The Presidency of John Adams: The Collapse of Federalism, 1795-1800

By Stephen G. Kurtz | Go to book overview

6
Imported and Domestic Designs for Victory

WHILE POLITICIANS IN FIFTEEN STATES SCRAMBLED FOR PUBLIC favor the ambitious French Minister, Pierre Adet, was attempting to size up the situation as a whole. The picture he created was not one that gave him much pleasure. It was important both to his government and to his own career that the drift toward Great Britain that had marked the past three years be ended. The new Secretary of State, Mr. Pickering, was the most violent Anglophile, and if the stories about Mr. Adams were true Franco-American relations would reach even lower depths on his assumption of office. It was clear to Adet that Jefferson stood no chance of being elected unless the Potomac barrier were broken, and as he pondered this fact he reached a definite conclusion-his own intervention on behalf of the Republicans could tip the scale and lead to the promotion of Pierre Adet to more promising diplomatic posts.

Adet's decision to revert to the high-handed methods of his famous predecessor, Edmund Gen&Ωt, turned the election of 1796 into a unique comedy of errors: never before or since has a foreign power acted so openly in an American election. Until the publication of his diplomatic notes in November the campaign had centered around the personalities of Adams and Jefferson, the principal though passive contenders, and around the concept of government that Hamilton had stamped upon Federalism. Adet added a live

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The Presidency of John Adams: The Collapse of Federalism, 1795-1800
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Contents 13
  • Illustrations 15
  • 1 - Bright Hopes for Mr. Jefferson 19
  • 2 - The Republican Challenge 39
  • 3 - Popular Federalism 59
  • 4 - The Candidates of 1796 78
  • 5 - Adams and Hamilton 96
  • 6 - Imported and Domestic Designs for Victory 114
  • 7 - The States and the Presidency 145
  • 8 - A Political Revolution in Pennsylvania 177
  • 9 - Discontent with Hamilton 192
  • 10 - Adams and Jefferson: Friendship and Politics 209
  • 11 - The Patronage Crisis and the Decline In Federal Status 239
  • 12 - The President and His Secretaries 261
  • 13 - Political Consequences of the Xyz Papers 284
  • 15 - A Just and Politic Peace 334
  • 16 - Politics and Peace, 1799 354
  • 17 - Independence 374
  • Appendixes 409
  • Bibliography 417
  • Index 441
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