In Chapter Seven of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People, the authors discuss the years after the Revolution and focus on the period started with Presidency of George Washington (Murrin et al. 160).
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The formation of the National Government during the years of 1789-1815 was associated with many challenging situations, and it was characterized by the opposition of the Federalists and Republicans, among which the important roles were played by Alexander Hamilton, one of the Federalists’ leaders, and Thomas Jefferson, the leader of the Republicans.
The presidency of Washington was associated with the accomplishments of the First Congress when the main focus was on the adoption of the Bill of Rights and the establishment of the Supreme Court. Still, the opposition between the Federalists and Republicans intensified in spite of Washington’s impact, and the trigger for the further debates was Hamilton’s financial plan indicating the necessity of creating the Bank of the United States (Murrin et al. 162). Jefferson opposed the initiative pointing at the observed limited opportunities for ordinary Americans.
The opposition was also observed in terms of discussing the war between Britain and France. In spite of the declared neutrality, the Federalists were inclined to support the British position, and the Republicans supported the ideals of the French Revolution (Murrin et al. 164).
The United States also faced a challenge of selecting the partner between Britain and France in situations with Citizen Genet and Jay’s Treaty (Murrin et al. 166). In addition, the government had to oppose the Indians’ rebellions, and the domestic situation worsened.
In the Election of 1796, John Adams won, and the opposition between Jefferson and the Republicans was observed during the following years when the country experienced the worsening of relations with France and the crisis based on the discussion of the naturalization and aliens’ rights (Murrin et al. 167). In 1800, Jefferson won the election and started the reforms oriented to expanding the country’s borders, winning Louisiana, and suppressing the impact of the Federalists.
It is important to note that Thomas Jefferson played the key political role in forming the U.S. government and federal principles. The portrait of Jefferson was painted by Rembrandt Peale in 1800, during the period of Jefferson’s political triumph (see fig. 1). The portrait demonstrates the powerful man whose gaze is straight and strong. Jefferson’s achievements in the political arena are directly connected with the period of 1789-1815 in U.S. history.
During many years, the opponent of Jefferson was Alexander Hamilton, who also influenced the political development of the United States significantly. The portrait of Hamilton was painted by John Trumbull in 1805, during the period when the Federalists were not as strong as the Republicans, who were followed by Jefferson (see fig. 2).
The views by Hamilton and Jefferson were opposite in terms of discussing the balance between the domestic and foreign policies and the vision of the government’s strength. Hamilton was focused on making the government strong with the focus on the aspects of trade and manufacturing. On the contrary, Jefferson followed the opposite views, trying to protect the interests of ordinary Americans.