This election follows Thomas Jefferson’s tremendously popular first term, which included the Louisiana Purchase as a capstone. His popularity was such that the Federalist Party faded into a regional party. This election is the first election in which the parties fielded tickets with a President and Vice President. Previous election had all the candidates run for president with the runner up becoming vice president, regardless of their political affiliation.
For Republicans (later called Democratic-Republicans), Jefferson is the unanimous choice. As much as some Northern Republicans and some extremely conservative Republicans may have felt about Jefferson, they did not attempt to block him from the nomination.
The Federalists realizing that they needed to win votes outside of the Northeast, have selected the popular Revolutionary War general, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina, as their candidate.
There was not a 3rd party in this election.
This election allows for some what-if scenarios:
- What if the Hamilton-Burr duel never occurred? Aaron Burr is an option for the Republicans and Alexander Hamilton for the Federalists.
- What if Jefferson faces some competition from George Clinton, Elbridge Gerry and James Madison?
- What if Chief Justice John Marshall, John Jay, Governeur Morris and Henry Lee (father of Robert E. Lee) challenged Pinckney for the Federalist ticket?
- What if former President John Adams ran for the presidency four years after having lost his reelection bid against Jefferson?
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