Road to the Presidency

In 1800, Jefferson was again the candidate for the Democratic-Republicans with Aaron Burr as the candidate for vice president. This campaign was particularly fierce. The main issue against Jefferson's opponent, John Adams, was the use of the Alien and Sedition Acts against Federalist opponents. The Federalists shot back that Jefferson was an atheist who wanted to destroy the Constitution.

Burr Controversy

Ironically, Jefferson and Burr actually tied in the electoral votes. Even though Jefferson had run as the presidential candidate, whoever received the most votes would be elected president. The twelfth amendment was ratified in 1804 to correct this problem by ensuring that each elector cast distinct votes for president and vice president. The outcome of the election had to be determined by the House of Representatives because Burr refused to concede. In the House, each state was allowed to cast one vote. Jefferson won on the thirty-sixth ballot. The strength of the American republic was proven by the peaceful transfer of power from Federalists to Democratic-Republicans.

Election of 1804

Jefferson was again nominated in 1804 with George Clinton as his vice presidential running mate. He was opposed by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, an influential South Carolinian. Jefferson won easily, receiving 162 out of 176 electoral votes. This victory led to the downfall of the Federalist party.

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