Jefferson Outfederalized the Federalists

Topics: Thomas Jefferson, U.S. state, Louisiana Purchase Pages: 3 (721 words) Published: November 13, 2006
After the election of 1800, the Democratic-Republican candidate, Thomas Jefferson, was elected as president. Well-known as a supporter of states rights and an agrarian society, Jefferson felt the need to reduce the differences between the two parties and did much to accomplish this through his two terms. Although Jefferson was elected as a Democratic-Republican, through his term he adopted many Federalist's views in order to do what was best for the common good. In a way, Jefferson did out-federalize the federalists by taking their arguments he felt were strong enough to be supported by the public and were best for the common good. Jefferson's biggest action that stood out as a Federalist viewpoint was the purchase of the Louisiana Territory. When presented with the treaty, Jefferson feared that signing treaty was unconstitutional because it wasn't directly stated in constitution. However, after thinking it over, Jefferson signed the treaty and rationalized for it through implied powers (Moran and Holder 164) and that he had the right under the constitution under the treaty-making powers (Brinkley 202). This went against the Republican view that the federal government only has the rights specifically mentioned in the constitution, and the constitution did not state that the President has the authority to purchase land from other countries. Finally, the Louisiana Purchase used federalist ideas by its vagueness. The treaty did not specifically set up boundaries but simply stated that the purchase was the "same extent" as when France and Spain owned it (Brinkley 202). With this one action, Jefferson went against two of his Republican views; interpreting the constitution as it is written and strong states rights. Besides the Louisiana Purchase, many other not as important actions were taken that resembled federalist's ideas. Originally, republicans didn't want a national bank, but during Jefferson's term, he allowed the first bank to continue without interference...
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