The Federalist Party was the first American political party. This party was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party , a rival party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. This party was established to oppose the Federalists who had supported and pushed through the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

The Federalists elected John Adams president in 1796. Jefferson was elected the second Vice President of the United States (1797–1801), serving under John Adams and in 1800 was elected third President (1801–09). Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights. Thomas Jefferson was never a member of the Federalist Party.

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