War Of 1812 Dbq Essay

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The War of 1812 was in itself a catalyst for the shift in the political dynamics of the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalist Party. The trade restrictions that were the British Orders in Council and French Continental System not only challenged America’s neutrality stance but also the political parties’ economic and military stances in order to align with their overarching self-interests. The war waged by Madison against the British was welcomed by Democratic-Republicans concentrated in the South and West, and rejected by the dying Federalists in New England. Formerly against a large military and advocates of a peaceful and neutral foreign policy, the Democratic-Republicans became the ones campaigning for war whereas Anglophile Federalists …show more content…

The War of 1812 further divided the country, leaving both parties grasping for their own principles and ideas, whether new or old, in order to sustain themselves during and after the war. Although both political parties prioritized their overarching self-interests above all else, both evolved to what ever necessary extent order to save and strengthen themselves by reviewing constitutional interpretation, the power of the central government, and the economic nature of the United States. Prior to the War of 1812, the argument for loose and strict interpretation between the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans outlined and defined both parties’ political stance; however, as the War of 1812 challenged many traditional political ideologies, both parties’ beliefs altered to fit their goals and interests. On the discussion of war and military preparations, Federalist Daniel Webster berated the proposed bill that called for 40,000 men to be enlisted into the army. Webster argued that such a bill would open the doors to tyranny and threatened the domestic lives of Americans by enforcing a draft (Document D). Webster argued that the people should choose for themselves to serve their country, implying …show more content…

While they are aware that they have ⅓ or so seats in Congress compared to the majority of Democratic-Republicans, the Federalists only sought to cling onto the existence of the Federalist party and not have it die out completely. The Federalists’ principals evolved to become more traditional Democratic-Republicans to preserve their original interest: trade. Likewise, the Democratic-Republicans sought out war and a stronger military in order to benefit the future of the West and its upcoming agrarian states. Although the methods change, their basic self-interests do not. Furthermore, the Democratic-Republicans revealed a flaw in their strict interpretation policy. Thomas Jefferson argued that as the nation evolves, so must the constitution in order to remain efficient (Document G). Jefferson furthers his argument by declaring that the constitution must only change through amendments; loose interpretation is still not acceptable (Document G). By doing so, Jefferson reaffirms the Mcculloch vs. Maryland court case that was ruled by John Marshall, a Federalist, that the constitution must be flexible and be allowed to breathe. However, Jefferson’s argument for amendments over loose interpretation is idealistic at best. As noted in his Louisiana Purchase with Napoleon in 1803, Jefferson tried his hand at amendments and realized that it

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