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Federalists vs Democratic Republicans Essay

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Federalists vs Democratic Republicans Essay

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From the beginning of the formation of a republic in the United States, many people feared the creation of factious voting blocks which would impose the will of a vocal minority on the majority of the people. Despite steps to avoid this, two political parties did form after George Washington stated that he would not seek another term and it became unclear who would be the next president. These parties were the Federalist Party, led by Alexander Hamilton, and the Democratic Republican Party, led by Thomas Jefferson. The Federalists were conservative and as a result their beliefs centered on a strong central government. The Democratic Republicans were liberal and supported the rights of states and individuals. The two political parties which formed after Washington's presidency, the Federalist Party and the Democratic Republican Party, expressed the polarized extremes of the young nation’s beliefs in terms of socioeconomic and political issues.

The first major divide between the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans was over socioeconomic issues. The Federalists believed that the country should be led by the best people, who they viewed as the educated elite.1 They argued that only the highly educated could make informed decisions about important political decisions and that extending the vote to the many would result in mob rule, a disruption of the status quo, and ruin for the country.2 On the other hand, the Democratic Republican Party believed that the country's leadership should be in the hands of the informed many. Like the Federalists they did not want to extend the vote to the mob, but they believed that common men could lead the country effectively once sufficiently informed.3 In addition, the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans differed over the relative importance of business and agriculture. The Federalists supported business, including shipbuilding, trade, and the infant manufacturing that was developing in urban centers....