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Midnight Judges Research Paper

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On taking office in 1789, President Washington nominated New York lawyer Alexander Hamilton to the office of Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton wanted a strong national government with financial credibility and he proposed the ambitious Hamiltonian economic program. James Madison was Hamilton's ally in the fight to ratify the new Constitution, but he and Thomas Jefferson, opposed Hamilton's economic programs by 1791. By the early 1790s newspapers started calling Hamilton supporters "Federalists" and their opponents "Democrats," "Republicans," "Jeffersonians" or—much later—"Democratic-Republicans". The 1790s served as the main stage of the Federalist Party ideas as they represented the first two presidents, George Washington and John Adams.…show more content…
More importantly, the act also created 16 new judgeships that John Adams rapidly filled with Federalists in the last weeks of his presidency; these judges came to be known as the "Midnight Judges." Since, as written in Article Three of the United States Constitution, federal judges serve for life, Adams’ Midnight Judges secured the great extent of Federalist Party influence through the later Democratic-Republican years by setting many influential Federalist-based precedents in the early 1800s, most commonly strengthening the power of the federal government. After John Adams filled the new spots for federal judgeships with Federalists, these judges, led by the Federalist Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, used their Federalist ideals to determine verdicts, thereby greatly influencing politics with Federalist ideas and precedents in the early 1800s. For example, In Marbury v. Madison, William Marbury had been appointed justice of the peace for the District of Columbia in the final hours of the Adams administration. When James Madison, Thomas Jefferson’s secretary of state, refused to deliver Marbury’s commission, Marbury, joined by three other similarly situated…show more content…
Firstly, given the public support and the obvious value of purchasing Louisiana to the future growth of the United States, Jefferson decided to ignore his Democratic-Republican principle of strictly interpreting the Constitution. Because the ability of a president to purchase land is nowhere in the constitution, Jefferson had to consider, using a loose interpretation, the purchase a treaty which he would have the right to perform as president. This event clearly displayed great political influence of the Federalist Party’s principle of loosely interpreting the constitution since even the opposing Democratic-Republicans followed this Federalist view. The Missouri Compromise served as another event that sustained Federalist ideas, which, thereby, displayed great Federalist influence to early 1800s politics. By 1818, the Missouri Territory had gained sufficient population to warrant its admission as a state. Its settlers came largely from the South, and it was expected that Missouri would be a slave state. To a statehood bill brought before the House of Representatives, James Tallmadge of New York proposed an amendment that would forbid importation of slaves and would bring about the ultimate emancipation of slaves born in Missouri. This amendment passed the House (February 1819), but not the Senate since southern senators feared this was a dangerous step towards
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