During a very tense time period in American history, both Republicans and Federalists labeled their opposing party

French and British respectively in order to show the other’s commitment to the American future. In 1795, John Jay was sent by George Washington to England to negotiate a treaty following a series of British and American disagreements. Jay’s objective was for the British to agree to the removal of all British forts in the United States, compensation for all American vessels impress in the West Indies, improved commercial relations with Britain, and recognition of the United States’ decision to stay neutral in Great Britain’s war with France. The British agreed to all demands except for the last. They would not accept the United States’ neutrality. This caused lots of disagreement at home between the Republicans and Federalists. The leader of the Republican party, Thomas Jefferson, was commonly known as an avid supporter of the French. His political views paralleled those of the French Revolution, and thus had always favored France over Britain. Likewise, Alexander Hamilton, the leader of the Federalist party, had always admired the British, of whom he once said “we have similarity of tastes, language, and general matters” (pg. 204, America Past and Present). Rather than come together in a time when our country seemed vulnerable, Republicans and Federalists divided further. They became involved in a war being fought on another continent, and illuminated the differences in political opinions the United States possessed. At a time when Congress was already concerned about the growth of partisanship due to its negative impact on the stability of our nation, both Federalists and Republicans instituted fierce political propaganda and clubs that drew our nation further apart. In 1789, John Fenno created the Gazette of the United States in attempt to support the Federalist’s political philosophy. In response to this propaganda, the Republicans created the National Gazette with the help of Philip Freneau. These newspapers enabled everyone in the colonies to take part in the growing difference of American opinion. Rather than only the highly ranked officials of political parties in disagreement, these newspapers made sure that all of society formulated a distinct, political opinion. Following the increase of involvement in American politics, political clubs were created. These political clubs were places for the common man to meet and discuss various political issues. Since the clubs were strictly Republican or Federalist, they reinforced and further strengthened

each party’s political views. The common man could come to one of these clubs, and become strongly persuaded that the opposing party possessed a “secret evil design to destroy the republic” (pg. 214, America Past and Present). This expansion of partisanship proved to be poisonous to society, as the common man’s newly increased role of involvement in political sects only further divided the nation into Republicans and Federalists. Both the Alien and Sedition Acts and the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions were selfish attempts by the Federalists and Republicans to shut down their opposition and disregard what was best for their country. The Alien and Sedition Acts were four laws proposed by the Federalists in 1798. The goal of these laws was to shut down the Republican opposition and give the Federalist-led government full dictatorial power. Jefferson and Madison thought that the Federalists envisioned the creation of a police state. This frightened the Federalists, and in response, created the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. These resolutions, if passed, could have resulted in secession from the Union. At the time, this was the most extreme example of partisanship seen in American history. Great American heroes such as Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson, and Adams, were no longer American, they were Republicans and Federalists. This expanded all throughout society, where political tensions were so hot, everyone was anticipating the explosion. Both parties had seemingly lost the common purpose that had united them during the Revolutionary War, and were now ready to break apart and lose everything they had fought for. The future of our young nation was in jeopardy. The following years would dictate whether or not or country would succeed in the future. The election of 1800 served as a pivotal moment in history that helped prove our country to be successful. In a much-anticipated race, two Republicans tied for first place, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, which sent the vote to the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives took several weeks to choose the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. In a very tense political time period, the House of Representatives failure to speedily select a third President could have resulted in dangerous riots, military coups, or even secession from the Union. This showed the true unity that American people possessed, and their ability to stick together through hard times. The American people had simply

forgotten the common purpose that they fought so hard for during the Revolution. Thomas Jefferson spoke of the American people perfectly when he said “We are all Republicans; we are all Federalists” (pg. 220, America Past and Present). Both the Republicans and Federalists shared the same common goal; a better future for the United States. The American people realized this after the election of 1800, and saw that although they may be divided on some issues, they are ultimately united as one. If this partisanship problem had not been peacefully resolved like it was, the history of the United States would have been drastically different. The young country would have broken apart, and there may have never been any motivation to bring it back together and create the democratic homeland they had once fought so hard to achieve.