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The Jeffersonian Republicans placed their faith in the virtues of an agrarian democracy. They believed that the greatest threat to liberty was posed by a tyrannical central government and that power in the hands of the common people was preferred. Those natural democratic instincts required sharpening, however, by education. In foreign affairs, the Jeffersonian-Republicans favored France over Britain. Jefferson lauded the French Revolution, which claimed the American Revolution as its model, but decried its bloody excesses. The Jeffersonian-Republicans opposed the Jay's Treaty (1795) as excessively pro-British.
The Jeffersonians began using the name Democratic-Republicans in 1796, and would later shorten it to Republicans. During the time of Andrew Jackson they became the Democratic Party.
Over the course of history the idealistic Jeffersonian philosophy lost out to Federalism.
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A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign by Edward J. Larson.
This was America's first true presidential campaign, giving birth to our two-party system and indelibly etching the lines of partisanship that have so...
Perilous Fight: America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815 by Stephen Budiansky.
In Perilous Fight, Stephen Budiansky tells the rousing story of the underdog coterie of American seamen and their visionary secretary of the navy, who...