Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800

By John Ferling | Go to book overview

4
“War on Our Own Citizens”
Partisanship, 1793–1796

HAMILTONIANISM HAD DRIVEN THE POLITICS of Washington's first term. Foreign policy ignited the partisan fires that blazed like a raging inferno throughout his second administration and for the remainder of the decade. Indeed, the 1790s was one of America's most passionate decades. It was kindred in warmth and fervor, and especially in rage, to the 1770s, 1850s, 1930s, and 1960s, for activists of all persuasions understood that colossal choices in foreign relations were to be made that would dramatically shape the nation, if in fact the infant republic survived those choices.

Hamilton's economic program was in place before the congressional elections in 1792. Jefferson had hoped that those elections would be a referendum on Hamiltonianism, and as the results trickled in he was convinced that the Treasury secretary had lost his congressional majority. Candidates did not yet label themselves Republicans, but those who campaigned against broadening the authority of the national government scored victories “every where South of Connecticut, ” Jefferson crowed, leaving the “republican interest” to hold a slight “majority of the next Congress.” Other signs also existed that Jefferson's partisan efforts had paid dividends. Feeling the heat, Vice President Adams abandoned his regal accouterments. He jettisoned his powdered wig, ceremonial sword, conspicuous coach, and liveried coachmen and moved from a sumptuous house perched above the meandering Schuylkill River

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Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Adams Vs. Jefferson *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents ix
  • Editors' Note xi
  • Illustrations and Maps xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Adams Vs. Jefferson *
  • 1 - Election Eve, 1800 1
  • 2 - “an Affection That Can Never Die” 18
  • 3 - Creating the New National System, 1786–1792 36
  • 4 - Partisanship, 1793–1796 57
  • 5 - Jefferson and Adams on the Eve of the Battle in 1796 69
  • 6 - The First Contested Presidential Election, 1796 83
  • 7 - The Partisan Inferno, 1797–1798 99
  • 8 - Summer 1798 to Autumn 1799 113
  • 9 - Winter and Spring, 1800 126
  • 10 - The Campaign of 1800 135
  • 11 - The Election of 1800 162
  • 12 - The House Decides the Election 175
  • 13 - Jefferson's Inauguration 197
  • Epilogue - “the Revolution of 1800” 207
  • Abbreviations 217
  • Notes 221
  • Index 251
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