By Adams, John; Jefferson, Thomas; Jefferson, Thomas; Ferling, John E.; Adams, John
It was once a competition of titans: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, heroes of the progressive 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 collapse.
Adams vs. Jefferson is the gripping account of a turning aspect in American historical past, a dramatic fight among events with profoundly various visions of the way the state might be ruled. The Federalists, led through Adams, have been conservatives who favorite a powerful relevant executive. The Republicans, led by way of 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 used to be a barroom brawl every piece as ruthless as any sleek contest, with mud-slinging, scare strategies, and backstabbing. The low element got here while Alexander Hamilton published a devastating assault on Adams, the pinnacle of his personal celebration, in "fifty-four pages of unremitting vilification." The stalemate within the Electoral university dragged on via dozens of ballots. Tensions ran so excessive that the Republicans threatened civil battle 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 sooner than sunrise on Inauguration Day, too embittered even to shake his rival's hand.
With magisterial command, Ferling brings to lifestyles 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. historical past, 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
Below Baltimore, he was in the sparsely settled slave South, land of cash crops and great planters, and the home of his principal adversary in the election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson, the vice president of the United States. Like Adams, Jefferson had spent the summer and fall of 1800 at home. In mid-May, when Congress adjourned, he had returned to Monticello, his mansion atop a tall hill overlooking Charlottesville in the remote Blue Ridge mountains of western Virginia. He left much of the management of his estate to his overseer, but there was plenty to keep the vice president busy.
They represented interest groups. They used the same tactics as today, sometimes taking the high road, but often traveling the low road, which led them to ridicule and even smear their foes, to search for scandal in the behavior of their adversaries, and to play on raw emotions. They manipulated the political system to their advantage. They were conflicted with affection for and loyalties to foreign nations. Some were led by noble ideals, some were more self-serving. Some of my views have changed, however, most notably with regard to Jefferson and Hamilton.
On the third day, departing Springfield, they finally turned south, and in late morning they took leave of Massachusetts, plodding slowly into Connecticut, which required three wearisome days to cross. Travel was arduous and filled with heavy tedium. The carriage, which was unheated and without shock absorbers, bumped and swayed across slender rutted roads that were just a sudden storm away from turning to a fetid ooze. Charles Dickens, who rode America’s roads a generation later, advised his readers to go by boat if possible, as even a brief journey was sufficient to make the jostled traveler think that every bone in his body had been dislocated.