Jefferson's Second Revolution

The Election Crisis of 1800 and the Triumph of Republicanism
Author(s): Susan Dunn
Original Publish Date: Sep 09, 2004
Product Number: EB00030475
Released: Sep 09, 2004
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780547345758
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An "excellent" history of the tumultuous early years of American government, and a constitutional crisis sparked by the Electoral College (Booklist). In the election of 1800, Federalist incumbent John Adams, and the elitism he represented, faced Republican Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson defeated Adams but, through a quirk in Electoral College balloting, tied with his own running mate, Aaron Burr. A constitutional crisis ensued. Congress was supposed to resolve the tie, but would the Federalists hand over power peacefully to their political enemies, to Jefferson and his Republicans? For weeks on end, nothing was certain. The Federalists delayed and plotted, while Republicans threatened to take up arms. In a way no previous historian has done, Susan Dunn illuminates this watershed moment in American history. She captures its great drama, gives us fresh, ?nely drawn portraits of the founding fathers, and brilliantly parses the enduring signi?cance of the crisis. The year 1800 marked the end of Federalist elitism, pointed the way to peaceful power shifts, cleared a place for states' rights in the political landscape—and set the stage for the Civil War. "Dunn, a scholar of eighteenth-century American history, has provided a valuable reminder of an election in which the stakes were truly enormous and the political vituperation was far more poisonous than the relatively moderate attacks heard today. . . . An excellent work that effectively explains this critical contest that shaped the history of the new republic." —Booklist "Dunn does a superb job of recounting the campaign, its cast of characters, and the election's bizarre conclusion in Congress. That tense standoff could have plunged the country into a disastrous armed conflict, Dunn explains, but instead cemented the legitimacy of peaceful, if not smooth, transfers of power." —Publishers Weekly "Dunn simultaneously teaches and enthralls with her eloquent, five-sensed descriptions of the people and places that shaped our democracy." —Entertainment Weekly