Federalists. The parties came to be characterized by certain beliefs, and the validity of those principles would come to be questioned during the Jefferson and Madison presidencies. During the time period from
1801 to 1817 the Jeffersonian Republicans, led by presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, would often contradict their values and employ the Federalist ideals in regards to domestic affairs and foreign policy. The two parties emerged early after the construction of the Constitution. The Federalist Party rose to power in the executive and legislative branches of government during George Washington's administration and continued to dominate the government until John Adams's failed bid for reelection to the presidency in 1800.
While the Jeffersonian Republicans appeared within three years of the induction of the federal Constitution, as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and others of less importance, in the federal government united to form an opposition to Alexander Hamilton's financial programs. But it was only when the Federalist administration ordered troops to quell the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 in Pennsylvania and later when
Congress debated the ratification of Jay's treaty with Great Britain in 1795 and 1796 that the Jefferson
Republican party materialized. Each party had different views on how the government should be run in regards to interpreting the Constitutions. The Jeffersonian Republicans believed in powerful state governments since the states are best if "independent", a weak federal government, and strict analysis or the "preservation of" the federal Constitution (Document A). The policies of the Jeffersonians centered on expansion to the west, trade, and commercial confrontation with nations that denied it. It was only after the conclusion of the war of 1812, as the Federalists collapsed and the country entered on a period of singleparty rule known as the "era of good feelings", did the Jeffersonians approve the formation of a second national bank, a fairly protective tariff, larger peacetime forces, and other policies they had initially opposed. The Federalists, on the other hand, adopted a dominant central government with weaker state governments, and a loose interpretation of the Constitution. The Federalist Party favored strengthening the federal government by establishing a national banking system, protecting American commerce, exercising authority over the states, and employing military might against both domestic and foreign threats.
Thomas Jefferson, the namesake of the Jeffersonian Republican Party, repeatedly contradicted the beliefs of the party during his presidency. Jefferson contradicted strict constructionism, an ideal of his party, in his letter to Samuel Kercheval. This document states that the Constitution should be revised because
"institutions must advance and keep pace with the times". Jefferson's weak character is further shown in this letter as he opposes himself by saying that "I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changed in laws" (Document G). As president Thomas Jefferson acted in opposition to his beliefs in numerous ways.
For example Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon of France without enacting an amendment to the Constitution, since it does not grant the power to add land to the Union to the federal government. Jefferson stretched his boundaries as president and views as a man to fulfill his party's goal of expansionism. Even though both parties agreed that the purchase was a sharp diplomatic move in that it ended the threat of war with France and opened up the land west of the Mississippi to