PoliticalParties in the Early Republic

Thetag of differences that erupted between Alexander Hamilton and ThomasJefferson has grown to shape the U.S to the modern day. One cannotoverlook the significance of the differences between the Federalistand the Democratic-republicans since this phenomenon grew anddeveloped the atmosphere of modern politics in America. In its earlydays, the U.S is known for its non-tolerance towards the sanction ofpolitical parties. One would go further to argue that at thebeginning of the years, the United States of America did not alwayssupport political parties. However, the introduction of theConstitution, accompanied by a series of different presidents eachsupporting a different regime, led to the establishment of politicalparties that have flourished up to the modern day. The FederalistParty is described as the first American political party. It isrecognized to have surfaced between the year 1792 and 1794. Researchhas shown that the party started as a national coalition of bankersand businesspeople who were in support of Alexander Hamilton’sfiscal policies (Berkin, Miller, and Robert, 160).

TheFirst Hamiltonian Party focused on developing a government thatfacilitated effective fiscal policies. The party founded nationalismas a virtue of the people of America. According to the Jay Treaty,the Federalist Party pursued the sanction for the national bank,national tariffs and good relations with Great Britain (Berkin,Miller, and Robert, 179). Alexander Hamilton designed the Jay Treatyand was seconded by other individuals including former AmericanPresident George Washington. However, it is important to note thatPresident John Adams was the only Federalist President in theAmerican history. In their book titled, &quotCengage Advantage Books: Making America,&quotBerkin, Miller and Robert (184) continue to state that regardless ofthe support that President George Washington provided to theFederalist Party during his reign, he remained as a non-participantthroughout his reign.

TheDemocratic – Republican Party is regarded as the second Americanpolitical party that emerged during the 1790’s. The party wasformed in opposition to the centralizing policies as stated by theFederalist Party. The Republican Party was organized by ThomasJefferson and James Madison. Its primary objective was to focus onopposing Hamilton’s financial programs, which Jefferson describedas a major contributor towards aristocracy and opposition torepublicanism in the United States. During 1791, a part of theCongress was opposed to the Constitution. This opposition led to thebirth of the Republicans party who were against the constitution. Theparty came up as an opposition to the Federalists Party. Led byJefferson, the party profoundly opposed Hamilton’s financial planson the national bank as well as the Jay Treaty between the U.S andGreat Britain.

Theparty assumed power during 1801, with the election of PresidentThomas Jefferson during the 1800 Elections. Thomas Jefferson opposeda strong central government and supported a strict interpretation ofthe constitution, as opposed to Alexander Hamilton of the FederalistParty, who supported a strong central government accompanied by looseinterpretation of the Constitution. This was reflected by PresidentThomas Jefferson’s strong opposition to Hamilton’s’ Measuresterming them as unconstitutional and Monarchical tendencies. Theparty stood for the principles of 1798 that described a change in thelaws of the states, where the states would be able to establishfederal legislation. Despite the party’s firm support for theprimacy of the yeoman farmers, the Republican Party is well perceivedfor its support towards republican principles in the U.S.

Asa federal government, the United States of America administration hasevolved to become one of the most influential around the globe. Thefoundation of the early national government is presumed to be one ofthe major contributors to the stability experienced in the modernday. The Democratic-Republican Party is seen to have the largestimpact on the early national government reflected in the modern day.While opposed to the centralizing policies by the Federalist Party,the party was able to mould the government of America into a moredecentralized structure seen in the modern day. The modern dayconstitution allows states to nullify federal laws, which hasdeveloped stability in the government across the states. Jefferson’ssupport to the Yeoman farmers has seen the growth of agriculture inthe U.S. The party’s focus on the primacy of the Yeoman farmers sawthe growth of agriculture in different parts of America (Berkin,Miller, and Robert, 191). The party stood for states’ rights, whichequally involved strict interpretation of the constitution and asmall national military.

Itcan be indicated that the Democratic-Republican Party profoundlyimpacted the early national government since it supported policies ofcommon freemen, such as the Yeoman Farmer’s policies. The party wascharacterized by support for labourers and small businesses, ratherthan the large commercial ventures as established by the FederalistParty. The party’s economic policies created a platform thatallowed the small businesses and individuals to venture and earn aprofit (Berkin, Miller, and Robert, 186). It is important to notethat this financial aspect has led to the growth of the economy ofAmerica. On the other hand, it is important to point out that theRepublican Party dominated national politics for twenty-five years,as opposed to the Federalist reign of a decade. Due to its more timein national politics, the Republican Party had more power andinfluence in moulding the American government, which has beenreflected in the modern day.


Berkin,Carol., Christopher L. Miller, Robert W. Cherny, and James L.Gormly.CengageAdvantage Books: Making America, Volume 1 to 1877: A History of theUnited States, 7th Edition.Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2015. Print. ISBN-13:978-1-305-25142-7.