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The Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties fought for control over the government in the early 1800s. Although these two parties had great differences, they each had many supporters.

Hamilton led the Federalist Party. The wealthy people made up the majority or his party’s followers, and the businessmen in the cities made up the rest. They were called Hamiltonians. These people lived mostly in the eastern part of the union. On the other hand, Jefferson was the leader of the Democratic-Republican Party. Jeffersonians, or Jefferson’s followers, were the common or middle class people. A larger number of these people lived in the west, in the newly settled lands.

At this point in history, the Democratic-Republican Party was better suited to govern the states. The union needed a weak central government to allow the nation to grow. The government had to be governed by the people, and with a weak central government, they could have representation in it. Local affairs in the states could be handled easier if the states had a lot of power. The people were afraid of a tyranny or a dictatorship, and felt the central government should be weakened. A strict interpretation of the Constitution was needed in order to weaken the central government.

Under the Federalists’ rule, the government played partisan politics. The Federalists cared only about strengthening their party. One of the Presidents of this party was Adams. He passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in order to strengthen his party. The Sedition Act said that anyone who spoke against the government could be heavily fined and imprisoned. This directly contradicted the First Amendment of the Constitution. The alien Act dealt with immigrants. It said that immigrants would have to reside in the states for fourteen years to become citizens.

Once Jefferson took office, he decided to go against some of his beliefs. Since it was in the best interest of the country. He cared more about the country than his party’s power in government. This showed that the Democratic-Republicans cared more about the nation than their party’s appearance.

Hamilton, a Federalist, encountered the Whiskey Rebellion during his presidency. Many believed he deliberately aggravated the rebellion to strengthen the prestige of the new government. He caused this belief when he sent the army to enforce his law in the west with the farmers. Jefferson was outrages when Hamilton sent such a large army to calm a few riots. (Jefferson, 195)

In order for the United States to become a manufacturing nation, we needed to build the farming industry. Raw materials were needed to be produced, especially cotton, to be used in the textile industry. This would help our country grow, and become a strong manufacturing nation on an international level. A protective tariff was needed to insure that raw materials went to American industries, and that our people would buy our products. The Democratic-Republican Party made the tariff.

The Democratic-Republican Party was better suited to govern our nation in the early 1800s. The Americans needed a strong party that put the country’s well being over all other issues. This party’s beliefs were in the best interest of the country, and would help the United States to prosper.


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