Theimplementation of the 1787 constitution resulted in the developmentof a steady federal government in the United States (Officeof the Historian, 2017).The document also resulted in the codification of the principles thatled to the fulfillment of the interests of diverse social, political,economic, and religious factions. Consequently, the logisticalprerequisites that surrounded the organization of these interestsresulted in the establishment of political parties on a nationalscale during George Washington`s first term in office. In hisfarewell address, Washington contended that such organizations wouldlead to factionalism(Yale Law School, 2017).However, political parties had been proven to achieve policy goalsmore effortlessly thus, they became an indispensable part ofAmerica’s political system (Boundless,2017).As a result, the first half of the nineteenth century observed asignificant territorial expansion (Ushistory.org,2017).This growth led to the development of regional divisions, which,eventually, led to a national crisis in the 1850s (CIVILWAR TRUST, 2017).Such divisions were precipitated by challenges like slavery and thewidening of the political and social institutions. The Civil War thatcame to pass was one of the bloodiest in America’s history (Civilwar.org,2017).The war and the events that followed resulted in a significant shiftin the social, political, and economic attributes of the UnitedStates. can be viewed as the period after theAmerican constitution was adopted. The following discussion revealsthe features of the Early Republic and its legislative outcomes.
Variousreasons led to the growth of partisan politics during the EarlyRepublic the First Party system was among the primary causes of thisshift. The First Party System is the period that proceeded theratification of the American constitution (1792 to 1820s)(LumenIntructure, 2017).This period witnessed a significant growth of partisan politics. Twopolitical parties struggled to control Congress, the states, and thePresidency. These parties were the Federalist Party and theRepublicans. The Federalists came together to support AlexanderHamilton`s vision while the Republicans favored James Madison`s andThomas Jefferson`s ideologies. The Federalists and Republicans wereat loggerheads regarding the manner in which power should be vestedin the central government and the capacity of people to governthemselves. The Federalists supported the notion that the electedofficials and the elites should make the most critical decisions inthe nation. Conversely, the Republicans held the assertion thatadvancing the interest of the minority groups would impact the nationnegatively. Thus, this group of individuals believed that promotingthe interests of the ordinary citizens was critical to fosteringdevelopment. Consequently, the formation of these parties attracteddiverse groups of people. The Federalists drew the wealthyindividuals while the Republicans attracted the Immigrants that hadfled from Ireland, some parts of Europe, and England.
Theabove events led to the coming to being of the Second Party System.Political scientists and historians refer to The Second Party Systemas the period between 1828 and 1854 (Boundless,2017).The year 1828 witnessed a significant increase in the number ofpeople that were interested in voting. The two dominant partiesduring the Second Party System were the Democratic Party and the WhigParty. Andrew Jackson was the leader of the Democratic Party whileHenry Clay led the Whig Party. The Democrats held the assertion thatgovernment should refrain from taking part in any business activity.In essence, the Democrats asserted that state agencies were supposedto neither hinder nor help business operations to take place, aphilosophy known as laissez-faire (PoliticalParties, 2017).The premise of this ideology was to ensure that the masses would beenabled to take care of themselves without being burdened by the hightaxes that are usually levied on big businesses. Conversely, theWhigs held the notion that the presence of the government wascritical. The government was supposed to protect domestic industriesby placing tariffs on imports, constructing railroads and harbors,offering grants to monopolies, and developing a national bankingsystem. The farmers and Northern industrialists supported the Whigsbecause railroads were a critical component to ensuring that theirproducts reached the market. The ordinary people, however, felt thattariffs and taxes would lead to a significant increase in the pricesof products thus, they supported the Democrats.
TheSecond Party System began when Andrew Jackson was elected as thepresident of the US in 1828 (Boundless,2017).This period saw a relative change in the democratic spirit ofAmerica. Although democracy had been practiced in the United Statessince 1800, Jackson’s election to office, over John Quincy Adams,revealed a radical change in America’s political process(Boundless,2017).For the first time, politics took center stage in the lives of theAmerican masses. Before this period, the obsequiousness of theupper-class elites was present in local politics. Few men engaged inthe country`s politics, and even fewer people voted because theactivity was perceived as unimportant. A change was realized duringthe 1828 election of Andrew Jackson. Andrew`s controversial policiesand charisma inspired the development of voter interest. There was asignificant increase in voter loyalty, an upsurge of voter turnout inrallies and on the Election Day, and a proliferation of partisannewspapers. By 1840, the ordinary man became the center of electioncampaigns.
