Federalists V. Republicans

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In the 1790s, the United States was burdened by both domestic and foreign affairs. As the new nation began to develop, the relationship with France would fuel foreign affairs and the rise of political parties that would dominate domestic affairs even though the affairs at home were much more significant.

The most important domestic issues were the struggles between the Jeffersonian Republicans and the Federalists. The Republicans wanted states’ rights and power to the people; whereas the Federalists believed that power should belong to “the best” people or the rich and educated people with the federal government dominating most of the power. Foreign affairs helped to fuel their disagreements between the Republicans and Federalists. One of the most significant of the debated domestic issues was that of Hamilton’s Economic Plan. Since he was a Federalist, he wanted the federal government to take over the states’ debts and to centralize power and handle the debt. Hamilton also wanted to create a National Bank that would handle the federal government’s funds. Jefferson and his Republicans were outraged. Having paid off their debts, Virginia, felt that they were being cheated by the national assumption of the other states’ debts. The Republicans also feared that a National Bank would add even more power to the federal government. They argued that the Federalists were interpreting the elastic clause of the Constitution too loosely and that the Federalists would continue to seize more and more power if the precedent of loose interpretation was set. Hamilton continued to attempt to gain more power for the federal government by having the Excise Tax also known as the Whiskey Tax. It was an attempt to exercise the federal power to tax the citizens. The Republicans weren’t happy and rebellions were starting to rise up. Another important domestic affair was the Alien and Sedition Acts, which allowed several breaches of personal liberty in order to crush the threats to the...
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