The Hartford Convention: APUSH Topics to Study for Test Day

The War of 1812 greatly impacted the American colonists. Those who resided in New England thought this was especially true. For one thing, embargoes against trading with England hurt the New England economy. This angered members of the New England Federalist Party until they decided to meet together. Let’s take a look at the Hartford Convention APUSH facts you should review for the exam.

What is the Hartford Convention?

The Hartford Convention was a meeting of 26 delegates from the Federalist Party. It took place in Hartford, Connecticut. Some of the things that they discussed, included:

  • Opposition to the War of 1812
  • Financial reimbursement for trade embargo
  • Prevention of election of presidents from the same state twice in a row
  • One term for presidents
  • Requirement of 2/3 majority vote to declare war
  • Ending of Three-Fifths Compromise for representation

Most notably, the Hartford Convention delegates discussed seceding from the United States. However, when they went to announce these proposed Constitutional changes, the war was over. The ideas discredited the Federalist party, and many thought they acted treasonously.

hartford convention apush

A political cartoon about The Hartford Convention.


December 15, 1814 to January 5, 1815

Why Is It Important?

The Hartford Convention marked the end of the popular following of the Federalist Party. In fact, this was the party of which George Washington and other Founding Fathers belonged.

Another point that the Hartford Convention brought up was the idea of state’s rights vs. the federal government’s rights. This is an idea that continues to be debated today.


  • Federalist Party- Federalists were individuals who supported the Constitution. Most importantly, they sought a strong national government. George Washington and John Adams were both considered to be members of the Federalist Party. During the War of 1812, the New England Federalist Party met together to discuss the possibility of secession among other things. After others saw this as treason, the party was discredited and never regained a larger following.
  • James Madison- He was the President of the United States during the War of 1812. Also, he was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. His war policies angered the New England Federalist Party.
  • George Cabot- He served as the president of the Hartford Convention.
  • Theodore Dwight- He served as the secretary at the Hartford Convention.
  • Delegates- The delegates included Hodijah Baylies, Timothy Bigelow, George Bliss, Nathan Dane, Calvin Goddard, Chauncey Goodrich, William Hall Jr., Benjamin Hazard, James Hillhouse, Stephen Longfellow Jr., Daniel Lyman, Joseph S. Lyman, Edward Manton, Mills Olcott, Harrison Gray Otis, William Prescott Jr., Roger Minott Sherman, Nathaniel Smith, Zephaniah Swift, Joshua Thomas, John Treadwell, Daniel Waldo, Samuel Ward Jr. Benjamin West, and Samuel Sumner Wilde. About half of delegates came from Massachusetts.


  • War of 1812- President James Madison declared war on Britain after naval blockades meant for France fired on American cargo ships and forced American sailors to join the British navy.
  • Embargo Act of 1807- President Thomas Jefferson signed the Embargo Act of 1807. Unfortunately for New England, President Madison renewed the embargo against Britain and France during the War of 1812. As a result, the New England economy suffered.
  • Treaty of Ghent- Signed on December 24, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812. Actually, they signed this treaty before the Battle of New Orleans where Andrew Jackson beat the British.

Hartford Convention APUSH Practice Question 1

1. The delegates at the Hartford Convention proposed several amendments to the Constitution that were meant to:
a. limit the federal government’s power.
b. end slavery throughout the United States.
c. create peace between the US and England.
d. increase the president’s power during times of war.

Answer: A. The delegates proposed limiting the president’s terms among other things to reduce the president’s power.

Hartford Convention APUSH Practice Question 2

2. What event caused the Federalist Party to become discredited and seen as traitors to the United States?
a. Tecumseh’s War which led to the Indian Confederation to fall apart.
b. Andrew Jackson defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans.
c. James Monroe was elected as President of the United States.
d. New England chose to align with Britain in the war.

Answer: B. As the last battle of the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson led his troops to victory over the British. With the end of the war, Americans felt that the Federalist Party acted as traitors for suggesting seceding from the country.

Hartford Convention APUSH Practice Question 3

3. At the Hartford Convention, the New England Federalists decided on all of the following EXCEPT:
a. Slavery would no longer be legal throughout the United States.
b. Presidents from the same state could not get elected twice in a row.
c. New England would secede from the United States.
d. Presidents would only serve for one term.

Answer: A. Although they wanted to remove the Three-Fifths Compromise from the Constitution, they did not seek to abolish slavery completely. Unfortunately, they only wanted this to prevent the Southern states from having more power than the Northern states.

Hartford Convention APUSH Practice Question 4

4. One of the lasting effects of the Hartford Convention was:
a. The adoption of the two-party system in the United States.
b. Set terms for the President and members of Congress.
c. Consecutive Presidents cannot come from the same state.
d. Debates regarding state’s rights vs. the rights of the federal government.

Answer: D. Perhaps the longest lasting effect of the Hartford Convention is the debate over state’s rights. As a result, this debate continues as people argue over what rights belong to states and what rights belong to the federal government.

How did you do with the Hartford Convention APUSH practice questions? Now continue to review topics that you need to know for the exam. Good luck and happy studying!

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  • Jamie Goodwin

    Jamie graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a degree in English Education. She spent several years teaching and tutoring students at the elementary, high school, and college level. She currently works as a contract writer and curriculum developer for online education courses. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her boys!

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