Chapter

Adams and Hamilton

Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick

in The Age of Federalism

Published in print March 1995 | ISBN: 9780195093810
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854127 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195093810.003.0014
Adams and Hamilton

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The year 1798 was for John Adams both the highest and lowest, the best and the worst, of his entire presidency. It began in a state of partisan malaise and division of purpose, followed by a tremendous soaring of patriotic unity, in turn undermined by a steady intrusion of new discontents and an ebbing away once more of national feeling. This same period would see the return to public life of Alexander Hamilton, with consequences profoundly significant for the fortunes of Federalism. Whatever the degree of attention France may have been paying to signals coming from America between the summer of 1797 and the beginning of March 1798, those signals could spell but a single message: disunity. By the end of the year 1797, Consul Philippe Joseph Létombe could assure Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord that Republican influence was rising. The Americans, it appeared, were more disunited and disaffected about their government than ever.

Keywords: John Adams; Alexander Hamilton; Federalism; disunity; Philippe Joseph Létombe; Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord; France

Chapter.  34313 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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