Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale in Jeffersonian democracy, named after its advocate Thomas Jeffersonwas one of two dominant political outlooks and movements in the United States from the s to the s. The term was commonly used to refer to the Democratic-Republican Party formally named the "Republican Party"which Jefferson founded in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton. The Jeffersonians were deeply committed to American republicanismwhich meant opposition to aristocracy of any form, opposition to corruption, and insistence on virtue, with a priority for the " yeoman farmer ", " planters ", and the "plain folk".
Written by Jeffrey L. Pasley University of Missouri Although it generally disappears from the narratives of American history once the seat of national government departs Philadelphia inPennsylvania was quite simply the ground floor of American democracy. The Keystone State produced no Jeffersons or Adamses, and its only president James Buchanan ranks comfortably in the bottom three, but this was the state where democratic politics, American-style, was invented.
Given that Pennsylvania had early America's least stratified, most ethnically diverse electorate and most consistently liberal suffrage requirements, it should come as no surprise that such long-term features of American democracy as the political party, the presidential campaign, the nominating convention, and the partisan newspaper all started here.
Pennsylvania's fractious political history begins with the conflict over the state's ultraradical constitution of Written under the direct influence of Thomas Paine and the plebeian and middle-class militiamen who spearheaded Pennsylvania's belated independence movement, the constitution dispensed with the classical republican ideal of "mixed government" and vested nearly all power in a unicameral assembly elected under conditions of almost universal white manhood suffrage.
That is, all "freemen" aged twenty-one or older who paid taxes or whose father paid taxes could vote and hold office.
The legislature was constitutionally required to meet with its doors open to the public at all times. There was no upper house to check the people's annually elected representatives, and a Jefferson democracy 1800 1814 executive called the president was elected by the legislature and had no veto power.
The constitution would be enforced not by unelected judges but, rather, by a popularly elected Council of Censors that would convene to revise the constitution every seven years.
Bitter divisions over the constitution of and its radically democratic ideals defined the first party battle in Pennsylvania state politics and formed the backdrop for all further developments, as Philadelphia radicals and their rural allies tried to keep the state's uniquely democratic and egalitarian revolutionary legacy alive and others tried to curb or squelch it.
No one dared to attack democracy or equality in principle, but many of Philadelphia's most prominent and erudite men, including Dr.
Benjamin Rush, Judge James Wilson, and Chief Justice Thomas McKean, became harsh detractors of the constitution, pushing for a more conservative and conventional government with a bicameral legislature, a stronger executive, and a more independent judiciary.
After more than a decade of opposition, these so-called Republicans finally succeeded in getting the new state constitution they wanted in ; many were also strong supporters of the new, less democratic federal Constitution that was written in Philadelphia. The radicals who defended the original document were known as Constitutionalists, a confusing appellation because many Pennsylvania Constitutionalists leaned against the generally antidemocratic federal Constitution.
The constitution created an assembly with annual terms and a state Senate whose members were elected to four-year terms. The old state "presidency" was replaced with a governor who was elected by the people every three years and had both the authority to veto legislation and the power to appoint an extensive array of state and county officials, right down to local recorders of deeds and justices of the peace.
Judges in the expanded state court system were appointed by the governor and served for life "during good behavior". Although many Constitutionalists continued to prefer the old system, conflicts over the state government died down during the nine-year governorship of Thomas Mifflin, a popular war hero generally supported by all factions.
Increasingly, over Mifflin's term, the real power accumulated in the hands of his right-hand man, Secretary of the Commonwealth Alexander J. Dallas, an ambitious lawyer recently emigrated from Jamaica. Dallas was deeply involved in the emergence of the new political division that emerged in the s, this time stemming from Philadelphia's status as the seat of national government.
The "national" political controversies that broke out in the Cabinet and the Congress between Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and their followers were also local ones in Philadelphia as they spilled out into the streets and the press.
The nascent national political parties the Federalists who supported Hamilton's policies and thought of themselves more as friends of the government than as a party per se, and the Jeffersonian opposition who usually referred to themselves as Republicans but were often referred to by their enemies as "democrats or "Jacobins" battled over Philadelphia's Bank of the United States and fought for public approbation through Philadelphia newspapers that circulated nationally.
As the epicenter of national political conflict, Philadelphia, followed by the rest of the state, led the nation in the development of party politics. Republican John Swanwick won one of the first clearly party-contested congressional elections inand a coterie of Philadelphians led by Clerk of the House of Representatives John Beckley and the Aurora newspaper mounted the first serious popular presidential campaign, for Thomas Jefferson, incarrying the state and almost the election for the opposition leader.Biography Publications, Awards, and Activities.
The Mind of Thomas Jefferson.
Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, (with Nicholas G. Onuf). Jeffersonian Republic, Theme: Jefferson’s effective, pragmatic policies strengthened the principles of two-party republican government, even though the Jeffersonian “revolution” caused sharp partisan battles between Federalists and Republican over particular issues.
Thomas Jefferson’s electoral victory over John Adams—and the larger victory of the Republicans over the Federalists—was but one of many changes in the early republic. Some, like Jefferson’s victory, were accomplished peacefully, and others violently. THE SECOND WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE. What was the major problem that Adams faced in the election of ?
Where did Jefferson receive a majority of his support? Jefferson’s election was considered a “revolution” because he represented the common people for the first time. 2. Troubles in North Africa and between England and France emerged.
What political liabilities existed for Adams and for Jefferson in ? Late , before the victory of New Orleans, a convention of federalists made. Jeffersonian Democracy, – Learning Outcomes After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: LO 1 Define Jeffersonian Democracy, and explain how Jefferson’s presidency both defined and contradicted that political.
Home Essays Jefferson Democracy, Jefferson Democracy, Legislation, during the Jefferson democracy, that stopped American exports from going to Europe and prohibited American ships from trading to foreign ports. This act was a failure. Embargo act of Jeffersonian Democracy, – Learning Outcomes After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: LO 1 Define Jeffersonian Democracy, and explain how Jefferson’s presidency both defined and contradicted that political philosophy. Nov 20, · Alex Smith's debut, a brief movie, made for history class.