Democratic Republicans vs. Federalists
The first semblance of political parties in the United States formed over the ratification of the Constitution, and two opposing groups were immediately created: the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. Even though the Democratic-Republicans would hold office in the White-House for more than half of the United States first thirty-six years as a nation, it is the Federalists that had a significantly greater effect on the formation of the United States.
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Their ratification of the Constitution and support of a centralized, federal government has resulted in the implementation of political systems that have helped the United States become a self-sufficient, united nation throughout its existence. The Anti-Federalists opposed the transition of power to one single government and the lessening power of the states because they believed that this would increase taxes, almost entirely obliterate the states, cause the government to have uncontrollable power over the people, favor the “well born” over the commoners, and end all forms of civil liberty.
If the Anti-Federalists had it their preferred way, then they would not have had the Constitution ratified at all because their beliefs disagreed with it directly. Notable patriots such as Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry supported the assertion that the federal government was allotted too much power, which they thought would inevitably led to dictatorial control and tyrannical power abuse. The Democratic-Republicans believed that this national form of government would act monarch-like, which is exactly what they had just fought to escape.
Anti-Federalist supporters thought that Congress should not have the right to tax all Americans and they were concerned that the government would eventually become too distant from its own people they were in charge of governing. The Federalists had disagreed with the Democratic-Republicans, entirely. In the Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, they stated that republicanism would be sustained and successful in the United States, because this one whole nation was comprised of so many different factions that no specific group could take supremacy over the others.
Implements of the Constitution such as the system of checks and balances and importantly, the separation of political powers ensured that this one government would never become too powerful. Ultimately, what the Federalist’s proposed helped convince the states that ratification was necessary. Among the many contributions the Federalists made to the political government, one of the most significant was the initiation of economic polices developed by the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton.
He greatly supported a centralized government and his actions helped to create a nation that was financially adept and stable. Hamilton urged both the President and Congress to support the growing manufacturing base in America, he wanted to assume all debt, both state and federal, fund that debt at par value, pass a tax that would fund the government in doing all of this (despite the protesting Democratic-Republicans), and create a national bank of the United States. Hamilton’s plan added credibility to the nation through the assumption of all debt and through its funding at par.
Seeing this legitimacy, others began to invest heavily in different American enterprises, increasing economic growth. The bank aided the stabilization of the economy, while the tax filled the national treasury. The bank soon replaced the poor banking system that was already in place, provided loans and currency to people, be a place to deposit federal funds, collect taxes and disperse governmental expenditures, therefore proving to be very advantageous. Lastly, the Federalists’ unconstrained interpretation of the U. S.
Constitution once again supported and justified a strong, unitive, government. Another major contribution made by the Federalists that helped them have a greater impact on American government was their influence on the legal infrastructure through John Marshall, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He established many legal precedents that would furthermore develop into fundamental and influential parts of United States government, and the decisions made during his time as the Chief of Justice supported the federal government’s power through the individual states.
Through the trial of Marbury v. Madison he secured the Supreme Court as a third party in the Constitution, secured the power of those who were officials in that court, and made known its superiority to inferior state courts, hence the name. Through the case the United States established that the Supreme Court can declare laws of any sort signed by Congress and the President as void if viewed as unconstitutional and if it threatened the natural rights of all citizens involved.
The government could now not make any laws that they so desired as they once did, which once more separated governmental control. If the power of one nation could be divided equally among the three different branches then cooperative and justified power was thought to be the result. Such an important establishment of judicial government and the emphasis on a balance of governmental rule, is a political policy still in action to this day, proving the Federalists had a more profound effect on the United States in that policies they created still in place in the United States.
Opposing political factions both formed over the ratification of the United States Constitution. Those that favored the ratification were known as the Federalists, and those that opposed came to be called the Democratic-Republicans. While both groups were influential parts in the forming of the United States government with their different political standpoints, it is the Federalists that had a greater affect on the formation of America.
Through their unified federal government and different policies put in place, the Federalists helped create a balanced governmental society that would serve as a model for others of the present-day. Works Cited Athearn, Robert. History of the United States: A New Nation. New York City: Choice Publishing Inc. , 1988. Print. Athearn, Robert. History of the United States: Young America. New York City: Choice Publishing Inc. , 1988. Print. Brinkley, Alan. American History: A Survey. New York City: McGraw-Hill, 2007.
Print. Brinkley, Alan. American History: The Jeffersonian Era. New York City: McGraw-Hill, 2008. Web. 10 October 2011. . Kelly, Martin. Order For Ratification of the Constitution, American History. New York City: New York Times Companies, 2011. Web. 10 October 2011. . Meltzer, Tom, Bennet, Jean, and Babkes, Susan. Cracking the AP U. S. History Exam. New York City: Random House Inc. , 2011. Print. Wright, Louis. Cultural Life of the American Colonies. New York City: Harper and Brothers, 1957. Print.