There were disagreements over the meaning of the Constitution. People like Thomas Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution. He believed that you can do only what is specifically mentioned in the Constitution. John Adams believed in a loose view of the Constitution. This meant that it is acceptable to interpret the meaning of the Constitution. With this view, it is acceptable to do anything unless the Constitution specifically says it can’t be done. A strict view could limit the power of the federal government while a loose view could increase its power.
One example to use to highlight these differences was the discussion about having a national bank. John Adams supported this idea while Thomas Jefferson opposed it. Jefferson felt it was not acceptable to create a national bank because the Constitution said nothing about having a national bank. John Adams believed it was acceptable to have a national bank because it wasn’t prohibited by the Constitution.