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After the extreme partisanship of 1800, it was expected by supporters and foes alike that the presidential administration of Thomas Jefferson would pioneer substantial and even radical changes. The federal government was now in the hands of a relentless man and a persistent party that planned to diminish its size and influence. But although he overturned the principal Federalist domestic and foreign policies, Thomas Jefferson generally pursued the course as a chief executive, quoting his inaugural address “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.” With true republicans warming most of the seats of power throughout the branches, except in the Judiciary, he saw the tools of government as less of a potential instrument of oppression and more of a means to achieve republican goals.

Jefferson assumed the presidency in the hopes that his election would represent the triumph of the true republican principles of the American Revolution; “......the defeat of those who had reverted in varying degrees to policies derived from monarchism.” His first acts were to reduce the size of the government and to cut spending. He believed the strongest government was that which placed the lightest burden on its citizens. Such is meant in his inaugural address by “Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.”

Although recognized as an intellectual and scholar, Jefferson was also undoubtedly the first president to become the leader of a political party. He skillfully made use of party politics in making assignations to office pursuing his legislative aims by entertaining members of Congress at the White House as a means of keeping himself in touch and them in line. Jefferson used the powers of his presidential office with an authority that Presidents Washington and John Adams would not have been permitted. His political moderation and enthusiasm to compromise land had won over many of the Adam’s Federalists. At the same time those Republicans who had rallied behind him in hopes of a radical exodus from previous administrations grew increasingly frustrated. Led by the vibrant and unconventional John Randolph, a group of Republicans in the House, w...

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