Loose And Strict Constructionism Essay

575 words - 2 pages

The Republicans Jefferson and Madison, and the Federalists, mainly Hamilton, hated each other. They constantly fought over power of the U.S., and were classified into two groups, Republicans were strict and Federalists were loose constructionists. This was a fairly accurate statement most of the time, but occasionally one of them would change from loose to strict, or vice versa. America was having a huge burst of immigrant population during the late 1790's, and this deeply troubled the Federalists. They were mostly afraid that the immigrants, mainly the French and Irish, were plotting against Britain. They passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, giving them the right to arrest and deport any foreigners that they thought were a threat to the nation. This broad interpretation of the Constitution was more for the federal government than it was for states rights. The Republicans replied with the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, adopted by the Kentucky legislature in 1798. Written by Thomas Jefferson himself, they were a severe attack on the Federalists' broad interpretation of the Constitution, which would have extended the powers of the national government over the states. The resolutions declared that the Constitution merely established a compact between the states and that the federal government had no right to exercise powers not specifically delegated to it under the terms of the compact; should the federal government assume such powers, its acts under them would be illegal and therefore void.In Jefferson's letter to Granger, he shows a major belief in strict constructionism. He acknowledges the fact that one central government is too small for such a large country. He supports the idea that the states should be...

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