The Presidential Election 1800

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Map Code: Ax00049

After the election of 1800, the Democratic-Republican vice president Thomas Jefferson became the third American president, defeating John Adams. The first time in American history that power passed from one party to another, Jefferson referred to it as the ‘Revolution of 1800’. The presidential race was a bitter battle that saw the ascent of the Democratic-Republican party and the demise of the Federalists. For the first time, each candidate chose a ‘running mate’; Charles Cotesworth Pinckney ran alongside Adams and Aaron Burr with Jefferson. Flaws with the two-vote ballot system (where votes for president and vice president are on one ballot sheet) meant that Jefferson and Burr received equal votes. In February 1801, the House of Representatives was balloted, with each state given one vote. After 36 ballots, Jefferson was elected president and Burr vice president. The election of 1800 led to the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804.

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