Essay on american history to 1877 (hist101)

Federalist Party and Jeffersonian Revolution

Federalist Party and Jeffersonian Revolution
The American political system now dominated by the Democrats and Republicans was different in the 18th century. At that point in history the dominant party was the Federalist, the anti-federalists which later metamorphosed into the Democratic-Republican Party were just opponents. The Federalist Party led by Alexander Hamilton had clear views of what its desire for America was: to be a great industrial power. However, the coming to power of Jefferson changed the face of the US polity and eventually led to the demise of the Federalists Party as new policies were pursued.
The Federalist Party was actually America’s first political party. The era of the First Party system brought about the birth of the Federalist Party with a lifespan of about three decades, between the early parts of 1790 to the 1820s. Though the party was successful at producing just one president, John Adams, even George Washington who was an independent candidate, was sympathetic to the course of the Federalists and had his tenure counted as part of the period when the Federalists had dominant political influence in America.
The Federalist Party was different from the Democratic-Republican Party, in a number of ways. The major differences between the ideologies of the two parties was their view of what America was to become; the Federalists envisioned America as an industrial giant having a very strong central government, thus taxes like that on whiskey were introduced. On the other hand, the ideas of the Democratic-Republican, promoted by Thomas Jefferson, were to have stronger individual states and an America with independent and strong yeoman farmers. It also supported expansion of the States towards new territories, especially in the West. He also supported introducing the benefits of farming to Native Americans, yet his approach was far from being fair, as the former were actually stripped from their lands in a forceful manner.
The coming into power of Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson was termed the 1800 revolution. Dramatic changes were made to the polity on Jefferson’s assumption of office. One immediate thing Jefferson did was repealing the Judiciary Act (in the Congress) and impeachment of two Federalist Judges. Those were appointed shortly before Adams handed over power, adding to the number of a Federal judiciary system already dominated by the Federalists. Yet it was a Federalists John Marshall, who, appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, saw the power of federal court system improve dramatically, bringing the judiciary branch to terms with two other democracy branches, namely the legislative and executive branches.
The aftermath of the outbreak of war led to the demise of the Federalist Party. In addition to Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon, which supported Jefferson’s quest for expansion, almost doubling the US territory, war broke out in America against Britain in 1812 in opposition to the seizure of American ships and dominance of Britain. Jefferson successor, President James Madison was said to have played a major role in this by persuading Congress to declare war, despite the protests of the Federalists, who cited ” healthy” trade relationships with Britain Empire as essential for US economy development. The Federalist Party was on the decline when the war ended with its association with disloyalty and parochialism and did not exist beyond the 1820s.


Armstorng, Stephen. 5 Steps to a 5 AP U. S. History. The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2010-11.
U. S. History Pre-Columbian to the New Millenium. Chapter 20. Jeffersonian America: A Second Revolution?