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I think the diary considerably understates the differences of view between the Federalists and Repiblicans. Hamilton and Jefferson had quite different views about the nature of government.

Jefferson's ideas, on the whole, were more in line with how American society and politics developed.

The Whigs did attempt an ideology, through Henry Clay's American system, before the sectional disputes over slavery undermined the coherance of both parts of the Whig v Democratic party system.

The early Democratic v Republican system was certainly not a time of consensus, good feeling or shared ideology. It did after all culminate in a civil war and the bitter party strife of the reconstruction period.

Of course most politicians, in most eras of US history may have agreed on some things, but bipartisanship is really a twentieth century construct. I would suggest it only emerged after Progressive reforms weakened party structures.

by Gary J on Sun May 28th, 2006 at 08:29:12 PM EST

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