The Constitutional Era
The Constitutional Convention
One of the most momentous occurrences in United States Constitutional History was the hundred day debate known as the Constitutional Convention. This event would begin the United States' journey towards becoming a true Constitutional Republic. The Constitutional Convention took place from May 14 to September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The main point of this event was to decide just how much America was to be governed, though it was officially called to revise the Articles of Confederation. Seventy delegates were appointed to attend, including George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, however, only fifty-five showed. Rhode Island was the only state that did not send any delegates. The final result of the Constitutional Convention was the United States Constitution.
The XYZ Affair
Between 1784 and 1800, a diplomatic incident between the French and the United States, known as the XYZ Affair, broke into a limited, undeclared war - the Quasi War. In order to restore harmony between the United States and France, John Adams sent three U.S. envoys (Elbridge Gerry, Charles Pinckney, John Marshall) to France to meet with the Foreign Minister, Marquis de Talleyrand. When unable to carry through, the envoys were instead approached by N. Hubbard (W), J. Hottinguer (X), P. Bellamy (Y), and L. Hauteval (Z), French intermediaries. In the end, United States and French negotiators restored peace between the U.S. and France with the Convention of 1800 (the Treaty of Mortefontaine).
The Whiskey Rebellion
After George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton proposed an excise tax upon spirits distilled within the United States in January of 1791, many Americans living on the Western frontier of Pennsylvania rejected it by refusing to pay the tax and began the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. The outbreaks threats forced President Washington to personally lead the U.S. Militia westward in order to stop the rebels. By the time the militia reached Pittsburgh, the rebels dispersed and were unable to be found. By 1802, President Thomas Jefferson repealed the excise tax on whiskey.