Political Parties Essay

818 words - 4 pages

A political party is a group of people who seek to win elections and hold public office in order to shape government policy and programs. George Washington warned the nation against creating political parties in his famous “Farewell Address”. He feared political parties would divide the country and weaken support of the Constitution (Doc 4). The first major political parties, the Federalists and the Republicans, were created during the term of President George Washington. Despite President Washington’s warning, the rise of the two political parties, in the years after his term was inevitable. The Federalists were in favor of a strong central government, while the anti-federalists opposed most their ideas. Over time, the gradual development of political parties resulted in the Democrat and Republican parties we have today. The Whiskey Rebellion and different views between the Federalists and Antifederalists were a couple of the main causes that led to the rise of political parties in the 1790’s.
The conflict between the Antifederalists and the Federalists had a tremendous impact on the formation of political parties. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were both members of President George Washington's Cabinet, but had completely different views on politics. The differences in opinions made the people split into two separate groups. Primarily, the social backgrounds of each group impacted this. The Federalist Party consisted of mostly wealthy men, many of whom were lawyers, businessmen, bankers, and merchants. These men had a lot of influence in the northern part of the United States because businesses were popular and growing in this region. When it came to the Constitution, the Federalists believed in a loose interpretation of it, believing that just because something might not be physically written into the Constitution, it could still be implied. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a reference to a national bank, so Hamilton used ratification to create his bank. The First Bank of the United States was needed because the government had a debt from the Revolutionary War, and each state had a different form of currency. Hamilton created a financial system and national bank that solved the countries debt problem. The Anti-Federalists held the opposite views. They were a diverse coalition of people who opposed ratification of the Constitution. The party mostly consisted of farmers who lived in the south. They objected the new powerful central government, the loss of prestige for the states, and saw the Constitution as a potential danger to personal liberties. They believed that...

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