Paper: A Discussion on the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists in the Early 19th Century

After his presidency in 1816 in Document G, he writes that a looser interpretation is more effective. Jeffersons blatant contradiction serves as justification for his actions during the Louisiana Purchase. When the Embargo Act was passed in 1814, Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans favored a loose interpretation of the Constitution while the Federalists used a strict interpretation. Jefferson believed that the government had the right to restrict trade with foreign nations because it was necessary and proper. Federalists believed that according to the Constitution the federal government had the right to regulate only interstate commerce. In 1814 the Federalists went so far as to hold the Hartford Convention (E) to try to eliminate the Embargo Act. Once again, the parties seemed to have traded their values in accordance with their status. Another example of switched beliefs involves Madison, while he was President in 1817. The Internal Improvements Bill would allow the United States government to use funds collected from taxes on stocks to build roads and canals for commerce, but Madison vetoed the bill based on a strict interpretation of the Constitution. He states that even though the government has the power to regulate interstate commerce, it does not have the power to regulate it by creating roads or canals. (H). Once again, a Democratic-Republican in power puts the partys original values aside and makes a decision using a strict interpretation. The political parties of 1801-1817 definitely broke their traditional mold of strict vs. broad constructionists according to their position of power. Democratic-Republicans under Jefferson and Madison used strict interpretations of the constitution instead of the typical broad construction. Similarly, Federalists at this time used broad interpretations of the constitution instead of the typical strict construction....