Election of 1800

Who were the candidates?What were the issues?Vote!Who won?What happened?

Who won?

Thomas Jefferson won.

Broadside relaying news of election results

This February 17, 1801 Richmond, Va., broadside relays the news from Washington that Jefferson has been elected.

The election of 1800 was an extremely close one in which a change in one state would have altered the outcome.  The 1800 electoral vote was one of the most historic.  In the previous elections, political leaders took measures that insured that the presidential and vice presidential candidates did not receive the same number of votes.  In 1800, however, Jefferson won the presidential election with 73 votes to Adams’s 65, but the Republican vice presidential candidate Aaron Burr also received 73 votes, making the vote for the presidency a tie.  In case of a tie, the Constitution directed that the election be decided by the House of Representatives.

In the House election system, each state got one vote, determined by the majority of its delegation.  In the case of a tie in the delegation, the state cast a blank ballot.  On February 6, 1801, the House of Representatives met to vote for president with nine of sixteen votes needed to win.  For thirty-five ballots, the results stood at Jefferson 8 and Burr 6 with 2 blank.  On February 17, 1801, on the thirty-sixth ballot, the House elected Jefferson after Federalist representatives in Vermont and Maryland broke the deadlock by switching their vote.

The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1804, called for separate balloting for president and vice president to avoid a repeat of the situation that occurred in 1800.

Candidates Popular Vote Electoral College Vote
Thomas Jefferson 61.3% 52.9% (73)
John Adams 38.7% 47.1% (65)

What happened during or as a result of Jefferson's presidency?

Last modified October 17, 2008 2:59:46 PM EDT