The New American Nation

Follow the America as its struggles to find its identity, first under the Articles of Confederation and then under the Constitution. See the development of political parties and the dawn of the 19th Century.

Articles of Confederation
See the framework for the original representative government. See why it just didn't work.

Shays's Rebellion: Test for America
Why was this 1787 uprising so important? See how the federal government responded to the American people's attempts to get paid for their Revoltionary War service.

The Constitution
Find out more about the background, the details, the happenings, and the aftermath of the Constitutional Convention and the signing of the Convention. Includes links to the Federalist Papers and more.

How the American Government Was Different
Easy-to-read article puts the new American Constitution in context of other countries' governments at the time and draws parallels between the Constitution and ancient Greece and Rome.

The Whiskey Rebellion
This 1791 uprising was the first test of federal determination to keep the peace. Farmers resented what they thought was an unfair tax and made a lot of noise. President George Washington responded by calling out the militia.

President Elect: 1792
Get the facts and figures on this, the nation's second presidential election.

1796: The First Real Election
Now that George Washington had stepped aside, the real campaigns began. See John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson up close and personal.

The Federalist Party
See the formation of one of the first two political parties emerge from the minds of Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and others.

The Democratic-Republican Party
See the Democratic-Republican Party come to life from the beliefs of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and others.
The Alien and Sedition Acts
Find out more about these laws that restricted the freedoms of so many people in the early history of the United States.

The XYZ Affair
What was this strange episode? Why were the man called X, Y, and Z? Did it cost John Adams his job? Find out more.

John Jay
He was an author of the Federalist Papers and the first Chief Justice of the United States.

The Jay Treaty
The Jay Treaty closed off several outstanding issues from the treaty that ended the Revolutionary War and, in the process, became an intense dispute between the nation's first two political parties.

Lewis and Clark
Get details on the expedition, profiles of the leaders and of Sacagawea, maps, current explorations, and much more!

How Haiti Saved the United States
A little more than 200 years ago, a slave revolution in Haiti saved the young, fragile country known as the United States of America. Leading the way in these historic times was a former slave named Toussaint L'Overture. His is a fascinating story. Read more about him, his efforts, and find out how Haiti saved the United States.

The Louisiana Purchase
This land buy doubled the territory of the United States. Find out how it came about and how much it cost.

"Old Ironsides": The Unsinkable Ship
The U.S.S. Constitution, called "Old Ironsides" because shots seemed to bounce off its thick wooden hull, was a warhorse, capturing more than 24 enemy ships in the War of 1812 alone.
It also helped fend off the troublesome Barbary Pirates.

The Missouri Compromise
Congress couldn't decide what to do with two new states: Missouri and Maine. One wanted slavery, and the other didn't. What to do?

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Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2019
David White