Red Three: Notes for the Strict/Broad Construction



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Red Three: Notes for the Strict/Broad Construction
With respect to the federal Constitution, the Jeffersonian Republicans are usually characterized as strict constructionists who were opposed to the broad constructionism of the Federalists. To what extent was this characterization of the two parties accurate during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison?
Document A:

Identify who and when: Jefferson, 1800

What does this tell you? Strict constructionist, during Adams’ presidency
What outside information/events does this refer to? Constitution gives states’ power, anything that goes to the states, independence – states.

What is this event about? Election of 1800. Democratic Republicans to keep majority in legislative branch:

What does this document say? Relies on the Constitution as the best structure of the government.

Strict
Document B:

Identify who and when Jefferson to Miller (a minister) 1808

What does this tell you? End of Jefferson 2nd term, Madison to be president
What outside information/events does this refer to? Separation of church and state.

What is this event about? The presidents before him had asked people to fast for a day, this precedence is over
What does this document say? The president is not allowed to make any decisions that require the government to make religious choices for the people.
Document C:

Identify who and when Anderson cartoon, 1808

What does this tell you? Embargo Act 1807 (Ograbme backwards)
What outside information/events does this refer to? Signed by Jefferson – stopped all trade between America and all countries. Goal was to get France and GB to restricting US trade, eliminate GB’s higher quality of production so that the US would have more power. Drew GB and US into War.

What is this event about?
What does this document say? Turtle is the Embargo Act (stepping on the act), person is trying to trade Superfine tobacco with GB. By biting him in the butt, holding him back.
Document D:

Identify who and when Daniel Webster, New Hampshire Federalist – Conscription Bill a draft for soldiers (1814)

What does this tell you?
What outside information/events does this refer to? A draft

What is this event about? Recruiting soldiers for the War of 1812
What does this document say? Madison – was loose in interpretation because he found this necessary.

Loose
Document E:

Identify who and when Hartford Convention, 1814

What does this tell you? New Englanders who were looking to amend the Constitution to give congress less power and states more power.
What outside information/events does this refer to?end of the War of 1812.

What is this event about?
What does this document say? States to adopt these changes to the constitution. #2: No new state can be added, #3: Congress can’t lay an embargo, #4: Congress can’t regulated trade without 2/3 of Congress.

Were these passed, yes, by the Hartford Convention. Added to the Constitution, no.


Document F:

Identify who and when, John Randolph, 1816, proposed tariff

    1. What does this tell you? D/R Madison is president, is turning into old Federalism – Federalists are generally in NE


What outside information/events does this refer to? manufacturers are in NE and house the factories that the south depend on. Now that the Hartford Convention has threatened to secede from the nation, Madison must keep the country together. To do so, he offers an incentive.

What is this event about?
What does this document say?

Loose!
Document G:

Identify who and when, Jefferson, 186 (way after his presidency)

What does this tell you? While he is not in power, he reflects on the current political state.

What outside information/events does this refer to?

What is this event about?
What does this document say? Government must change with the changing times. Therefore a strict reading of the constitution is not always the best idea.

Loose
Document H:

Identify who and when, Madison, 1817, final year of his 2nd term

What does this tell you?
What outside information/events does this refer to? Madison has just used his executive privilege of veto. He vetoed an internal improvement bill (to make roads and bridges better between states)

What is this event about? While bridges and roads that connect states may be important, it is not directly written into the Constitution, therefore left to the states to deal with. It is because of this that he cannot sign the bill.

VERY Strict!


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