Comparitive Analyis: Jefferson Versus Hamilton Essay

858 words - 3 pages

Though both Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson served as members of President Washington’s cabinet, the two held very different views on the newly founded U.S. government, interpretation of its constitution, and the role of the “masses” in that government. These conflicting views would develop in two political parties, the Federalists led by Hamilton and the Democratic-Republicans led by Jefferson. Although both political parties presented enticing aspects, Hamilton’s views were much more reasonable and fruitful when compared Jefferson’s views; idealistic and too strict in reference to the constitution.
Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, strongly opposed America becoming a land of cities, mines, mills, factories, and other industrial plantations. To support their ideas for a country of farmers, they adopted the theory of strict constructionism. This theory put forth the thought that the government did not have the power to do anything, unless it was expressly given the consent by the Constitution. Federalists, on the other hand, promoted the growth of industry in America. This party, lead by Alexander Hamilton, used the idea of broad constructionism. It said that unless the Constitution said it could not be done, it was fine to go ahead and do it. They often referred to the Necessary and Proper Clause, also known as the Elastic Clause; this stated that the government had the power to pass any law deemed “necessary and proper.” These two ideas obviously clashed frequently, and still do today. However Jefferson’s idea of an agrarian republic free of industry is absolutely absurd. Without the development of cities and industries there would not be a trade industry which would allow the farmers to trade and prosper. With no trade, farmers would not be able to market their surplus and the surplus in the American economy would cause prices to fall. This situation would produce little profit for farmers and eventually a severe recession economy.

One of Jefferson’s and Hamilton’s first disagreements began with the idea of a National Bank. Hamilton suggested that the government should create the Bank of the United States Jefferson protested because this was not allowed by the Constitution. Hamilton opposed the view of Jefferson and stated that the Constitution’s writers could not have predicted the need of a bank for the United States. Hamilton said that the right to create the Bank of the United States was stated in the “elastic” or the “necessary and proper” clause in which the Constitution gave the government the power to pass laws that were necessary for the welfare of the nation. “This dilemma...

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