- Term Papers and Free Essays

Jeffersonian Era

Essay by   •  December 24, 2010  •  1,298 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,286 Views

Essay Preview: Jeffersonian Era

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

Ben Boyd AP US History


Throughout the period dating from 1801 to 1817, the United States government was primarily controlled by the Jeffersonian Republican party, whereas the Federalist Party began to slowly fade away from public view. The Jeffersonian Republican party, led by Thomas Jefferson, professed to favor a weak central government through the support of more states' rights, "...that the states are independent... to...themselves...and united as to everything respecting foreign nations." (Document A). The Federalists of the United States were known as the loose constructionists, where if there is something which the constitution does not state, then it should be allowed to be done. The Jeffersonian Republicans were known as strict constructionists for their views towards the constitution that if there is anything that is not in the constitution, then it cannot be done. The Jeffersonian Republican party centered many of their political moves on the basis of creating a strong agricultural society with a weakly centralized government where each of the states have more rights to govern themselves, where the Federalist party believed more strongly on industrializing the nation and creating a strong central government. Even though strict constructionism was the idea behind the Jeffersonian Republican party, both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both have evidence against them which can prove that they were not strict constructionists. This is based on different political moves made by these two presidents which are more towards the Federalist side of things opposed to their own Republican and strict constructionist ideas.

After the first War for Independence, The United States was approximately $52 million in debt. Due to having such bad financial problems, the United States created a national Bank to create one unified currency, to take away all state debts, and to issue loans to the people to promote growth. This National Bank was created by Alexander Hamilton who was a Federalist, and once Jefferson came to be the President, he continued the idea of the national bank because it was helping to reduce the national debt. The primary reason for the National Bank being a representation of a Federalist idea was because since it was issuing loans to people it was able to promote industrial growth which was one of the main goals of the Federalist party. From Jefferson continuing the use of the National Bank thru his presidency he demonstrates his need to continue a loose constructionist idea.

Jefferson, being elected President in 1800, by winning the number of electoral votes 73 to 66 for John Adams, put a new Republican congress in place. This new congress with the combined effort with the President, managed to raise tariffs on goods coming in from other countries which promoted a higher amount of industry in the United States and caused many people to begin to buy more American made products opposed to the other European goods. Since this tariff promoted industry it is another example of how Jefferson used a Federalist idea to continue the development of the United States.

The undeclared war with the Pirates of Tripoli is the next event which proves Jefferson to be a loose constructionist using federalist ideas. Jefferson seeming to be a complete pacifist decided that the pirates off of the shores of Tripoli needed to be dealt with. These pirates were taking control of U.S. vessels and ransacking their goods. Prior to this event the United States was paying these Tripoli Pirates $100,000 a year for protection of their ships, but once the pirates began to demand more money, Jefferson sent in the United States navy to blockade the islands of Tripoli. This was a federalist maneuver seeing as though the Federalists were more pro military support. At the end of the small conflict, Jefferson paid the pirates $60,000 for the return of any captured troops instead of the original $3 million which was asked for.

The Louisiana Purchase was an event which was a climax to the Jeffersonian presidency. The Louisiana Purchase area was purchased for a mere $15 million after Jefferson had originally planned to only buy the New Orleans region from Napoleon. When Jefferson received news that Napoleon was willing to sell the Louisiana purchase area for only three cents per acre, he went ahead with the decision without any advice from congress and bought out the entire Louisiana area, more than doubling the size of the continental United States. Without going ahead with help from the congress this showed his non-need of his Republican congress and further instigated that idea that Jefferson was not solely a strict constructionist. Even though the Louisiana area was slightly harmful to the Federalist idea because



Download as:   txt (7.9 Kb)   pdf (105 Kb)   docx (11.2 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). Jeffersonian Era. Retrieved 12, 2010, from

"Jeffersonian Era" 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <>.

"Jeffersonian Era.", 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <>.

"Jeffersonian Era." 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010.