The Partisan Politics of the 1790s

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University of Richmond
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Why did the Republicans believe in strict Constitutional interpretation? What was their view regarding the 10th amendment?

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The strict interpretation of the Constitution was a way of stopping Republican presidents from bypassing the Congress and just restricting or making laws as they deemed fit. On the contrary, the 10th amendment was geared towards regulating the operations and the powers of the federal government. This was so because the Republicans viewed it that only the state had the authority to charter banks ("Jeffersonian Republican Party").

What danger did the Republicans see in giving seemingly unlimited powers to the national government? What specific points did Jefferson and Madison make concerning the distribution of power in the U.S within their Virginia and Kentucky Resolves?

With unlimited power, the government was able to raise a large army and also equip its fleet ready for defense against attack. However, such an institution was so dangerous to the liberties and thus not be necessary. This is because the country would be squashed between providing for a big number of soldiers and paying a significant amount of tax ("Jeffersonian Republican Party").

In the Virginian Resolution, Madison claimed that the Congress exercised powers that did not get delegated by the Constitution. However, this power is positively forbidden by an amendment that should produce a universal alarm. The resolution of Kentucky that was authored by Jefferson, however, claimed that states have the power to disqualify unconstitutional laws of the federal. States are therefore viewed as sovereign and independent. They have those individual rights to make judgments regarding its infraction (Constitutional Seminars).

What reasons did the Federalists give in their writings? Why did they support the Alien and Sedition Acts?

The Federalists, led by Hamilton stated that denying the fact that the government has sovereign power is denying its purposes and trusts. It is so because its power is not extended to all cases. The country would, therefore, furnish a spectacle of political society that has no sovereignty (Wilson, Elise Stevens).

How did the Federalists and the Republicans of 1790's compare to the republicans and democrats of the twenty-first century?

The difference is not that much. However, the little notable difference is the manner in which the earlier systems had issues about corruption which is not close to the current opportunists in government (Wilson, Elise Stevens).

Work Cited

"Jeffersonian Republican Party." Thefreedictionary.Com, 2015,

Seminars, Constitutional. "Virginia And Kentucky Resolutions - Bill Of Rights Institute." Bill Of Rights Institute, 2017,

Wilson, Elise Stevens. "The Battle Over The Bank: Hamilton V. Jefferson | The Gilder Lehrman Institute Of American History". Gilderlehrman.Org, 2016,

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