The continual animosity between the Republicans and the Federalists caused each party to fall into very distinct categories. The Republicans were known to be strict constructionists who rigorously followed the Constitution. On the contrary, the Federalists were considered broad constructionists who widely interpreted the Constitution often for their best interest. However, decisions were frequently made by each party which completely contradicted these interpretive characterizations. Even though both parties had distinctly different viewpoints on issues, their positions tended to be swayed by the desire for political power. This made their initial characterizations appear imprecise. The characterizations of the Federalists and Republicans were at times accurate, however, both were mainly motivated to make decisions that were in their best interest in order to gain political power. .
There were many instances in which the Federalists accurately fit their characterization, however at the same time they gained political power as well. .
Alexander Hamilton believed in funding the national debt, in which he would replace the citizens" outdated bonds and exchange them for new interest-bearing bonds. This was a true Federalist ideal, in which Hamilton's political power was increasing as well. In Document A, Jefferson confirms that the Federalists were known to go against the Constitution and admits that a large amount of them are supported by "its [U.S] citizens" (Document A). Although Jefferson disagrees with Hamilton's idea of assuming the debt and criticizes the Federalist's principles, he is still aware that the Federalists are gaining tremendous power and support at this time. .
The Republicans also succeeded in gaining power, while following their belief of strict constructionalism. For instance, in the late 1790's when Jefferson and Madison responded to the Alien and Sedition Acts by publishing the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, they strictly interpreted the rules of the Constitution.