Differences Between the Federalists and Jeffersonians
During the early formative years of our nation, George Washington and John Adams both opposed any development towards splitting politics into two divisions. The two early leaders thought of it to be very unconstitutional, stating that Americans need to set aside their differences and remain unified. However, the rapidly growing interests of north and south, rich and poor, and industry and agriculture were all tossed around until two major political groups were finally formed.
The Federalist Party, led by Alexander Hamilton, who preferred urban life and supported northern efforts, envisioned that the new country’s federal government should have more power, and wanted it to be a replica of the British system. In addition, Hamilton strived towards the creation of national banks that would establish fiscal policy, use debt to establish credit, and regulate a national currency. However, opposing viewers feared that a stronger federal government would do nothing but wipe out the newly born democracy.
The opposing competitors such as the Jeffersonians led by Thomas Jefferson, who preferred rural life and spoke for southern efforts, believed that it would be more necessary to provide the majority of the power with the individual states. The Jeffersonians also believed that the creation of national banks was unconstitutional, and that it wasn’t permitted by our early forefathers. As differences continued to occur, Americans only saw the gap between the two political parties widening more and more.
When it came to foreign policy, Jefferson and Hamilton both encouraged America to remain neutral and to not take sides. They wanted the country to build relationships with other nations, but also to stay clear of any international conflict. However, Jefferson thought that America should be helping the French efforts against the British, while Hamilton thought that war efforts should be targeted at helping their mother country of England defeat the French.
As time went on, the differences between both parties only grew on and on. While Jefferson seized agriculture to be the backbone of the nation, Hamilton wanted the economy to be equally balanced between agriculture, trade, finance, and manufacturing. All in all, both men were very well educated. Even though they shared completely different political views, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton both made enormous contributions in shaping the new nation, and expected nothing less than a wonderful future for the United States.