The Election of 1800 Explained


learning's back hey guys welcome to hip

Hughes history in the next few minutes

we're going to take a look at one of the

most exciting and contested elections in

American history the election of 1800 so

let's take a look at the candidates

let's take a look at the issues the

winner and some of the big ideas that

transcend that election and really

affect American history throughout its


so video let's go let the learning begin

let the fighting begin the auction of

1800 sometimes referred to as the

revolution of 1800 that's the first big

idea it's called a revolution because

for the first time in American history

we have a peaceful transfer of power we

have an outgoing Federalist Party and

we're going to have the incoming

Democratic Republican Party and its

bloodless and in many European countries

when you would have an election and the

other side would win the other game

would win there would be blood you know

spilling on the streets but we call it

the revolution of 1800 because it's a

transfer a peaceful transfer of power

but on one side we have the Federalists

the Federalists are generally seen as

kind of the northern faction of the

country John Adams and his choice was

actually a southerner from South


George pickney and what they basically

believed in and you know Washington was

a federalist and Adams is a federalist

they believed in strong centralized

power they're much more pro-british they

were in favor of kind of trade deals

with England and they're not big fans of

the French the French Revolution scares

the hell out of them and they blame was

in a quasi war with the French over the

XYZ affair they're also for higher

tariffs which protect northern

manufacturers and they also responsible

for the Alien and Sedition Act which was

a huge law that was passed under Adams

that was seen by civil libertarians

especially in the south of the southern

governments as a violation of the

Constitution not only in terms of free

speech with the kind of the sedition

part but in an immigration kind of way

and it kind of pissed off you know a lot

of immigration immigrants and

immigration advocates because it starts

to clamp down I think for political

reasons against the Republican Party the

Democratic Republican Party and I

believe in New York there was only one


public and pro newspaper left because of

the fear of being you know sectionalized

or arrested for speech against the

federalist government but yeah yeah on

the other side we have Thomas Jefferson

of Virginia and we have Aaron Burr of

New York and these are the Democratic

Republicans and sometimes they'll be

called Republicans but I like to reserve

that for Abraham Lincoln in the

Republican Party but this Democratic

Republican Party is more kind of

representative of the southern interests

there against tariffs there against the

National Bank they see the alien

Sedition Act as you know kind of like

you know tyranny what they expected from

a centralized government so therefore

decentralized power they're also much

more likely to support the French

they're not saying they're all pro

French Revolution but they're definitely

kind of that more radicalized element or

anti governmental element of the country

so this is a repeat of 1796 I don't know

if I said that before and they run again

so let's take a look at the results now

all right we basically know we have a

northern interest Federalists side and

we have the Democratic Republican Party

kind of bite you know represented by

Jefferson and burr that are trying to

win so there's another player in this

that we haven't mentioned because you

think that would be enough to have

Federalists running against Democratic

Republicans but the Federalist Party has

a problem and his name is Alex and I

don't mean Alex Trebek I'm talking about

Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton

and sometimes his group of allies were

called the high Federalists because they

are much more in a what do you want to

call it an ideological camp when it

comes to Federalist ideas like we were

talking about before centralized power

and I didn't mention sales tax but

raising money for standing armies and

you know really using the force of the

government not only economically but

through foreign policy to get what they

wanted and he doesn't dig John Adams he

sees John Adams is a little wishy-washy

as maybe maybe it's a personal thing I

think that you know Hamilton had a lot

of influence in the Washington

administration before the affair but

nevertheless he doesn't feel as though

he's going to have you know his marbles

being counted

John Adams so he actually starts to

write oh and writes a letter it releases

a series of letters that are trying to

convince people to to vote against John

Adams and actually to throw their

support in the electoral college for

pickney who is supposed to be the vice

president so this causes kind of a rift

in the Federalist Party and I think it

backfires I mean not only is it going to

cost the Federalist Party votes but it

also backlashes on Hamilton and I think

even kind of a hastens his uh his demise

in the political world we'll see in a

few years later that Aaron Burr who

you're going to you're going to see

Hamilton go after in a moment again is

going to actually shoot Hamilton Aaron

Burr shot Hamilton so let's take a look

at the results and I think it's really

