Republicans and Federalists Essay

Pages: 3 (1004 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

Republicans and Federalists: Differences

The Federalists believed that American foreign policy should favor British interests, while the Republicans (Democratic-Republicans) wanted to strengthen ties with the French (Democratic-Republican party, n.d.).

On economic matters, the Republicans believed in protecting the interests of the working classes -- merchants, farmers, and laborers. They believed that an agrarian economy would best serve these citizens. They saw the establishment of a national bank of the United States (which Hamilton strongly favored) as a means of usurping power that belonged to individual states, and they believed that it would be tied too closely to the rich (Democratic-Republican party, n.d.).

The Federalists saw industry and manufacturing as the best means of domestic growth and economic self-sufficiency. They favored the existence of protective tariffs on both as a means of protecting domestic production and as a source of revenue (Democratic-Republican party, n.d.).

The Hamiltonians, or Federalists, stressed the need to create a national economy to preserve the independence of the United States. The Jeffersonians, or Republicans, preferred to keep government small, local, and responsive (the new republic: the United States..., 2005).

The Federalists believed in a strong judiciary, while the Republicans preferred a strong legislature and weak courts. The Republicans desired elimination of the national debt, while the Federalists favored a permanent national debt financed by the wealthy.

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It would be much easier to list what the parties had in common -- almost nothing.

Vision of Thomas Jefferson

Essay on Republicans and Federalists Assignment

Jefferson's vision was clear and specific. It was expansive, ambitious and carefully organized. It was a vision for the future of the American continent. Long before he became president, Jefferson dreamed of a republic that spread liberty and representative government from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. (Corps of discovery: President Jefferson's vision, 2003) as one of the leading scientific thinkers of his day, he was curious about the terrain, plant and animal life, and Indian tribes of the vast, unknown lands west of the Mississippi River.

In a letter to the mayor of Washington ten days before his own death, Jefferson continued to espouse his vision of the Declaration of Independence and the American nation as signals of the blessings of self-government to an ever evolving world (Thomas Jefferson, 2007).

Vision of Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton had a vision, and it was straightforward. He wanted to make the United States an economic power-house. Hamilton understood the economic strength translates into military power, national security, and international influence. To that end, he set himself upon the task of rebuilding America's economy after the Revolutionary War and reestablishing America's international credit. (Alexander Hamilton's Anglo-American vision, 2008)

Lewis Lehrman of the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History writes:

"No one who has read carefully into the history of state and congressional legislative irresponsibility, and studied the catastrophic inflation of the era of the Articles of Confederation, can fail to be astonished by the economic prosperity set off by the Hamiltonian economic plan of the new republic" (Alexander Hamilton's..., 2008).

Why Did the Federalists Die Out?

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