The Election of 1800 - Federalists vs Democratic Republicans

Updated: 4/5/2017
The Election of 1800 - Federalists vs Democratic Republicans
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Election of 1800 Lesson Plans

The Election of 1800: Jefferson vs. Adams

Lesson Plans by Richard Cleggett

With the first term of President John Adams coming to an end, the United States found itself divided between the incumbent Federalist president, and the challenging Democratic-Republican, Thomas Jefferson. Political factions in the new country were still strong, and they campaigned hard and strategically for their candidates during the election of 1800. This was the first real election between political parties and the beginning of a process that is now commonplace in American politics.

Election of 1800: Jefferson vs. Adams

Storyboard Description

The Election of 1800 - Federalists vs Democratic Republicans

Storyboard Text

  • John Adams
  • • Alien and Sedition Acts • Can't trust the people! • Power to the federal government!
  • This young country NEEDS a strong, central government!
  • NEEDED TO WIN: 70 ADAMS - 65
  • Federalists held a strong political viewpoint on how government should be operated. They remained loyal to ideas of peaceful elections, protection of wealth, healthy foreign relations, implied powers, and institutions like a national bank. Federalists appealed greatly to businessmen and bankers, who believed and practiced their economic visions.
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Federalists were very pro-administrative government. In essence, they favored a strong, national government that could aid and guide the country. They believed in the implied powers of the Constitution, and that the federal government should do whatever necessary to operate the nation. These ideas were very much defined throughout Adam's presidency.
  • • State and individual rights rule! • Less government! • Power to the republic!
  • The Federalist Party was led by John Adams, who would serve as the party's only president, and Alexander Hamilton, who would serve the country as Secretary of the Treasury. Other notable figures include Charles Pinckney, John Jay, and DeWitt Clinton. Many Federalists, however, would change loyalties after their demise in 1800.
  • The POWER and CONTROL shall remain with the people!
  • The Federalists fared poorly in the election of 1800. Adams came away with 65 electoral votes, his running mate Pinckney, 64, and John Jay with just 1. The election would prove to be the nail in the coffin for the party, as they began to be opposed by farmers and westerners because the party was seen as catering to the elite.
  • Democratic-Republicans believed strongly in individual rights, states rights, and a weaker central government. Their ideas centered around expansive ideas of liberty, equality, and democracy. In addition, they favored strong ideas of republicanism, fearing the U.S. would fall to elitist, monarchical powers held in the opposing Federalist Party.
  • Democratic-Republicans were extremely anti-administration when it came to the federal government. They supported ideas of republicanism, and were strongly opposed to anything like tyrannical or monarchical rule. They supported states' rights over the federal government's, and believed that states had the right to oppose federal law when deemed oppressive.
  • The major leader of the Democratic-Republicans was Thomas Jefferson. The party's beginnings are often referred to as the "Jeffersonian Democrats". Other prominent members include James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, and eventually, President Andrew Jackson.
  • The Democratic-Republicans, or simply the Republicans, won the election of 1800. Candidates Jefferson and Burr, who finished with 73 electoral votes and were both Republicans, had to have a tie breaking vote decide the presidency from the House of Representatives. Jefferson walked away with the victory, and Burr became Vice President.