Archive - Oct 16, 2006

Election of 1800

Lectured today on the election of 1800, which I still don't understand myself. Jefferson and Adams were the two presidential candidates. Neither got a majority in the Electoral College, so the election was thrown into the House of Representatives.

The system in place at the time dictated that the second place finisher in the vote in the House would become Vice President. Jefferson was tied with his running mate Aaron Burr for many ballots. Finally, one state threw the election to Jefferson, who entered office without much of a mandate.