DBQ: Republicans V.S, Federalists
Before 1801, the Jeffersonian Republicans were usually strict constructionists of the constitution. However during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison they had to adopt some Federalist ideas. In many instances, the two parties completely interchanged their views on the construction of the constitution. During that period of time it was difficult to characterize anyone as a member of either the Federalist or Republican Party based on how they interpreted the constitution.
The best example of Jefferson adopting Federalist ideas is the Louisiana Purchase. From the beginning Jefferson only wanted New Orleans and as much land east if the Florida as possible. However instead he was offered the New Orleans and a huge portion of land to the west, which almost doubled the size of the United States. However there was nothing in the constitution, which allowed the president to purchase of additional land. Jefferson knew that American farmers needed more land, and he had to go against his belief of a strict constitution. However during the same time the Federalists became strict constructionists of the constitution. They argued that this transfer of land was unconstitutional. The Federalists said that this new land was worthless and would only put the country even more in debt. Their main reason for that was that the creation of new states would decrease their power in congress. The Louisiana Purchase was not the only time Jefferson adopted the ideas of federalists about loose construction of the constitution. After he was reelected, war soon broke out in Europe between English and French. British needed more manpower and financial aid for the war soon began impressing American sailors and stealing their cargo. This made trade between the United States and Europe unsafe. Jefferson did not wish to go to war, so he decided to cut off al the export of goods from the United States. With the passing of...