Presidential Election of 1800

Thomas Jefferson the Democratic-Republican Canididate

Who did Thomas Jefferson run aginst?

The election of 1800 was initially a contest between President John Adams, a Federalist seeking a second term, and Thomas Jefferson, the Republican vice president seeking his own term as President. This election was essentially a rematch of the 1796 election where John Adams was the winner in the Electoral College and Thomas Jefferson was the runner up. During this point in history, the winner in the Electoral College received the presidency and the runner up received the vice presidency.

Why Thomas Jefferson?

Thomas Jefferson called his election "the Revolution of 1800" because it marked the first time that power in America passed from one party to another. He promised to govern as he felt the Founders intended, based on decentralized government and trust in the people to make the right decisions for them. Ever since, these have become known as Jeffersonian principles. Thomas Jefferson should be the 3rd president of the United States because he supported the alliance with France, wanted a limited national government with states’ rights, and thought that the government should be ran by the common people.

France is a better ally that Britian

The first reason Jefferson should be the president of the United States is because he supports being in alliance with France and not with Britain. The United States just finished the American Revolution with Britain and had France as the United States’ ally. The Kingdom of France had been a crucial ally of the United States in the American Revolutionary War since the spring of 1776, and had signed in 1778 a treaty of alliance with the United States of America. The French would also make a better ally that Britain. The Treaty of Alliance was in effect an insurance policy for France which guaranteed the support of the United States if Britain were to break the current peace they had with the French, "either by direct hostilities, or by (hindering) her commerce and navigation," as a result of the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. The treaty lays out the terms and conditions of this military alliance and establishes requirements for the signing of future peace treaties to end hostilities with the British.

A limited governmet is best

Under the Articles of Confederation ratified in 1781, the new government wanted to ensure that "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled." While the adoption of the Constitution in 1787 was motivated to remedy some of the troubles that resulted from a weak national government, they said, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite." The listing of the federal government's powers in the Articles and the adoption of the 10th Amendment were supposed to ease the fears of the Anti-Federalists who maintained their opposition to the Constitution on the grounds that it made it easier for the control of power to the loss of individual liberty. And without states’ rights and a limited government, there would be an even ratio or chance that a tyrant could over power the new country of America.

The common people should lead

Thomas Jefferson had no tolerance with the Federalists’ view that only the “best people” should rule. To Democratic-Republicans, this view came close to monarchy, or rule by a king. Democratic-Republicans believed that the best government was the one that governed the least. A small government with limited powers was most likely to leave the people alone to enjoy the blessings of liberty. To keep the national government small, they insisted on a strict construction, or interpretation, of the Constitution. The Constitution, they insisted, meant exactly what it said, no more and no less. Any addition to the powers listed there, was unconstitutional (against the law) and dangerous.

The outcome of the election

Despite both parties' attempts to destroy each other in the press, the real contest of this election was between Jefferson and Burr. When ballots were counted in February of 1801, Jefferson and Burr received 73 electoral votes, Adams received 65, and Pinckney received 64. The electors had mistakenly given the presidential candidate and the vice presidential candidate equal number of votes. The Constitution stipulated that if there was a tie of electoral votes, the House of Representatives must vote and decide the victor. During this process, each state delegation of representatives got one vote with nine votes being needed to capture the presidency.