Jefferson vs Federalists

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  • Topic: Thomas Jefferson, Democratic-Republican Party, James Madison
  • Pages : 1 (335 words )
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  • Published : November 1, 2010
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Federalists vs Jeffersoneans

With respect to the federal Constitution, the Jeffersonian Republicans are usually characterized as strict constructionists who were opposed to the broad constructionism of the Federalists. As history dictates, this is found to be substantially accurate. As the colonies of America further widened the gap with their mother country and began to develop into a successful democratic nation, numerous political changes occurred. With this gap, a democracy began to emerge in the form of two political parties. These were the Jeffersonian Republicans and the Federalists. The parties came to be characterized by certain beliefs, and the validity of those principles would come to be questioned during the Jefferson and Madison presidencies. During the time period from 1801 to 1817 the Jeffersonian Republicans, led by presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, would often contradict their values and employ the Federalist ideals in regards to domestic affairs and foreign policy. Federalists were firm believers in the production of a strong central government and a broad interpretation of the Constitution. However, the Democratic Republicans believed that the government should follow a strict interpretation of the Constitution and held the idea that this would allow honest representation of the people and prevent government corruption.

Thomas Jefferson was the driving force behind the Democratic Republicans, who were the main opposition of the Federalists. Virtually disagreeing with the Federalists on every issue, he planned to make considerable amount of changes to the system once he came into power. That he did when he was inaugurated March 4, 1801. In his speech, he stressed the need for a government of limited powers, economy in the national administration, support of state governments in all their rights, acquiescence in majority decisions, the preservation of civil liberties, and peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all...
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