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Changes And Sacrifices Of The Democratic Republicans And The Federalists

2012 words - 9 pages

Early in the Constitutional period, Anti-Federalist, later the Democratic-Republican party and the Federalist had disputes and opposing plans for the new and young nation. Federalist stood for a strong and centralized federal government; especially one that focused on commercial interest. Democratic-Republicans wanted a weak central government that would be under the sovereignty of the states and focused on the agrarian life of the United States. As time dragged on, each party evolved after the Constitutional period from 1800 to 1824. Democratic Republicans and Federalist remained true to their tenets during the earlier parts of the period, but after the War of 1812, transformation in the parties’ principles became clearly eminent. Jefferson passed the Embargo Act, in attempt to practice peaceful coercion; however, the embargo failed and forced the Democratic-Republican congress into fighting a war with England. After war sparked, the Democratic-Republicans began to push for a military, a federal bank with a tariff, and a loosely interpreted amendable constitution. The Federalist desired to limit the now predominantly Democratic-Republican, but still the central government, as they demanded limiting changes to congress’ legislations and openly strictly interpreting the constitution. Both parties’ beliefs evolved; however, they sacrificed beliefs in order to preserve the main principle of each party, an agrarian expansion westward and inward for the Democratic-Republicans and commerce and trade for the Federalist.

President Thomas Jefferson considered his election of 1800 to be a revolution focused on restoring the original spirit of the revolutionary period of the US, to reverse the “damage” the Federalist government had created. Jefferson saw during President John Adams’ and Washington's presidency an abundancy of Federalist influence changing what Jefferson believed was the “true theory” of the Constitution. Jefferson felt that the true theory of the Constitution was that it was a compact under the sovereignty of all the independent states and the Federalist government has opposed all that has been agreed upon (Document A). His Compact Theory was an in support of the Democratic-Republican ideals. He wishes to take power away from the federal government, and give power to the states. The ways in which the Federalist had opposed Jefferson’s theory of the constitution were the policies of the Federalist government and plans by Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson had saw the federal government forcefully ending the Whiskey Rebellion, which erupted after the excise tax passed by the Federalist. In the eyes of a Jeffersonian, this would be similar to a tyrant crushing an unarmed peasant rebellion. The federalist had also established a federal bank while interpreting loosely, and pointing towards the Elastic Clause declaring that the bank was necessary and proper. In debate over the Federal Bank, Democratic-Republicans, like Jefferson and James Madison...

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