Essay on Jefferson and Hamilton

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The post-revolutionary war period of the Unites States saw the establishment of the first party system and an enlarging gap in viewpoints between the wealthy and the common man. The contradictory views of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were primarily responsible for the rise of political parties from 1783-1800.

Alexander Hamilton exerted the most influence in the new Federalist Party. He believed that only an enlightened ruling class could produce a stable and effective federal government. The government therefore needed the support of wealthy men. Thomas Jefferson and the Republicans defended more the rights of the common man and an agrarian society with little power from the federal government. His basic principle was "in
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Federalists also called for an excise tax to be placed on distillers of alcohol. Hamilton argued in Overawing the Whiskey Boys that "you have said "the Congress shall have the power to lay excises to pay the debts and provide for common defense" you have then pronounced and decreed that your representatives in Congress shall have the power to lay such an excise and nothing since to reverse or impair that decree." The Whiskey Rebellion was the inevitable consequence of the enactment of this tax. The Republicans did not believe the excise to be constitutional and celebrated the Whiskey Rebellion. The Federalist political cartoon "Mad Tom in a

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