“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? • How could the election of 1800 be considered a “revolution” in American political history? Consider the positions of the two major political parties and their candidates at the time. *Federalists (John Adams) *Democratic-Republicans (Thomas Jefferson) • How does this campaign compare with more recent presidential campaigns, such as those of 1960 and 2012?
The Campaign of 1800 • What factors made the presidential election campaign of 1800 so contentious? • Write down what you know about the time period and the two major parties based on prior knowledge. Use the chart provided separately. • Examine the primary source documents provided and answer the questions that go with them. We will discuss these documents to help identify major issues in the election campaign.
“The Providential Detection” Close Reading 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? Sourcing Who would you guess created this image? Is the source reliable? Contextualizing Why did the author create this image? Who was the intended audience? http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/images/vc136.jpg
The Mazzei Letter Close Reading What and who is the author critical of in this source? How does Britain factor into the letter? Sourcing What kind of letter is this? Was it meant to be private or public? Who is the author? Contextualizing 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... Thomas Jefferson http://www.princeton.edu/~tjpapers/mazzei/transcription.html
“The Prospect Before Us” Close Reading What words or phrases stand out to you in the text of this editorial? What is the overall tone or message of the editorial? Sourcing What judgments can you make about the author based on the text? Contextualizing 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) http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/tu_sedition_hd_jc_indictment.html
“Jefferson and Liberty”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-h19sNJy_0 “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.” Chorus: “Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice! To tyrants never bend the knee; But join with heart, and soul and voice For Jefferson and Liberty!”… • http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/song-midis/Jefferson_and_Liberty.htm Close Reading What words or phrases stand out in the song lyrics? What is the overall tone or message of the song? Sourcing Who would you guess created this song? Contextualizing Why was the song created? Who was the intended audience?
Corroborating Sources • Comparing all of the primary sources, answer the following questions: 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?
An Electoral Dilemma • Based on the account presented in “The History of Congress” for February 11, 1801, what were the results of the electoral college vote for the election of 1800? How would this result pose a dilemma for the U.S. government? • Who announced the results to both houses of Congress? • According to the source, what did Congress then have to do to resolve the issue? Did Congress follow the rules laid out for it in the Constitution? (see Article II, section 1) • How was the dilemma finally resolved? Who became President and Vice-President?
Solving the Dilemma • Compare the text of the 12th Amendment with the original language in Article II, section 1 of the Constitution on the electoral college process. • How did the 12th Amendment “fix” the problem that resulted from the election of 1800? • Why was there a problem in the first place? Think about what the framers of the Constitution had failed to take into account when they drafted the document in 1787.
The Constitution: Article II, section 1 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
The 12th Amendment • Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804. • Note: A portion of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution was superseded by the 12th amendment (marked in blue on the previous slide) • The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists 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 for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing 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. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. --]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. • *Superseded by section 3 of the 20th amendment. Source: The National Archives, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html
Election of 1800 Results John Adams, 2nd U.S. President (1797-1801) Thomas Jefferson , 3rd U.S. President (1801-1809) and 2nd U.S. Vice-President (1797-1801) Aaron Burr, 3rd U.S. Vice-President (1801-1805) Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Vice Presidential Candidate (1800)
The “Revolution of 1800” • Historians have described the election of 1800 as the “Revolution of 1800?” How could it be considered a “revolution” in American political history? • Read the two documents provided and answer the guiding questions to determine what Jefferson thought about his election as the nation’s third president.
Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address Close Reading 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? Sourcing What are Jefferson’s likely motives in this speech? Contextualizing 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) http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/images/vc138p1.jpg
Jefferson’s Letter to Spencer Roane Close Reading 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? Contextualizing 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) http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/images/vc137.jpg
The Election of 1960 • Take a look at the 1960 election sources provided below and analyze how the candidates – Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon compared with each. • Think about how the 1960 presidential campaign compared with that of 1800 in terms of the issues and the tone of the campaign. *John F. Kennedy’s speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association (September 12, 1960) http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/ALL6YEBJMEKYGMCntnSCvg.aspx *Richard Nixon’s speech at Union Square in San Francisco (September 12, 1960) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=25350 *Kennedy campaign ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=JLXTB_S193w&NR=1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLv5ZAGDPZ4&feature=relmfu *Nixon campaign ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3cpQnVvXSs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAlZHfaksQM&feature=related
The 2012 Election Campaign • Take a look at the 2012 election year cartoons provided below and analyze how the candidates – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney have been portrayed. • Think about how the 2012 presidential campaign compares with those of 1800 and 1960 in terms of the issues and tone. Stuart Carlson, Universal Press Syndicate, February 3, 2012 http://www.carlsontoons.com/tag/mittbot/ Michael Thompson, Detroit Free Press, 2010 http://theweek.com/section/cartoon/12/210285/barack-obama