Jeffersonians vs Federalists

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison Pages: 3 (856 words) Published: December 11, 2011
Throughout the 1800's, Jeffersonian Republicans thought that the federal government’s power was confined to the grants of the Constitution. On the other hand, the Federalists believed in the broad construction that gave the government any power that was not forbidden by the constitution. Despite the fact that the Jeffersonian Republicans believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, and Federalists believe in a loose interpretation, these beliefs were misrepresented according to the party’s views on the authority of the government during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison. During this time, the Jeffersonian Republicans beliefs were inverted with the beliefs of the Federalists. The Jeffersonian Republicans leaned toward a loose interpretation and the Federalists leaned toward a strict one. The ideal society of Jefferson and his followers varied greatly to the federalists’ ideal society. The Jeffersonian Republicans wanted their society to have a central government that barely controlled the lives of the independent farmers. They preferred to have a strong state government. The sole purpose of the government was to protect one’s liberties that the Constitution granted. Jefferson expresses his ideal society in Document B when he talks with the Presbyterian minster, Samuel Miller. It shows that the civil powers are the presidents alone and no other authority even God can direct the religious exercises of his people. Jefferson’s idea turned out to be a fantasy because the nation was becoming more industrial and urban which needed more control then he once envisioned. Jefferson alike Washington was not in favor of war. In fact, he created the Embargo Act of 1808 in effort to prevent war. The Embargo Act did not allow ships to leave the port for any foreign destination, which would prevent them from provoking fights with hostile ships. This led to a period of economic depression. Document C displays a cartoon, “OGRABME, or The American...
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