Factions DBQ Essay

1040 Words5 Pages
“Factions” DBQ The development in separate political parties in the late 18th century was one of the defining occurrences in American history. This division in opinion over how the government should be run began at the time of the ratification of the Constitution (A). Many of those who signed the Constitution believed that America would be united as a one-party state. Alexander Hamilton, the secretary of the treasury, though, had other ideas. He was the leader of the organized political faction known as the Federalists, and thus separated himself from the Republicans/Jeffersonians/Anti-Federalists, the party headed by Thomas Jefferson that opposed Federalism. Federalism entailed the belief that the government should be run by an elite group of white males to maintain order and the sharing of powers solely between the national government and the states. Republicans such as Thomas Jefferson, though, believed that Federalists were monarchists at heart, an insult that likened the Federalists to the British, the people of the country from which America had just recently become independent. Jefferson and Hamilton both agreed that the United States one day would become a global power, though they clashed when it came to how this vision should be carried out. The two great leaders just differed too greatly in their views over a few fundamental areas at the time, thus making the development of political parties inevitable. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson differed greatly in their opinions over who, exactly, should lead the government, and how, exactly, the Constitution should be interpreted. Hamilton, on one hand, thought that the common people that composed the vast majority of the population of the United States were utterly incapable of self-government. Said Hamilton in 1792, “Your people, sir, is a great beast,” thus exemplifying the Federalist belief that
Open Document