Dbq Compare And Contrast Jeffersonian Republicans And Federalists

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Between 1801 and 1817, the two parties the Jeffersonian Republicans and Federalists seemed to have changed their views on the issue of whether the constitution should be loosely interpreted, or strictly interpreted. The Democratic-Republicans originally prided themselves in having strict constructionist beliefs, but however, as time went on, they seemed to have adopted a broader outlook. The Federalists, who favored a looser perspective on the interpretation of the construction, adopted a more strict interpretation. Whenever the members of these parties had to change their perspective in order to suit their needs, they seemed to have no qualms in doing so.

Before Jefferson's own presidency, he was a large advocator of strict constitutionalism. In 1800, he wrote a letter to Gideon Granger, telling him that he believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution. He is a large advocator of state rights, and he states that he is not in favor of a strong national government. In the end of this letter, Jefferson states that "the true theory of the constitution is surely the wisest and best". (Document A)

In 1808, Jefferson follows the same view. In his letter to Samuel Miller, he strictly interprets the constitution as being the ultimate authority, and leaving the states the power that the government can not harness, such as anything to do with
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He favored central power, national rights, etc. By the 1790s however, Madison's views seemed to change drastically. He became a stronger advocate of states' rights, and began to interpret the constitution more rigidly. As can be seen in Madison's message to Congress regarding an Internal Improvements Bill, March 1817, Madison explicitly states that he can not favor the bill, because there is no power expressed in the Constitution which gives him the right to do so. Therefore, Madison, like Jefferson was not firm in his beliefs either. (Document

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