APUSH DBQ Essay

Submitted By Graham-Fleming
Words: 560
Pages: 3

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States and founder of the Democratic-Republicans, was criticized for going against his own party’s political ideas of a strong centralized government and a strict interpretation of the Constitution. However, based on the documents given, Thomas Jefferson went to Federalist ideas when either it bettered the country or had to do with foreign affairs. He also used a lot of his Democratic-Republican policies too, in which he shrank the national debt and weakened the Federalist influence in the judiciary branch. Before Jefferson was elected in 1801, he maintained strict ideas about politics when he was in Washington’s cabinet and when he was vice-president of John Adams. Jefferson disagreed with Alexander Hamilton’s economic plan, especially the creation of a National Bank, and said, “The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed under this pill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” (Doc. F). Jefferson also stated that Hamilton’s “excise law was an infernal one” (Doc. A) and thought it was a mistake “to admit by the Constitution” (Doc. A). When he took office in 1801, it took many people by surprise that he was using many of Hamilton’s taxes and Federalist ideas. He only took out the 8% whiskey excise tax. When Jefferson gave his inaugural speech in 1801, he said, “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists, if there be any among us who wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” (Doc. G) This quote is showing that Jefferson believed that people could have their own opinion of what he did as President, but he would have reason to combat their opinion. This type of combating criticism was also used when Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon and the French. He sent a letter to John Breckinridge in 1803 stating, “The Executive, in seizing the fugitive occurrence which so much advance the good of…