Alexander Hamilton And Thomas Jefferson Disagreements

By the time George Washington`s government began, the two sides formed during the constitutional debates – groups known as federalists and federalists – had not yet consolidated into parties. But differences of opinion on the direction of the nation are already eroding any hope of political unity. In May 1792 Jefferson expressed his fear of Hamilton`s policies in Washington, calling Hamilton`s allies in Congress a “corrupt squadron.” He expressed concern that Hamilton would want to move away from the republican structure of the Constitution towards a monarchy inspired by the English Constitution. That same month, Hamilton confided to a friend: “Mr. Madison, who works with Mr. Jefferson, is the leader of a political group resolutely hostile to me and my government, and… Peace and the happiness of the country are dangerous.¬†Jefferson recalled: “Adams said, “[P] pushes this constitution into its corruption and gives its popular branch equal representation, and it would be the most perfect constitution ever imagined by man`s joke. At that time, “Hamilton stopped,” Jefferson wrote dramatically, “and said, “[P] demands it from his corruption and gives his popular branch equal representation, and it would become an unenforceable government: as it presents itself today, with all its supposed flaws, it is the most perfect government that has ever existed.” When Jefferson and John Adams were competing for the presidency in 1796, political parties were formed under the names “Republicans” and “federalists.” Indeed, the advent of political parties until 1804 necessitated a revision of the Constitution which changed the electoral process to allow voters to vote for presidential/vice-president tickets. The federalists dominated the national government until the end of the 18th century. Despite President Washington`s efforts at unity, political differences have proved too deep to foster consensus. The Republican Party developed as an organized opposition to federalist politics and, despite Jefferson`s assurances in his first inaugural address that Americans were “all Republicans” and “all federalists,” the group had solidified as a party.

Things were not helped by Hamilton`s habit of speaking openly and too openly about his political views. Fortunately for historians (although, not so fortunately for Hamilton), Jefferson often recorded such moments for possible future use. When he chose Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton for his cabinet, he did not know that they would become enemies. They first concluded that Hamilton sometimes sought Jefferson`s advice, and that Jefferson appointed Hamilton to become a member of the American Philosophical Society.