Jefferson and Madison

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Which Party Were They?

In the Nineteenth Century, the Federalist and Democratic – Republican parties were greatly opposed to one another. Democratic Republicans were strict constructionists and Federalists were loose constructionists. Although these two parties’ policies were extremely different, both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison presidencies would be defined by Federalist policies, even though they both were Democratic – Republicans. Thomas Jefferson was clearly a Democratic – Republican as he ran for the office of President of the Unites States of America. He had created the party along with James Madison in 1791 and historians even call them the “Jeffersonian Republicans”. Jefferson along with the party favored state rights; however, one of Jefferson’s largest actions while in office was one that broadened the power of the Presidency and the federal government. In 1803 the United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France in a sale that was known as the Louisiana Purchase. Now this was not an easy action for Jefferson to make. In being a Democratic – Republican, Jefferson believed in loose constructionism and state rights. However, under this deal Jefferson would essentially broaden the powers of the Presidency by expanding the ability to make treaties. Obviously, broadening the powers of the Presidency would make the federal government much stronger, something that was a Federalist principle and greatly opposed by the Democratic – Republican party. This gigantic sale would prove to be one of the lasting legacies of his Presidency, thus illustrating him as a man who believed in Federalist principles. In addition, Jefferson also used strong national power to put down opposition to the Embargo of 1807. Once again, Jefferson used the Federalist principle of a strong federal government. James Madison was also a creator of the Democratic – Republican party, although he was originally a Federalist and the author of The Federalist Papers,...
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