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Jeffersonian Programs

Upon assuming office in 1801, President Jefferson was committed to restraining government activity and practicing strict economy. Early actions included:

  • Introduction of the stringent economic programs of Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, including sharp budget cuts (particularly for the army and navy) and an effort to pay down the national debt (from $83 to $57 million)
  • Repeal of the unpopular excise taxes
  • Repeal of the Naturalization Act
  • Expiration of the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Jefferson realized that Federalists had assisted in his election and did not seek to overturn all of their initiatives. In particular, the president had been a vocal critic of the formation of the Bank of the United States but made no effort to terminate it during his two administrations.