Written anonymously by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions encouraged states to nullify unconstitutional federal laws. The Resolutions were a direct response to the Alien and Sedition Acts.
President Washington demonstrated the ability of the federal government to enforce its laws by calling out state militia to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion, a revolt by farmers in western Pennsylvania who objected to taxation on whiskey.
An unofficial war between the US and France, the Quasi War was sparked by the XYZ Affair and the decision of the United States to terminate its treaties with France. Consisting of a series of conflicts at sea, the war ended with the signing of the Convention of 1800, which allowed for the end of the previous alliance between the US and France but asserted a “firm, inviolable, and universal peace, and a true and sincere Friendship between” the two countries.
The Judiciary Act of 1801 increased the number of federal courts, judgeships, clerks, and marshals. President Adams, whose term of office was about to expire, quickly filled the new positions with Federalists.
A Philadelphia newspaper published President Washington’s Farewell Address. A plea for national unity against partisan and sectional divisions, the address also called on the United States to avoid getting entangled in foreign alliances.