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Federalist Party

Federalist Party, early U.S. political party, in power from 1797 to 1801.The Federalists, under the leadership of President George Washington's secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton, advocated a strong central government, one whose power could be increased through liberal interpretations of the Constitution. The Democratic-Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, supported strict interpretations of the Constitution and greater powers for states and citizens. The Federalists fell out of power when Jefferson was elected president in 1801.

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