Revolution Of 1800 Essay

1843 words - 8 pages

Before and during the election of 1800, the Federalists had control of the government. Adams was president and the Federalists also held the majority in the House of Representatives. The election of 1800 transferred the power from the Federalists to the Republicans. It is significant to John Ferling’s argument that the Federalists were in control. Ferling, in Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, argues that the Federalists still wanted to be connected to the mother country, Britain, and his thesis also states that the Republicans taking power was the “fulfillment” of the American Revolution. In the election, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, both Republicans, tied, which held up the transition of power. Everyone was aware that a Republican would win, after Adam’s unsatisfactory presidency, but no one knew which candidate would pull through. The House of Representatives was to determine the decision for the third president of the United States, as the Constitution stated was to happen when a tie occurred. The tie was finally resolved when James Bayard, a Federalist and the only representative from Delaware, who had complete control over which way his state would vote, caused a break in the tie. Bayard decided to resolve the deadlock after making a bargain with Jefferson that said Jefferson would abide by some of the Federalists ideas. Thomas Jefferson became the third president of the United States and the Republicans were in control. Ferling asserts the idea that Jefferson being elected was a “pivotal moment in American history.” What Jefferson was able to accomplish during his presidency corroborates Ferling’s thesis, for example expanding America with the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. However, Ferling fails to mention any of this in order to support why he believes this was the “Revolution of 1800.” Ferling writes that the Federalists “efforts were more amateurish” and “it was Jefferson who had delivered them an America that was finally free of the shackles of the colonial era, cutting those repressive cords in the course of a presidency set in motion by the election of 1800.” Nevertheless, Ferling never states why it is Jefferson and not Adams that “cut those repressive cords.” Ferling’s thesis is accurate, but the strength of his evidence of why the American Revolution was not fulfilled until 1801 fluctuates through out the book and he spends too much time discussing the personal lives of each candidate.
Ferling’s first chapter in the book is about election eve in 1800. This chapter is interesting, talking about the meals each candidate had with their family and friends and what clothing attire they were wearing, but contributes little to Ferling’s thesis. This part of the book provides no evidence of why America, pre-election 1800, had not fulfilled the American Revolution. Ferling in the next four chapters jumps backward to before election in 1796. These chapters help Ferling’s thesis by...

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