America In the Early 19th Century

Topic: Political Parties

Table of Contents
Vocabulary Terms and Identifications
Important Maps
Biographies of Key Historical Figures


Overview: In the early days of  political parties, there were two groups of people: the Federalists and the  Democratic-Republicans. The Federalists began as those who supported ratification of the federal constitution. Then the Federalists formed into a group of politicians who believed in a strong government, and the Republicans favored power to the states.

The two early parties were centered around the leadership of Alexander Hamilton for the Federalists and Thomas Jefferson for the Democratic-Republicans. Political parties are not mentioned in the Constitution, and they were seen as dangerous by George Washington. But during the administration of John Adams, the two groups formed over issues such as taxation and state power.

While the Federalists believed in a strong central government and favored a powerful executive, they also favored laws that protected businesses. The Democratic Republicans were made up of mostly farmers and immigrants, so they opposed tariffs on factory-made goods. They also felt that the less government  there was, the better. In that way, they are like the Republicans of today, even though they are not related to them. Today's Republicans have their start with the anti-slavery party of Abraham Lincoln, created in 1854.

Vocabulary and Identifications

1) Political Parties: Organized groups of people with similar ideas about government .

2) Federalists: Originally, people who supported ratification of the Constitution.

3) One Party System- a democratic group excludes or attempts to exclude political competition from participating for the struggle of power.

4) Two party system- where competition is continual between parties. This is the type we have in the United States.

5) Multiparty Systems- This system has many parties competing for a majority of seats in a parliament. Often times, the parties must work together in a coalition to make their government work.

Important Chart

A graphic organizer on Political Party Development

A tree representing the development of America's Political Parties

Biographies of Important People

John  Jay

  John Jay was born in New York City on December 12,1745. In 1764 he graduated from King's College (Columbia University). Jay became a lawyer in 1773 and then, became the first chief of justice in the Supreme Court. He married Sarah Livings ton one year later , and then became an American statesman.  John was part of the First and Second Continental Congress. John was not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but wrote some of the pages along with New York's Constitution. Jay was appointed minister of Spain In 1779. He went to Paris, France as a Commissioner of American Peace to negotiate the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War. In 1784 he returned home and served under the Articles of Confederation government. Three years later he helped bring about ratification the Constitution of 1787. Eight years later he became a Federalist. Jay was one of the authors of the book The Federalist. He died on May 17,1829.

This page is part of a web project developed by Mr. Cassutto's 7th grade US History class.

Student authors: John  F.,  Roland  J.,  Mohamad  A.

Check OutTo Project Main Page

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