or Burr? The former without all doubt.
Hamilton to Gouverneur Morris,
By the election
of 1800, the nations two parties had taken more definite shape.
The Presidential race was hotly contested between Federalist President,
John Adams, and Democratic-Republicans, Thomas Jefferson. Because
the Constitution did not distinguish between President and Vice-President
in the votes cast by each states electors in the electoral
college, both Jefferson and his running mate Burr received 73 votes.
The tie threw
the election into the House of Representatives, controlled by the
Federalists. For weeks, on each of the 35 ballots taken, neither
Democratic-Republican candidate received a majority. Many Federalists
saw Jefferson as their principal foe, whose election was to be avoided
at all costs, but Federalist leader Alexander Hamilton distrusted
Burr more than he feared Jefferson and suggested to others in his
party that a Jefferson Presidency would be a moderate one. Jefferson
also indirectly conveyed this view to the Federalists and on February
17, 1801, on the 36th ballot, Jefferson was elected.
to ending the political intrigue surrounding the election, Jeffersons
inauguration and the Democratic-Republican takeover of Congress
set an important precedent. It marked the first peaceful transfer
of power between political parties in American history.