Political Parties in George Washington's Cabinet

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A political party is a group of people who seek to win elections and hold public office in order to shape government policy and programs. George Washington warned the nation against creating political parties in his famous “Farewell Address”. He feared political parties would divide the country and weaken support of the Constitution (Doc 4). The first major political parties, the Federalists and the Republicans, were created during the term of President George Washington. Despite President Washington’s warning, the rise of the two political parties, in the years after his term was inevitable. The Federalists were in favor of a strong central government, while the anti-federalists opposed most their ideas. Over time, the gradual development of political parties resulted in the Democrat and Republican parties we have today. The Whiskey Rebellion and different views between the Federalists and Antifederalists were a couple of the main causes that led to the rise of political parties in the 1790’s. The conflict between the Antifederalists and the Federalists had a tremendous impact on the formation of political parties. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were both members of President George Washington's Cabinet, but had completely different views on politics. The differences in opinions made the people split into two separate groups. Primarily, the social backgrounds of each group impacted this. The Federalist Party consisted of mostly wealthy men, many of whom were lawyers, businessmen, bankers, and merchants. These men had a lot of influence in the northern part of the United States because businesses were popular and growing in this region. When it came to the Constitution, the Federalists believed in a loose interpretation ... ... middle of paper ... ... American politics due to rivalries having opposite views and ideas. The Antifederalists and Federalists opinions differed because of each party’s social background originated from different parts of the country. The north agreed with Hamilton’s plans including a national bank to solve the country’s debt problems, but the south rejected the idea. The Federalists supported the idea of a strong central government, while the Antifederalists were more in favor of the local government holding more power. Main differences between the Antifederalists and Federalists led to the rise of political parties. The Whiskey Rebellion was a major event that caused more conflict between the Antifederalists and Federalists. However, political parties of the modern world have greatly evolved since this time and today are sophisticated groups that better serve to represent the citizens.

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