“The Revolution of 1800” The Controversial Presidential Election of 1800. Historical Inquiry Questions. What factors made the presidential campaign of 1800 so contentious? What major controversy resulted from the election results? How was this issue addressed?
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“The Revolution of 1800”The Controversial Presidential Election of 1800
*Federalists (John Adams)
*Democratic-Republicans (Thomas Jefferson)
Who is the man represented in the image? How do you know?
What symbols or words stand out in the image? What do they represent?
What is the overall tone or message of the image?
Who would you guess created this image?
Is the source reliable?
Why did the author create this image?
Who was the intended audience?
What and who is the author critical of in this source?
How does Britain factor into the letter?
What kind of letter is this? Was it meant to be private or public?
Who is the author?
What was happening in the country when the letter was written?
How might this letter be controversial if its contents were publicly disclosed (as they were in 1797)?
Monticello Apr. 24. 1796
My Dear Friend,
…The aspect of our politics has wonderfully changed since you left us. In place of that noble love of liberty and republican government which carried us triumphantly thro' the war, an Anglican, monarchical and aristocratical party has sprung up, whose avowed object is to draw over us the substance as they have already done the forms of the British government. The main body of our citizens however remain true to their republican principles, the whole landed interest is with them, and so is a great mass of talents...
What words or phrases stand out to you in the text of this editorial?
What is the overall tone or message of the editorial?
What judgments can you make about the author based on the text?
What events likely motivated the author to write this editorial?
Who was his target audience?
“[T]he reign of Mr. Adams has, hitherto, been one continued tempest of malignant passions. As president, he has never opened his lips, or lifted his pen, without threatening and scolding. The grand object of his administration has been to exasperate the rage of contending parties, to calumniate and destroy every man who differs from his opinions. Mr. Adams has laboured, and with melancholy success, to break up the bonds of social affection, and, under the ruins of confidence and friendship, to extinguish the only beam of happiness that glimmers through the dark and despicable farce of life.”
- James T. Callender (1800)
“The gloomy night before us lies,
The reign of terror now is o'er;
Its gags, inquisitors and spies,
Its hordes of harpies are no more.”
“Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice!
To tyrants never bend the knee;
But join with heart, and soul and voice
For Jefferson and Liberty!”…
What words or phrases stand out in the song lyrics?
What is the overall tone or message of the song?
Who would you guess created this song?
Why was the song created?
Who was the intended audience?
1. How do the image of “The Providential Detection” and the Mazzei letter connect? How might these sources have been used by the Federalists in the 1800 campaign?
2. How do “The Prospect Before Us” and “Jefferson and Liberty” connect? How might these sources have supported Jefferson’s campaign?
3. How would you characterize the election campaign of 1800 based on the sources? Why was it controversial?
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.
Source: The National Archives, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html
Source: The National Archives, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html
2nd U.S. President
Thomas Jefferson ,
3rd U.S. President
2nd U.S. Vice-President
3rd U.S. Vice-President
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney,
Vice Presidential Candidate (1800)
What words and phrases stand out to you in the speech? Look especially at the second paragraph.
What is the overall tone of the address?
What are Jefferson’s likely motives in this speech?
Who is Jefferson’s audience?
How does Jefferson address both the political and electoral controversies associated with the election of 1800?
Manuscript section of Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address
(March 4, 1801)
What words are used to describe the election of 1800?
What was the impact of the election on the three branches of the national government?
What subject is the focus of the opening lines of the third paragraph? How did Jefferson handle this issue?
When was the letter written?
Why would Jefferson’s comments on the election and the national government still be considered significant?
What political/ideological conflicts persisted in the nearly two decades since Jefferson’s election as president in 1800?
First page of Jefferson’s letter to Judge Spencer Roane (September 6, 1819)
*John F. Kennedy’s speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association (September 12, 1960)
*Richard Nixon’s speech at Union Square in San Francisco (September 12, 1960)
*Kennedy campaign ads:
*Nixon campaign ads:
Stuart Carlson, Universal Press Syndicate, February 3, 2012
Michael Thompson, Detroit Free Press, 2010