STRESS ON FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: THE JEFFERSONIANS
AFTER BRIEF FLIRTATION, AS A YOUTHFUL REVOLUTIONary, with "wild and enthusiastic democracy," Hamilton had, as we have seen, queried, qualified or rejected a considerable part of the creed he endorsed in 1776. Building on more mature assumptions, he began in 1780 the long and arduous task of laying the foundations of the American Empire. Great success rewarded his bold efforts, but by 1802, with Jefferson as head of the national administration, the outlook was considerably less bright. indeed, it seemed to Hamilton almost hopeless. Hamilton had, in fact, begun to despair that all his work might even have been in vain. For the Constitution was still being tested and at times it appeared to him to be a "frail and worthless fabric."
No such dramatic lamentations marred Jefferson's prospect as he took the oath of office, March 4, 1801, as third President of the United States. "The revolution of 1800 was," he said