1800 - Presidential campaign

The election of 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, a political brawl between the Federalists and Republicans, may have been decided by Jefferson hiring a spy to spread untruths about the Adams administration to the press

        Jefferson wins in a four-way contest after hiring a secret character assassin to spread lies and rumors about John Adams.  Federalist pamphlets and newspapers decried Jefferson as a 'hopeless visionary, a weakling, an intriguer intoxicated with French philosophy,' and more French aristocrat than American citizen, a poser of the highest order.

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Election Of 1800

  A political flyer calling on Republicans to unite behind Jefferson or risk losing the nation back to the English tories.

       He was accused of favoring states' rights over the Union, charged with infidelity to the Constitution, and labeled a spendthrift and libertine.  All of these charges would, in time, prove to be true.

      One New York paper assured its readers that a Jefferson victory would mean civil war, which was also true.  Jefferson's refusal to embrace a central government over state's rights established policies that, in the words of one historian, surveyed the road to the Civil War half a century later.


         Electoral votes:  Jefferson and Burr, 73 each

         Adams, 65;  Charles Cottsworth Pinckney, 63

         Adams lost NY to Jefferson by 250 votes thanks to a 52 page diatribe published by Alexander Hamilton.  Had Adams won NY he would have won the election, 71-61.