Megan Kutruff, 3
AP American History
October 28, 2012
“When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation- Alexander Hamilton.” In this quote, Hamilton is referring to the fight between the federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans. After the Americans won the revolutionary war, George Washington was appointed president of the United States. He appointed Thomas Jefferson as the Secretary of State and Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of Treasury. Jefferson and Hamilton were appointed to these positions because their views contrasted greatly. Jefferson created the Jeffersonian Republicans while Hamilton created the Federalist Party. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton helped to shape the formation of political parties in America. Jefferson and Hamilton had contrasting views among many issues dealing with the government. As well as contrasting views about the government they had contrasting views about the economy and the Constitution. Jefferson and Hamilton also represented the views of people of different regions and occupations during this time as well.
By Jefferson’s and Hamilton’s contrasting views about the government they created political parties. Hamilton, or the Federalists, wanted a strong national government while Jefferson, or the Jeffersonian Republicans, wanted strong state governments. During the time of Jay’s Treaty, Hamilton wanted better relations with Great Britain, while Jefferson wanted positive relations with France. Today, political parties have contrasting views as did the Federalists, and Jeffersonian Republicans back in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. “This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind [Document D].” By this Washington is saying, that every government has differing opinions and it can’t be stopped. Everyone has their own views on how things should be done. Political parties constantly think the other party is wrong and tries to convince the public of this [Document I]. This cartoon is of the Devil and Jefferson trying to pull down the pillar of American Government. The devil represents evil, so the picture is saying that Jefferson is evil. The picture is also saying that his ideas are wrong, and will cause the American Government to crumble if a person were to follow them.
In addition to Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s contrasting views about the government, Hamilton and Jefferson had different views on the economy and the Interpretation of the Constitution. Hamilton wanted the country to be focused more on manufacturing as Jefferson thought the country should be more agricultural. Jefferson thought the Constitution should be interpreted strictly, while Hamilton thought the constitution should be interpreted loosely. “…disapproved of the system of the Secretary of the Treasury, I acknowledge and avow; and this was not merely a speculative difference [Document B].” Hamilton created an economic program with three major parts to it. The first part was that the Federal government would pay off all confederation debts at full value. The second part created the first bank of the United States. The third part of Hamilton’s economic program dealt with adopting a mercantilist economic policy. In the quote above Jefferson is writing a letter to George Washington about this economic program. Jefferson greatly disagreed with the program. He thought some parts of the program were unconstitutional, like the National Bank. “…But they can all be carried into execution without a bank. A bank therefore is not necessary, and consequently no authorized by this phrase [Document J].” Jefferson thought the debt payments were not fair because the South had already paid off the debts and only the North would be benefiting.
Another reason why Jefferson and Hamilton helped to shape the formation of political parties is that