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Well this is awkward... Also I love this type of history so my answer will be long.


Maria Reynolds came to Alexander Hamilton in the summer of 1791. She needed help. Long abandoned by her abusive husband, Maria went to Hamilton seeking for help returning to New York. Hamilton himself was a New Yorker, so Reynolds thought he could help her travel back to New York so she could stay with friends and family.

Hamilton was happy to help, but he couldn't meet up with her right away, so he later arrived at the Reynolds home. When he arrived Maria led him to an upstairs bedroom. They had a conversation and Hamilton said that he felt “other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable." And then began the affair with them writing letter to each other frequently.

Hamilton's wife and children were currently with relatives in Albany, so Hamilton and Reynolds continued to see each other till the fall of 1791, until the abusive husband returned. Maria proceeded to send Alexander a letter that would go on to say that the husband (James Reynolds) found out about the affair and is threatening to write a letter to Mrs. Hamilton.

James Reynolds sent Hamilton a letter saying that Hamilton "had destroyed a happy marriage." Which of course was not true as the marriage was already falling apart. James goes on to say that if Hamilton pays him $1,000, then James will leave town. Instead James didn't leave town and he allowed the relationship between the two. With the condition that Hamilton pays James every so often in little sums.

James got into a bit of trouble and landed on forgery charges. James thought that Hamilton could help him out, in which Hamilton refused. So James told Hamilton's Republican rivals that he had dirt on a top Federalists. So James Monroe (who would be later elected president), with Congressmen Abe Venable and Frederick Muhlenberg visited both James and Maria and got the information they needed.

They confronted Hamilton and Hamilton admitted to the affair. He also said that he'd been a fool to allow James to extort from him. But Hamilton, along with Monroe and Muhlenberg, were respected Gov't officials. Happy that they didn't find anything that Hamilton had done wrong, they promised to keep it a secret (affairs were very common with wealthy Gov't officials in this era).

Monroe kept copies of the letter between Hamilton and Maria and sent them to Thomas Jefferson (who had affairs too.)

Hamilton then wrote an essay criticizing Jefferson, which bit Hamilton back when journalist James Callender wrote a book on the history of the US, which accused Hamilton of a speculation scheme within the Treasury. Hamilton was forced to either deny everything and be proven that he was lying, or to admit the affair.

Hamilton decided to admit the affair and then he published a pamphlet giving his side of the story. Known for being clever, Hamilton's pamphlet made it seem "positively simple." James Reynolds refused to allow Hamilton to see Maria again.

The pamphlet was damaging to Hamilton image, but got rid of accusations of involvement of the scheme. The pamphlet killed any higher political aspirations for Hamilton, and he personally blamed Monroe. Hamilton's wife, Elizabeth, forgave him.

Maria Reynolds would file for divorce against James. Do you know that attorney that litigated that? It was none other than Aaron Burr.


Neutrality Acts


Basically, the US was fully isolationist pretty much up until Pearl Harbor. However, FDR wanted to help the Allies in Great Britain, so the neutrality acts that were passed created loopholes that allowed him to send aid to Britain without fighting the war. The Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1937 banned selling arms to belligerent nations (to avoid taking sides), but Britain and France hadn't gone to war yet, so FDR could still send aid to them.

In 1939, the US realized it needed to send more help, so it came up with a new Neutrality Act of 1939. This one said that belligerent nations could buy guns, but they had to pay in cash and use their own ships (to avoid naval conflict such as the Lusitania incident prior to WWI). This was called the Cash-and-Carry Policy.

After France was taken and Britain ran out of money, the US passed the Lend-Lease Act which said that the US could lend support to Britain in the form of arms or other aid without immediate payment (it wasn't really lending, since they weren't going to get any of the items back, nor were they going to get paid back).

Through all of this, the US still declared neutrality to avoid warfare, but the Axis Powers were actually fully aware of the US's unofficial alliance to Britain.

They didn't declare war simply because they didn't want to fight the US yet (divide and conquer, essentially. We were also the biggest potential threat to the Axis Powers).

Source: AP US History


Read Explanation


The movie "Gideon's Trumpet" refers to the infamous Gideon v. Wainwright case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)

In 1963, Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested and charged in Florida state court on the felony of breaking and entering into a poolroom and having the intent to commit a misdemeanor offense.

Mr. Gideon appeared in court without a lawyer, and requested that the court appoint one for him. Under Florida state law, however, attorneys may only be appointed to a poor person in capital cases (a case for murder).

In the movie, Gideon is portrayed at giving an amateur attempt at defending himself in court, and obviously lost the case, being sent to jail.

Gideon felt this wasn't right, and went to the prison library to read and study books on Constitutional law. He found that, under the sixth amendment, all defendants are guaranteed the right to an attorney, but it did not specify whether this right extended towards non-capital cases, so he filed a habeas corpus petition (a petition that brings an inmate before the court to determine if this ruling was unlawful) to the Florida State Supreme Court, though they denied it.

In the movie, the SCOTUS agreed to see Gideon's case, and a lawyer (Abe Fortas) argues before the SCOTUS that every American has the right to an attorney even if it isn't a capital case. The SCOTUS ruled unanimously (9-0) with Mr. Fortas, which acquitted not only Gideon, but also every single inmate across the country who had been incarcerated without being given a lawyer during trial from prison. Many of these inmates' cases' statute of limitations had run out, so they could not have a re-trial, and were free to go.

Once Gideon is freed, he still has to go to a re-trial, which he feels is unlawful and double jeopardy (being tried for the same crime twice, which is illegal). This was not true, however, as he was being tried upon appeal, and not the same crime by the same court system, so he had to defend himself, but with a lawyer of his choosing (Fred Turner).

During the re-trial, Mr. Turner pulls up the same witnesses from the original trial, but questions them much more articulately, and one certain witness becomes fidgety and it is implied that this certain witness broke into the poolroom, not Gideon. The prosecution made their last argument to the jury that they have to argue based on facts, not speculation, but the jury ruled that Gideon was innocent, and he was free to go.

If you have a quiz on this tomorrow in Government, it would be smart to become familiar with these terms:

Writ of Habeas Corpus
Writ of certiorari
Appellate Court
In Forma Pauperis
Statute of limitations
Double Jeopardy (Read #2)


Harry S. Truman (I)
Thomas E. Dewey
J. Strom Thurmond


There they are.


God. ( or a higher power)


Both Locke and Jefferson believed that people were created with certain rights. These rights came from the creator not from men. Since men were born with these rights, no government or law of man could legitimately take these rights away.

The Declaration of Independence quoted above was written because the government of England led by King George III believed that the government had the right to take these rights away.

In the colonial charters the citizens of the American colonies had been granted the "rights of Englishmen" . King George regarded the colonies as essentially possessions of the Crown. As such the colonies were tenants of the Crown. Tenants have only the right that the rightful land owners grants them.

King George decided that in order to better collect the taxes needed to pay for the French and Indian Wars he would revoke the rights granted to the colonies in their Charters. King George dissolved the colonial legislatures, appointed royal governors in place of the locally elected governors and raised taxes unilaterally.

Jefferson argued that since the basic human rights came from the creator not the government or the King, that the King had no right to take away the rights of the colonists. The King disagreed and the American Revolution was fought over the question of: do governments have the ability to make laws that revoke basic human rights.?

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