John Adams

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Thomas Jefferson’s Presidency of the United States, from March 4, 1801 to March 4, 1809, carried out what Jefferson called the "Revolution of 1800", as he attempted to put into action the principles of his Democratic-Republican Party.
Jefferson had been elected Vice President under John Adams in the 1796 election, though he grew increasingly hostile to Adams while working for him. Working closely with another member of the Democratic Republican Party, Aaron Burr of New York, Jefferson rallied his supporters, attacked new taxes especially, and ran for the Presidency in the 1800 election. There were no “official” vice presidential candidates in the early elections of the United States. According to the US Constitution, electors made two choices for president and whoever received the most votes became president. The person with the second most votes became vice president. This would change with the passage of the 12th Amendment.

Despite there being no official vice presidential candidate, Thomas Jefferson ran with Aaron Burr as his running mate. Their “ticket” went against John Adams, who was paired with either Thomas Pinckney or John Jay, both of who were also possible candidates for the presidency. In the Electoral College, there ended up being a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr at 73 votes each. Because of this, the House of Representatives got to decide who would be president and who would be vice president. Due to an intense campaign by Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson was selected over Aaron Burr after 35 ballots. Some find it ironic that the deciding push came from Hamilton, who was not only a political rival of Jefferson’s in the first term of Washington’s presidency, but was also a New Yorker. Burr, who desperately wanted presidency in spite of the fact that he had run “with” Jefferson on the ticket took the actions of Hamilton personally. They would later duel to the death over this and other political and personal disagreements.

In domestic affairs Jefferson tried to weaken Federalist influences, especially in the judiciary, and succeeded in limiting the size of government by reducing taxes and the national debt. Jefferson's agenda was to implement his Democratic-Republican vision for the nation. In what historians later call Jeffersonian democracy, the new president set out an agenda that was marked by his belief in agrarianism and strict limits on the national government. During his presidency, the Federalist Party did continue to weaken and Jefferson had so much support that he never once had to use his veto power. One of his most important foreign policy decisions was the Louisiana Purchase. Although now, the decision to purchase the huge tract of land seems to be clear and obvious, at the time, there were serious doubts about whether it was a legal, wise, appropriate, or necessary choice.

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