“A law establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the United States government” was signed on July 16, 1790. After superficially reflecting on other places, George Washington chose a place for the seat of government, with which he was very familiar – the banks of the Potomac River, at the confluence of his eastern branch, just above his home in Mount Vernon. Andrew Ellicott (1754-1820), federal surveyor for the District of Columbia, prepared this plan in 1792 for the District of Columbia. The contours of the city`s power grid and the location of the Capitol, the Presidential House and the Shopping Centre are clearly visible. One of the first critical disputes between federalists and Republicans was a disagreement over the implicit powers of the Constitution that allow the creation of a national bank. Foreign Minister Thomas Jefferson called for a very narrow construction of the Constitution, which would have banned a national bank. Finance Minister Alexander Hamilton supported the bank with a broad interpretation of constitutions involving powers under the General Welfare Clause. President Washington sided with Hamilton. Political groups or political parties began to form during the struggle for ratification of the Federal Constitution of 1787.
The friction between them increased as attention shifted from the creation of a new federal government to the question of how powerful this federal government would be. The federalists, led by Finance Minister Alexander Hamilton, wanted a strong central government, while the anti-federalists, led by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, advocated state rights instead of centralized power. The federalists united in the country`s commercial sector, while their adversaries drew strength from those who preferred an agricultural society. The ensuing partisan fighting led George Washington to warn in his farewell speech as president of the United States of “the shameful effects of the spirit of the party.” In the decade that followed the decision to move the new federal capital to the banks of the Potomac River, what is known as the “District of Columbia” began to emerge from party politics and a tidal swamp. The federal city had just taken shape when the government moved here in 1800. This engraving offers a view of the waterfront of Georgetown, a suburb of Washington. By the time George Washington`s government began, the two sides formed during the constitutional debates – groups known as federalists and federalists – had not yet consolidated into parties. But differences of opinion on the direction of the nation are already eroding any hope of political unity. In May 1792 Jefferson expressed his fear of Hamilton`s policies in Washington, calling Hamilton`s allies in Congress a “corrupt squadron.” He expressed concern that Hamilton would want to move away from the republican structure of the Constitution towards a monarchy inspired by the English Constitution. That same month, Hamilton confided to a friend: “Mr. Madison, who works with Mr.
Jefferson, is the leader of a political group resolutely hostile to me and my government, and… Peace and the happiness of the country are dangerous. Things were not facilitated by their obvious differences in personality, which became more evident over time, when their worldviews and conflicting political decisions came to the fore. Hamilton was many things that Jefferson was not: aggressive, confrontational, overtly ambitious. The same is true. Jefferson was many things that Hamilton was not: indirectly, a little behind, able to work behind the scenes. Hamilton therefore regarded Jefferson as a devious and hypocritical, someone with a fierce ambition who knew very well how to hide him. And Jefferson saw Hamilton as a very ambitious attacking dog who saw himself getting what he wanted.
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