By John Ferling
It was once a competition of titans: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, heroes of the innovative period, as soon as intimate neighbors, now icy antagonists locked in a fierce conflict for the way forward for the USA. The election of 1800 used to be a thunderous conflict of a crusade that climaxed in a impasse within the Electoral collage and ended in a quandary within which the younger republic teetered at the fringe of cave in.
Adams vs. Jefferson is the gripping account of a turning element in American heritage, a dramatic fight among events with profoundly assorted visions of ways the country might be ruled. The Federalists, led by way of Adams, have been conservatives who favorite a robust significant govt. The Republicans, led via Jefferson, have been extra egalitarian and believed that the Federalists had betrayed the Revolution of 1776 and have been backsliding towards monarchy. The crusade itself was once a barroom brawl every piece as ruthless as any smooth contest, with mud-slinging, scare strategies, and backstabbing. The low element got here while Alexander Hamilton revealed a devastating assault on Adams, the pinnacle of his personal occasion, in "fifty-four pages of unremitting vilification." The stalemate within the Electoral collage dragged on via dozens of ballots. Tensions ran so excessive that the Republicans threatened civil struggle if the Federalists denied Jefferson the presidency. ultimately a mystery deal that modified a unmarried vote gave Jefferson the White condominium. A devastated Adams left Washington prior to sunrise on Inauguration Day, too embittered even to shake his rival's hand.
With magisterial command, Ferling brings to existence either the outsize personalities and the hotly contested political questions at stake. He indicates not only why this second was once a milestone in U.S. background, yet how strongly the issues--and the passions--of 1800 resonate with our personal time.
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Extra resources for Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History)
Soon thereafter Adams came home. He had been away far too long, but what drove him to return was the hope of claiming an office in the new national government. ”48 Although John and Abigail were unaware of it, a profound transformation had also overtaken Jefferson. His outlook changed substantively in the course of stay in France, but in addition he had undergone a transfiguring personal experience. Jefferson had arrived in Paris still in the clutches of ineffable sadness. His mood brightened as spring blossomed in 1785, and he voraciously explored the city and frequented its emporiums.
Not only was he unknown outside of legal circles, but everywhere the leaders in the protest movement, men such as Samuel Adams in Massachusetts and Patrick Henry in Virginia, had eclipsed lawyers in visibility and popular esteem. 12 Jefferson was more active in the early period of the American protest, but he had all but disappeared from Virginia politics by the time of Adams’ great transformation. At age twenty-five, in 1768, Jefferson had won election to his father’s old seat in the House of Burgesses, and he a da m s a n d j e f f er s o n 21 immediately supported resistance against ministerial policies.
Most Americans still lived on farms, rising before the first ruddy light of day to work their fields or tend the house and retiring to bed soon after darkness gathered in the evening sky. Like their predecessors, most lived in sparsely furnished plain houses about the size of today’s two-car garage, sharing the dwelling with several children and sometimes with an aging parent or unmarried sister. For the most part, northern farmers raised grains or, if they lived near a city, looked after dairy herds.
Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History) by John Ferling