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Conflict Between Federalists and the Democratic Republicans

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The significant diversity between the two main political parties in early America, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, fought many ideological and political battles from 1789 to 1801. Conflicts between these two parties grew out of their opposing ideologies. Despite both political parties having a vast amount of followers and support, major conflicts and political contrasts still arose throughout 1789 to 1801.

The major conflict between the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans was that they both strived for different governments. It was a national vs state government issue. The Federalists favored a strong central government with the power to control commerce, tax, declare war, and make treaties. This party also consisted of a wealthier and higher class of peoples. In 1789 when the French Revolution began, the Federalist party opposed the revolution and opposed American support for the anti-monarchy group. The Federalists also supported the idea of a strong governmental leadership. They believed that the most important branch of government was the executive branch and that a strong leader was needed in order to lead a strong nation. Major Federalist Party supporters included George Washington, John Jay, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton. When Hamilton began announcing his economic plans, (the national bank) the federalists automatically supported his actions. Alexander Hamilton also supported Jay’s Treaty as an effort to build better relations with Britain. In 1798, the Federalists passed four bills which gave the president the authority to deport aliens based solely on his judgement. These bills were known as the Alien and Sedition acts. The Federalists supported these acts in order to prevent the growth of Democratic Republicans and to limit criticism of the Federalist officials.

The Democratic Republicans ideologies and actions were distinctively contrasting compared to the Federalists. The Democratic Republicans was a party mostly made up of small businessmen, farmers, and laborers. The Democratic Republicans sought to limit the role of the national government and favored local control. When the French Revolution began, instead of opposing the revolution, they supported the popular forces during the revolution and favored American assistance. This party believed that if an issue wasn't written or referred directly to the Constitution, that the federal government had no place regulating those issues. The Democratic Republicans wanted a strong democratic government, therefore supported a strong legislature that would create laws to govern the people. Major influential supporters of this party consisted of people such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. In the point of view of the Democratic Republicans, Jay’s Treaty was seen as an attempt to dump cheap British imports in the American market, therefore they opposed it and favored positive relations with France. In 1798, when the



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