The Party System, Republican Vs. Federalist

1712 Words Jul 20th, 2015 7 Pages
Final Exam Part 2 _QC

There are several reasons why the two party system, Republican vs. Federalist, worked so well in the 1790’s.

First, when the political parties emerged in the 1790’s it was evident that their ideologies were vastly different. The Republican Party wanted a representative form of government that functioned “in the interest of the people.” This party, led by Thomas Jefferson, supported a limited central government, with individual states retaining a majority of the control. Jefferson’s vision was for a nation of farmers, and farmers do not need big government to survive. They feared a large central government would take away the rights of the people. On the other hand, the Federalist Party, led by Alexander Hamilton, supported a strong central government that would pursue policies in support of economic growth, which in turn would provide the freedom the people wanted. Hamilton’s followers also supported a diverse economy.1 It is important to note here however, that both parties knew they would have to become national parties in order to win any elections and both parties had followers in the north and in the south. There was no sectional divide in the parties.

Second, the Constitution played an important role in the why the two party system worked so well during this period. The Constitution created a system of government, which distributed power across three levels of government, so that no one political body had ultimate power. The people…
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