preview

Political Parties or Divisive and Disloyal

In 1789, George Washington’s presidency aided to form national unity among the states. However, the 1790’s focused primarily on American politics and an array of differences about what the government should or shouldn’t do. It was two different persuasions that constituted the first two political party systems in our government. By the time the American political parties had been established, the country had been swallowed into a world known as the “age of passion” (Foner 222).
Political divisions began to emerge in the 1790’s shortly after George Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton as the Secretary of Treasurer. Hamilton’s primary goal was to “establish the nation’s financial stability, bring to the government’s support the country’s most powerful financial interests, and encourage economic development” (Foner 223). He wanted to make the United States a major commercial and military power. With this in mind, Hamilton designed a five part financial plan between 1790 and 1791. The parts included creating creditworthiness by assuming the debt of the states, creating a new national debt, creating a Bank of the United States that would function as the nation’s main financial proxy, proposing a tax on producers of whiskey, and last but not least, imposing tariffs and providing government subsidies to industries. Hamilton and his followers believed in a strong federal government led by the most elite and wealthy. His strong support came from American financers, well-off farmers, manufacturers, lawyers, merchants, and in his words, “the rich, the able, and the well-born” (Foner 226).
Unfortunately for Hamilton, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and James Madison opposed his financial plans for the nation. A majority of the opposi...

... middle of paper ...

...orthern states had not yet paid off their debts. The Republicans thought of the bank as unconstitutional, and did not like that the Federalists supported Northern businesses just as the bank did. A conflict between the economies of the North and South had become a large contribution to the opposition of the national bank.
All in all, American politics in the 1790’s were a crucial part of the new nations future. The disagreements between the political parties inspired the formation of several Democratic-Republican societies who were granted involvement in public affairs and the right to debate political issues. Needless to say, the conflict amongst the Hamiltonian-Federalists and Jeffersonian-Republicans produced one of the strongest periods in American history.

Works Cited

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! An American Novel. New York: WW Norton & Company, 2012. Print.
Get Access