• Early America believed that organizing a political party was corrupt or subversive
  • Parties would fill Congress with men of little ability who put special interests over national welfare
  • George Washington tried to have an impartial presidency by consulting members of both camps

By 1794, split into two parties: Federalists who controlled the executive, and the Democratic Republicans, who controlled the House of Representatives.



  • Believe strong central gov’t needed
  • Support Base: North, upper class, religious, industry
  • Insisted gov’t was for people, but not by people- distrust masses
  • Condemn French Revolution; worried same could happen in USA
  • Key figures: John Adams, Alexander Hamilton
  • Believe state gov’ts should be strongest; prevent King-like behaviour, encourage local participation in gov’t
  • Support Base: South, rural, common man
  • Believed power corrupts; thus popular democracy key
  • Support French Rev.- Believe citizens should rise up against corrupt, privileged gov’t
  • Key figures: Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe

Election of 1796- Candidate:

  • Federalists: John Adams- Washington’s VP
  • Democratic: Republicans- Thomas Jefferson

Adams becomes President, Jefferson VP as 2nd in votes (changed by 12th amendment)

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