The Federalist Party was the first American political party, from the early 1790s to 1816, the era of the First Party System, with remnants lasting into the 1820s. The Federalists controlled the federal government until 1801. Between 1789–1797 it was built mainly with the support of bankers and businessmen in order to support Hamilton's fiscal policies. These supporters grew into the Federalist Party committed to a fiscally sound and nationalistic government. The United States' only Federalist president was John Adams; although George Washington was broadly sympathetic to the Federalist program, he remained an independent during his entire presidency.
The Federalist policies called for a national bank, tariffs, and good relations with Britain as expressed in the Jay Treaty negotiated in 1794. Hamilton developed the concept of implied powers, and successfully argued the adoption of that interpretation of the United States Constitution. Led by Thomas Jefferson, the Democratic-Republicans, their political opponents, denounced most of the Federalist policies, especially the bank and implied powers, and vehemently attacked the Jay Treaty as a sell-out of republican valuesto the British monarchy. The Jay Treaty passed, and indeed the Federalists won most of the major legislative battles in the 1790s. They held a strong base in the nation's cities and in New England. The Democratic-Republicans, with their base in the rural South, won the hard-fought election of 1800; the Federalists never returned to power. They recovered some strength by intense opposition to the War of 1812; they practically vanished during the Era of Good Feelings that followed the end of the war in 1815.
The Federalists left a lasting imprint as they fashioned a strong new government with a sound financial base, and (in the person of Chief Justice John Marshall) decisively shaped Supreme Court policies for another three decades.
The term Democratic-Republican Party is the name used primarily by modern political scientists for the first "Republican Party"(as it called itself at the time), also known as the Jeffersonian Republicans. Historians usually use "Republican Party." It was the second political party in the United States, and was organized by then United States Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson and his friend and compatriot James Madison, (then serving in the House of Representatives) in 1791-93, to oppose the Federalist Party run by Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. The new party controlled the Presidency and Congress, and most states, from 1801 to 1825, during the First Party System. Starting about 1791 one faction in Congress, many of whom had been opposed to the new Constitution, began calling themselves Republicans in the Second United States Congress. People at the time used the name Republican in mentioning the Republican Party of this period and the first two decades of the 19th Century. The Republican Party split after the 1824 presidential election into two parties: the Democratic Party and the short-lived National Republican Party (later succeeded by the Whig Party).
The organization formed first as an "Anti-Administration" secret meeting in the national capital (Philadelphia) to oppose the programs of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to challenge the Federalists, a nationwide party organized by Hamilton. Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794-95 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with Britain, which was then at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its revolution, while Britain represented the hated monarchy. The party denounced many of Hamilton's measures (especially the national bank) as unconstitutional.
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