Social Studies Jefferson

Social Studies Jefferson

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  • Disagreements in the Cabinet
  • I want it this way!
  • Well I want it that way!
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • Two members of George Washington's Cabinet disagreed on nearly every major issue. They were Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, and Alexander Hamilton, the Treasurer.
  • Distrust of Political Parties
  • I hope that there are never political parties.
  • Thomas Jefferson believed in a strong state government. He wanted a strict interpretation of the Constitution, was pro-French, opposed the national bank, and wanted all of the citizens to run the government; he wanted the nation as democratic as possible.
  • Formation of Political Parties
  • Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, believed in a strong federal government. He was pro-British, wanted a loose interpretation of the Constitution, and wanted the educated and wealthy to run the government.
  • Election of 1796
  • At the time, most people distrusted political parties. Washington advised against them in his Farewell Address; and they had seen how factions, or opposing groups within a party, had worked in Britain. People often worked for personal benefit rather than for the public good.
  • Both Hamilton and Jefferson organized their supporters. Jefferson went to New York with a colleague claiming to study wildlife, but in reality met with politicians like governor George Wallace to organize supporters. Newspapers became increasingly popular, and often took sides with either Jefferson or Hamilton. Jefferson's supporters became known as Republicans, and Hamilton's were Federalists.
  • The Republicans elected Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr for their candidates, and the Federalists elected John Adams and Thomas Pickney. John Adams was elected president, and Thomas Jefferson was elected Vice President. These opposing political parties deepened distrust between Adams and Jefferson.
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