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Federalists and Democrat-Republicans

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Federalists and Democratic-Republicans developed in the early 1980s to champion their views on issues of governance (Beer, 1993). Both of them are political alignments with differing schools of thought. They had different ideas on how the government should be constituted as well as on the interpretation of the Constitution. Both groups had their followers from various sections of the society. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison led Democratic-Republicans, while Alexander Hamilton led the Federalists.

These groups, however, differed on various issues as hereunder described. In regards to interpreting the Constitution, the Federalists favored or supported the loose construction of the Constitution. They indicated that not everything that was expressly provided for in the laws was permitted (Merrill, 1974).They observed that other functions or roles could be implied, or the government could accomplish some duties that were not specifically given under the Constitution. In the case of the creation of the National Bank of the United States, the Federalists argued that though such powers were not expressly provided for by the supreme law, the government could still go ahead and establish the institution. On the other hand, the Democrat-Republicans were of the opinion that the interpretation of the Constitution was strict and only matters expressly contained in the laws were to remain duties of the government (Merrill, 1974). As such, this group held that no such issue as implied duties or functions that the government could undertake if there were no such provisions within the Constitution.

The role of the central government in relation to the state governments was also contested. The Federalists observed the need to have a strong central government arguing that the Constitution represented the supreme law of the land and therefore enjoyed the backing of the citizens. The Democrat- Republicans, however, favored strong individual States (Forrest, 1974). Thomas Jefferson envisioned the United States as an agricultural state, while Hamilton foresaw an industrial manufacturing United States. The issues raised above were the major comparisons and contrasts regarding the two groups.

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