The Mentality of Federalism in 1800

Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick

in The Age of Federalism

Published in print March 1995 | ISBN: 9780195093810
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854127 | DOI:
The Mentality of Federalism in 1800

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Thomas Jefferson believed that the “revolution of 1800” had been in the nature of things bound to occur, and that the revolution would in all likelihood be a permanent one. The influence and patronage of the Hamiltonian Treasury, the immense prestige of George Washington, and the Federalists' willful exploitation of the crisis with France were all that had allowed them to hold on as long as they had. Sooner or later, as Jefferson saw it, the intrinsically republican temper of the American people was bound to repudiate the exclusivist, fiscalist, consolidationist, and perversely anglophile tendencies of Federalism. That decision, he thought, was final, and not likely to be reversed. Jefferson himself, moreover, was determined from the first to see that this should be so, and to banish Federalism forever. To all intents and purposes he succeeded, and historical opinion well into our own time has remained largely satisfied with the Jeffersonian judgment.

Keywords: Thomas Jefferson; revolution; Hamiltonian Treasury; George Washington; Federalism; France

Chapter.  35631 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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