Where US Politics Came From: Crash Course US History 9

In which John Green teaches you where American politicians come from. In the beginning, soon after the US constitution was adopted, politics were pretty non-existent. George Washington was elected president with no opposition, everything was new and exciting, and everyone just got along. For several months. Then the contentious debate about the nature of the United States began, and it continues to this day. Washington and his lackey/handler Alexander Hamilton pursued an elitist program of federalism. They attempted to strengthen the central government, create a strong nation-state, and leave less of the governance to the states, They wanted to create debt, encourage manufacturing, and really modernize the new nation/ The opposition, creatively known as the anti-federalists, wanted to build some kind of agrarian pseudo-paradise where every (white) man could have his own farm, and live a free, self-reliant life. The founding father who epitomized this view was Thomas Jefferson. By the time Adams became president, the anti-federalists had gotten the memo about how alienating a name like anti-federalist can be. It’s so much more appealing to voters if your party is for something rather than being defined by what you’re against, you know? In any case, Jefferson and his acolytes changed their name to the Democratic-Republican Party, which covered a lot of bases, and proceeded to protest nearly everything Adams did. Lest you think this week is all boring politics,you’ll be thrilled to hear this episode has a Whiskey Rebellion, a Quasi-War, anti-French sentiment, some controversial treaties, and something called the XYZ Affair, which sounds very exciting. Learn all about it this week with John Green.

Hey teachers and students – Check out CommonLit’s free collection of reading passages and curriculum resources to learn more about the events of this episode. Much of America’s politics came from debates between democratic republican Thomas Jefferson and federalist Alexander Hamilton:
While Jefferson would go on to become president, Hamilton heavily influenced President George Washington who set many American political ideals in his farewell address that Hamilton helped craft:

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20 comments

  1. Any issue with Jefferson’s idea is that it would have left the United States far too vulnerable to attacks from foreign nations: if there were no standing army, little industry and most Americans were simply farmers, wouldn’t steadily advancing nations with more advanced weapons just taken over the states within, say, 100 years?

  2. A democracy is its parties. Washington is like Franco: no parties. But if there has to be democracy it has to be at least two parties. Federalist party was not really a political party. They made the constitution and the job had been done. Bye bye. So american democracy really is jeffersonian (no adams): the republican-democratic party that jefferson opposed to adams are now the democratic party and the republican party. The whig party collapsed because it was an adams’ party. Then, the conservatives choose the jeffersonian name of republicans for their true party although his agenda is hamilton’s agenda and not jeffersonian’s. That is hiw I see it

  3. My history told me to watch this and I actually enjoyed watching it

  4. 12:10
    Well lets be honest, perhaps he was
    LYON
    Xd

  5. I like how they dis the electoral college. The one that keeps the United States of America the United States and not the Coastal States of America. Because if coastal states like food – they may need to recognize the opinions of where their food comes from.

  6. When you talked about the Sedition Act, a chill went down my spine. Making it a crime to criticize the government is what tyrants and dictators do. I’m glad people people fought against the Act including reelecting Matthew Lyon while he was in jail. I love those early Americans. Complaining about our government is one of my favorite things about free speech. We vote them in and then complain the whole time they are in office. 🤣 It is one way I know that I live in a free country.😉

  7. France to the U.S. – “It’s only natural. Britain cut off your trade, you wanted revenge. It wasn’t the first time, America. Remember what you told me about Stamp Act and the Boston Tea Party?”

  8. So republics really are the ones who stand for equality and free speech .. not surprising !