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Essay Question Unit III
Originally starting as friends, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton quickly developed almost opposite views and expectations of the United States. The two feuded and sometimes compromised over every issue under the sun. The two men aspired for a common goal, a well-rounded America, but they went about this goal differently. The Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian movements possessed many similarities and differences in many areas, like interpretation of the Constitution, political philosophies, federal power versus state power, and long term social and economic outlook in the United States. The Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian movements also provided different interpretations of the Constitution. Jefferson believed that there should be a very literal interpretation of the document, but Hamilton believed it could be more loosely interpreted. Hamilton believed there were some powers the president had that were implied. Jefferson did not like this way of thinking. The creation of the national bank created much controversy involving the interpretation of the Constitution. The Constitution never explicitly stated that the federal government had the power to form the bank. However, Hamilton claimed that under the Elastic clause the government had the authority to create the bank. Jefferson says that there is nothing necessary about a national bank. Hamilton’s argument is that the federal government has the power to print and coin money, so they must have a national bank in order to maintain the economic stability of the United States. Though Jefferson does not believe in Hamilton’s loose interpretation, he does use it to his advantage after the Louisiana Purchase. When the Louisiana territory is made available to the United States at such a low price, Jefferson feels that he much purchase the land. However, Jefferson has overstepped his constitutional authority with the purchase. Therefore, he uses Hamilton’s “implied” powers and gets the Senate to...
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