important that we take a moment to

explain a big difference back then in

the electoral college namely the twelfth

amendment today we understand that when

you vote you vote for a ticket you vote

for president and vice president and I'm

not going to reacquaint oral college but

the electors in each state also today

vote for a ticket they put their support

behind Obama Obama Biden or they put

their sorbonne Romney Paul but back then

before the twelfth amendment you

actually cast two ballots as an elector

so you go in and you would vote for

Obama and Biden and the way that it

worked is when they counted the

electoral votes at the end of the day in

the electoral college whoever had the

most votes was president and the most

second vote the second you know most

votes was vice president so the plan all

along they figured out how to

gerrymander this system was that you

would have your electors cast their

votes both for you know the president

and vice president and then you have one

dude one elector who would vote for a

different vice president so instead of

voting for Thomas Jefferson and Aaron

Burr they would vote for Thomas

Jefferson and Luke Skywalker and then

when you counted the votes if you won

the electoral college it would be

Jefferson and burr fail they messed it

up they messed it up the federal is dead

it the Federalists you know one of their

electors voted for John Jay I believe

you know in anticipation

they won that you know it would be you

know Adams and picnic they messed it up

the democratic-republicans messed it up

so at the end of the day we end up with

73 electoral votes and a tie between

Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr so what

happens in electoral tie guys you

remember this it goes to the House of

Representatives well that's great news

right because the Democratic Republicans

had a banner year they you know won the

House of Representatives so they're all

on the same page they'll pick Jefferson

they'll call today they'll go home and

take a nap fail the way the Constitution


it's the sitting Congress the sitting

House of Representatives so that's a pro

Federalist Party House of

Representatives know what to do yeah so

they they want to screw Jefferson they

don't want Jefferson they're nemesis you

know their number one enemy to be the

president of the United States so they

start casting their ballot and each time

we find out that we can't get a winner

that Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson are

not getting the needed majority to be

the winner so they cast a second ballot

then the House of Representatives has to

do a third and a fifth and a tenth

they went through 35 ballots guys 35

ballots before enter Alex comes back in

and Hamilton convinces some of his

allies in the Congress some of the other

Federalists to support Thomas Jefferson

the nemesis because he believed that

Aaron Burr was untrustworthy that Aaron

Burr didn't have character and even

though he disagreed with Jefferson on

all of these finer points on foreign

policy and taxes and tariffs and

centralized power that he could be

trusted so on the 36th ballot we get

President Thomas Jefferson how do you

like that so in terms of Big Ideas we

have a few big ones right let's just

review really quick first of all it's

caused a revolution

no they view hundreds and we understand

that that that's party change the

peaceful party change is the reason why

we call it the the revolution number two

we really see a cementing of factions in

this electoral map that we're really

going to have a democratic Republican

Party that is you know kind of a

southern rooted party and although the

Federalists are going to be around

forever that faction of north of the

Northeast is going to be a pro-business


centralized power later it will transfer

to the Whigs and then down the road to

the Republican Party and it'll it'll

change but nevertheless I think kind of

the realignment of the map or the

alignment of the map is something that's

really important I mean also the twelfth

amendment the twelfth amendment is going

to correct that constitutional boo-boo

who called these guys geniuses I mean

what are you talking about really the

second guy placed could it become what's


so the twelfth amendment is going to

change that and now we're not going to

have that problem anymore although it's

also important the last thing to say is

that this shows you that the electoral

college is truly an indirect example of

democracy in direct democracy right who

chose the president it wasn't the people

directly it was through the House of

Representatives so remember that can

still happen if you have more than one

two political parties running for the

electing the electoral college if you

split that bad boy up it would be the

sinning House of Representatives that

would choose the president so if we had

an electoral tide today right 269 to 269

it would be President Romney because it

would be the sitting House Republicans

in the House of Representatives that

would choose the president so we hope

that you learn something you know that

1800 I mean gosh you know it ends up a

guy gets shot you know there's an affair

there's dirty letter-writing there's you

know qey claims of you're not an

American my god it hasn't changed has it

so dingdong guys learning is done so

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sing yeah all right guys that's it see

you later