Thomas Jefferson wrote to Gibeon Granger about the powers of the states. Jefferson believes the country is too large to have a single federal government. He believes that the states should have some power too. Jefferson says the Republicans have accepted these rights from the Constitution and the federalists have opposed them. Document B
Jefferson tells Samuel Miller that the Constitution doesn’t give the federal government the power to require any religious activity or accept control in religious activity. This then must be the power of the states. Document C
The turtle or Ograbme represents the Embargo Act of 1807. The Embargo Act was put in place to hurt the British by banning American trade with the British. The snapping turtle biting the American in the pants represents how the Embargo Act actually hurt the Americans. This act devastated the American economy.
Daniel Webster, a Federalist, gives a speech to the House of Representatives about drafting an army by compulsions. He pounces on Madison’s policies to draft an army without a formal right form congress. This went against the Republican beliefs because they believed in a small army and in isolationism. He asks why the government has the right to take men from their families to fight for the government. These men are unwilling to fight. This power to draft an army gives Congress the power to create a dictator. Document E
The Hartford Convention resolved these things:
No new state shall enter the United States by Congress without two thirds of the vote in both houses. Congress doesn’t have the power to put an embargo on the citizens of the United States for more than 60 days Congress doesn’t have the power to ban commercial trade between the United States and any foreign country without two thirds of the vote in both houses. Document F
John Randolph speaks about the proposed tariffs. He says that the Jefferson administration is trying to gain more power. They now focus on old Federalism and create in into something called republicanism. Randolph wants Congress to get rid of the tariff because it favors the manufacturers. Document G
Thomas Jefferson writes to Samuel Kercheval that some people look at the constitution hypocritical awe. They think that the constitution can’t be touched. The men that wrote it had more wisdom. Thomas Jefferson thinks as men get smarter and new discoveries made the constitution should also advance and be amended. Document H
John Madison considered the bill for internal improvements, but had to veto it. This bill would set aside funds to construct roads and canals, and improve the navigation of watercourses. Madison is aware of the importance of these things but this power is not given by the Constitution. John Madison believes that the success of the Constitution depends on the division of power between the federal and the state governments.
During the early 1800s, two dominating political parties started to form, the Jeffersonian Republicans and the Federalists. Two different interpretations of the Constitution characterized these parties. The Jeffersonian Republicans believed in a strict perspective, meaning they should abide the Constitution word for word. The Federalists believed in a loose or broad interpretation of the Constitution, meaning the Constitution can be shaped to their needs. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Jeffersonian Republicans, would often contradict themselves and apply Federalist ideals. The same goes for the Federalists; they also changed their views to Jeffersonian Republican ideals occasionally. The Jeffersonian Republicans believed in powerful state governments, a weak federal government and strict judgment of the Constitution in order to preserve it. Thomas Jefferson started to contravene the beliefs of his own Republican party during his presidency when he bought the Louisiana Territory from France. The Louisiana Purchase went against many Jeffersonian beliefs because the Constitution did not give the federal government the power to buy land for the Union. Jefferson again contradicted strict constructionism when he passed the Embargo Act of 1807. This closed trade with foreign nations and made the federal government strong by giving it power to regulate commerce and adjust tariffs. This also goes against the Republican belief of a weak central government. Jefferson supported Federalist beliefs a third time when he wrote a letter to Samuel Kercheval stating that the Constitution should be revised to keep pace with current times. Federalists, not Jeffersonian Republicans, believe the Constitution should be changed and manipulated. James Madison also contradicts his beliefs during his presidency by using broad constructionism during the War of 1812. He had to build up the army in preparation for the war, but it went against the Republican belief of a small peacetime army. Getting involved with the war also interfered with the Republican belief of isolationism. James Madison did stick to his beliefs in the vetoing of an Internal Improvements Bill. He vetoed the bill because the power to construct roads and canals was not given to the federal government in the Constitution. Federalists also contradicted themselves and their ideals at the Hartford Convention when they agreed to weaken the central government and give more power to the states. During the time period of 1801 to 1817 both the Jeffersonian Republicans and the Federalists adjusted their interpretation of the Constitution. The Jeffersonian Republicans contradicted their beliefs many times during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison.