Thomas Jefferson served as president of the United States from 1801- 1809. Before his presidency, federalist John Adams created two laws called the Alien and Sedition acts. The Alien act gave the president the authority to deport immigrants on any account. The Sedition act allowed the president to throw citizens in jail, even if they had done nothing wrong. These laws were not ruled unconstitutional because the entire Judiciary branch was made up of federalists, like Adams. When Jefferson became president he quickly repealed both of the laws. Jefferson also bought the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of America. Napoleon of France needed quick money because they were at war with Britain, so he sold the land to America. Jefferson also had to deal with many foreign policy issues. At that time the British kept kidnapping and executing American sailors, who were accused of trading with Britain's enemy France. So Jefferson created the embargo act which denied all trade with Britain. Jefferson was praised for the buying of the Louisiana Purchase, but criticized for the creation of the embargo act.
James Madison served as president from 1809- 1817. During his presidency he allowed Louisiana and Indiana to become states. In 1812 Madison entered America into the War of 1812. The war was fought to try and force Britain out of Canada and to stop the from attacking American sailors. Madison also signed the document that allowed the creation of the second national bank. He had a tough time paying for The War of 1812 and realized the importance of having a bank that the federal government had access to at all times. It also functioned as a central bank, by distributing money to individual states. James Madison is most famous for the fighting of The War of 1812.
Some accomplishments of Thomas Jefferson were popular, and some were unpopular. People were very happy with Jefferson when he repealed the Alien and Sedition acts. Citizens felt relieved that the president was no longer allowed to throw them in jail for no specific reason. The Louisiana purchase was also very popular because it doubled the size of America’s land. People liked the idea of the country having more land so they can spread out. Jefferson’s biggest problems came in foreign policy. The embargo act, created to stop British attacks on American sailors, was despised by nearly the entire American population. They thought the law only hurt America. People who’s businesses relied on international trade were horrified because they were out of jobs. More than that, it also went against his original campaign which said that he favored policies in favor of agriculture. Unfortunately for Jefferson, the embargo act permanently stained his reputation.
James Madison’s decisions received mixed reactions. The creation of the second national bank was viewed as either brilliant or inadequate. Older Democratic- Republicans were against it because it was loose construction of the constitution. Modern Democratic- Republicans were in favor of it to show support for the party. Many federalists also approved of the bank because the first national bank was created by federalist icon, Alexander Hamilton. On the other hand some federalists did not accept it, just to go against the enemy Democratic- Republicans. There were also mixed feelings towards the war of 1812. Being afraid of entering war with Britain, most federalists opposed the war. Others were excited and felt that it would be important for America to stand up to the British. Madison and the Republicans also felt that it was important that they go to war, not only to stop the British, but to show the entire world that America’s young democracy could survive and function as a legit government. America is still a new country and has yet to display the brilliance of democracy.
Jefferson’s actions affected America both positively and negatively. Repealing the Alien and Sedition acts were very important because they were unconstitutional. The Louisiana purchase benefited America because the population was able to spread out and be successful economically in different places. The embargo act nearly destroyed America’s economy. Many people lost their jobs in the trade business and had no way of making money. America also did not receive any of the latest goods from Britain or France. On top of all of the economic issues, the national conflicts became worse. Neither Britain nor France suffered from the embargo act. British pirates were still executing and kidnapping American sailors. People became petrified of Britain and frustrated with Jefferson.
Madison’s actions affected America in the best possible way. Although there were mixed feelings about it, the second national bank turned out to be extremely beneficial to America’s economy. Money was distributed to the states, and the federal government had full access to the money. The war of 1812 ended up being amazing for America. Nobody actually won the war, but America gained confidence. They gain strength and prove that they have the ability to fight with Britain. Most importantly, Democracy survived and humbled its doubters. America becomes stronger by gaining confidence from the moral victory in The war of 1812.
Overall, the actions of James Madison turned out to benefit America more than Jefferson’s actions did. America suffered from a bad foreign policy system, and a worse economy due to the embargo act. People had no jobs and were still being executed by the British. America gained a lot of confidence from the War of 1812, which allowed them to stay positive. Jefferson put America in debt, while Madison gave America confidence with room to develop.
James Madison leaves America in a position where she can grow. The confidence from the War of 1812 helps the new country become more powerful internationally under president James Monroe. An army, led by Andrew Jackson, was set to conquer Florida. They successfully do so, and release the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that if any country goes near the U.S. southern states, America will attack them. When Jefferson was president, British people were executing American sailors. Now, American soldiers are attacking British people in Florida. Also, not having anymore foreign policy issues allowed the economy to thrive. Things like transportation became much more affordable and organized. During the War, transportation was a major issue. So was the manufacturing of goods. People used to created their own goods, and control all payments in the business. Machines were later invented to produce the same goods more rapidly and more efficiently, letting products be more affordable. Additionally, the concept of wages was created, resulting in more jobs. Madison created the opportunity for America to grow economically, and take authority power internationally.
In affect of James Madison fixing America’s national problems, the New Country started to grow. Thomas Jefferson gave America no room for improvement. His embargo act made the foreign policy issues worse, and put America in debt. Because he was unable to resolve any of the conflicts with Britain, America was unstable and did not improve. James Madison solved the issues Jefferson couldn’t, and allowed America to flourish.