Theshift of the American political system led to a change in the publicmindset, regarding slavery, during the antebellum period. Theantebellum period is perceivable as the period before the civil warand the end of the 1812 war. However, some historians contend thatthe antebellum period goes as far back as the time when theconstitution was adopted (1787) to the beginning of the civil war(Historynet,2017).The opinions of the supporters and abolitionists of slaverycharacterized this period. The actions of these entities resulted inthe polarization of the US. The premises of the supporters of slaverycentered around economics, religion, history, social good, andlegality (U.S.History, 2016).These individuals asserted that an abrupt end to slavery would hurtthe economy of the South, which was heavily reliant on slave labor.According to these people, the production and proceeds of crops suchas rice, cotton, and tobacco would decline if slavery was abolished.The supporters of slavery contended that slavery was the naturalstate of humanity promoted slavery since the practice had been inexistence throughout history. Additionally, the defenders of slaveryargued that widespread unemployment would be realized if slaves werefreed. In the end, these parties argued that chaos, anarchy,uprisings, and bloodshed would occur if slavery were to be outlawed.
Theabolitionists, on the other hand, came from factions such asreligious groups, anti-slavery activists, free people of color, andformer slaves. The abolitionists were divided into two groups onefaction advocated for an immediate end to slavery while the otherpreferred a gradual approach to ending slavery(Boundless2016). These groups used strategies such as bringing an end toslavery in the various territories and spearheading campaigns thatprompted the owners of slaves to free their servants. Theabolitionists contended that slavery was against natural rights toequality and religious obligations.
Themajority of the 19thcentury Americans held the assertion that the expansion of slaveryinto the Western territories heightened the levels of controversybetween the North and the South. The adoption of the 1787constitution led to a significant shift between the North and theSouth, regarding the ideologies, economies, and societies of the tworegions (Halabi,2017).The North felt the South would advance its peculiar "institution"upon the entire union. The fears of the Northern territories wererealized after the Congressional debates began being shaped bydiscussions about the expansion of slavery into the Westernterritories. Consequently, the federal government resorted todeveloping temporary compromises in a bid to prevent a civil war. Thecompromises, however, gradually became one-sided this led to anincrease in sectional divides between the South and the North.
Variousevents resulted in the outbreak of the civil war. John Brown`s Raidwas among such incidents. In October 1859, Brown led a small band offree Blacks and White allies and raided a government arsenal atHarpers Ferry (CIVILWAR TRUST, 2017).Brown’s intention was to supply the weapons to the Southern slavesto spark a series of uprisings. This action prompted the Southernersto militarize themselves in preparation for future raids. In the samevein, Abraham Lincoln`s ascension to power in 1860 inspired fear inthe Southerners because of his Republican ideals, which supportedanti-slavery. South Carolina and six other states seceded from theunion one month after the polls were closed. The secession sawvarious garrisons become foreign outposts in an unfamiliar region.Lincoln decided to send supplies to the beleaguered forts. However,the Confederate warships, in 1861, turned the supply convoys to FortSumter and opened a 34-hour offensive on the stronghold. Lincoln,consequently, resorted to requesting 75,000 volunteers to join theNorthern army. Accordingly, the Battle of Fort Sumter led to thedevelopment of a tense atmosphere between the South and the North,which, in the end, resulted in the outbreak of a Civil War.
Ina recap of the above discussion, the Early Republic had many featuresthat distinguished it from the modern day American system ofgovernance. Nonetheless, characteristics like a steady federalgovernment and the principles cater to the interests of diversesocial, political, economic, and religious groups are still presentin the contemporary constitution. The logistical preconditions thatwere considered when organizing these interests, at the nationalstage, led to the institution of political parties at the nationallevel during George Washington`s first term in office. Washington,however, felt that such organizations would, eventually, lead tofactionalism. Inspite of George’s assertions, political parties had beenestablished, and their ability to achieve policy goals moreefficiently was evident among the masses. Thus, these institutionsbecame a critical part of America’s political system, as discussedabove.
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