Jeffersonians vs. Jacksonians

The Washington administration was the first to bring together in the
cabinet of the United States, the Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and the
Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson and Hamilton began to
take different views when the government began to address the issue of the
old war debts and the worthless paper money left over from the days of the
Confederation. Hamilton suggested that the government should create the
Bank of the United States, which would be a public-private partnership with
both government and private investors. The Bank of the United States was to
handle the government’s banking needs. Jefferson protested because this was
not allowed by the Constitution. Hamilton opposed the view of Jefferson and
stated that the Constitution’s writers could not have predicted the need of
a bank for the United States. Hamilton said that the right to create the Bank
of the United States was stated in the “elastic” or the “necessary and
proper” clause in which the Constitution gave the government the power to
pass laws that were necessary for the welfare of the nation. “ This began the
argument between the “strict constructionists” (Jefferson) who believed in
the strict interpretation of the Constitution by not going an inch beyond
its clearly expressed provisions, and the “loose constructionists”
(Hamilton) who wished to reason out all sorts of implications from what it
said”. Hamilton and Jefferson began to disagree more and more. Hamilton wrote
nasty anonymous articles in John Fenno’s Gazette of the United States and
Jefferson responded to him in Philip Freneau’s National Gazette. Jefferson’s
Notes of the State of Virginia in 1787 stated that rural life was beneficial
to the government because cities and other areas of large population created
poverty, disease, and corruption. Jefferson believed that the small farmers
where the backbone of the United States. While in the Report on Manufactures
of 1791,Hamilton stated that the government should be used to develop cities,
industries, and trade Hamilton believed that “government\'s function is to
maintain order in a potentially chaotic society. It needs to be remote and
secure from the people\'s emotional uprisings”.Jefferson believed the
government “needs to be limited in its powers and completely responsive to
the needs and desires of the people”.Hamilton was strongest among merchants
in the cities and throughout New England while Jefferson was strongest among
artisans in the cities and throughout the South. These conflicting views
would develop in two political parties, the Federalists led by Hamilton and
the Democratic-Republicans led by Jefferson. Although both political parties
presented enticing aspects, Hamilton’s views would be the more reasonable
because Jefferson’s views were idealistic and too strict in reference to the
The Jeffersonian beliefs were extremely idealistic. Jeffersonians’
supported a country of farmers which in theory would end famine and the
spread of disease that was commonly found in cities. However, without the
development of cities and industries there would not be a trade industry
which would allow the farmers to trade and prosper. With no trade, farmers
would not be able to market their surplus and the surplus in the American
economy would cause prices to fall. This situation would produce little
profit for farmers and eventually an stagnant economy. An economy totally
based on farming would also encounter problems if droughts and other natural
disasters interfered with their harvests. The Hamiltonian belief is more
realistic. Hamiltonians’ supported the expansion of economic endeavors in
cities, in areas such as trade and other crafts. This would help keep the
economy stable and growing if the farming lands were not up to their
potential. Jefferson’s belief that the decisions in government should be
made by the people is very unrealistic and perhaps even naive. It is
sometimes human nature to change one’s views and beliefs in a wince and
citizens might follow the views of an irrational and incompetent person which
would lead the country to ruin. Hamilton said that some of the power should
be kept out of the hand of the people in order to protect the people from
making a change in government that would cause possible disasters.
Jefferson’s view would only would have worked in an perfect world.
Jefferson’s ideals for the government were too strict as it pertains to
the interpretation of the Constitution.