Academic question re Jefferson v. Hamilton
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  1. #1
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    Academic question re Jefferson v. Hamilton

    What were Jefferson's views on the power of the executive branch? I understand from Federalist 70 that Hamilton was in favor of a strong executive, but I'm having a hard time tracking down documentation of Jefferson's views. Thanks.
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    Damn. I... don't know. Shame on me. I've always considered his willingness to railroad the Louisiana Purchase through a divided Congress as proof of his belief in the (relative) supremacy of the executive.
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  3. #3
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    Do you have access to JSTOR? I have found an article or two on there which supposedly get to the issue. Haven't read past the abstract on this one, but it seems to get at what you'd like.

    Here's the abstract from Publius:

    http://publius.oxfordjournals.org/co...7/2/7.abstract

    I'll read the article when I get a chance, or maybe you can find it some place other than JSTOR.


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  4. #4
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    Just the abstract, it seems. Thanks, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio View Post
    Do you have access to JSTOR? I have found an article or two on there which supposedly get to the issue. Haven't read past the abstract on this one, but it seems to get at what you'd like.

    Here's the abstract from Publius:

    http://publius.oxfordjournals.org/co...7/2/7.abstract

    I'll read the article when I get a chance, or maybe you can find it some place other than JSTOR.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixed View Post
    What were Jefferson's views on the power of the executive branch? I understand from Federalist 70 that Hamilton was in favor of a strong executive, but I'm having a hard time tracking down documentation of Jefferson's views. Thanks.
    I think you would find that his views before taking office and some of his actions while in office would not mesh very well at times, might I recommend the most complete biographical work on the man, by Dumas Malone, the 4th volume deals with his first term and the 5th deals with his second term.
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  6. #6
    OES
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    As in many things, his views were contradictory. At least, he could easily and happily say one thing and do another. But I'll trust good old reliable Henry Adams, who said Jefferson exercised presidential power “more complete than had ever before been known in American history.”


    Quote Originally Posted by Fixed View Post
    What were Jefferson's views on the power of the executive branch? I understand from Federalist 70 that Hamilton was in favor of a strong executive, but I'm having a hard time tracking down documentation of Jefferson's views. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OES View Post
    As in many things, his views were contradictory. At least, he could easily and happily say one thing and do another. But I'll trust good old reliable Henry Adams, who said Jefferson exercised presidential power “more complete than had ever before been known in American history.”
    I'm most interested in what his views were before becoming president, while the Consitution was being written and newly implemented.

    They all get corrupted upon taking office.
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  8. #8
    OES
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    Well, he was in France when the Constitution was being written/debated. That may be why you can't find what you're looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixed View Post
    I'm most interested in what his views were before becoming president, while the Consitution was being written and newly implemented.

    They all get corrupted upon taking office.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OES View Post
    As in many things, his views were contradictory. At least, he could easily and happily say one thing and do another. But I'll trust good old reliable Henry Adams, who said Jefferson exercised presidential power “more complete than had ever before been known in American history.”
    That's a pretty funny quote, Ed.

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    OES
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    That's a pretty funny quote, Ed.
    Yeah, but it's instructive since Washington and Adams weren't shy about exercising presidential authority, and when they did, Jefferson bristled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OES View Post
    Yeah, but it's instructive since Washington and Adams weren't shy about exercising presidential authority, and when they did, Jefferson bristled.
    Who, then, was the primary advocate for balanced/separate and equal branches of government, or a strong legislature? Madison?
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    Quote Originally Posted by OES View Post
    Yeah, but it's instructive since Washington and Adams weren't shy about exercising presidential authority, and when they did, Jefferson bristled.
    TJ probably didn't like that it wasn't his show (yet).

    You know those bricktops; they get upset, they tend to blow gaskets.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixed View Post
    Who, then, was the primary advocate for balanced/separate and equal branches of government, or a strong legislature? Madison?
    Give yourself a cigar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._51

  14. #14
    OES
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    Actually Edmund Randolph and the Virginia Plan were strongly tilted toward the legislative. Wouldn't Congress appoint the President and the Supreme Court?

    I think Madison actually wrote it, but he wrote lots of things. He was a great writer/editor.


    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post

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    Quote Originally Posted by OES View Post
    Actually Edmund Randolph and the Virginia Plan were strongly tilted toward the legislative. Wouldn't Congress appoint the President and the Supreme Court?

    I think Madison actually wrote it, but hr wrote lots of things. He was a great writer/editor.
    If you say so; being 'merican, I have huge gaps in my knowledge of my country's history... [shamefully slinks off to Google "Edmund Randolph and the Virginia Plan...] I just recalled that Madison quip about how "ambition must be made to counter ambition," and ran with it.

