By John Ferling
It used to be a competition of titans: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, heroes of the innovative period, as soon as intimate pals, now icy antagonists locked in a fierce conflict for the way forward for the us. The election of 1800 was once a thunderous conflict of a crusade that climaxed in a impasse within the Electoral university and resulted in a obstacle during which the younger republic teetered at the fringe of cave in.
Adams vs. Jefferson is the gripping account of a turning element in American heritage, a dramatic fight among events with profoundly various visions of ways the country can be ruled. The Federalists, led by way of Adams, have been conservatives who favorite a robust primary govt. The Republicans, led by means 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 aspect 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 struggle if the Federalists denied Jefferson the presidency. eventually a mystery deal that modified a unmarried vote gave Jefferson the White residence. A devastated Adams left Washington earlier than sunrise on Inauguration Day, too embittered even to shake his rival's hand.
With magisterial command, Ferling brings to existence either the outsize personalities and the hotly contested political questions at stake. He exhibits not only why this second used to be a milestone in U.S. background, yet how strongly the issues--and the passions--of 1800 resonate with our personal time.
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Additional info for Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History)
He worked tirelessly to get ahead, serving on ninety committees—and chairing twenty-five—in a three-year span. He rose before dawn to tend to his correspondence, turned to committee assignments in the early morning, took part in the daily congressional session between 10:00 and 4:00, and spent additional hours in the late afternoons and evenings in yet more committee meetings. He also impressed his colleagues with his expertise in several key areas. 18 Adams’ intellect was readily apparent. He possessed a facility for quickly grasping the essence of every problem and for divining the implications of strategic choices.
25 He learned soon enough that he had tragically miscalculated, and thereafter jealously begrudged Jefferson his magnificent achievement, pouting that his friend had “run away with all the stage effect . . ”27 Adams did not think in those terms. He subsequently remarked that the American Revolution had been made in the fifteen years before the outbreak of the war in 1775, the period when the colonists’ “filial affections” toward Great Britain terminated. 28 He did not want great change. ”29 Yet Adams sought some change.
J e f f e r s o n counterparts on the Continent. Adams took the creation of a strong and independent executive branch to be the primary solution to the problem of controlling the aristocracy. 46 Adams limned his strong executive as the very “essence of government,” nothing less than the “father and protector” of the nation and its citizenry. His ideal chief executive would possess the authority to negotiate a path between all selfish interests, whether that of the narrow elite or malevolent popular movements, in order to act for the greater common good.
Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History) by John Ferling