Constructionism - The Relationship of Constructionism to...

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The Relationship of Constructionism to the Parties During the early days of the United States government, the Constitution played a crucial role in the introduction of new laws and policies. Although the importance of this document was undeniable at the time, it was widely debated how it should be interpreted. Some, such as Alexander Hamilton and his Federalist party believed in loose constructionism, and therefore believed that the constitution granted implied powers. Others however, primarily of the Democratic-Republican party, followed the views of strict constructionism, by which the constitution was interpreted only at the most literal level. These two distinct types of views were often associated solely with one party or the other, however this characterization based on interpretive policies only held to a point. One of the first instances of debate occurred with the introduction of Hamilton’s economic plan. His design called for the creation of a national bank and later for the institution of a federal excise tax. While these moves seemed ideal to Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and much of his party greatly disapproved. Jefferson believed it was the singular role of the government to uphold the rights of the people. In an attempt to avoid such measures, he argued as a strict constructionist, stating that nowhere in the constitution was there mention of the ability of the government to tax the people or create a national bank. However, with the aid of the loose constructionism and the elastic clause, which allows congress to “…make all laws which shall be necessary and proper…” for the progression of the government, Hamilton was able to pass these
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This note was uploaded on 09/01/2008 for the course HHS 125 taught by Professor Mako during the Fall '08 term at Stevens.

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Constructionism - The Relationship of Constructionism to...

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