During the post-Revolutionary era, advocates of a stronger central government for the newly independent United States adopted the name "Federalists," after The Federalist Papers which argued for the adoption of the Constitution of 1787 to supersede the Articles of Confederation. Alexander Hamilton led this faction against those organized under Thomas Jefferson as anti-Federalists, who favored stronger rights for states and the people. The Federalists became organized as a formal political party soon after the inauguration of John Adams. As a party, they tended to favor Northern interests, advocated low tariffs to encourage trade and industrialization, and favored close ties with the British as opposed to the French. The Federalists were loose constructionists, arguing that the federal government could assume powers not specified in the Constitution, and created the Bank of the United States over the bitter opposition of the Democrats, the anti-Federalist Jeffersonians. After 1800, especially with the deaths of Adams and Hamilton, the Federalists became increasingly concentrated in the large port cities of New England, and the party grew steadily more reactionary to the point of opposing the War of 1812 and advocating New England's secession from the Union. It did not nominate a candidate for president in the election of 1820, and had virtually disappeared by 1824.
The American Experience | The Duel | The Federalist Party
Information about the party from the American Experience website on their film about the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.
Death of the Federalist Party
Paper written by Richard Seltzer in high school covering the decline and fall of the Federalists after 1799; includes notes and bibliography.
Early America Review: Federalist Opposition to the War of 1812
Paper in the Winter 2000 issue by John B. Hoey weighing the causes and results of the political standoff between Jefferson and the Federalists regarding war with Britain.
United States Federalist Party
Brief synopsis on the party listing its candidates for President from 1796 through 1816.
Last update:September 23, 2013 at 5:24:06 UTC