party's leadership; the main function of the Majority and Minority Whips is to gather votes on major issues.
Because they are the second ranking members of the Senate, if there is no floor leader present, the whip may become acting floor leader. Before 1969, the official titles were Minority Whip; the Senate is composed of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, 2 independents, both of whom caucus with the Democrats. The current leaders are Chuck Schumer from New York; the current Assistant Leaders/Whips are Senators John Thune from South Dakota and Dick Durbin from Illinois. Democrats began the practice of electing floor leaders in 1920. John W. Kern was a Democratic Senator from Indiana. While the title was not official, he is considered to be the first Senate party leader from 1913 through 1917, while serving concurrently as Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. In 1925 the majority Republicans adopted this language when Charles Curtis became the first Majority Leader, although his immediate predecessor Henry Cabot Lodge is considered the first Senate Majority Leader; the Constitution designates the Vice President of the United States as President of the United States Senate.
The Constitution calls for a President pro tempore to serve as the leader of the body when the President of the Senate is absent. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore—customarily the most senior Senator in the majority party—actually presides over the Senate on a daily basis. Since the Vice President may be of a different party than the majority and is not a member subject to discipline, the rules of procedure of the Senate give the presiding officer little power and none beyond the presiding role. For these reasons, it is the Majority Leader; this is in contrast to the House of Representatives where the elected Speaker of the House has a great deal of discretionary power and presides over votes on bills. The Democratic Party first selected a leader in 1920; the Republican Party first formally designated a leader in 1925. Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives President pro tempore of the United States Senate Vice President of the United States Party divisions of United States Congresses List of political parties in the United States Women in the United States Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and Party Whips, via Senate.gov Republican Majority Democratic Minority
Treaty of Tripoli
The Treaty of Tripoli, signed in 1796, was the first treaty between the United States of America and Tripoli to secure commercial shipping rights and protect American ships in the Mediterranean Sea from local Barbary pirates. It was signed in Tripoli on November 4, 1796, at Algiers on January 3, 1797, it was ratified by the United States Senate unanimously without debate on June 7, 1797, taking effect June 10, 1797, with the signature of President John Adams. The Treaty is cited, in discussions regarding the role of religion in United States government, for a clause in Article 11 of the English language American version which states that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." A superseding treaty, the Treaty of Peace and Amity signed on July 4, 1805, omitted this phrase. For three centuries up to the time of the Treaty, the Mediterranean Sea lanes had been preyed on by the North African Muslim states of the Barbary Coast through privateering.
Hostages captured by the Barbary pirates were either ransomed or forced into slavery, contributing to the greater Ottoman slave trade. Life for the captives was harsh for Christian captives, many died from their treatment; some captives "went Turk", that is, converted to Islam, a choice that made life in captivity easier for them. Before the American Revolution, the British colonies in North America were protected from the Barbary pirates by British warships of the Royal Navy and treaties. During the Revolution, the Kingdom of France formed an alliance with the former British colonies in 1778, now the proclaimed independent "United States of America" and assumed the responsibility of providing protection of U. S. merchant ships in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic Ocean against the Barbary pirates by the French Navy. After the Revolutionary War ended and the new U. S. A. won its independence with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, it had to face the threat of the Barbary pirates on its own.
Two American ships were captured by Algerian pirates in July 1785 and the survivors forced into slavery, their ransom set at $60,000. A rumor that Benjamin Franklin, en route from France to Philadelphia about that time, had been captured by Barbary pirates, caused considerable upset in the U. S. With the disbanding of the former Continental Navy and the selling of its last warship by the Confederation Congress in 1785, now without a standing navy, much less a navy capable of projecting force across an ocean, the U. S. was forced to pay tribute monies and goods to the Barbary nations for the security of its ships and the freedom of its captured citizens. As Lieutenant and consul William Eaton informed newly appointed Secretary of State John Marshall in 1800, "It is a maxim of the Barbary States, that'The Christians who would be on good terms with them must fight well or pay well.'"Soon after the formation of the United States, privateering in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic Ocean from the nations of the Barbary Coast prompted the U.
S. to initiate a series of so-called peace treaties, collectively known as the Barbary Treaties. Individual treaties were negotiated with Morocco, Algiers and Tunis, all of them more than once; the United States consul-general to the Barbary states of Algiers and Tunis was Joel Barlow, who dealt with the text of various treaties and supported U. S. diplomatic efforts on the Barbary Coast. Commissioner Plenipotentiary of the United States, David Humphreys, was given the right to establish a treaty with Tripoli and assigned Joel Barlow and Joseph Donaldson to broker it, it was Joel Barlow who certified the signatures on the Arabic original and the English copy provided to him. Captain Richard O'Brien, USN established the original transport of the negotiated goods along with the Treaty, but it was the American Consul James Leander Cathcart who delivered the final requirements of payment for the treaty; the first U. S. President, George Washington, appointed his old colleague David Humphreys as Commissioner Plenipotentiary on March 30, 1795, in order to negotiate a treaty with the Barbary powers.
