The perceptual experience that Federalists were loose constructionists and that Jeffersonian Republicans were really rigorous constructionists was really good founded. but non accurate 100 % of the clip. The presidential term of Thomas Jefferson chiefly supported the theory that the Jeffersonian Republicans were rigorous constructionists. James Madison’s presidential term supported that theory every bit good. Both presidents. nevertheless. made exclusions to their general policies when an issue was merely excessively large to suit inside the bantam box of their shared school of idea.
Jefferson proved himself a constructionist most of the clip he was in office. In August of 1800. Jefferson’s first twelvemonth in office. he sent a missive to Gideon Granger ( document A ) saying his support for the fundamental law and its basic rules. and besides saying that Federalists opposed those rules by their loose reading of the papers. He implies that loose reading leads to alter. and in this instance. that will make a strong national authorities that resembles a monarchy and doesn’t adhere to the rights of provinces as guaranteed by the Constitution.
In another missive. this clip to Samuel Miller ( papers B ) during his last twelvemonth keeping office. Jefferson reinforces the image of rigorous constructionism by saying that he intends to interrupt the case in point established by his predecessors to better adhere to the Constitution’s policy on separation of church and province. Jefferson’s widely known doctrine that the National Bank should non be established because the Constitution didn’t say that it could was another illustration of his rigorous constructionism ( Blum ) . Blum besides mentions that even in his first address to Congress. Jefferson put the restraint on the thoughts he presented them with that everything had to be done “within the bounds of their Constitutional powers” .
Madison. besides being a Democratic-Republican. supported the same rules as Jefferson. Talking for President Madison. Daniel Webster ( document D ) questioned Congress’ right to a military bill of exchange on the exclusive statement that the power is non written in the Constitution. and stated that if Congress to did things that the Constitution did non explicitly give them the right to make. they would be making a dictator. In his ain reference to Congress ( papers H ) . Madison says that financess can non be set apart for the development of transit because “such a power is non expressly given by the Constitution” . Both of these paperss show his really rigorous constructionist side. and support that common word picture of the Republicans. Blum informs us that Madison even went so far at the terminal of his presidential term as to blackball the Bonus Bill because it seemed to give the national authorities power that the Constitution had non granted.
Both presidents supported the word picture of the Republicans as rigorous constructionists. but in the involvement of political popularity. they were forced to compromise that ideal many times. Jefferson. for illustration. could non instantly abolish Adams’ national bank because it would be excessively drastic a move for person with his popularity. despite the fact that it was established without the Constitution granting that power to the federal authorities ( Blum ) . Jefferson’s most expansive rebelliousness of his rigorous reading of the Constitution was his purchase of the Louisiana Territory. Even though he was non given the power to buy land in the Constitution. Jefferson couldn’t base on balls up the chance to duplicate the nation’s size at a clip of such large-scale due west motion.
After his presidential term ( 1816 ) . Jefferson wrote a missive to Samuel Kercheval ( document G ) that gave his support for alteration to the Constitution with alteration to the times. which is a really far leap from claiming that nil could be done in the national authorities without the Constitution allowing them the power to make it. Madison is guilty of the same divergences from typical Republican rigorous constructionist policy. He was attacked by John Randolph ( document F ) for being excessively much like a Federalist. peculiarly when utilizing the national government’s power to put duties like the one proposed in 1816. This was non the first clip Madison was attacked for his pseudo-Federalist policies. He received abundant unfavorable judgments for his constitution of the “American System” . That system was based on powers non granted by the Constitution like the constitution of a 2nd Bank of the United States and the edifice of the National Road ( Blum ) .
When judged by the presidential terms of Jefferson and Madison. it would look that the thought that Jeffersonian Republicans were rigorous constructionists. It would besides look that they chose certain times to be utmost hypocrits ; Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase and Madison’s re-establishment of a national bank are merely two of those cases. In general. they established a case in point that presidents could dispute the doctrines that they were elected for if it was in the nation’s best involvement. or in their ain. This case in point is still being followed today. and though it may really good be hypocritical and/or self-serving. it has on occasion been really good for the American people when single logical thinking reigns over party doctrine.