Interpretation of the Constitution

Topics: Thomas Jefferson, Democratic-Republican Party, James Madison Pages: 3 (1004 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Interpretation of the Constitution
Thomas Jefferson’s (president through 1801-09) political party, the Jeffersonian Republicans, believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, while Jefferson’s opposing party, the Federalists, believed in a loose interpretation of the Constitution. In order to comprehend the clear distinction between the two parties it is imperative to analyze the events during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency and James Madison’s presidency. The Democratic Republican Party solidified their values in various instances: James Madison’s letter to Congress, the resolutions of the Hartford convention, and Jefferson’s letter regarding religious freedom. Likewise, the Federalist Party upheld to their values when they created a national bank and to an extent when Jefferson criticized the federalist Parties values. However, both parties contradict their values many times. The Democratic Republican Party contradicted their strict approach, when Jefferson imposed the Embargo Act (creating many political cartoons emphasizing the hypocritical Democratic Republicans), the Louisiana Purchase, criticism from own party members, and controversial and contradicting views by Thomas Jefferson. Similarly the Federalist Party contradicts their own party values when they criticized the vague conscription bill of the Democratic Republicans. Even though the Federalist Party followed their loose values to an extent, while the Democratic Republican Party followed their strict values to an extent, both of the parties became hypocritical and contradicted their values for personal party gain.

In many occasions the Democratic Republican Party upheld their party’s’ beliefs. In Document E, a report of the Hartford Convention, the Democratic Republican Party followed their strict interpretation of the constitution. They did by restricting the restricting the governments power in various affairs involving the public. Also when the power was given to the government,...
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