Jeffersonian Republicans Essay

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With respect to the Federal Constitution, the Jeffersonian republicans are usually characterized as strict constructionists who were opposed to the broad constructionism of the federalists. To what extent was this characterization of the two parties’ accurate during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison? The Jeffersonian Republicans and the Federalists were both thought to be different when abiding by the constitution. The Republicans believed that the authority of the Federal government was based on a strict constitution, characterizing them as strict constructionists (Doc A). Federalists, on the other hand, believed in broadly adhering to constitution, characterizing them as broad constructionists. This allowed the Federalists to make decisions that were not clearly supported by the constitution, ultimately giving the government more power than the constitution. While the Federalists and Republicans were thought as very diverse parties, their beliefs ended up crossing during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison. Therefore, from 1801 to 1817 while the Federalists were considered to be broad constructionists and Republicans strict constructionists, they both went astray from their beliefs so each party could do what was best for themselves and, most importantly, the country. From 1801 to 1809, during the presidency of Jefferson, it was the first time that the Republicans and Federalists didn't abide by the ordinary ideals each group previously followed. The first example of the republican change was the Cumberland Road. Jefferson and Republican congress approved the Cumberland Road for transportation from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, Virginia. However, it was not stated in the constitution that federal funds could be used for internal improvements, which clearly illustrates Jeffersonian Republicans veering off from their beliefs of

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