Madison and Jefferson's Federalist Ideas

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From 1801-1817 there was a clear separation of the United States. The Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties were in strong opposition of one another. Though the Republicans were usually characterized as strict constructionists, who were opposed to the broad constructionism of the Federalists, both Jefferson and Madison's presidencies highlighted Federalist ideals in many of their decisions. This included Jefferson's unconstitutional decision in purchasing the vast Louisiana territory and Madison's…

The standard Democratic-Republican had many beliefs in which followed the Constitution whole heartily. Jefferson writes, "The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign affairs"(Doc A). This belief that anything not mentioned within the Constitution was reserved for the states was represented the Democratic-Republican ideals a good deal. Thus, as in the Kentucky resolutions, both concluded that the federal government had exceeded its constitutional powers and that the states should not accept the Alien and Sedition Acts. Also, the Republicans strived for democracy; a weak central government; a rigid economy; the reduction of federalist office holders; state banks; relative freedom of the press and speech; concentration of agriculture in the South; minimal navy for coastal defense, which was achieved by Jefferson; and were primarily pro-French. These ideals were addressed during the Jefferson and Madison presidencies. However, in times of great crisis, the two presidents seemed to abandon their Democratic-Republican beliefs and lean towards a strong central government.

The Louisiana Purchase was an event in which recognized Jefferson's abandonment of Democratic-republican ideals and strive for a strong central government. While the Spanish surrendered the trans-Mississippi region to the French in 1800, Jefferson...
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