*This election was greatly updated by the Historical Scenario Commission on July 13, 2017. Download version 2.0 here: United States – 1796 2.0
General Washington has decided to step down after two terms in office. His legacy at the time was somewhat mixed, but few dared to be too public in their criticism. The Jay Treaty, the Banking System and the response to the French Revolution were seen as controversial. However, he maintained the peace and placed the country on a good financial backing.
With Washington out of the picture, several prominent men attempted to succeed him. The two major names were incumbent VP John Adams and the former Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson. Both men had opposing views on governing. Adams inclined to Alexander Hamilton’s views of a strong national government; although, he was much moderate than Hamilton. Jefferson followed James Madison’s lead in opposing legislation the strengthened the government needlessly, but Jefferson was much less moderate than Madison, and emerged as the leader of this party of thought. Other leading candidates for the presidency include Sen. Aaron Burr, Fmr Gov. Thomas Pinckney, Gov. Samuel Adams, Fmr Gov. George Clinton, Gov. John Jay and more.
This election operates under the original system for election. All the candidates are running for president. Each elector gets two votes to select two separate men. The candidate with the most votes becomes president and the president with the second most votes becomes vice president.
This election allows for many what-if scenarios:
- What if George Washington ran for a 3rd term? He was not assured a unanimous vote if he had.
- What if Alexander Hamilton tried to follow his mentor into the White House?
- What if Washington’s friend, financier Robert Morris ran?
- What if James Madison ran as the voice of change?
- What if James Monroe, the favorite of conservatives, ran?
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