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Taniela B.


The Growth of Political Parties (DBQ) 11/10/15

Throughout the course of many years political parties have altered and gained much

power. During the 1790s there were two different mindsets within President Washingtons

cabinet. They were the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans (Doc 5).Each had different

ideas that changed our government significantly. The rising of political parties was due to the

different views and perspectives on the government, how to correctly interpret the Constitution,

and the creating of a national bank.

The parties had multiple perspectives on the government. One view came from Alexander

Hamilton who was a Federalist. The Federalist supported the idea of a central government power.

Another man named Thomas Jefferson was a Democratic-Republican. They believed in emphasis

of the state power. Hamilton and Jefferson did not get along due to their views. Jefferson mocked

Hamilton saying he was a monarchist and only wanted to help himself and the wealthy (Doc 1).

Hamilton mocked Jefferson by saying he was a danger to the new government and too attached

to the constitution (Doc 2). This proved to play a major factor as citizens began taking sides in

support of either Jefferson or Hamilton.

The Federalists (Hamilton) and the Democratic-Republicans (Jefferson) interpreted the

constitution differently. The Federalists interpretation of the Constitution and was that it was

alterable and flexible. They believed the amendments were guidelines. The Democratic-

Republicans had a stricter interpretation of the Constitution. They respected the amendments as

laws and were strict about it. The Sedition Act is an example of two parties clashing due to

different interpretations of the constitution. Congressman Allen defended the Sedition Act saying

it was freedom of speech (Doc 6). However George Hay (Virginia State Legislature) argued
that the act was not freedom of speech (Doc 7). This led to more separation as people began to

support their party to gain the overall interest of the nation.

Another factor leading to the rise of political parties was the debate on creating a national

bank. Hamilton wanted a bank to centralize government finances and have power. Jefferson

opposed the idea saying it was unconstitutional and it was the state's right to develop banks.

Hamilton's excise tax was an example of causing rebellion (Doc 3). Jefferson opposed the tax but

didn't do anything when he heard the rebellion. However Hamilton won the debate and created

the bank which still stands today.

In addition to the causes of rising political parties President Washington foretold the

truth. Washington stated that political parties were an evil and would cause rebellion and divide

the country (Doc 4). Nobody listened to this advice and even today political parties have led to

many problems.

Political parties have gained power since the 1790s. From the Whigs, to the federalists

down to the modern day republicans. Each party supports different views. However the causes of

political party rising were due to different views on government, interpretation of constitution,

and creating a national bank. Each factor contributed to the rise of political parties.