Madison And Jefferson's Federalist Ideas Essay

944 words - 4 pages

From 1801-1817 there was a clear separation of the United States. The Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties were in strong opposition of one another. Though the Republicans were usually characterized as strict constructionists, who were opposed to the broad constructionism of the Federalists, both Jefferson and Madison's presidencies highlighted Federalist ideals in many of their decisions. This included Jefferson's unconstitutional decision in purchasing the vast Louisiana territory and Madison's…
The standard Democratic-Republican had many beliefs in which followed the Constitution whole heartily. Jefferson writes, "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 affairs"(Doc A). This belief that anything not mentioned within the Constitution was reserved for the states was represented the Democratic-Republican ideals a good deal. Thus, as in the Kentucky resolutions, both concluded that the federal government had exceeded its constitutional powers and that the states should not accept the Alien and Sedition Acts. Also, the Republicans strived for democracy; a weak central government; a rigid economy; the reduction of federalist office holders; state banks; relative freedom of the press and speech; concentration of agriculture in the South; minimal navy for coastal defense, which was achieved by Jefferson; and were primarily pro-French. These ideals were addressed during the Jefferson and Madison presidencies. However, in times of great crisis, the two presidents seemed to abandon their Democratic-Republican beliefs and lean towards a strong central government.
The Louisiana Purchase was an event in which recognized Jefferson's abandonment of Democratic-republican ideals and strive for a strong central government. While the Spanish surrendered the trans-Mississippi region to the French in 1800, Jefferson decided to acquire more territory at once. He feared that French territory in the United States would bring British war on American soil. As a result, President Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert Livingston to Paris. Monroe's was given a maximum of ten million dollars to buy New Orleans and as much land east as possible. However, in opposition to Jefferson's wishes, Monroe purchased all of Louisiana for a hefty fifteen million dollars. Although the Democratic-Republicans were in favor of the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson, still in shock of Monroe's settlement, questioned the constitutionality of the treaty. This purchase did not specifically empower the president or Congress to annex foreign territory. This event inevitably led to the Hartford Convention of 1815, in which contradicted Jefferson's purchase(Doc E).
Though the Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States, the President had incorporated a great deal of territory into the Union. Jefferson was not...

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