America’s First Swiss Banker

Jefferson wanted Gallatin to be his Secretary of the Treasury. When he gave Gallatin a recess appointment on May 14th, 1801, Jefferson is reputed to have said, “He is the only man in the United States who understands, through all the labyrinths Hamilton involved it, the precise state of the Treasury.”

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Napoleon Plays Madison

 Jefferson responded (to Napoleon’s Berlin Decree) with the Non-Importation Act of 1806, which banned imports of any goods from Britain. Besides being unenforceable, it caused the U.S. economy to contract. Still not done, Jefferson forced the Embargo Act of 1807 through Congress, and between the two pieces of legislation, the U.S. economy contracted by about 10%.

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Madison’s Inherited Foreign Policy and National Security Mess

In the U.K., many British political leaders resented the new, upstart nation. They saw the 1783 Treaty of Paris as a humiliation as well as a military defeat. These men resented the fact that the U.S. did not want to be part of the British Commonwealth, not to be confused with the modern Commonwealth of Nations. And, if pressed, they believed that Britain should have never let the U.S. become independent. On the floor of Parliament, some urged the British government to invade the U.S. and force it to again become a British colony.

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The Uneforceable Logan Act of 1799

The French leaders of the new French Republic listened politely but understood the American Constitution well. Jefferson had used it as a basis of the documents he helped the Marquis de Lafayette propose first to King Louis XVI and then later to the leaders of the French Revolution. Logan’s effort came to naught.

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The First Amendment Has Limits

The words in the Constitution have been open to interpretation, and the ultimate and final arbiter of any law or policy is the Supreme Court. Over the 235 years, the Supreme Court has placed very clear limits on what is and what is not “free speech, freedom of expression, and freedom to assemble.”

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Rejection of the First Recess Appointment

In Article II, Section 2, Clause 3, the Constitution gives the President the power to appoint those allowed in Clause 2 without Senate approval if it is not in session. These are recess appointments, and the appointed individual must be approved by the Senate when it convenes.

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Demilitarizing the U.S./Canadian Border

In 1817, Canada was not an independent country so any decisions about the colony’s borders had to be made in England. In a series of letters exchanged by the U.S. Secretary of State Richard Rush and the British Ambassador to the U.S., Sir Charles Bagot, in April 1817, the two men worked out an agreement that was submitted to both country’s legislatures.

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Jim Blythe Veteran’s Impact Show

Marc and Jim talk about what it means to be a veteran. Marc and Jim tell a few stories from their Navy careers. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/live/AeuL0Ihp2SU?si=N9NzwRSZvDzv7L4Q

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Frocking

In the Continental Navy and the early years of the U.S. Navy, midshipmen wore a blue coat that came down to their hips over a white vest. Lieutenants and above wore frock coats that came down the back of their thighs. When a midshipman made lieutenant, he changed coats. Hence, one could say he was “frocked.”

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