Jeffersonian Republicans

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Jeffersonian Republicans were often portrayed as strict constructionalists and the Federalists were considered broad constructionalists, but this characterization was untrue in many ways. Between 1801 and 1817 their primary beliefs on economics, military, and the judicial branch seemed to change completely. When Thomas Jefferson became president, he began to change his view on economics drastically. Jefferson and Madison, both republicans, talked about limited government. However when they served as President, both men excersized powers not granted in the constitution. Jefferson originially believed that the country would never exist in harmony as long as the Federalists supported ideas not stated in the Constitution. (A) Despite this, Jefferson purchased large amounts of western land from France in the Lousiana Purchase without senates approval. The Federalists believed this change was unnecessary and took on a stricter view of the Constitution. Madison also did not adhere to the Constitution by keeping Hamiltons financial plan of the Bank of the United States intact. This plan gave the federal government the right to tax the people. Jefferson also continued Hamiltons economic plan by administering tariffs. An example of this was The Embargo Act of 1807 (C. Not only did this go against the Constitution but it also wrecked American export businesses and caused a sharp depression in the Northeast. The protective tariff supported an addition to the revenue tariff, but went against Republican views. Jefferson believed that these changes were necessary as human knowledge and time advanced (G). Federalists did not agree with any of these changes and switched to a more strict view on economics. Jeffersonian Republicans believed that staying out of wars was important, but Madison went against this by going to war with Britain in the war of 1812. This was considered broad constructionalism because normally Jeffersonians would try to limit military spending and expansion...
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