Federalists & Republicans Essay

478 Words2 Pages
When Washington’s term as president ended, the Americans had begun dividing into two camps. One side had still called themselves Federalists who supported Hamilton’s programs. Federalists came from the more prestigious churches and the more privileged segments of society. Jefferson called the party that opposed the Federalists Republicans. They identified it with individual liberties and heritage of the Revolution. The Republicans accused Hamilton and his Federalists of trying to bring about a British system in the United States economic system and government. The Republicans consisted of southern farmers and Scots-Irish farmers. They all feared that the commercial groups favored by Hamilton would corrupt politics in their pursuit of power and control. The Republicans wanted an America where the power remained in the farmers and planters hands. There were several main differences between the Federalists and Republicans. The Federalists favored a very strong central government and not one that limited the role of the national government like the Republicans wanted. The Republicans were very much against Hamilton’s economic program while the Federalists supported it. They were mostly merchants, speculators, creditors, manufacturers, and commercial farmers. These men opposed the French Revolution, insisting that the fear unleashed by France was far removed from the rational republicanism of the American Revolution. The Republicans generally supported the French Revolution. To them the French were still the standard-bearers of the cause of liberty for ordinary people everywhere. The Federalists supported John Jay and his treaty because they wanted closer ties with Britain. They thought that staying allies with Britain would make them a stronger nation. The Republicans opposed Jay’s Treaty and wanted closer ties to France. They believed that becoming allies with Britain
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