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Hamilton vs. Jefferson
A conflict took shape in the 1790s between America's first
political parties. Indeed, the Federalists, led by Alexander
Hamilton, and the Republicans (also called
Democratic-Republicans), led by Thomas Jefferson, were the first
political parties in the Western world. Unlike loose
political groupings in the British House of Commons or in the
American colonies before the Revolution, both had reasonably
consistent and principled platforms, relatively stable popular
followings, and continuing organizations.
The Federalists in the main represented the interests of
trade and manufacturing, which they saw as forces of progress in
the world. They believed these could be advanced only by a
strong central government capable of establishing sound public
credit and a stable currency. Openly distrustful of the
latent radicalism of the masses, they could nonetheless credibly
appeal to workers and artisans. Their political stronghold
was in the New England states. Seeing England as in many
respects an example the United States should try to emulate,
they favored good relations with their former mother country...
Questions with answers in bold:
1. Who led the Federalists?
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Text courtesy of the U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Information Programs, 2005