Jefferson Vs. Madison

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During the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison, Republicans, such as Jefferson were seen as strict constructionists of the Constitution while Federalists, like Madison, were generally looser with their interpretations of the Constitution's literal meaning. While the constructionist ideas were part of what separated the two parties from one another, Jefferson and Madison are both guilty of not adhering to these ideas on many occasions. Jefferson writes in a letter to Gideon Granger expressing his idea that the United States is too large to have only one central government, and the states should receive more power, which goes against the fact that the Constitution was created in order to unite a new country. Also, when passing the …show more content…
Although Republicans preferred more power to the states, as President, Jefferson should have kept the county's best idea in mind and tried to keep the national government strong. Jefferson also comes across as very hypocritical in this letter by trying to dismantle the government he created and fought for during the drafting of the Constitution. In this letter, Jefferson is guilty of trying to allow his own vision for the country to come through rather than keeping the strict constructionist ideas of his party in mind and supporting the Constitution even if it called for a strong national government. The passing of the Embargo Act in 1807 banned all trade with European nations during the Napoleonic Wars in an attempt for the United States to steer clear of war and to prove to the European Nations that American goods were essential to their economies. Alexander Anderson's cartoon, drawn one year after the bill was passed, shows how the American people were affected by the Embargo Act. They resorted to smuggling goods in order to make money during the economic depression caused by the act. After Jefferson's poor decision with the Embargo Act, his party members began to loose faith in him and his Federalist opponents gained a great amount of popularity. By refusing to trade, the United States experienced the bad aspects of war with none of the potential gains through the signing of treaties. After the Embargo Act, the American citizens begin to…