Constitutional Crisis and Political PartiesAlexander Hamilton
(Federalists) / Thomas Jefferson
(Democratic Republicans) / Are you a Federalist or a Democratic Republican? For each issue, write with whom you agree and WHY.
- Concentrating power in the federal government
- This will allow the government to protect citizens, pay off debt and maintain general order
- Sharing power with the state and local governments; limited national government
- This will prevent an oppressive government from emerging
- Fear of mob rule
- The masses of people are ignorant and driven by their emotions. The cool and rational government must control them.
- Fear of absolute power or ruler
- Democracy will prevent a power-hungry king or group of wealthy people from taking over the government
- Republic led by a well-educated elite
- The elite are the most educated and respected people. They have the most to gain and lose from the government.
- Democracy of virtuous farmers and tradespeople.
- The common man knows the real value of hard work. They are not corrupted by power.
- Loose interpretation of the Constitution
- The “elastic clause” of the Constitution gives Congress the power to take actions deemed necessary and proper to do its job
- Strict interpretation of the Constitution
- The government only has those powers specifically given to it by the Constitution.
- National Bank is constitutional (loose interpretation)
- The government needs a bank to create a currency (money); and lend and borrow money.
- National bank unconstitutional (strict interpretation)
- Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the government can create a national bank.
- Economy based on shipping and manufacturing
- These are the industries of the future
- Economy based on farming
- This is a good and respectable way to make a living
- Payment of national and state debts (favoring creditors)
- This will restablish trust in the economy; people need to know our governments can pay their bills.
- Payment of only the national debt (favoring debtors)
- Hamilton’s plan favors the creditors; Parts of the South had already payed its debts.
- Supporters: merchants, manufacturers, landowners, investors, lawyers and clergy
- Supporters: the “plain people” (farmers and tradespeople)
Constitutional Crisis and Political Parties
1)Write a description of the event under the party responsible for doing it. 2)Write how the second party reacted.
3)Explain how this event was a constitutional crisis (how did it threaten the Constitution)?Event / Federalists / Democratic Republicans / Constitutional Crisis?
Whiskey Rebellion /
- Govt tax on whiskey
- Whiskey makers don’t pay/rebel
- Govt sends troops to stop the rebellion
- Oppose: govt used too much power
- Const. says the govt can tax
- If people refuse, that is a challenge to the govt
National Bank /
- Federalists create a bank because it “necessary and proper” to run the country
- Oppose: the Const. does not say you can create a bank
- Depending on the interpretation, this is either allowed or not allowed by the Constitution
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (Nullify—to cancel out) /
- Oppose: Federalists denounce these laws; some say the military should be sent in to enforce them
- Thomas Jefferson and James Madison design state laws that nullify (cancel) federal laws
- Virginia and Kentucky sign laws challenging the govt. authority over them
The Election of 1800 /
- Thomas Jefferson wins the most votes; John Adams (a federalist) almost takes 2nd place
- Constitution says 1st in votes is President, 2nd in votes is Vice President.
- This would force political enemies to have to work together (dysfunctional government)
Louisiana Purchase /
- Oppose: Federalists call Jefferson a hypocrite
- Thomas Jefferson buys a huge piece of land from the French even though the Constitution doesn’t give him that power
- Depending on the interpretation, this either allowed or not allowed by the Constitution
Prompt: Describe at least two events that challenged the Constitution its first years of existenceand how these events deepened the division between the two main American political parties.