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Federal Constitution Essay

1188 words - 5 pages

The simple turn of a century from the late 1700's to the 1800's brought about drastic change in regard to the United States government. Not only had the rebellious colonies overthrown the oppressive rule of their mother country Britain, but they had already begun to establish their own political domain. Within this realm of the newly founded democracy were two conflicting parties. On one side was the Jeffersonian Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson himself and later on by James Madison. Those who composed this legislative faction tended to believe in strong state governments, a feeble central government, and a rigid interpretation of the constitution. Opposing the Jeffersonian Republicans were the Federalists of America. The federalists craved for a mighty central government with less powerful state governments, and a loose interpretation of the Constitution. The two parties had divergent standpoints ranging from religion to admission of states into the American union. With respect to the federal Constitution, the Federalists acquired a consistently flexible interpretation of it. On the other hand, the Jeffersonian Republicans flip-flopped. At the onset of the 19'th century, Thomas Jefferson and his followers rigidly abided by it. Eventually the party possessed a rather wishy-washy construction.
Born into a wealthy Virginian family in 1743, Thomas Jefferson grew up to become president of the United States in 1800. He brought an unprecedented sense of commitment to office, believing in smaller central governments with stronger state governments. Jefferson and his Republican followers were devoted to living by the constitution as it pertained to states rights.

Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government…The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations. (Document A)

Jeffersonian Republicans believed they were campaigning for the best interests of the American people. They supported a strong state government rather than a powerful central government because the states were closer to their people. The state governments knew best how to regulate its own people. Within the Constitution it says the central government of America must stay out of religious affairs and other state issues of that sort such as building roads and canals (Document H). Therefore, by acting in the people's interests, the Jeffersonian Republicans were compelled to strictly follow the Constitution. Document "B" illustrates this. "Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general {federal} government. It must then rest with the states."
As Thomas Jefferson's presidency unraveled itself, the ideals of his fellow Jeffersonian Republican's began to evolve with the times. For example, when the Louisiana...

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