David Marks Staff asked 4 years ago

What were the New England demands

What were the New England demands as expressed in the 1814 Hartford convention?

I’d like to understand, when taken together with the end of the war on unexpectedly favorable terms, how they contributed to the final demise of the Federalist Party.

2 Answers
David Marks Staff answered 4 years ago

The New England Federalists were discontented and angered by the war of 1812. While the whole country suffered economically New England was especially affected. At the end of it all, the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war between the US and the UK, essentially restored the borders, and as many saw it, only re-established the status quo. Just after the war, the discontented Federalists were blind to the Industrial Revolution that the war had helped kick off, soon to result in the situation of the centre of all the new Industrial activity right in New England.
Just after the war, Governor Strong called a convention to address the New England grievances. Invitations were sent out, and the delegates convened in secret meetings held over 20 days. The question of secession had been floating around, triggered by the war. However, this was a rather extreme resolution, and the Federalists were divided between the moderates and those who supported such a radical solution. During the meeting, the moderates far outnumbered the secessionists. The demands that were drawn were themselves rather moderate:
The report started with a statement that said New England had an obligation to assert itself against unconstitutional infringements on its jurisdiction. It also proposed some changes to the constitution, to protect itself from the ruling Democrat-Republicans.
-The requirement of a two-thirds majority for the declaration of offensive war.
-A request to remove the three-fifths representation power of the Southern slave states.
-Limiting the term of Presidents to one.
-Requiring each President to be from a different state than her predecessor.
-Limiting trade embargoes to a time period of 60 days.
When they did reach Washington, however, they were received with hostility, a reaction to rumors of secession. Amidst the celebration of the news of the American victory (under Andrew Jackson), at New Orleans, the messengers were derided and even laughed at, and their demands only increased the suspicion of the people who saw an American victory for the war (this was happening even as the Treaty of Ghent, which would essentially restore things to the way they had been before the war, was on its way from England) Ultimately, they were not well received, and the committee disbanded.

David Marks Staff answered 4 years ago

The New England Federalists were discontented and angered by the war of 1812. While the whole country suffered economically New England was especially affected. At the end of it all, the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war between the US and the UK, essentially restored the borders, and as many saw it, only re-established the status quo. Just after the war, the discontented Federalists were blind to the Industrial Revolution that the war had helped kick off, soon to result in the situation of the centre of all the new Industrial activity right in New England.
Just after the war, Governor Strong called a convention to address the New England grievances. Invitations were sent out, and the delegates convened in secret meetings held over 20 days. The question of secession had been floating around, triggered by the war. However, this was a rather extreme resolution, and the Federalists were divided between the moderates and those who supported such a radical solution. During the meeting, the moderates far outnumbered the secessionists. The demands that were drawn were themselves rather moderate:
The report started with a statement that said New England had an obligation to assert itself against unconstitutional infringements on its jurisdiction. It also proposed some changes to the constitution, to protect itself from the ruling Democrat-Republicans.
-The requirement of a two-thirds majority for the declaration of offensive war.
-A request to remove the three-fifths representation power of the Southern slave states.
-Limiting the term of Presidents to one.
-Requiring each President to be from a different state than her predecessor.
-Limiting trade embargoes to a time period of 60 days.
When they did reach Washington, however, they were received with hostility, a reaction to rumors of secession. Amidst the celebration of the news of the American victory (under Andrew Jackson), at New Orleans, the messengers were derided and even laughed at, and their demands only increased the suspicion of the people who saw an American victory for the war (this was happening even as the Treaty of Ghent, which would essentially restore things to the way they had been before the war, was on its way from England) Ultimately, they were not well received, and the committee disbanded.