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DBQ: Constitution Interpretation. The Federalists versus the Democratic-Republicans. Step 1: Think on the Prompt.

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dbq constitution interpretation

DBQ: Constitution Interpretation

The Federalists versus the Democratic-Republicans

step 1 think on the prompt
Step 1: Think on the Prompt
  • “With respect to the federal Constitution, the Jeffersonian Republicans are usually characterized as strict constructionists who were opposed to the broad constructionism of the Federalists. To what extent was this characterization of the two parties accurate during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison?
  • What is the descriptive word in the prompt?
    • “to what extent” is similar to “analyze” which means to break the topic into parts and explain the parts.
  • What is the topic? Interpretation of the Constitution between the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans
  • Brainstorm for 30 seconds
read and make notes on the documents
Read and Make Notes on the Documents
  • Doc A: Can be used to support strict construction with states rights, however says “united as to everything respecting foreign nations” which can be used to justify loose construction.
  • Doc B: Supports 1st Amendment, strict construction, separation of church and state, uses the word “delegated”
  • Doc C: Embargo and Non-Intercourse Acts, Loose construction for J and M with commerce compromise. Federalists with England major trading partner…strict construction.
  • Doc D: “Mr. Madison’s War”, Strict construction for Federalists, leads to Hartford Convention
  • Doc E: State delegates at Hartford “people of each state”, new states concern…vote Democratic-Republican? Against Embargo Act, Limitations on definition of commerce compromise.
  • Doc F: Insult to be called a “John Adams” with federalist idea of protective tariff, dem-rep called “old feds”, violation of X amendment – favoring a state? Loose construction
  • Doc G: founding fathers as “demi-gods” (negative connotation), loose construction to account for changes and keep “pace” with the times. Jefferson’s own words!
  • Doc H: Roads, canals, railroads built by federal government, strict construction since power to build is not “delegated” to the fed, doesn’t sign the law.
intro paragraph examples 5 sentence format

Intro Paragraph Examples5 Sentence Format!

Hook to provide historical context

Topic sentences should have no evidence or examples. We are looking for 3 separate sentences.

Thesis should be a complete thought to answer the “why” or “because”, and include a time frame. It should be able to “stand alone.”

Watch for “value” words!

topic sentences or points of discussion
Topic Sentences or “Points of Discussion
  • Both Federalists and Democratic-Republicans philosophically and practically differed on:
    • Hamilton’s Financial Plan
      • Bank of the United States (BUS)
      • Protective Tariff
    • “Necessary and Proper,” Art 1, Section 8
      • Department of the Navy
      • Quasi War with France
      • Purchase of Louisiana Territory
      • Embargo/Non-Intercourse Acts
    • State’s Rights
      • Virginia/Kentucky Resolutions
        • Nullification
      • Hartford Convention
        • Nullification and Secession
basic intro paragraph would earn you a c
Basic Intro Paragraph(would earn you a C)

During the period of 1801-1817, the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists had different views of the constitution: strict and loose constructionism. TJ and JM were two Democratic-Republican presidents who had strict views of the constitution. However in some situations, TJ loosely interpreted the Constitution by adopting many of the Federalist practices. The Federalists in the Hartford Conventionwere strict about the Constitution when they viewed many objectives of the War of 1812 as unconstitutional. Throughout the time period of 1801-1817, TJ had both a strict view and a loose view of the Constitution as did the Federalists while they dominated the Federal government.

better intro paragraph would earn you a b
Better Intro Paragraph(would earn you a B)

Even though history books portray Jefferson Republicans and Federalists as two very diverse parties with opposite views of the Constitution, when the Democratic-Republicans became president, their views of the Constitution changed. In the election of 1800, the Democratic-Republicans ended up keeping much of Hamilton’s financial plan in place. The Elastic Clause was used to support economic and military decisions of the Democratic-Republicans. With the Democratic-Republicans in power, the philosophy of state’s rights shifted from the Jeffersonians to the Federalists. Although the two political parties began with opposing views on the constitution in the late 1700s, their ideas reversed as power shifted to Jefferson and Madison.

a great intro paragraph i wrote it so it will earn you an a
A GREAT INTRO PARAGRAPH!(I wrote it so it will earn you an A)
  • Although every delegate at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 was considered a federalist, by the end of John Adams’ presidential administration in 1800, two political parties emerged with opposite philosophical views of the Constitution which were to shift once the Democratic-Republicans took office. When the Revolution of 1800 propelled the Democratic-Republicans into office, both Jefferson and Madison found it expedient to adopt most of Alexander Hamilton’s financial structure. The “necessary and proper “ clause of the Constitution was expanded by both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to address threats to national security. In order to counter the Democratic-Republicans, the Federalists resorted to relying on the literal “delegated” powers of the Constitution. In the period from 1801-1816, both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, while philosophically advocating a strict construction of the Constitution, resorted to loose interpretation during their presidencies, while the Federalists, originally supporting a broad view, countered the Democratic-Republicans with a literal definition.
body paragraph examples

Body Paragraph Examples

Reword the 1st Topic Sentence

Include at least 2 docs in a paragraph

No quoting documents

Watch spelling errors and slang

Write in past tense

Don’t “describe” but “analyze” with complete thoughts

basic body paragraph
Basic Body Paragraph

Toward the end of Jefferson’s presidency, loose constructionism became common throughout his party with the adaptation of Hamilton’s financial plan. In Jefferson’s letter to Samuel Kercheval he stated that citizens have to adapt to the Constitution depending on the era.(Doc G) So even though Jefferson allowed for the expiration of the Alien and Sedition Acts and the repeal of the Excise Tax, all other programs in the Report on Public Credit stayed in place. In fact, Madison instituted the first protective tariff in 1816, which John Randolph laments in his speech to the House of Representatives. (Doc. F) Randolph accuses Madison of being just like John Adams in his approach to loosely interpreting the Constitution’s commerce compromise to raise revenue for the federal government. (Doc. F) In fact, the only provision of staunch Federalist Alexander Hamilton not passed by Congress in 1789, was one that called for a protective tariff. It was viewed by southern exporters as being a violation of the 10th Amendment which protected state’s rights and disallowed the favoring of one state over another since the south would face recipical protective tariffs from both France and England. I could also go on and talk about the repeal of the Excise tax (Doc F) as well as the use of the elastic clause with the BUS (Doc A, C, D, F)