Thomas Jefferson Essay

911 WordsApr 24, 20134 Pages
Jefferson’s thoughts on the power of the president were the most affected by his rise to presidency in 1801, but his base morals of strong state governments and supporting the yeoman farmer stayed true. Jefferson wrote Kentucky Resolution using their rush in popularity, the Federalists passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, which limited the freedom of speech, press and the rights of foreigners. The Democratic-Republican knew these acts were unconstitutional, but because there was no set path to take to overturn a law, Madison and Jefferson wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, respectively, which introduced the idea of nullification. They proposed that states could decide whether a law obeyed the Constitution, and if a state decided it was not constitutional, that state should not feel compelled to abide by it. Jefferson did not support a national bank, because he thought that, since the Constitution did not state the Congress had the power to create a National Bank, it was not constitutional for it to create one. He also believed that, should a national bank be created, the Congress would assume it had much more power than was intended.“All powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to States, are reserved to the States or to the people” and “To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power” (Document C) Jefferson thought that the president did not have the power to declare neutrality because only Congress can declare war on another nation, only Congress has the power to declare neutrality upon a country, in Jefferson’s mind. Jefferson did not approve of Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality. Jeffersonian Republicans had the following characteristics:“Hostile toward Britain and wealthy Americans who supported that

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