Presidential Elections Dbq

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In the year 1800, America was still a new, inexperienced nation. The many faults in the political system were still being ironed out, and the introduction and implementation of these new processes were stirring great interest in the people. The Presidential elections were one of the biggest changes that the Constitution had brought about in its ratification. The elections gave the people a chance to have their voices heard and to express their opinions in whom they believed should lead their country, without giving them a dangerous or excess amount of power. The Electoral College was the system that had the final vote in who would be president, and it consisted of 138 electors from the sixteen states in which “Each presidential elector cast…show more content…
Since there was very little trust between the men at the caucuses, they made pledges where they promised loyalty in voting for their chosen candidates. In the end, the “Federalist Party nominated John Adams, President of the United States, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, former U.S. Minister to France, while the Jefferson-Republican or Democratic-Republican Party nominated Thomas Jefferson, Vice President of the United States and former Minister to France, and Aaron Burr, former U.S. Senator (Goodman).” Although John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were, at the time, working together as President and Vice President in the Adams Administration, their views were nowhere near aligning. Adams, as a Federalist, supported strong federal government control over the national economy and foreign relations. In his time as President, he had had to deal with the Quasi-War, “America 's first major international crisis,” between Britain, France, and America (Florence). This meant that Adams had to make many major decisions in regards to the nation’s commerce and defense. “Some extreme Federalists were ready for a fight, but President Adams disappointed them, refusing to press war against Virginia or France (Florence).” His decision angered many…show more content…
Because of the war, the United States was deeply divided(punctuation) both geographically, between the North and the South, and by factions, between the Federalists and Republicans. Because of the conflicting interests across states, it was especially hard for the parties to stay organized and come to agreements. A temporary solution to this problem was when “Northerners and Southerners personally vowed to support the candidate from the other region (Freeman).” This meant that the Northern electors would vote for the candidate of their party from the South, and the South would do the same for the North, which would ensure that the votes were not cast with special state interests in mind. Another effect of the war was the execution of the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts. These were put into place by the Adams Administration to and were “intended to crush the Democratic-Republican political opposition” by “prohibiting ‘scandalous and malicious’ writing or speaking against the United States government, the president, or either casa of Congress (Florence).” The Acts were obviously targeting Jefferson and his followers, who were outraged by these new limitations that they believed to be infringing on their first amendment rights to freedom of speech. Another way that the Adams
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