What are the differences between the Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian visions for the United States?

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saintfester | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were both important founding figures in American history, but ultimately they had different ideas of what was best for the young nation of America. These two men would use their influence and supporters to start the first two political parties in the United States.

Hamilton and his followers became known as the Federalist party.Hamilton believed that a strong national, or federal, government was needed to keep the unruly states aligned. He supported creating a system of banks and having the federal government use the bank to make investments and supply credit to the states for infrastructure projects. Hamilton also believed that the future of the U.S. lied in industrializations like Great Britain. Manufacturing, trade and international commerce would be the best course for our nation is it wanted to become a world power.

Jefferson and his followers formed the Democratic Republican party. Jefferson believed that a strong federal government was an agency of tyranny and that the states should have more power. Since states are more in touch with the needs of the people, they should have more power than a far-off national government. Jefferson also believed that the U.S. should become a nation of farmers, and that agriculture would propel the U.S. to national power.


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