The Federalists and the Jeffersonians Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:15
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Hamiltons domestic policies on financial reform and economic development had generated the initial political conflict. However, it was the opposing opinions and actions during the French Revolution, European War, reaction on Jays Treaty and the Federalist war program that roused intense political furor and set Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans against each other. In the election of 1800, there were two Jeffersonian candidates for president and one Federalist.

The Jeffersonians tied for the presidency and Congress broke it by electing Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr. The control of the federal government passed for the first time from one political party to another. The Jeffersonians took office in 1801 determined to calm the political storm. The Federalists lost Congress and the presidency, and were afraid of repercussions. Hence, they turned to the federal judiciary hoping that given enough Federalist there, they will be somewhat protected.

Thus, before the incumbent Federal Congressional stepped down, they first passed a new Judiciary Act which increased the number of circuit courts, complete with judges, marshals and clerks. Adams, for his part, filled many of those offices with staunch Federalists before he left office. However, when the new Congress convened, it challenged the Federalists hold on the judiciary leading to the repeal of the Judiciary Act and impeachment proceedings against the most vocal of the Federalist judges more because of dangerous opinions rather that high crimes and misdemeanors.

Jefferson aimed to promote agrarian expansion and domestic policies were designed to this end. More authority is redirected to the states. Foreign policy was in line with the growing agrarian nation and it called against alliances with any foreign government. Overseas commerce, however, was encouraged for the nations well-being. War is objectionable and peace is the goal. With war not an option, Congress passed an Embargo Act against England. This Act led to an economic depression with the import-export trade very much diminished.

Connecticuts Federalist government was almost calling for civil disobedience harsh in its declaration that states were duty-bound to interpose their protective shield between the liberties of the people and the oppressive acts of the general government. This, together with the continued negative impact, led to the repeal of the Act in 1809. It is not only in the political arena that the Federalists challenged the administration. They also attacked Jeffersons personal life spreading the charge through a Federalist editor that Jefferson was the father to several children by his slave Sally Hemmings.

When finally, Congress declared war against Britain, the Federalists opposed it vehemently despite Britains continued presence on American soil, encouragement of Indian raids and attacks of American commerce. Federalists New England opposition to the war veered toward outright disloyalty and was discredited for it. Also, some Federalists called for a broader suffrage which, they opined, would lock government legitimacy and promote social stability.

The opposing opinion is that, there is a tendency in the majority to tyrannize the minority and trample down their rights and in the indolent¦to cast the burthens of society upon the industrious and the virtuous. Federalists continued to believe that political leadership should be exercised by the wise and the good. This gave them an aristocratic image which they were never able to dispel and thus, instead of toppling the Jeffersonians, it was the Federalist party that gradually collapsed.

Work Cited

Society and Politics in the Early Republic. Name of Book. XXX ed. Year Published.

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