- Donald T. Critchlow
The Founding Fathers feared political factions as a natural corruption of democrat government. None envisioned the rise of the severe factionalism that arose during George Washington's administration from 1789 to 1797. Divisions occurred over Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton's plans for the federal government to assume states' debts, establish a national bank, raise taxes, and pursue a pro-British foreign policy. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, believing Hamilton's proposals were unconstitutional, vehemently opposed the Hamiltonian program. ‘Contentious people and factious parties in the Early Republic, 1789–1824’ describes the opposing visions of the nation's future that were at the root of this factionalism and that led to the formation of political parties.