On February 10, 1796, Humphreys appointed Joel Barlow and Joseph Donaldson as "Junior Agents" to forge a "Treaty of Peace and Friendship". Under Humphreys' authority, the treaty was signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796, certified at Algiers on January 3, 1797. Humphreys reviewed the treaty and approved it in Lisbon on February 10, 1797; the official treaty was in Arabic text, a translated version by Consul-General Barlow was ratified by the United States on June 10, 1797. Article 11 of the treaty was said to have not been part of the original Arabic version of the treaty. However, it is the English text, ratified by Congress. Miller says, "the Barlow translation is that, submitted to the Senate and, printed in the Statutes at Large and in treaty collections generally; the Treaty had spent seven months traveling from Tripoli to Algiers to Portugal and westward across the North Atlantic Ocean, to the United States, had been signed by officials at each stop along the way. There is no record of discussion or debate of the Treaty of Tripoli at th
Alien and Sedition Acts
The Alien and Sedition Acts were four laws passed by the Federalist-dominated 5th United States Congress and signed into law by President John Adams in 1798. They made it harder for an immigrant to become a citizen, allowed the president to imprison and deport non-citizens who were deemed dangerous or who were from a hostile nation, criminalized making false statements that were critical of the federal government; the Federalists argued that the bills strengthened national security during the Quasi-War, an undeclared naval war with France from 1798 to 1800. Critics argued that they were an attempt to suppress voters who disagreed with the Federalist party and its teachings, violated the right of freedom of speech in the First Amendment; the Naturalization Act increased the residency requirement for American citizenship from five to fourteen years. At the time, the majority of immigrants supported Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans, the political opponents of the Federalists; the Alien Friends Act allowed the president to imprison or deport aliens considered "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States" at any time, while the Alien Enemies Act authorized the president to do the same to any male citizen of a hostile nation above the age of fourteen during times of war.
Lastly, the controversial Sedition Act restricted speech, critical of the federal government. Under the Sedition Act, the Federalists allowed people who were accused of violating the sedition laws to use truth as a defense; the Sedition Act resulted in the prosecution and conviction of many Jeffersonian newspaper owners who disagreed with the government. The acts were denounced by Democratic-Republicans and helped them to victory in the 1800 election, when Thomas Jefferson defeated the incumbent, President Adams; the Sedition Act and the Alien Friends Act were allowed to expire in 1801, respectively. The Alien Enemies Act, remains in effect as Chapter 3, it was used by the government to identify and imprison dangerous enemy aliens from Germany and Italy in World War II. After the war they were deported to their home countries. In 1948 the Supreme Court determined that presidential powers under the acts continued after cessation of hostilities until there was a peace treaty with the hostile nation.
The revised Alien Enemies Act remains in effect today. Opposition to the Federalists, spurred by Democratic-Republicans, reached new heights with the Democratic-Republicans' support of France, still in the midst of the French Revolution; some appeared to desire in the United States an event similar to the French Revolution, in order to overthrow the government. When Democratic-Republicans in some states refused to enforce federal laws such as the 1791 whiskey tax, the first tax levied by the national government, threatened to rebel, Federalists warned that they would send in the army to force them to capitulate; as the unrest sweeping Europe spread to the United States, calls for secession reached unparalleled heights, the fledgling nation seemed ready to tear itself apart. Some of this agitation was seen by Federalists as having been caused by French and French-sympathizing immigrants; the Alien Act and the Sedition Act were meant to guard against this perceived threat of anarchy. They were a major political issue in the elections of 1798 and 1800, controversial and remaining so today.
Opposition to them resulted in the controversial Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, authored by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Prominent prosecutions under the Sedition Act include: James Thomson Callender, a Scottish citizen, had been expelled from Great Britain for his political writings. Living first in Philadelphia seeking refuge close by in Virginia, he wrote a book titled The Prospect Before Us in which he called the Adams administration a "continual tempest of malignant passions" and the President a "repulsive pedant, a gross hypocrite and an unprincipled oppressor." Callender residing in Virginia and writing for the Richmond Examiner, was indicted in mid-1800 under the Sedition Act and convicted, fined $200, sentenced to nine months in jail. Matthew Lyon was a Democratic-Republican congressman from Vermont, he was the first individual to be placed on trial under the Sedition Acts. He was indicted in 1800 for an essay he had written in the Vermont Journal accusing the administration of "ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, selfish avarice."
