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Explore Thomas Jefferson's feuds with Federalists such as Alexander Hamilton and John Adams



Transcript

JEFFERSON: I returned home to a country with a new constitution and a new president. George Washington asked me to be in his cabinet, and I served as Secretary of State. There were no political parties at the time, and President Washington wanted to include all opinions in his cabinet. But unfortunately, Alexander Hamilton, who was Secretary of the Treasury, didn't agree with me on a single issue.
WRIGHT: How soon did you realize that you and Hamilton couldn't work together?
JEFFERSON: Very soon. I didn't trust Hamilton or the Federalists. I believed he wanted to create a government that would favor the rich.
WRIGHT: The Federalists accused you of favoring the French.
JEFFERSON: When the Federalists, under President Adams, threatened to go to war against France, I opposed them. And then I believed some of the measures they had adopted such as the Alien and Sedition Acts threatened America's basic liberties. So I was pleased when my friends formed a second party--the Republicans--and asked me to be their candidate for President.
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