Write an essay explaining some of the key differences between Hamiltonian Administrative Theory and Jeffersonian Administrative Theory. Reference attached file: Hamilton and Jefferson Contrast... [Show More]


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The management and administration of public affairs are viewed within the context of the American Constitution. The government is viewed as a government of laws and “not of men” In their wisdom, the framers of the constitution recognized that the exercise of administrative power requires the constraint and guidance of the law which anticipated the possibilities of change and growth (Caldwell, 1990). The constitution history of administration of public functions has a lot to do with the judicial interpretation of the Constitution. The Constitution adopted by the representatives of “We the people” in public governance and administration; a proposition shared by Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. While Thomas Jefferson was not a direct participant in framing the Constitution believed that the Constitution should be subject to changes over time, the Hamiltonian theory believed in the states as a strong union and an effective and energetic public administration in the state as a whole. The Jeffersonian administrative theory, therefore, derives its main concepts from “the people”. Thomas Jefferson’s theory believed in the accountability to the public and not the power of a single public figure or authority (Tumin, 2018). According to the Jeffersonian theory of administration, the public through their democratically elected officials in Congress should control bureaucratic institution and not the executive through the President or a single individual in a position of authority. Furthermore, the Jeffersonian administrative theory came from the bottom (the people) up (the representatives). As such, in the exercise of public administration, the Jeffersonian theory stipulated that authorities needed consent from the people. In contrast, the theory of administration by Alexander Hamilton favored an energetic, strong administration that brought an expansive vision of the future of the United States (Caldwell, 1990). The integrated executive systems come directly from the belief of Hamilton which stipulates the “election of responsible” as opposed to power from the people in the Jeffersonian theory. Additionally, the Jeffersonian theory of administration is about the government by the people as the governing principle of the state while the Hamiltonian theory of administration it is about the government for the people as the driving principle of policy in public administration. Unlike the Jeffersonian theory, the Hamiltonian theory favored the Republican government where public administrators are the most capable and brightest individuals to political power as the rational and competent bureaucracy. Furthermore, the Hamiltonian theory parallels with classicists as he Hamilton believed in a politics-administration based dichotomy to promote efficiency in the administration of public functions (Tumin, 2018). Hamiltonian theory talks about separation of administration and politics to create more efficiency in public administration. On the other hand, Jefferson’s theory of public administration is a highly decentralized and participatory democracy in which every person and citizen participation in the administration of public affairs. Consequently, the theory of administration by Thomas Jefferson on democracy is somewhat pragmatic as opposed to the idealistic views of public administration held by the Hamiltonian theory of public administration. For instance, Thomas Jefferson did not believe that the people of New Orleans were ready for self-governance at the time of Louisville Purchase. Caldwell, L. K. (1990). The Administrative Republic: The Contrasting Legacies of Hamilton and Jefferson. Public Administration Quarterly, 470-493. Retrieved from: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40862259?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents Cox III, R. W., Buck, S., & Morgan, B. (2015). Public administration in theory and practice. Routledge. Leys, W. A. (2018). Ethics and administrative discretion. In Classics of administrative ethics (pp. 27-47). Routledge. Newbold, S. P. (2016). 1a. Toward a Constitutional School for American Public Administration. In The Constitutional School of American Public Administration (pp. 24-44). Routledge. Rosenbloom, D. H. (2016). 3a. Public Administrative Theory and the Separation of Powers. In The Constitutional School of American Public Administration (pp. 78-94). Routledge. Tumin, M. (2018). Public Administration: A Very Short Introduction. Institutions and Economies.

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