How did the Jeffersonians (Republicans) interpret the Constitution?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Jeffersonians interpreted the Constitution very strictly.  They only wanted the federal government to have the powers that were explicitly given to it in the Constitution.

The Jeffersonians were suspicious of the power of the federal government.  They felt the federal government was more likely to be tyrannical and therefore wanted more power to be reserved for the states.  For this reason, they wanted to interpret the Constitution very strictly.  They wanted Congress to be able to exercise only its enumerated powers.  They did not want it to have any powers (like the power to create a national bank) that were only implied by the Constitution.