How did the Federalist Party start?
Its roots are in the debates over ratification of the
Constitution in 1787-1789. The people who supported ratification
organized and aided each other in securing passage. Once the
Constitution was ratified they still held similar views and had
similar interests so they naturally continued to work together to
further their common goals.
The Federalist Party did not begin as a political party. The
Federalists were those Americans who supported the ratification of
the new Constitution of the United States. Those who were against
ratification called themselves Anti-Federalists. By the end of
Washington's second term, two political parties had developed.
Those who supported a strong central government called themselves
Federalists, as the Constitution had created a "federal" system of
government. The Democratic-Republicans believed that the states
should have more power than the national government. Alexander
Hamilton and John Adams were leaders of the Federalist Party. With
the election of Jefferson, a leader of the Democratic-Republicans,
in 1800, the Federalists lost most of their power and faded from
the American political scene.