The Constitution and Suffrage

Jefferson and the Election of 1800

Contested Elections and the
    Electoral College

America at Mid-Century

Civil War


Women’s Suffrage

Women Get the Vote

Jim Crow

A New Deal for Workers

Big City Voting

Native Americans and Chinese
    Get the Vote

Civil Rights

The Promised Land

Puerto Rican Voters

New Voices

Mexican American Voters

10.04 Jefferson and the Election of 1800

Aaron Burr

The Election of 1800 was the first peaceful transition of power from one party to another. Politics had become more partisan between the Federalists, led by President John Adams, and the Democratic-Republican Party, led by Thomas Jefferson, who had been opponents in the previous election. By 1800 the country was deeply divided over the wars in Europe, relations with France and England, Adams's crackdown on dissent, and whether there should be a strong or weak federal government.

Campaign poster from Jefferson's presidential re-election campaign in 1804.

Jefferson's Republicans appealed to ordinary farmers and planters, who opposed higher taxes and tariffs imposed by Federalists to encourage manufacturing. Jefferson and his running mate, Aaron Burr - chosen so he could deliver New York's 12 electoral votes - defeated the Federalists
in the Electoral College by 73 to 65, but each received the same number of electoral votes. A tie vote had not been foreseen in the Constitutionand the Federalist-dominated House of Representatives then had to decide whether Jefferson or Burr would be president.

Uneasy about both men, the Federalists in the House of Representatives took five days and 35 ballots to choose Jefferson over Burr. The deadlocked election between the two allies spawned the Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1804, which led to separate Electoral College ballots for president and vice-president. Jefferson called the election the "Revolution of 1800." .

Alexander Hamilton, first secretary of teh treasure and rival of Jefferson and Burr. John Adams, second president of the U.S. , defeat by Jefferson in 1800. Thomas Jefferson

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