Hamilton vs Jefferson: Their Oppositions

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Hamilton vs. Jefferson and Their Oppositions
Jennifer Maine
American History to 1865: AMH2010-08
February 22, 2013

The country of the United States had many contributing factors to become what it is today. There are two important people that pushed against each other so much when America started, that they helped to shape the United States towards what it has become. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were such different people that they could not help but challenge each other to be the best they could. This led them to do their best work for our country, even if it was only to show the other who was right. Together, they contributed to providing the foundation for the American political system. Their policies and influences shaped the development of the new republic. Many times they disagreed, but this only helped our first officials to see that they should consider all sides if they were to run this new country. Hamilton and Jefferson were a great pain to each other, yet a great help to our country.

Alexander Hamilton, to start with, helped settle the dispute between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan by coming up with the Connecticut Compromise. He said that not only should the larger states be in control, but the people who could retain money were responsible enough to run the government. Alexander Hamilton was a smart business man and would later become the secretary of the Treasury. In the mean time, his idea for putting money savvy people in charge would lead to the establishment of the Electoral College. Responsible people were elected to the Electoral College, and they would make the best decision for who should be president based off which person was voted for more in their state. Each state was to have an equal number of representatives. He also contributed to the making of the House of Representatives. The House is where the larger states would get more people and have more of a say or vote in different matters.

Thomas Jefferson was a different kind of man. Jefferson was from Virginia. He was a lawyer there, but he never used his degree because he inherited a lot of land when his father died. He believed that everyone should have a chance to participate in government, not just the rich, “smart” people. Jefferson also had the idea that everyone should be farmers and live off the land. He thought if we could all just be happy and not need to invent new things and come up with new machines, we could all live peaceful lives. Thomas Jefferson would also go on to spend most of his time as ambassador to France. He was in France during the time of the Constitution and when France has its own revolution. He urged the French to do as the Americans did and become a new government. Upon his return, Jefferson is made the secretary of State because he was good with foreign affairs.

In the 1790, a dispute in the new nation of the United States of America came about between the Federalists and the Anti Federalists. This “argument” would have a profound impact on the United States in years to come. The Federalists were led by Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was from a wealthier background, thus the Federalists represented the interests of the merchant side of things and the seaports. The Antifederalists were headed up by Thomas Jefferson. This group was in support of the rural, southern people who worked the farms and had to work with their hands for a living. The two groups would battle for who would hold the power, the central government or the states once the new order was set up. Federalists would argue for the power to be by the new national government and the Antifederalists wanted the power to be within the states.

Hamilton wanted there to be a strong central government that would act in the interest of industry and commerce. He wanted the people to love the efficiency that the government could bring and show them how it could be orderly and organized. When asked to come up with a plan to...
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