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Jeffersonian Republicans

The Jeffersonian Republicans placed their faith in the virtues of an agrarian democracy. They believed that the greatest threat to liberty was posed by a tyrannical central government and that power in the hands of the common people was preferred. Those natural democratic instincts required sharpening, however, by education. In foreign affairs, the Jeffersonian-Republicans favored France over Britain. Jefferson lauded the French Revolution, which claimed the American Revolution as its model, but decried its bloody excesses. The Jeffersonian-Republicans opposed the Jay's Treaty (1795) as excessively pro-British. The Jeffersonians began using the name Democratic-Republicans in 1796, and would later shorten it to Republicans. During the time of Andrew Jackson they became the Democratic Party. Over the course of history the idealistic Jeffersonian philosophy lost out to Federalism.

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