Did America adhere to its founding principles in the early republic period (1787-1814)?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This depends very much on what you think America's founding principles were.

If you think that the founding principles centered around local control and a weak central government, America did not adhere to its principles.  From this point of view, things like the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion were just as bad as what the British had done with the Stamp Tax.

If, however, you think that the Constitution is in line with America's founding principles, then the US generally did adhere to its principles.  It had some slips, most notably the Alien and Sedition Acts.  However, it did continue to be a democratic country in which more and more people were coming to have the right to vote.  By generally protecting individual rights and political freedom, the US could be said to have adhered to its founding principles.

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