While awaiting trial, Lyon commenced publication of Lyon's Republican Magazine, subtitled "The Scourge of Aristocracy". At trial, he was sentenced to four months in jail. After his release, he returned to Congress.:102–08 Benjamin Franklin Bache was editor of the Philadelphia Aurora, a Democratic-Republican newspaper. Bache had accused George Washington of incompetence and financial irregularities, "the blind, crippled, querulous Adams" of nepotism and monarchical ambition, he was arrested in 1798 under the Sedition Act, but he died of yellow fever before trial.:27–29, 65, 96 Anthony Haswell was an English immigrant and a printer of the Jeffersonian Vermont Gazette. Haswell had reprinted from the Aurora Bache's claim that the federal government employed Tories publishing an advertisement from Lyon's sons for a lottery to raise money for his fine that decried Lyon's oppression by jailers exercising "usurped powers". Haswell was found guilty of seditious libel by judge William Paterso
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader
The XYZ Affair was a political and diplomatic episode in 1797 and 1798, early in the administration of John Adams, involving a confrontation between the United States and Republican France that led to the Quasi-War. The name derives from the substitution of the letters X, Y and Z for the names of French diplomats Hottinguer and Hauteval in documents released by the Adams administration. An American diplomatic commission was sent to France in July 1797 to negotiate a solution to problems that were threatening to break out into war; the diplomats, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, Elbridge Gerry, were approached through informal channels by agents of the French Foreign Minister Talleyrand, who demanded bribes and a loan before formal negotiations could begin. Although such demands were not uncommon in mainland European diplomacy of the time, the Americans were offended by them, left France without engaging in formal negotiations. Gerry, seeking to avoid all-out war, remained for several months after the other two commissioners left.
His exchanges with Talleyrand laid groundwork for the eventual end to diplomatic and military hostilities. The failure of the commission caused a political firestorm in the United States when the commission's dispatches were published, it led to the undeclared Quasi-War. Federalists who controlled the government took advantage of the national anger to build up the nation's military, they attacked the Jeffersonian Republicans for their pro-French stance, Elbridge Gerry for what they saw as his role in the commission's failure. In the wake of the 1789 French Revolution, relations between the new French Republic and the American administration of President George Washington became strained. In 1792, France and the rest of Europe went to war, a conflict in which Washington declared American neutrality. However, both France and Great Britain, the major naval powers in the war, seized ships of neutral powers that traded with their enemies. With the Jay Treaty, ratified in 1795, the United States reached an agreement on the matter with Britain that angered members of the Directory that governed France.
The French Navy stepped up its efforts to interdict American trade with Britain. By the time John Adams assumed the presidency in early 1797, the matter was reaching crisis proportions. In March 1797, not long after assuming office, President Adams learned that Charles Cotesworth Pinckney had been refused as U. S. minister because of the escalating crisis, that American merchant ships had been seized in the Caribbean. Popular opinion in the United States on relations with France was divided along political lines: Federalists took a hard line, favoring a defensive buildup but not advocating war, while Republicans expressed solidarity with the Republican ideals of the French revolutionaries and did not want to be seen as cooperating with the Federalist Adams administration. Vice President Thomas Jefferson, who had lost the contentious 1796 election to Adams, looked at the Federalists as monarchists who were linked to Britain and therefore hostile to American values. In late May 1797 Adams' cabinet met to discuss French relations and to choose a special commission to France.
Adams proposed that John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry join Pinckney on the commission, but his cabinet objected to the choice of Gerry because he was not a strong Federalist. Francis Dana was chosen instead of Gerry, but he declined to serve, Adams, who considered Gerry one of the "two most impartial men in America", submitted his name to the United States Senate in Dana's stead without consulting his cabinet. Adams, in introducing the matter to Congress, made a somewhat belligerent speech in which he called for a vigorous defense of the nation's neutrality and expansion of the United States Navy, but stopped short of calling for war against France. Congress approved this choice of commissioners, Adams instructed them to negotiate similar terms to those, granted to Britain in the Jay Treaty; the commissioners were instructed to refuse loans, but to be flexible in the arrangement of payment terms for financial matters. Marshall left for Europe in mid-July to join Pinckney, with Gerry following a few weeks later.
The political divisions in the commission's makeup were reflected in their attitudes toward the negotiations: Marshall and Pinckney, both Federalists, distrusted the French, while Gerry was willing to be flexible and unhurried in dealing with them. The French Republic, established in 1792 at the height of the French Revolution, was by 1797 governed by a bicameral legislative assembly, with a five-member Directory acting as the national executive; the Directory was undergoing both internal power struggles and struggles with the Council of Five Hundred, the lower chamber of the legislature. Ministerial changes took place in the first half of 1797, including the selection in July of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand as foreign minister. Talleyrand, who had spent a few years in the United States, was concerned about the establishment of closer ties between the U. S. and Britain. The Directory not well-disposed to American interests, became notably more hostile to them in September 1797, when an internal coup propelled several anti-Americans into power.
These leaders, Talleyrand, viewed President Adams as hostile to their interests, but did not think that there was significant danger of war. In part based on advice imparted to French diplomats by Jefferson, Talleyrand decided to adopt a measured, slow pace to the negotiations; the American commission arrived in Paris