The Jeffersonian “Revolution”;
JEFFERSON wanted to limit the power of the federal
government. He believed in STATES’RIGHTS and
rule by the MAJORITY. As President, JEFFERSON
advocated a hands-off policy called LAISSEZ-
FAIRE, a French term meaning “LET PEOPLE DO AS
JEFFERSON also sought to cut the federal budget
and lower TAXES. He simplified government and cut
MILITARY spending. He also repealed all EXCISE
TAXES. As a result, the federal government’s only
source of revenue was from TARIFFS on imports and
revenue from the sale of WESTERN lands.
JEFFERSON also chose not to renew the ALIEN AND
SEDITION ACTS which expired in 1801.
Conflict with the Judicial Branch
Before JEFFERSON and his party, now known as
the REPUBLICANS, took over the federal
government, outgoing President JOHN ADAMS
packed the courts with judges who were
members of the FEDERALIST PARTY.
The REPUBLICANS opposed this move. Once in
office, they tried to IMPEACH many of the
FEDERALIST judges. However, they failed to
remove many judges.
A Stronger Supreme Court
In case of MARBURY V. MADISON, the Supreme
Court claimed that it could declare a law passed
by Congress to be UNCONSTITUTIONAL. This
power is called JUDICIAL REVIEW.
From then on, the Supreme Court could use the
power of JUDICIAL REVIEW as a check against
the other branches of government. This gave the
Supreme Court more power than it had ever had.