1998 Dbq

Topics: Democratic-Republican Party, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 3 (1014 words) Published: November 5, 2007
During the early 1800s, two parties were developed having different perspectives on government and the Constitution. The Democratic Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, were always characterized by following the strict construction of the constitution. The Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, were characterized by following the broad construction of the constitution. The presidencies of Jefferson and Madison proved this characterization to be somewhat accurate. Although the Democratic Republicans and the Federalists did support their own ideas and views, they also did many things that contradicted them. The Democratic Republicans started out by supporting their ideas fully and confidently. In Jefferson's letter to Gideon Granger (Document A), Jefferson displays his ideas on how the Constitution should be interpreted and how they oppose the ideas of the Federalists. Jefferson also tells Granger that he disagrees with the Federalists' ideas and that it would "sink the states' governments, consolidate them into one, and to monarchies that." He also believes in a weak central government, an idea of a Democratic-Republican, having the states be control of everything internal and only having the central government in charge of foreign affairs. In Document B, Jefferson's letter to Samuel Miller, Jefferson stated that the president has no authority over religious exercises. This was an exact belief of a Democratic-Republican. Not only did this document states that the central government should be weak, this also states the belief of a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Jefferson demonstrated his beliefs through the government primarily. After he was elected president, he started to "slim" things down, cutting taxes and the army and limiting the power of the government and eliminating Federalist power. During Madison's term, he also somewhat stuck to his principles. In Document H, he expressed his thoughts on the Internal Improvements Bill...
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