Jeffersonian Republicans Essay

677 WordsNov 2, 20083 Pages
While the Jeffersonian Republicans are usually seen as strict interpreters of the Constitution and the Federalists broad interpreters, this is only accurate at times. Leading up to the election Jefferson's election, the Republicans were very strict in their interpretation and were greatly against the Federalists and their flexibleness with the powers of the federal government. However, during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison, this distinction was very inaccurate due to the necessity to use a looser view of the Constitution in situations thus you could not distinguish from a Republican or Federalist solely based on their interpretation of the Constitution in that period. When Jefferson became president, his opinion that little power should lie in the hands of the federal government was completely changed to doing what is best for the country. Before Jefferson's election, he could only be seen as a strict constructionist through his obvious support for state power. In his letter to Gideon Granger he displays his opposition of the federal government's power and his fear of it "monarchising". He says that the federal government should only handle things "respecting foreign nations" (Doc A). This was a major issue when it came to the Louisiana Purchase in which Jefferson was a strong Federalist. When faced with the opportunity to obtain a major piece of land, Jefferson was forced to loosely interpret the Constitution in order to be able to purchase the land, which went directly against his republican ideals. He had to go against the strict views of the Republicans because he knew that this would allow for the expansion of the US and give American farmers the needed land. Despite his Federalist approach to this situation, the actual Federalists, who took a two faced view, were against his actions. They expressed the unconstitutionality of his actions and that

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