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Jefferson and Madison and Federalism

By meks08 Nov 09, 2008 934 Words
John Adams was the last Federalist president which led to the next 16 years of Thomas Jefferson as president for two terms and James Madison as president for two terms. Jefferson and Madison were members of the Republican Party, which had principles and philosophies that were very different than the views of the Federalists. Jefferson and Madison each abandoned the Republican philosophies for Federalism. Jefferson and Madison took on Federalist views while being President of the United States. However, Jefferson and Madison each picked somewhere to stand their ground and keep some of their Republican views.

Jefferson didn't out right abandon Republican views. Jefferson's mission was to restore republicanism, to check the growth of government power, and to stop the decline of virute that had set in during Federalist rule. In his inaugural address he stated, "The will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; the minority posses their equal rights, which equal law must project, and to violate would be oppression." A Republican view was to be ruled by informed masses which is majority rule. The common good pointed in the direction of Federalism. Jefferson had to do soemthing about the Barbary Pirates. He sent a navy to the shores of Tripoli. After four years, a treaty was signed. The small gunboats that were used in the war fascinated Jefferson so he deployed 200 of these gunboats along the coast to guard American shores. Republicans believed in a minimal army and navy. Jefferson aboandoned Republicanism by entering into the Tripolitan War and then keeping a navy along the Untied States' coast after the war. The United States was given the chance to buy all of Lousiana for $15 million. Jefferson knew that this would be technically unconstitution but he still sumbitted the treaties to the Senate. Once again, Jefferson changed from Republican views to Federalist views because of his realist and public official side. Jefferson knew this would help the United States grow and it would keep Louisana out of the hands of other countries in Europe. Because of the war between France and Britain, the United States wanted to perserve their neutrality. The United States could trade with either of the countries without facing attacks. Jefferson asked Congress for an embargo. To enforce the embargo, Jefferson put armed troops in the ports. This violated the Republican view of anti army. Also Jeffeson left many of the Federalist institutions intact during his Presidency like the Bank of the United States. Republicans encouraged state banks but Jefferson didn't get rid of the national bank. Jefferson had many Republican views which were turned into Federalist views. This was because he wanted to do what was best for the United States even if that meant betrayng his Republican views.

Madison took the presidental oath on March 4, 1809 as a Republican but he too like Jefferson would take some Republican views and replace them with Federalist views. In the spring of 1812, Madison believe that war with Britain would be inevitable. For five years, the United States had tried to stay neutral and to not get militarily involved with Britain or France. On June 1, 1812, Madison asked Congress to declare war. This was called "Mr. Madison's War." A Republican view was to stay out of foreign wars and they also didn't believe in large armies of navies. Madison went from this peaceful Republican view to a more Federalist view. He wanted to be at war with Britain and to settle the disputes militarily and not peacefully. Madison had accepted the necessity of a Hamiltonian national bank, an effective taxation system based on tariffs, a standing professional army and a strong navy. Those are all Federalist views that Madison accepted. He abandoned his Republican views because he believed the Federalist ideas were better for the United States.

However, each president decided that not to abandon all their Republican views and principles. Jefferson had Washington as the capitol. It contrasted the elegant atmosphere of Federalist Philadelphia. Jefferson hated the excise tax, and persuaded Congress to repeal it. Jefferson believed that national debt was bane and not a blessing and a strict economy could reduce the debt while balanceing the budget. Originally Jefferson did reduce the military to a police force of 2,500 men. Jefferson believed that the United States could transend the bloody wars and entangling alliances of Europe. When the Chesapeake was attacked by a British ship, Jefferson could have had war if he wanted it but he didn't want to get involved in a war. Madison drew the line at internal improvements that were advocated by his Treasury Secretary. He believed that internal improvements were for states to fund. Jefferson and Madison didn't totally abandon their Republican priciples. They kept many of their Republican views. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had compromised some of their Republcan priciples for Federalist principles. Each of them did this because they believed that it was for the will of the majority or for the good of the United States. They also eventually drew the line and stayed true to many or their Republican princples. Both Jefferson and Madison achieved great things while they were presidents. Jefferson, however, had more Republican principles in that he believed in equality in all people, a less obtrusive government, and a broad interpretation of the Constitution. Madison, while agreeing on a more broad interpretation of the Constitution, instead wanted a stronger central government and more governmental powers. However both of the administrations were Republican.

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