The need to define the Revolutionary American republic against France and its archenemy, Britain, divided the American populace and served as the catalyst for a decade of vicious political conflict. Democratic Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, campaigned to reassert or extend the social and political reforms of the American Revolution. They also argued that the United States should do what it could-short of war-to assist Revolutionary France in its military clash with the British-led European military alliance. Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, derided the egalitarian excesses of the French Revolution and viewed the public fervor associated with it as a portent of social disorder. They simultaneously sought to curtail American involvement in French military affairs, even if it meant closer cooperation with Great Britain.