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1998 DBQ Jefferson/Madison parties- strict or loose constructionists?

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MajorMajorMajor's picture
Joined: Oct 2007
1998 DBQ Jefferson/Madison parties- strict or loose constructionists?

With respect to the Federal Constitution, the Jeffersonian Republicans are usually characterized as strict constructionists who were opposed to the broad construction of the Federalists. To what extent was this characterization of the two parties accurate during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison?

I've looked up this site for some help and I came across this:

Jeffersonian Republicans were strict constructionists in aspects of Jefferson dismantling the Navy and placing limitations on the military, Jefferson also upheld to Washington's two term policy of presidency, Madison's vetoing of the of the Internal Improvement Bill in 1817 shows he thought internal improvements by the federal government was against the Constitution. The buying of the Louisiana Purchase by Jefferson shows a loose constructionist view because he bought it without the Senate's approval. The Federalist party showed a strict constuctionist view when they required Congress to have two-thirds in order to pass things such as admissions of states and declarations of war. Hamilton's economic program was kept by Jefferson which gave the federal government the right to tax which is a loose view. The embargo shows Jefferson's loose view, too. in one of the documents Jefferson states that he feels the government needs to be flexible and change with the times. John Marshall supported the Elastic Clause which was definately a loose constructionist view because it allowed a flexible interpretation of the Constitution. In all, both parties showed loose and strict views in regards to the Constitution.

The problem I have with this is that I chose my thesis to say that during their presidencies both parties took an almost flip-flop view of the constitution in some of the decisions they made regarding both foreign and domestic affairs. So I'm basically saying that Jeffersonian Republicans were more loose constructionists, and Federalists were strict constructionists in some aspects, such as during the Louisiana Purchase. However, in the above paragraph, the user says that John Marshall supported the Elastic Clause which was a loose constructionist view, but he was a Federalist, not a Jeffersonian.

So should I write my essay in my intended way, in which I argue that the party's switched their views, or should I say that the party's both switched their views but also stayed true to their beliefs in some instances. If so, how should I express that in my essay? Because in every essay I've written, I've always gone one way, not both. This is due in two days by the way, help would be greatly appreciated.

bassoonist@large's picture
Joined: Sep 2007

Well, I think you've basically laid down the groundwork. You've found outside sources that proves them your thesis to be true. From the info above it proves that although each group supported a certain veiw, they tended to sway away from it in order to achieve their goal. As for Marshall, well, the Majority of Federalists support loose contructiveness and in some cases, Marshall based his ruling on it such as the McCulloch v. Maryland case. He used whatever he could to win his case, yet tried to stay faithful to his belief.

So to sum it up:
Federalist: Loose Constructionist that flipped to Strict when need be.
Jeffersonian: Strict Constructionist that flipped to Loose when need be.
Elastic: I've always remembered it as being like a rubberband. Will stretch when need be and tighten when asked.

That's the best I can offer.

capitalization? who the heck came up with this horrible rule?!

[=DarkOrange][=2]my ap equilavent courses:
ib art; ib math sl; ib english

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