Hamilton versus Jefferson: The Rise of Party Politics

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Hamilton versus Jefferson: The Rise of Party Politics

Alexander Hamilton


Thomas Jefferson

  • born in the West Indies in poverty

  • served in Continental Army

  • dressed in fine clothing

  • enjoyed political debate

  • served as Secretary of the Treasury

Describe their backgrounds; where they grew up, personalities, and appearance

(pages 287-288)

  • wealthy Virginia plantation owner – owned slaves

  • attorney

  • wrote Declaration of Independence

  • plain” dresser and speaker

  • served as Secretary of State

Hamilton (Federalist)

Views On

Jefferson (Republican)

  • Favored a loose interpretation of the Constitution’s elastic clause

  • Congress could act whenever it was “proper”

Strict versus loose interpretation of the Constitution

(page 288)

  • Favored a strict interpretation of the Constitution’s elastic clause

  • any power not specifically given to the federal government belongs to the state

  • Wanted Congress to charter a National Bank.

  • Congress had the right to collect taxes the bank was “necessary and proper.”

National Bank

(page 281 and 288)

  • A national bank is not “necessary” and therefore cannot be created by Congress.

  • Such a bank would benefit businessmen, not farmers.

  • Wanted to buy up government’s old bonds and issue new ones. Desired to pay off debts of states as well. Would then pay off old bonds at full value. New bonds would be issued at a lower interest rate.

  • Benefitted speculators and businessmen (bankers and investors).

Paying the national debt from the war

(pages 280-281)

  • Believed that Hamilton’s plan would hurt ordinary citizens and benefit speculators and businessmen (bankers and investors).

  • He accepted Hamilton’s plan in return for a new national capital (District of Columbia).

  • Wanted the government to encourage economic growth

  • favored the growth of trade, manufacturing and cities

  • favored business leaders and mistrusted common people.

The American economy – industry vs. agriculture

(page 288)

  • Believed that farmers were the backbone of the country; favored the common man.

  • Thought that manufacturing and crowded cities were corrupting American life

  • believed that too much wealth was being concentrated into the hands of a small group of wealthy Americans.

  • Favored a protective tariff

  • thought that it would help protect American manufacturing by making foreign goods more expensive for American consumers to purchase.

Protective tariff

(page 281)

  • Opposed a protective tariff

  • farmers bought many imported goods and the protective tariff would make them more expensive.

  • Admired both

  • liked the orderliness of the British government and financial systems

British government and society

  • Did not support the French Revolution

  • Horrified by the violence of the Reign of Terror and the social disruption in France.

France’s revolution (pages 284 – 285)

  • Supported the French Revolution

  • Condemned the violence and terror, but supported the democratic ideals.

  • Favored a strong federal (central) government

  • wanted the federal government to be stronger than the states; it was needed to promote the economy and defense and to restrain mob violence (ex. Whiskey Rebellion)

The central government

(page 288)

  • Favored stronger state governments

  • wanted the state governments to be stronger than the federal government

  • believes states would protect individual rights.

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