Jefferson's Second Revolution: The Election of 1800 and the Triumph of Republicanism
The election of 1800 was a revolution in the modern sense of a radical new beginning, but it was also a revolution in the sense of a return to the point of origin, to the principles of 1776. Federalist incumbent John Adams, and the elitism he represented, faced Republican Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson defeated Adams but, through a quirk in Electoral College balloting, tied with his own running mate, Aaron Burr. A constitutional crisis ensued. Congress was supposed to resolve the tie, but would the Federalists hand over power peacefully to their political enemies, to Jefferson and his Republicans? For weeks on end, nothing was less certain. The Federalists delayed and plotted, while Republicans threatened to take up arms.
In a way no previous historian has done, Susan Dunn illuminates the many facets of this watershed moment in American history: she captures its great drama, gives us fresh, ﬁnely drawn portraits of the founding fathers, and brilliantly parses the enduring signiﬁcance of the crisis. The year 1800 marked the end of Federalist elitism, pointed the way to peaceful power shifts, cleared a place for states’ rights in the political landscape, and set the stage for the Civil War.
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Aaron Burr Abigail Adams Adams's Address Alexander Hamilton American Conservatism American Politics aristocracy Aurora Bayard Benjamin Rush Boston Cabot candidates Carolina citizens Congress Constitution Cunningham December democracy democratic Duane duel editor Election of 1800 Electoral College electoral votes elite father February federal Federalists ferson Fisher Ames Ford France freedom Freedom's Fetters French Gazette George Washington Gouverneur Morris historian honor House Ibid italics added Jacobins James Madison January Jeffer Jefferson to Madison Jeffersonian Journalism John Adams John Jay July June leaders liberty majority March Massachusetts newspapers ofRufus King opinion opposition Papers of Alexander Papers of James Pennsylvania Peterson Philadelphia Pickering Pinckney politicians President Adams presidential principles Revolution of American Robert Troup Rufus King Sedition Act Senate slaves Smith society Syrett Theodore Sedgwick Thomas Jefferson tion United University Press vice president Virginia voters William Wolcott Writings of George Writings of Thomas wrote York