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Why Did The First Political Parties Arise? Who Were Their Leaders And How Did Their Ideas Differ?

483 words - 2 pages

Political parties play an important role in the development of our government. The Framers of the Constitution did not include any information relating to political groups, with fear that political groups would encourage controversy and disagreement. Various issues soon arose and political parties began to emerge. The development of these political parties in the new nation of the United States became inevitable as many different philosophies of important leaders surfaced.

        On one side of the political party was Alexander Hamilton, who led a group known as the Federalist. The Federalists were a group who were willing to stretch the Constitution by interpretation. They supported a strong government, and were made up of mostly an ...view middle of the document...

        The opposing party, known as the republicans, which was led by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson fought for the rights of the simple man, many of his followers were farmers, laborers, and slave owners. He favored a weak central government and strong state governments. He felt that if the farmers were educated, they would be able to act for the good of society.
Jefferson's goal was a nation that could work together in harmony, both the simple farmer and the elite businessmen.

        As shown above, these two political parties had drastically different views on how the government should be run. Their different ideologies are apparent in the controversy of the Whiskey Rebellion. The Rebellion began when Alexander Hamilton had agreed that the feds would assume all debt incurred by the states during the Revolutionary War. Since he needed to raise money to pay these debts, he decided to impose a tax on the whiskey. This tax seemed to hurt the Westerners more so than the Easterners since the west relied heavily on making whiskey to earn a living. Many of the Easterners were a bit more sophisticated and usually drank wine instead of whiskey. Therefore, the Easterners would pay proportionally less due to their drinking preferences. The Westerners revolted against this tax and their efforts spread quickly. George Washington put an end to the rebellion and the tax was repealed.

        The controversy between the two political parties impacted national politics greatly. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton are credited for being the first leaders of the two parties, known as the Federalists and the Republicans. Their efforts have shaped what our government is today.


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