Jefferson/Madison Dbq

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Devin Timms
AP US History
Jefferson/Madison DBQ

During the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the two political parties were still somewhat true to their founding ideas, but not completely. The different parties had started to let go of their strong stances and instead begin to take a more, middle of the road viewpoint. The Jeffersonians began to sway from their strict constructionism partly, as they passed things like the 1st Bank of the United States, which went against almost everything the Jeffersonians were for and allowed the government to read-into the constitution. As the Jeffersonians started letting go of their ideals, so did the Federalists.

As Thomas Jefferson moved throughout his presidency, he started letting go of his strict constructionism view. Before he became president, Jefferson still upheld the strict constructionist view that had become the characteristic of the Jeffersonian party. In his letter to Gideon Granger, he talks about how the government will never be harmonious as long as the Federalists continue to attempt to make changes to the Constitution(Doc A). This letter and the one Jefferson wrote to Samuel Miller in 1808 still show more of a classic Jeffersonian view as they talk about giving less power to the central government and enforce a strict constructionist standpoint(Doc B). However, other actions and letters indicate Jefferson’s change. For example, the 1st Bank of the United States was passed under Jefferson, and that is clearly a Federalist item. Also, in Jefferson’s letter to Samuel Kercheval, he talks about how even though he may not like it, the world is changing and so you must change with it to keep up(Doc G). However, not all Jeffersonians were following his lead. In a speech to the House of Representatives, John Randolph shows a much more strict constructionist view as he denounces the “true republican principles of Jefferson’s administration”(Doc F). The Jeffersonian party had stayed true to...
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