Tag Archives: James Madison

3.05 – Affairs, Foreign and Domestic



Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1801

The beginning of Jefferson’s administration coincided with changes in other parts of the world including France, Great Britain, Spain, and Saint-Domingue that would ultimately come to impact the United States. Meanwhile, as Jefferson continued to assemble his Cabinet, he and his administration also had to deal with a new round of negotiation with Napoléon’s government and appeasing an irate office seeker who threatened to expose the President to public scandal. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Le général Toussaint Louverture” [c. 19th century], courtesy of Wikipedia


3.04 – A Deadly Revenge



Year(s) Discussed: 1801

Literally and figuratively, the new President worked to get his house in order following his inauguration. With a limited number of positions available and plans to shrink the size of the federal government even further, Jefferson set ground rules for his new administration to determine whether to retain Federalist office holders or oust them in favor of Democratic-Republicans. Despite a nod towards non-partisanship, Jefferson’s decisions were criticized by members of both parties. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Elizur Goodrich,” printed in The Connecticut Quarterly, Jul/Aug/Sep 1898, courtesy of Wikipedia


3.02 – Jefferson Pre-Presidency Part Two



Year(s) Discussed: 1774-1801

Between the publication of “Summary View of the Rights of British America” and his assuming the presidency, Jefferson made a name for himself by drafting the Declaration of Independence, struggled to see his home state of Virginia through the Revolution as governor, experienced a devastating personal loss, and served the new nation at home and abroad. Though his rise in national prominence as the leader of the opposition would ultimately lead to him becoming the third President, not only his public record but also various facets of Jefferson’s personal life would pose challenges for the new administration before it even began. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Thomas Jefferson” by Mather Brown [c. 1786], courtesy of Wikipedia, and “Thomas Jefferson” by Rembrandt Peale [c. 1800], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.25 – Adams Post-Presidency



Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1826

After leaving the presidency, John Adams searched for a path ahead. In the process, he dealt with emotions that had been building for years, rebuilt some bridges that had been burned in political battles, suffered numerous personal heartaches, and bore witness to a quarter century more of the nation’s history. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Portrait of John Adams” by Samuel Morse [c. 1816], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.24 – The 36th Ballot



Year(s) Discussed: 1800-1801

The nation had little time to process the news that Adams was defeated in his bid for reelection as a constitutional crisis developed regarding who would succeed him to the post. Meanwhile, the outgoing president only had a few weeks remaining to secure the ratification of the Convention of Mortefontaine, get several federal judges confirmed including a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and get a new Treasury Secretary in place. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Front View of the President’s House, in the City of Washington” [c.1807], courtesy of Wikipedia


V002 – The Washington Presidency in Five (or So) Minutes



Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1797

In response to a question from Les, I attempt to do a summation of the Washington presidency from memory in five minutes. Though the full series is recommended for more detail, I think the result is rather entertaining.

Images used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

002 – The Washington Presidency in Five (or So) Minutes from Presidencies Podcast on Vimeo.

Featured Image: “George Washington (The Constable-Hamilton Portrait)” by Gilbert Stuart [c. 1797], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.17 – Some Awful Crisis



Year(s) Discussed: 1798-1799

In Trenton, Adams confronted his Cabinet as well as Gen. Alexander Hamilton over the peace mission to France before the government moved back to Philadelphia for one last winter. After the new session of Congress began in December 1799, news arrived which was described as a national tragedy and had many wondering what lay in store for the US as a new century dawned. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Representation of the great fire at New York” by Franz Xaver Habermann [c. 1776], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.13 – Destiny Written in the Stars



Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1799

Despite the wealth of evidence coming in of the sincerity of the French Directory in seeking peace, President Adams found himself at odds with his Secretary of State Timothy Pickering at the beginning of 1799 with Pickering continuing the push for war. Meanwhile, the US Navy proved its worth in protecting American shipping in the Caribbean just as relations with the British began a downward spiral once more. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “USS Constellation vs L’Insurgente,” Rear Admiral John William Schmidt [c. 1981], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.11 – The Opposition Strikes Back



Year(s) Discussed: 1798

With yellow fever raging in Philadelphia, the federal government has to move once more, adding to the headaches of Secretary of War James McHenry who had his position in the Cabinet already being undermined by General Alexander Hamilton. In Quincy, John Adams meets with Elbridge Gerry to learn more about the latest offer for diplomatic talks with the French while in Virginia, Vice President Jefferson and former Rep. James Madison plot how to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Seal of Virginia” [c. 1851] and “An impression from the first Kentucky State Seal” [c. 1800], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.07 – One Hand Washes the Other: The XYZ Affair



Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798

The three commissioners sent by Adams arrive in France to begin negotiations but find themselves beset with new characters and new circumstances following French victories in the field and a coup in the government. One figure in particular stands between the envoys and peace, and he’ll gladly get out of the way…if, of course, the Americans are willing to pay. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord” by François Gérard [c. 1808], courtesy of Wikipedia