Jeffersonians, so named after Thomas Jefferson, support a federal government with greatly constrained powers, and are strong advocates and followers of a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Jefferson himself followed and exhibited these principles. Jeffersonian philosophy also called for state and local governments to safeguard the rights and property of citizens. Jeffersonians recognized both private and common property. During his early public career, Jefferson hoped that each State and County would be smaller examples of the national American Republic. He believed that republican governments established and governing at these levels would best keep the federal government in check.
The Jeffersonian philosophy held that all men had the right to be informed, and thus, to have a say in the government. The protection and expansion of human liberty was one of the chief goals of the Jeffersonians. They also reformed their respective state systems of education. They believed that their citizens had the right and should be educated no matter their circumstance or status in life.
Internationally, Thomas Jefferson and the Jeffersonians believed that America was "the world's best hope." They believed that the United States would be an example to the rest of the world in establishing their own sovereign constitutional republics. When the French Revolution broke out, American supporters and allies of France had hopes that the monarchy would fall and the people would form a government of themselves. Domestically, original Jeffersonian thought also had agrarian elements, and believed that the farmer should be the backbone of any nation, supplying it with a strong work ethic, virtue, and connection with God.