The Jeffersonian Republicans and Federalists Essays

1226 Words Nov 15th, 2008 5 Pages
The Jeffersonian Republicans and Federalists By 1817 the great American experiment was in full swing. America was developing into an effective democratic nation. However as the democracy continued to grow, two opposing political parties developed, the Jeffersonian Republicans and the Federalists. The Jeffersonian Republicans believed in strong state governments, a weak central government, and a strict interpretation of the Constitution. The Federalists saw it differently. They opted for a powerful central government with weaker state governments, and a loose interpretation of the Constitution. The seemingly solid divide between Federalist and Republican would begin to blur during the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. …show more content…
As his presidency continued Jefferson began drifting further away from the original ideals of the Republican Party. His decisions no longer reflected a strict interpretation of the Constitution, but resembled the loose construction of the Constitution employed by the Federalists. When he made the decision to purchase the Louisiana Territory in 1803, effectively doubling the territory of the USA, he loosely interpreted the Constitution like that of a federalist by working around the Constitution. No where did the Constitution state that the president had the power to make such a purchase, but by using the “necessary and proper” clause as a loop pole he made the purchase. He went against his party doctrine of strict interpretation in order to expand American domain and to protect the US from the threat of a resurgent France. Another show of Republican movement away from being strict constructionist was when Jefferson passed The Embargo Act of 1807, which banned all foreign exports. Supported by Document C, the Embargo Act was extremely unpopular with the American public. No where in the listing of the presidential powers did it state that a law such as the Embargo Act could be passed. When Jefferson passed this Act, he may have hoped he was helping to protect national honor, while putting pressure on Britain and France to end their war; what he really did was put more power into the central

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