Analysis Of The Election Of 1804

2360 words - 9 pages

The Election of 1804: A Validation of Republican IdealsWhile some elections go down into the history books for being statistically close, this election does not happen to be one of them. With the election of 1804, the issues, as well as the history behind the election is what makes 1804 an election year to study. The 1804 election year saw the Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson (the author of the Declaration of Independence) running against the Federalist candidate, Charles Pinckney. With the constitutional government still in its infancy, what was at stake was nothing less than the power of precedence. In Jefferson's first term, he had secured the Louisiana Purchase agreement with Napoleonic France. This action that was vehemently opposed by the Federalists, who saw the newly gained lands being carved into more Democratic-Republican states, as the Federalists only had control over commerce-driven New England (Thomas 7). Another issue behind the 1804 election was that of Federal reappointments. President Madison had recommended what was called "Midnight Appointments" after he had lost the election in order to keep the workers in the Federal government almost completely Federalist. Not only did Jefferson annul the Midnight Appointments made by Madison, he also ousted 105 Federalist officials, and replaced them with Democratic-Republican counterparts, who would be more friendly and loyal to Jefferson (Padover 127-8). This amount is rather significant when taken into contrast with the fact that the Federal payroll only number about 316, which put the Democratic-Republican Party firmly ensconced in control of the Federal government. Another key event in Jefferson's first term was the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment, which put the president and the vice-president on separate ballots, thus avoiding the statistical "dead heat" of 1800. The final piece of significant historical data would be the prosperity of the country before the election of 1804. During this time, the United States had never seen such unprecedented economic prosperity, which infused the confidence of the people in their president, and his party. With the Federalist Party starting its decline into political oblivion with the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, the economic condition of the United States was not bringing the American population into the Federalist camp.The election of 1804 had two primary candidates, who were Thomas Jefferson running under the Democratic-Republican ticket, against Charles Pinckney, who was running as the Federalist opponent to the incumbent Jefferson. Jefferson was an active revolutionary in the war, and authored the Declaration of Independence. After the United States came into being, he was a legislator, a governor, and not to mention a farmer of his plantation as well (even though he did not believe in slavery, and thought that it degraded the image of America). After already serving one term as President under extraordinarily prosperous...

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