The 1800 Election
The election of 1800 was a tight contest between the Federalists Party and the Republican Party for the presidency seat. This election became the first in American history whereby there was experienced a peaceful shift in the political party for example from the Federalists Party to the Republican Party. The candidates for the Republican Party included Thomas Jefferson who was running for the Presidency and Aaron Burr as his Vice president. On the other hand for the Federalists Party, John Adams run for Presidency with Charles Pinckney for the Vice-President seat (Weisberger and Bernard, p.14). The election between the two candidates who appeared to be great rivals was characterized with an emotional as well as a hard-fought campaign with each side believing that the victory by the other candidate or the Party would be of a significant disadvantage as it would ruin the country.
Issues Raised In the Election
As the 1800 election loomed, the French policy matters developed to be of significance in the United States with a huge battle pending with France. The main reason was that the French seemed to favor the Republicans, and thus they observed the Jay Treaty as being excessively pro-British. The Jay Treaty also referred as Treaty of London was amongst Great Britain plus the United States. Consequently, the Republicans opposed this Accord as they dreaded that the economic relations with Britain would have fortified the Federalists. The Federalists criticized Jefferson for being an un-Christian deist who exhibited some strong sympathy and support for the French Revolution, and as a result, his ruling would result in similar bloodshed plus some chaos to the United States. The Republicans on the other side condemned the resilient centralization of Federal authority under the Presidency of Adam (Weisberger and Bernard, p.24. Therefore, the Federalists held their beliefs in a stable centralized government while the Republicans held in a partial, devolved government, the states’ rights as well as the liberty of the ordinary citizen.
The Election Results and the Winners
The elections were held, and the results led to a historic win for the Democratic-Republicans who swept both houses of the Congress also comprising a decisive sixty-five to thirty-nine popular in the House of Representatives. The 1800 election existed as a tremendously close one whereby a change in one state would have contributed to the alteration of the outcome. During the past elections, some measures were undertaken by the political leaders to ensure that the president, as well as the vice presidential contenders, did not attain the equivalent total number of votes. Conversely, Jefferson won in the 1800 election as the president with 73 votes whereas Adam had 65. Aaron Burr who run as the Republican vice presidential contender also attained 73 votes leading to a tie for the presidency (Bailey and Jeremy, p.555). Hence in case, a tie occurred the final election decision was to be made by the House of Representatives as directed by the Constitution.
Therefore, the house of Representative met on February 1801 to vote for the presidency seat whereby nine of the sixteen votes were required for the win. In the thirty-five ballots, Jefferson garnered eight votes while Burr got six votes and two votes were left blank. Therefore in 1801 February 17th, Jefferson was elected after the Federal representatives in Maryland and Vermont decided to switch their vote. Hence Jefferson was declared the fully elected president and he became the foremost president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C. the election of 1800 was significant as it was considered as the first diplomatic transition of power among the different parties in the history of the United States. Jefferson on his part esteemed the historic change, and he called for reconciliation in his inaugural speech.
“United States Presidential Election Of 1800 | Candidates, Results, & Facts”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018, https://www.britannica.com/event/United-States-presidential-election-of-1800. Accessed 20 Nov 2018.
Bailey, Jeremy David. “Jefferson’s Second Revolution: The Election Crisis Of 1800 And The Triumph Of Republicanism – Susan Dunn”. Presidential Studies Quarterly, vol 36, no. 3, 2006, pp. 554-556. Wiley, doi:10.1111/j.1741-5705.2006.02563_3.x.
Weisberger, Bernard A. America Afire: Jefferson, Adams, and the Revolutionary Election of 1800. New York: William Morrow, 2000.