Shortly after the revolution, many drastic changes occurred
in the United States. In addition to physical characteristics, the political aspect of this period of social adolescence was most astonishing. From the heart of the country rose two individuals, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, whose political philosophies formed the basis of all the development to come. Controversial issues such as enterpretation of the constitution, who should manage public affairs, and the Louisiana Purchase, crystallized the internal conflict of a growing nation.
Before we can examine the motives behind specific decisions made by each politician, we must examine their overall political philosophies. Hamilton, an fiancial genius, focused a great deal of his time on the economic success of America believing that this would spawn success to all other areas of the society. Jefferson did not ignore the economy, but rather was greatly focused on the individual rightsof citizens. In short Hamilton supported a loose and broad interpretation of the Constitution, while Jefferson promoted a strict view. In addition, the powerful central government supported by Hamilton, could be checked only by the informed masses provided for under Jeffersons plan. On a broader aspect, Hamilton wanted to expand the beuracracy, as well as enable the strong federal government to establish numerous tariffs and limits on free speech and free expression rights. Jefferson held strong to his beliefs of a weak central government needed only to secure individual rights and equal treatment of citizens. On the issue of a national bank, Hamilton believed that anything that was not forbade in the Constitution was to be allowed and thus supported a national bank in order to control the national debt as an asset. In contrast, Jeffersons belief that rights not given to the national government were given to state governments in order to minimize the menace of a national debt and sustain a rigid economy. These...
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