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1996 Ap Us History Free Response Dbq

1329 words - 5 pages

Throughout the period 1801-1817, the government was ruled by the Jeffersonian Republican party, whereas the Federalist Party began to slowly fade away from public view. The Jeffersonian Republican party, led by Thomas Jefferson, professed to favor a weak central government through the support of more states' rights, "...that the states are independent... to...themselves...and united as to everything respecting foreign nations." (Document A). On the other hand, the Federalist Party, previously led by Alexander Hamilton, espoused the idea of a strong central government. The characterization of these two political parties during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison were inconsistent with the professed position in the 1790's.The Jeffersonian Republican party was founded on specific principles, presented and created by Thomas Jefferson's ideal of the perfect government. The nation was thus divided into two ideals - the Jeffersonian Republicans and the Federalists - but as Thomas Jefferson rose to power, the Federalists ideals and influence began to fade. During the Tripolitan War, Jefferson used mostly the navy to fight and win the war, because of Jefferson's belief of a strong standing army was an invitation towards dictatorship. Specifically, the "mosquito fleet" was used because of its size and maneuverability. The "mosquito fleet" was also lightly funded because of the Jeffersonian Republicans' belief in a minimal navy, but it provided sufficient protection for the American shores. Three years after the Tripolitan War, the Embargo Act was enacted to avoid yet another war, which was the reason for Jefferson's pressure on Congress to pass it. The Embargo Act, however, was an example of Jefferson's Jeffersonian Republicans' "strict constructionist" ideal because a compromise in the Constitution stated that Congress had the power to regulate foreign trade. Jefferson's main goal was to avoid war, but the Embargo Act only delayed what seemed to be the inevitable. The Embargo Act caused a complete boycott of British and European goods, and it was supposedly an ultimatum for the discontinuation of British and European harassment of American ships. The Embargo Act in turned backfired, because it hurt the merchants through the discontinued trade with superpower, Great Britain and other European countries, and was three times more costly than war itself. On the other hand, the Embargo did have positive attributes because the merchants began to develop domestic manufacturing, which slowly made the United States economically independent from other countries' economies. Ironically, Jefferson's Embargo Act did cause an economic ripple in Europe, but the American people were too impatient to reap its "bountiful" yield. The Federalists obtained the title of being "loose constructionists." The Jeffersonian Republicans' rational of the Constitution was if it did not grant, it forbade. President Madison vetoed the Internal Improvement Bill (soon to be known as...

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