Federalists Essays

Federalists Essays

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The early years of the Constitution of the United States were full of political strife. The two prominent political ideals were complete opposites. The Jeffersonian Republicans were focused on giving power to the people and maintaining a pastoral economy, while the Federalists supported the control of the government by the elite class, and maintaining “positive” democracy. Both parties feared the influence and effect the other party would have on the public. In Linda K. Kerber's article, “The Fears of the Federalists”, the major concerns Federalists held in the early 19th century are described. Ever since the war with and separation from England, the citizens of America were seen to be continually drive to “patriotic rebellion” as a way to voice their wants. Violence was not an uncommon practice of the era (the use of mob tactics was prevalent), but Federalists feared that if Democratic values were abused and unrestrained, the country would fall into anarchy.
Federalists sought to maintain a stable culture. After the revolution, they felt the people would not be able to remain a peaceful people once having experienced such a rebellion1. This strengthened the Federalist belief in keeping control over the people in order to prevent any “mobbish”2 behavior. Thus, the idea of having the populace ruled by an elite, as well as restricting their role in government was strengthened. However, they were threatened by the lack of deference spreading throughout the culture3. As any sort of gentile blood was being disregarded for the most part, this alarmed Federalists as this lack of deference made people “unpredictable and capable of 'mobbishness'”4. They did not trust the Republicans to be aware of the “precariousness of American social o...


... middle of paper ...


...e expansion of the country and a contribution to its empirical power14. Kerber's article is a good supplemental piece, not having enough perspective to stand alone.
The ideals of Federalists and Republicans were almost at the extreme opposite of the political spectrum. Federalists were cautious, strict, and focused on elite leadership, while Republicans were more willing to change, incorporate the whole of the people, and rebel. Linda K. Kerber's article on Federalists, “The Fear of the Federalists” gives a suitable reference for the perspective and beliefs of the Federalists during the early 19th century.


Works Cited

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! An American History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2007.

Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs and Jon Gjerde. edit., Major Problems in American History: Volume 1 to 1877. Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007.

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