    I was considering Fixed's query, and focusing on "primary advocate" as "popular," and Fed. 51 is a popular and well-known work.

  16. #16
    OES
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    No, you're right, these are complicated questions since so much was happening and so many amazing minds were engaged. I'm pretty sure Madison actually drafted the plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    If you say so; being 'merican, I have huge gaps in my knowledge of my country's history... [shamefully slinks off to Google "Edmund Randolph and the Virginia Plan...] I just recalled that Madison quip about how "ambition must be made to counter ambition," and ran with it.

    I was considering Fixed's query, and focusing on "primary advocate" as "popular," and Fed. 51 is a popular and well-known work.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OES View Post
    No, you're right, these are complicated questions since so much was happening and so many amazing minds were engaged. I'm pretty sure Madison actually drafted the plan.

    Question: Of those amazing minds, which one do you figure would've been "Most Likely to be a Teabagger If He Were Alive Today?" Patrick Henry, maybe?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    Question: Of those amazing minds, which one do you figure would've been "Most Likely to be a Teabagger If He Were Alive Today?" Patrick Henry, maybe?
    Richard Henry Lee or Melancton Smith (depending on whether you think one or the other or both wrote Federalist Farmer)...provided they gave away large pieces of their brain power first.
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  19. #19
    OES
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    Maybe Tom Paine. He was great at simplifying complex issues and rousing people to act. Not too strong on substance, but terrific at whipping up basic emotions.

    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    Question: Of those amazing minds, which one do you figure would've been "Most Likely to be a Teabagger If He Were Alive Today?" Patrick Henry, maybe?

  20. #20
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    agreed he was a simplifier

    Quote Originally Posted by OES View Post
    Maybe Tom Paine. He was great at simplifying complex issues and rousing people to act. Not too strong on substance, but terrific at whipping up basic emotions.
    but 'Common Sense' leaned pretty left to me

    yes Jefferson was quite the enigma
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  21. #21
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    Jefferson was the consummate revolutionary. That's really his legacy. Besides fomenting revolution here, he was very involved in the French revolution. He strongly believed in a recurrent revolutionary mindset.

    He seemed very conflicted, both in his opinions and actions.

    When he was Governor of VIrginia, the British overran his beloved Monticello, and he turned and ran. There was a lot of public outcry against him, as he had failed in his defense of Richmond.

    He exerted considerable executive power as Governor as well, and this was before the writing of the Constitution.

    In Washington's cabinet, he was constantly at odds with Hamilton, and fought him tooth and nail on expansion of federal and executive powers....as others have said, it was somewhat odd when you considered his actions as President.

    He was quite the dichotomy.
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  22. #22
    OES
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie View Post
    but 'Common Sense' leaned pretty left to me

    yes Jefferson was quite the enigma
    I wasn't thinking in terms of left and right, I was thinking who would get all jacked up and inflammatory. Plus, he'd like the 'Government is too damn big and bugging the p!ss out of us' stuff.
    Last edited by OES; 07-21-2011 at 06:55 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OES View Post
    I wasn't thinking in terms of left and right, I was thinking who would get all jacked up and inflammatory. Plus, he'd like the 'Government is too damn big and bugging the p!ss out of us' stuff.
    Not sure if his claim that having his own mind was his own religion would please the faithful much.
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixed View Post
    What were Jefferson's views on the power of the executive branch? I understand from Federalist 70 that Hamilton was in favor of a strong executive, but I'm having a hard time tracking down documentation of Jefferson's views. Thanks.
    Reading this thread makes me feel like an onlooker to a group of overweight middle-aged men in horn-rimmed glasses and tweed jackets with leather elbow patches.

    Next up: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

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  25. #25
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    reason

    Quote Originally Posted by moneyman View Post
    Reading this thread makes me feel like an onlooker to a group of overweight middle-aged men in horn-rimmed glasses and tweed jackets with leather elbow patches.

    Next up: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    Back to live coverage of the Tour de France,,,,
    It's not purely academic. There's a little local squabble going on here and I'm trying to get more edumacated. There are several very learned folks here, and while I was a philosophy major and poli sci minor, that was 30 years ago and we didn't really get this in depth. People here amaze me with the continuous learning they engage in, and I'm truly interested in what they think.

    These kinds of issues never really go away. They cycle around and around. Seems like the most eloquent ever were the revolutionaries, though. Maybe you amp it up a bit when your very life depends upon it.
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