Political Party System: The Federalists vs. the Republicans

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Before the Declaration of Independence in 1776, colonies were separate from each other; there was very little interaction. As Britain exerted their power on the colonies, imposing unreasonable taxes without colonial consent, people realized their freedom was threatened. Colonists felt the need to unite and act together to call for independence. When the country finally claimed its independence, Americans started to drift apart once again due to the differences in their viewpoints. Political parties came into existence. Composed of two parties, the Federalists and the Republicans, they took turns to govern the country with their own ideas and principles. They shared different ideas on many aspects and opposed every move the opponent made. As the Constitution of 1787 was introduced, two political parties were present in Congress. One of them was the Federalists and the other was the Republicans. The Federalists were led by George Washington and John Adams. They were composed of elites and favored trading with Britain. Their supporters were mainly merchants, farmers, lawyers, and established political leaders. They believed that freedom “rested on the deference of authority” (Foner 288). The Republicans were led by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. They believed in democratic self-government and favored agricultural. Their supporters composed mainly of farmers. Their goal was to establish a “limited government [that] allowed its citizens to be ‘free to regulate their own pursuits’” (Foner 303). According to Foner, “[The Republicans] were far more critical than the Federalists of social and economic inequality, and more accepting of broad democratic participation as essential to freedom” (Foner 289). One main difference between the... ... middle of paper ... ...so that the debt would force Indians to sell their land to the whites (Foner 310). Under the rule of the two parties, Indians had two choices: to give up their land to the whites and move further west or to assimilate themselves into the white society. In conclusion, political parties had different views and different goals. While the Republicans had showed that they were competent and governed the country effectively, the Federalists were quite behind with their principles and the way they handled the country’s affairs. That explains the downfall of the Federalist Party which eventually led to its dead in the late 1820s. Nonetheless, they all shared the same ultimate goal: to find a way to properly govern and strengthen their country. Works Cited Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!: An American History. Fourth ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. 247-316. Print.

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