Federalists Vs Jeffersonian Republicans Essay, Research Paper
The Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans held opposing views on many issues. The Federalists, who included Hamilton and Adams, and the Republicans, who included Jefferson and Madison, had contrasting ideas and beliefs. Four of these issues were their idea of who should rule the government, the power of the government, national debt, and banks. The Federalists believed that rule should be by the best people, however, the Republicans disagreed. The Federalists supported a strong central government while the Republicans favored more state power. The Federalists accepted a national debt as a blessing while the Republicans opposed it. Finally, the Federalists supported a strong central bank and the Republicans favored state banks only.
The Federalists believed that the country should be ruled by the best people. They felt that only the wealthy should have power in government because they did not trust the common people, fearing that they were too impressionable. The Republicans, however, felt that rule should be by well-informed agrarian masses, allotting no special privileges to particular classes. The Republican s enforced rule by the people, although this idea extended only to men who were literate, informed, and willing to work for a better America. These opposing views were one of many held by the two parties.
Power of the government was another issue that concerned the parties. The Federalists supported a powerful central government featuring a strong executive. This led to George Washington s office as the nation s first president. The Republicans, on the other hand, favored a weaker central government where states had more power because they felt that the best government was one that governed the least. The Republicans supported state power in order to prevent a dictatorship from arising. Also, they believed that giving states more power would generate a better relationship between the people and the government, allowing them to keep a closer watch on their public servants.
The parties also differed in their views of a national debt. The Federalists, headed by Hamilton, accepted a national debt as a blessing if it was properly funded. The idea for a national debt was urged by Hamilton in his attempt to bolster a national credit and to establish public confidence in the government. The Republicans, however, opposed a national debt with rigid measures. They did not support the idea and felt it would not benefit the country because it bestowed upon future generations, the burdensome task of paying the debt off.
One other issue debated by the parties was the idea of a central bank. The Federalists encouraged a strong central Bank of the United States and Hamilton enforced this idea with his financial plan, saying that it was a necessary measure. In accordance with their support of a national debt, he believed that by having a central bank, they would have a safe place to store money that was loaned to them by big business men, tying them to the government and insuring their support of it. The Federalists also felt a central bank would help business and create a strong and stable national currency. The Republicans favored state banks only, opposing the Federalists beliefs. Their argument against a national bank was that the Constitution did not authorize it. According to the Republican s point of view, all powers not specifically granted to the central government were reserved for the states. Because of this, they felt that the power to charter banks was reserved for the states.
A two party system was beneficial to the United States. By having two parties, different opinions and ideas were introduced to the government and opposing views helped make the founding and establishment of the country s government more complete. The Federalists contributed their idea of a strong central government, while the Republicans provided the foundation for a government in which the common people had a voice. Both parties gave each other the opportunity to see another side to the issues that were present at that time. The most beneficial action could then be discovered and taken to create the most efficient government that would most benefit the people.