The Election of 1800 • The Presidential Election of 1800 was one of the most vicious and strangest in our nation’s history. • Yet again, the Federalists nominated John Adams for President and Charles Pinckney for Vice Presidentand the Democratic-Republicans nominated Thomas Jefferson for President and Aaron Burr for Vice President. • The candidates outlined their campaign issues early. Jefferson supported the Constitution and states’ rights. He promised to run a “frugal (low-cost) and simple” government. Adams ran on his record of peace and prosperity. • Although the candidates did not personally campaign against each other, their supporters were ruthless! Broadsides, letters, newspaper editorials, and rumors insulted and spread lies about both men. It was a very ugly political campaign, indeed! Jefferson Burr Adams Pinckney
The Election of 1800 • When the votes were counted after the election, one thing was very clear: John Adams had lost his re-election bid! Unfortunately, Jefferson and Burr had gotten the same number of votes in the Electoral College and were therefore tied! As a result, the election was turned over to the House of Representatives, just as the Constitution directs. • As the Vice Presidential candidate, Burr should have told his supporters in the House to elect Jefferson president, as the Democratic-Republicans wanted. Instead he remained silent, hoping the election might go his way. Jefferson Burr Adams Pinckney
Shockingly, it was Federalist Alexander Hamilton who broke the deadlock. He asked his supporters in the House to vote for his old political rival, Jefferson. Of the two Democratic-Republicans, he said, “Jefferson is to be preferred. He is by far not so dangerous a man.” • Thus, the tie was broken, and Jefferson was elected the third president of the United States.
Burr never forgave Hamilton for encouraging his followers to support Jefferson. From that time on, he and Hamilton were bitter enemies. • Eventually, in July 1804, Hamilton and Burr challenged each other to a duel. • Hamilton was killed in the duel, and Burr—who was vice president at the time—fled the country and hid in Canada!
Highlights of Jefferson’s Approach to Domestic Affairs • Limited Government • Louisiana Purchase • Lewis and Clark Expedition
Limited Government • Thomas Jefferson believed in the French philosophy of “Laissez-faire” government. • “Laissez-faire” refers to a hands-off approach to government, allowing the people to run their own lives without interference from politicians. • Jefferson succeeded in reducing the national government’s size, budget, and employees—including soldiers in the army (reduced from 4,000 soldiers to 2,400). • He felt the job of the national government was to collect import taxes, run the post office, and to conduct a census (population count) every ten years. • He pardoned people who had been imprisoned under the Alien and Sedition Acts, passed under John Adams’s term, which he believed were unconstitutional.
The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York • Although Jefferson believed that the volunteer militia system was the best form of defense for a democracy such as the United States, he also believed that citizen soldiers needed the best trained officers possible to lead them. • As a result, he convinced Congress to establish the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, on the Hudson River, as a 4-year college to train and educate future professional officers for the army.
Louisiana Purchase1803 • Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was the ruler of France. He needed money to continue fighting his long, bitter war with England. • He offered to sell the Louisiana Territory to the U.S. for $15 million dollars. • James Monroe, the U.S. ambassador in France agreed to the deal. • Thomas Jefferson was pleased with the deal and signed it. • The “Louisiana Purchase” of 1803 DOUBLED the size of the U.S.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition1804 – 1806 • President Jefferson asked U. S. Army captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the new territory. • Jefferson directed them to: • Map the Louisiana Territory • Take samples of the flora and the fauna (plants and animals) • Make friends with the Native Americans • Document any possibilities for businesses and farming • Keep a diary of their expedition and of scientific possibilities
Corps of Discovery • The Lewis and Clark Expedition was known as the “Corps of Discovery.” • It lasted 2 years. • They traveled with a 16-year-old Shoshone Indian woman named Sacagawea, her husband, and her son who was born during the expedition. • It covered 4000 miles round trip. • Their descriptions of the new territory encouraged Americans to move westward to the Pacific coast.
Embargo Act of 1807 • 1803 - Renewal of the Napoleonic Wars between France and Great Britain • America was once again trapped between the two nations • Jefferson wanting to stay neutral proposed an embargo on all foreign trade—Embargo Act was passed by Congress • This was highly unsuccessful and devastated the American Economy • The Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 was put in place to repeal the unsuccessful Embargo Act
Issues with the Courts • Marbury vs. Madison: Does William Marbury, one of John Adams’ last minute “midnight judges,” receive his commission to be judge or not? • Jefferson had James Madison refuse to give the commission to Marbury • Issue went before the Supreme Court • Ruling became a precedent—an example for future court cases
Issues with the Courts • With Marbury vs. Madison, the Supreme Court established the concept of “Judicial Review” of laws • Judicial Review means that the Court may decide if a law is constitutional or not. • If a law is judged to be unconstitutional, or goes against the U.S. Constitution, then the law ceases to be a law.