Virtual vs. Reality
1998 APUSH DBQ Essay-Sam Ingalls-1st Hour
Although Republicans and Federalists were characterized as having particular views towards the implementation of the Constitution, the Jefferson and Madison presidencies prove that even though virtually they believe one thing, realistically they could very possibly act another way. Following the making of the Constitution, James Madison brought forth the warning of political factions or parties as we know today in one of his many inputs into the Federalist Papers. As the Constitution was offered among the states to be ratified, two groups rose in effect of differing opinions on the document, and these two groups were known as the supporters, Federalists, and the opposition, Antifederalists. After eventual political compromise and the beginning of a new government, these parties did not disappear, yet instead became much stronger. In one corner stood the Federalists who believed in broad constructionism of the Constitution and used it to enlarge the size of the national government and its’ powers. In the other corner stood the Antifederalists who soon became the Democratic-Republicans, and in opposition to the Federalist believed in a strict constructionism of the Constitution and often supporting the power of the state and its’ independence. The Federalist dominated national politics for the first decade of our nation’s history and it was not until the Revolution of 1800 when the Jefferson and his Republicans took over. In a letter to Gideon Granger, a fellow Republican, Jefferson expresses his opinion that the Federalist indeed do not observe the obvious principles of the Constitution and that the Republicans true “preservation” of the Constitution will lead them to a majority in the legislature, (Document A). This piece of information shows support to the idea that the Republicans were strict constructionists of the Constitution and their looking down of the Federalists who took a broader...
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