Hypocrisy: Thomas Jefferson's Strong National Government

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Thomas Jefferson was a vehement believer in strict construction of the Constitution prior to his election as president. However, the pressure and power of his new position swayed his views. During his two terms in office, he made decisions that conflicted with his old ideology. Once elected, Thomas Jefferson drastically distanced himself from his earlier philosophy, exercising the powers of the national government and loosely interpreting the Constitution.

Before his presidency, Thomas Jefferson was extremely critical of a strong national government. He despised the government exercising its power on the citizens, and frequently condemned decisions involving the use of such powers, as with the excise. (A) He believed that the central government should be given little power, while most authority should be delegated to the people and states. (B) The decisions he made often directly inhibited the function of the economy for which he aimed.
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When offered the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson accepted, using more power than he was directly given in the Constitution and a loose interpretation of the Constitution. While he believed that this furthered the nation, he worried it was unconstitutional. (C) This betrayed his firm construction and brought about a lot of criticism of his hypocrisy and growing power.
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