Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Jul 30, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
63 Reviews
It was a contest of titans: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two heroes of the Revolutionary era, once intimate friends, now icy antagonists locked in a fierce battle for the future of the United States. The election of 1800 was a thunderous clash of a campaign that climaxed in a deadlock in the Electoral College and led to a crisis in which the young republic teetered on the edge of collapse. Adams vs. Jefferson is the gripping account of a turning point in American history, a dramatic struggle between two parties with profoundly different visions of how the nation should be governed. The Federalists, led by Adams, were conservatives who favored a strong central government. The Republicans, led by Jefferson, were more egalitarian and believed that the Federalists had betrayed the Revolution of 1776 and were backsliding toward monarchy. The campaign itself was a barroom brawl every bit as ruthless as any modern contest, with mud-slinging, scare tactics, and backstabbing. The low point came when Alexander Hamilton printed a devastating attack on Adams, the head of his own party, in fifty-four pages of unremitting vilification. The stalemate in the Electoral College dragged on through dozens of ballots. Tensions ran so high that the Republicans threatened civil war if the Federalists denied Jefferson the presidency. Finally a secret deal that changed a single vote gave Jefferson the White House. A devastated Adams left Washington before dawn on Inauguration Day, too embittered even to shake his rivals hand. With magisterial command, Ferling brings to life both the outsize personalities and the hotly contested political questions at stake. He shows not just why this moment was a milestone in U.S. history, but how strongly the issues--and the passions--of 1800 resonate with our own time.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
20
4 stars
25
3 stars
14
2 stars
4
1 star
0

Review: Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History)

User Review  - Goodreads

A good look at what the political landscape looked like 200 years ago. the more you know about history, the more you realize that people are the same in all ages. Situations change, but people basically remain the same. Read full review

Review: Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History)

User Review  - Goodreads

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Read full review

Contents

1 Election Eve 1800
1
Adams and Jefferson
18
Creating the New National System 17861792
36
Partisanship 17931796
57
Jefferson and Adams on the Eve of the Battle in 1796
69
The First Contested Presidential Election 1796
83
The Partisan Inferno 17971798
99
Summer 1798 to Autumn 1799
113
The Campaign of 1800
135
The Election of 1800
162
The House Decides the Election
175
Jeffersons Inauguration
197
The Revolution of 1800
207
Abbreviations
217
Notes
221
Index
251

Winter and Spring 1800
126

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

John Ferling is Professor of History at the State University of West Georgia. A leading authority on American Revolutionary history, he has appeared in many documentaries and has written numerous books, including John Adams: A Life, The First of Men: A Life of George Washington, Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, and Jefferson in the American Revolution, and the award-winning A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic.