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Thought Paper 3

1478 words - 6 pages

Thomas Jefferson and Jay Hamilton were both important contributors to the political system of the United States; however, they had differing opinions on what system is best for the nation. Jefferson believed the small republic, such as in towns or small communities, is the safest; in which liberty is protected by allowing every citizen to have the ability to have a direct impact on their government. Hamilton believed small republics are dangerous for free application of liberty, as they open up the opportunity for faction because there are more chances for an oppressive majority to take over the community. Today the smaller sectors of the community have the most powers, but must abide by the ...view middle of the document...

On the other hand, however, education could still lead to faction occurring because there are many different methods of education that could change the way people could think, and could turn certain groups into an oppressive majority. Take, for example, a group of people that are extremely religious, and have been taught through there church that homosexuality is wrong. If the majority of people in the whole republic were educated with these same beliefs, then the majority could criminalize homosexuality and thus become oppressive by taking away the rights of homosexuals to express their desired sexuality. This is where the ideas of Jefferson and Hamilton split on what is the correct way to deal with faction.
Jefferson and Hamilton ideas begin to conflict when they search for a remedy to prevent an oppressive majority and control faction. Jefferson believes the answer lies in small republics and education to stop oppression from occurring in the republic. He suggests that if every citizen was able to become an “acting member of the common government” then no person shall be oppressed, and that all rights will be protected. Furthermore, this system will only work if all of the citizens within the republic are educated. Therefore, Jefferson believes the smallest sectors of the nation, such as the smaller communities or states, should have the most power, and the largest sectors, such as the national government, should only deal with foreign affairs. On the other hand, Hamilton believes the answer to faction lies in the larger republic. Faction cannot be eliminated; however it can be controlled by creating a larger republic so that more opinions exist in the republic. In which case, it would less likely for one opinion to be the only majority, thus making it harder for one group to oppress the whole with their ideas. Therefore, Hamilton believes the largest sectors, or national government, should have the most power, and the smaller sectors.
Although both Hamilton and Jefferson have highly regarded theories, both theories have problems in which it is questionable whether or not the theory should be used to prevent oppression. While Jefferson believes the answer to oppression is education and small republics, this idea could open the door to more oppression such as the religious belief that homosexuality is wrong driving a community to oppress sexuality. The problem thus arises in the type of education given to the people. If people are educated by being shown all the possible views, and were taught to be unbiased, then this idea could stand a chance. However, this is not always the case, as education is not the same for everyone, seeing as all people have different experiences, and live in different environments. Therefore, people can still create faction based on how they were educated and what they have learned. Furthermore, being in a small republic could make the situation worse, where if the majority of people are educated a certain way, and...

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