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Essex Junto

ESSEX JUNTO

ESSEX JUNTO is a term coined by President John Adams in the late eighteenth century for a group of Federalists he deemed his adversaries. Jeffersonians then used the term to refer to Federalist opponents they believed to be advocating secession for New England during the War of 1812. Essex Junto has become a term synonymous with secession and treason.

A number of men, natives of Essex County, Massachusetts, have been named members of this group: Fisher Ames, George Cabot, Francis Dana, Nathan Dane, Benjamin Goodhue, Stephen Higginson, Jonathan Jackson, John Lowell, Theophilus Parsons, Timothy Pickering, Israel Thorndike, and Nathaniel Tracy. Most of the men were well educated and wealthy. They had common social and economic interests and some were related by marriage. They dominated politics in their home county during the 1770s, but in the period between the American Revolution and the early nineteenth century most relocated to Boston.

They were adversaries to John Hancock during the revolutionary period, and had opposed the Massachusetts Constitution, proposed in 1778, but from 1779 to 1780, they helped draft a new document. The members of the Essex Junto were not satisfied with the restrictions of the power of the people and did not really care for a system of checks and balances, but nonetheless they supported the Federal Constitution. They supported Alexander Hamilton and his financial program and sharply opposed Thomas Jefferson and his ideas. They were advocates of American independence, but believed in the inherent inequality of men. Disturbed by the social changes the Revolution had brought, they favored a patriarchal society and a nation ruled by an elected aristocracy of elites. They formed the nucleus of a conservative group among the Federalists, but by the turn of the century, most had withdrawn from politics. They did not have a domineering influence in Massachusetts's politics and the Federalist Party, as many historians have claimed. With the exception of Timothy Pickering, they did not support the New England secessionist movement in the aftermath of the Louisiana Purchase, which many New Englanders feared would curtail their influence in the Union.

President Jefferson, in a letter to John Melish on 13 January 1813, used the label Essex Junto when he accused a group of younger Federalists of advocating anglomany, monarchy, and separation; Federalists had vented their anger with the dire effects the Embargo Act, the Non-intercourse Act, and the War of 1812 had on New England. Early in the war, Pickering and John Lowell Jr. (son of the above mentioned John Lowell) tried to crystallize the secessionist sentiment in New England, but other members of the Junto helped to curb their plans. During the War of 1812, New England dissatisfaction was vocalized in the Hartford Convention (15 December 1814–5 January 1815) in which only two moderate members of the original Essex Junto, Dane and Cabot (the latter was chosen president of the convention) participated. Pickering opposed the convention because he did not believe it would really advocate the dissolution of the Union, as he desired.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Fischer, David H. "The Myth of the Essex Junto." The William and Mary Quarterly, 3d. Series 21 (April 1964): 195–213.

Morison, Samuel Eliot. "Dissent in the War of 1812." In Dissent in Three American Wars. Edited by Samuel Eliot Morison, Frederick Merk, and Frank Freidel. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970.

MichaelWala

See alsoHartford Convention .

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Essex Junto

ESSEX JUNTO

In April 1778, a number of men gathered at Ipswich in Essex County, Massachusetts, to discuss the drafting of a new Massachusetts constitution. Composed of lawyers and merchants, the majority of the group were residents of Essex County, from which the assembly derived its name. Included among its members were politicians George Cabot and Timothy Pickering, and jurist theophilus parsons.

The Essex Junto began as a small, independent faction of prominent, educated men but developed into a strong section of the federalist party, which exerted political influence for many years. It advocated the acceptance of the U.S. Constitution and the financial policies of alexander hamilton. The junto staunchly opposed the ideologies of President thomas jefferson, and the embargo act of 1807, which prohibited the exportation of American goods to France and England in an effort to compel those countries to ease their restrictions on U.S. trade. The opposition to this act was so vehement that it was repealed.

The Essex Junto was opposed to the war of 1812. It convened, in secrecy, the Hartford Convention in 1814, which proved to be nothing but an airing of grievances without any serious solutions. The war ended shortly thereafter, and many of the junto members were ridiculed and threatened with treason for the closed-door tactics at the Hartford Convention. The junto soon lost much of its power with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, which signified the end of the much-opposed War of 1812.

cross-references

Constitution of the United States "Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists" (In Focus); Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.

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"Essex Junto." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/essex-junto

Essex Junto

Essex Junto, group of New England merchants and lawyers, so called because many of them came from Essex co., Mass. They opposed the radicals in Massachusetts in the American Revolution and supported the Federalist faction of Alexander Hamilton. They later encouraged the disaffection of the Hartford Convention. Prominent among them were Timothy Pickering, George Cabot, and Theophilus Parsons.

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"Essex Junto." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Essex Junto." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/essex-junto