Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican Dbq Essay

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As a leader of the party, Thomas Jefferson upheld general Democratic-Republican values for a majority of his presidency. After being elected in 1800, Jefferson stated, in a letter to one of his future cabinet members, “The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best that the states are independent as to everything within themselves” (Doc A). Jefferson stated his overall views as traditionally being in favor of state’s independence. He further reinforces his traditional Republican beliefs by expressing that the government should not be involved with religious affairs. In his letter to a Presbyterian minister, Jefferson stated, “Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise… has been delegated to the general government. It must …show more content…

This displays Jefferson’s exercising of the Elastic Clause: one that Federalists supported but Democratic-Republicans were strongly against. Another demonstration of the use of this clause was when Jefferson passed the Embargo Act. Jefferson faced a difficult challenge when threatened with impressment by the Royal Navy, and thus decided to cease all trade with Britain and France to prevent U.S. ships from being harassed. He passed the Embargo of 1807, with the intention of stopping the attacks on American ships and punishing the British and the French. However, the act actually ended up hurting American merchants more. Citizens expressed their disdain through comical depictions of the act, with one illustrating an American smuggler bitten by the “Ograbme,” a play on the word embargo, and characterized as a snapping turtle (Doc C). The embargo negatively affected American citizens’ view of the government, leading them to believe that they could not successfully implement laws, and thus sparked a temporary rise in support of the Federalist

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