Kentucky Virginia Resolutions

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Mike Hamrock
APUSH Semester Essay
12/13/12

Throughout the early days of the United States of America, when the nation was beginning to take structural form, the power of the national government increased greatly. Much of this is due to the Federalist ideas present by our first President George Washington, and other prominent founding fathers such as Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. The Federalist position, which supported a strong central government favoring power to the national or federal government, was very prominent in the early days, however it was not unopposed. With the growing power of the national government, those known as Anti-Federalists entered the picture. Anti-Federalists favored power to the states, and sought a weak central government in order to ensure the right of individuals in the nation. Later Anti-Federalists formed the Democratic-Republican Party headed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It was through the actions of the members of the Democratic-Republicans, through events including The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, and the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, that they were effective in decreasing the size of the federal government, ensuring individual rights to the people of the U.S. and stealing power away from the Federalist Party.

It is James Madison who is most commonly referred to as the Father of the Constitution. Madison, being a Democratic-Republican in favor of the rights to the states, pushed for a more state favored Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, the leader of the Federalist Party, was extremely opposed to state power, especially majority state power. The Federalist position had been prominent in politics during the very early years of the nation, through Federalist presidents George Washington and John Adams. It was under the administration of George Washington in 1794, that great opposition to the federalist position came into play. In the backwoods of Southwestern Pennsylvania the distillation...
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