How did the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans differ in their foreign policy concerning Great Britain and France?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I have edited your question to give the names of the parties as these are the two parties best known in US history for having differences on foreign policy with regard to these two countries.  If this is not what you were asking about, please let us know.

The differences between these two parties were some of the starkest differences in the history of American politics.  In the years after the French Revolution, these two parties each took the side of a different participant in a war.  This is the only time in US history that the two main parties have been divided to that degree.

After the French Revolution, a war erupted between France and a coalition of nations that included Britain.  The Federalists took the side of Britain.  They did so because they had strong trading ties with Britain and because they were dismayed by the extreme democracy and violence of the French Revolution.  They preferred a more conservative democratic governmental system.  The Democratic-Republicans took the side of France.  They did so in part because of the fact that France had helped the colonies so much in the American Revolution.  They also did so because they were a more liberally democratic and anti-monarchical party than the Federalists were.

This was a major split in American politics from the time of the French Revolution until after the War of 1812.

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