The conflict that took shape in the 1790s between the Federalists and the Antifederalists exercised a profound impact on American history.The Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, represented the urban mercantile interests of the seaports; the Antifederalists, led by Thomas Jefferson, spoke for the rural and southern interests. The debate between the two concerned the power of the central government versus that of the states, with the Federalists favoring the former and the Antifederalists advocating states’ rights.
Complete the online activity, “You Decide: Jefferson or Hamilton?” The site is presented in an interesting point/counterpoint format, in which quotations from Hamilton and Jefferson are interwoven with background text and the recurring question, “Who had the more enduring vision for the United States?”
Assignment: Write a well-developed paragraph arguing that either Jefferson or Hamilton had the more enduring vision, citing reasons to support your opinions. In the paragraph, answer the following questions: What part of either man’s vision is still alive in America today? How does today’s society reflect the goals set for either man’s ideals? How did the debate between Jefferson and Hamilton shape the political system of the United States?