Kentucky Virginia Resolutions

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Throughout the early days of the United States of America, when the nation was beginning to take structural form, the power of the national government increased greatly. Much of this is due to the Federalist ideas present by our first President George Washington, and other prominent founding fathers such as Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. The Federalist position, which supported a strong central government favoring power to the national or federal government, was very prominent in the early days, however it was not unopposed. With the growing power of the national government, those known as Anti-Federalists entered the picture. Anti-Federalists favored power to the states, and sought a weak central government in order to ensure the right of individuals in the nation.

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The Whiskey Rebellion was most successful in widening the gap between federalists and anti-federalists, and for the formation of the Democratic-Republicans, which marked the beginning of the still lasting two party political system in the United States. Thus the Whiskey Rebellion was effective in intensifying the opposition to Federalists in the United States. As time passed the gap between federalists and anti-federalists continued to widen, especially after the passing of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, which were hated by Democratic-Republicans. The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed by the predominantly Federalist Congress in order to minimize their opposition by the Democratic Republicans. First the Alien acts increased the number of years required to become a citizen of the U.S. from 5 years to 14 years.

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The conflicting views of the Democratic-Republican Party and the Federalist Party were major factors of determining the politics of the newly developing United States in the late 1700s. Federalists made up the majority of the House in the early years, and dominated the presidency for 12 years with George Washington, and John Adams. However through the very controversial actions of the Federalist Party, in regards to the Whiskey Rebellion, and the Alien and Sedition Acts, opposition to the Federalist Party grew substantially in the Democratic Republicans. It was ultimately through the policies of Jefferson and Madison, stated in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, that gave enough support to sway the power in Congress and of the Presidency to Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans.

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