The Presidential Election 1808


Map Code: Ax00051

After deciding not to run for a third term, Thomas Jefferson unofficially appointed his principal advisor and secretary of state James Madison to be his successor and run for president in the 1808 election. There was, however, division over controversial foreign policies and trading decisions. The Embargo Act of 1807, brought about in response to the failure of Britain and France to recognize the neutrality of United States in the Napoleonic Wars, had caused widespread dissatisfaction, not only within the Democratic-Republican party, but also with farmers and shippers. The Federalists tried to use the Embargo Act to tarnish Madison’s presidential hopes, however resistance to the Democratic-Republican party and candidate was not as strong as they had hoped. Madison was re-elected as president with a clear victory over Federalist Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. George Clinton was re-elected as vice president for a second term.

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