US History: 1800 – 1820









Two Political Parties: Federalists (strong central government) & Democratic-Republicans (strong state & local government)


  • 1800 Jefferson defeats John Adams
  • 1804 Hamilton Burr duel (Burr is V.P. at the time, no trial)


The Louisiana Purchase (1803):


  • French controlled port of New Orleans (Napoleon) – taking it over from Spain
  • Extracted large sums of money from USA
  • The USA sent delegates to buy New Orleans from the French (up to 10 million)
  • French (Napoleon) had ideas about an extended empire in America
  • Napoleon troubled by rioting and rebellion in Haiti, so Napoleon was open
  • French unwilling to sell New Orleans (Louisiana) but agreed to sell Louisiana Territory for 15 million


Lewis & Clark Expedition (1804):

  • 2 year exploration to the “western ocean”
  • search for western river routes
  • make contact with Native Peoples
  • gather information on natural resources

Embargo (1807):

  • Restricted trade with England & France
  • British & French ships hassled and “impressed” American ships & sailors
  • Did little to “hurt” England & France
  • Hurt Jefferson as the New England economy was harmed, they blamed him (Jefferson)

War of 1812:

  • James Madison, President, urged congress to declare war on the British
  • British had been encouraging and assisting the Native Peoples in their struggle against the Americans
  • British had been interfering with US shipping
  • US had only a small fleet of ships and a small army
  • England was at war with France (Napoleon)
  • British ships outnumbered US 20 to 1
  • At first the US won several sea battles with the British, but overall on both land and sea, the US was losing
  • 1814 – the British ended the war with the French – allowing their full attention on the war with the USA
  • British ships capture Chesapeake Bay, 4000 troops descended on Washington DC and burned it (Madison escapes)
  • On to Baltimore, bombing Fort McHenry (Francis Scott Key watches and writes the words to the Star Spangled Banner)
  • Hartford convention: New Englanders meet to discuss leaving the Union of states
  • Treaty of Ghent – December 1814 – neither country wanted the war, so pre-war boundaries were re-established
  • Battle of New Orleans (after treaty, slow communications) – Andrew Jackson beat British forces numbering 11,000 with 4500 men (and a few free African-American divisions) 2036 casualties to 21 for the Americans