Political Beliefs of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1486 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

Political Beliefs of Thomas Jefferson & George Washington

The founding of a nation represents one of the most important parts in the history of the country. It lays the foundation of the government, of the political thoughts to be engaged, and, most importantly, of the general direction the country would evolve to. From this point-of-view, the era of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were crucial in the creation of the American state, as it is known today.

One of the most important books written for a better understanding of the era is John Larson's "Internal improvement." The book provides an essential view on the way in which, after the troubled historical times of the mid 18th century, the initiatives of people such as George Washington aimed at uniting the country through different means of internal improvement works such as a new infrastructure system. However, the example of the infrastructure system is merely a case study for the political and ideological struggles that took place at the time when America had overcome the Revolutionary War and was on the road of a new united nation.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on Political Beliefs of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington Assignment

The major debate surrounded the idea of the sharing of power and responsibility in the sense that at the time it was rather difficult to ascertain the need for a strong central government or shared power with the state governments. In this sense, George Washington's part was immense. He was a strong believer in the power of an active republican government that would take the lead in creating unified and reliable internal improvement works that would in turn determine major changes at the level of the colonies. The historical background was in such a way drafted that it could barely define a steady improvement without a clear cut initiative. Before the Revolutionary War, the colonies were very distinct in their nature. More precisely, they followed different paths of development simply because of their geographical position. In this sense, while the East cost of the American state was fully dependable on the power its harbors provided, such as Boston or Baltimore, the colonies in land relied heavily on their ability to trade, to grow crops or animals. In this sense, it was rather difficult to create a uniformity and thus ensure that the needs of all colonies are met through wide, national scale projects. From this point-of-view, George Washington's approach at creating a different area of improvement, that of the infrastructure was essential. He envisaged a government that would provide the necessary means to ensure all colonies are linked, connected, and ready at one point to become a state.

At the same time, the debates over the capacity and power of the central government took the stage during this time. The initiatives of internal improvements only increased this debate. The discussions surrounded, as stated previously, on the way in which the central government should act in relation to the state and local authorities. The general idea however related to the debates between the Federalists and the Republicans, the two most important political forces in the colonies, was that a strong government, as Washington and the Federalists advocated, provided all the more possibilities to engage in corrupt activities and misuse of funds. An example in this sense was that, for instance, the Potomac River, one of the most important means of navigation and commerce, needed improvement works to make it more efficient. George Washington provided such a plan that was later attacked by the Republicans because the plan also benefited tangentially Washington's estate in Mount Vernon. However, in time, this type of debate weakened the grip the Federalists had on the political power of the Colonies and on the public image of its leaders.

The time of George Washington was one of great political struggle particularly because the country was in its beginning. The important debates that were taking place between the Federalists and the Republicans had, at that time, found refuge in the projects of infrastructure proposed by the Federalists. However, such projects demanded a substantial fund allocation that would not have been possible without the increased in the taxation and influence of the central government on the colonies. This was though, according to Larson, the starting point of the struggle for the Federalists. In turn, the Republicans, being in the opposition, managed to create a strong anti-republican speech that would provide the basis for winning the elections at the turn of the 19th century. What is important however for… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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