US Election 1804
*The Historical Scenario Commission greatly updated this scenario on July 17, 2017 and on December 31, 2017. Version 3.0 can be downloaded here: United States – 1804 Final
The 1804 election took place during a brief hiatus in the French Revolutionary War abroad, resulting in booming international trade. Additionally, Thomas Jefferson’s decision to buy Louisiana Territory from Napoleon opened cheap land out West for settlers. As such, Jefferson’s popularity was arguably at its peak. Therefore, Jefferson’s renomination and reelection was virtually assured.
Meanwhile, Federalists were in disarray with only New England and New York having any semblance of an organized party. New England Federalists so opposed Jefferson that many of them, led by Sen. Timothy Pickering, hatched a plan to work with VP Aaron Burr to secede from the country if Jefferson won reelection. However, many notable Federalists, including Alexander Hamilton, opposed the scheme.
What Really Happened?
Thomas Jefferson sought reelection without contest from his party. Federalists were unable to convince any sort of superstar from running; therefore, they settled for last election’s VP-nominee, Charles Coatesworth Pinckney, whom they thought would father Southern support.
Meanwhile, the Northern secessionist plot failed badly. Secessionists banked on incumbent VP Aaron Burr winning the gubernatorial election in NY, and hoped that Burr would then align with New England and break off from Jeffersonian America. However, Alexander Hamilton thwarted both Burr and his fellow Federalists by working against the scheme and Burr’s election. Ultimately, Burr and Hamilton agreed to a duel over a lifetime of grievances against one another, resulting in the mortal wounding of Alexander Hamilton. Rumors of Burr’s dissatisfaction with Jefferson, rumors of his possible collusion in a secession plot, and his killing of Alexander Hamilton, resulted in Jefferson dropping Burr as his VP for another New Yorker, George Clinton. New England would make another secession attempt during the War of 1812, nearly a decade later.
On election day, Jefferson trounced Pinckney, 72.8% to 27.2% in the greatest popular vote landslide in a contested election. Additionally, Jefferson won four of the five New England states, including Massachusetts. Clinton helped Jefferson win New York. Only Delaware and Connecticut chose Pinckney.
Need a Suggestion as to who to play as? Try an win as these candidates:
- Why not test your skill by attempting to defeat Thomas Jefferson with Charles Coatesworth Pinckney?
- What if George Clinton, Aaron Burr, or Elbridge Gerry contested Jefferson’s nomination with the support of Northern Republicans?
- What if James Madison became impatient and aimed to win the nomination for himself?
- What if conservative Republicans had rallied behind James Monroe in 1804?
- What if Alexander Hamilton ran for the presidency and survived his duel with Aaron Burr?
- What if other Federalist superstars, such as John Marshall and John Jay ran?
- What if John Adams sought a non-consecutive second term?
- What if John Quincy Adams aimed for the presidency in 1804?
- What if Gouverneur Morris or Henry Lee ran for the Federalists?
Feedback is desired.
28 thoughts on “President Infinity 1804 Election”
Looks really good! The idea of Henry Lee as a possible President is very interesting. The Federalists had a lot of potential in all these elections but could never get over their elitism and regional focus to spread their ideology. I’d have loved to have a couple more Federalist presidents in my opinion. I’m definitely interested in seeing how you’ll do the President/Vice President selection. Will everyone in the running for either office including what-if candidates be in the Presidential running, like 1824?
Yeah, JViking is making the map for these early elections. As it will be more time consuming, I’m guessing these elections won’t come out for a week or so, but I can probably make them quickly once the maps are ready, since there aren’t many endorsers and I’ve typed out all the info and stuff that I need to imput. This wouldn’t be possible without JViking’s help.
Basically, Each state will be split into two. MA1 and MA2 (for Massachusetts) and VA1 and VA2) for Virginia and so on. In these first 4 elections, each elector got two votes. So, I’ll put the President preference in MA1, VA1, etc. And the VP preference in MA2 and VA2, etc. In reality, everyone is running for president, so someone in the VP column can get more EVs than someone in the Pres column, which means the supposed VP is the Pres. I’ll be able to do this by playing some candidates only on the ballot in the 1st half of each state and some only on the ballot in the 2nd half of each state.
For instance, in the 1788/89 election. Washington will only be on the first ballots (MA1, VA1, etc). Everyone else will be only in MA2, VA2, etc. What-if candidates may be on 1st or 2nd ballots depending on who they are. Some may be on both ballots, but not in the same state.
It will be really interesting. Washington could theoretically lose in 1788/1789 if what-if candidate Franklin wins PA, and then a VP option gets 100% of the second vote, since that VP candidate would end up with more EVs than Washington!
That sounds very well thought out. Can’t wait to see it in action. Until then I’ll be trying to revive the Federalists with different candidates in these early 1800s elections.
The problem with the Federalists is that I don’t know how to make the party much more powerful with a candidate like John Marshall, who I think would get a boost in the South. Maybe the favorability update will help with this.
Maybe if favorability is increased in different regions, Marshall and other southern Federalists could have higher favorability in southern states than northern candidates in order to make it competitive, while candidates like Hamilton would have decreased favorability to simlate their regional appeal to the North only.
You could use the percentage boost option for making him stronger in the South.
How does that work, does that work in the general election or primaries or both?
It is for the general election for if he is the nominee.
Thanks, JViking. I’ll add these percentages to most of the candidates in the update. Do you know if negative numbers work?
These early elections are great, as is the research put into them. I have a history degree and I’m learning a thing or two. 🙂 Any plans to pick up after 1956 and roll forward? These are wonderful scenarios.
I’ll do those elections if no one gets to them before I do. I still have four more elections to do to have completed all the elections (JViking making the maps) between 1788-1956 (except 1824 and 1912, which were created by JViking and Anthony, respectively, but I helped with those as well).
After 1788 is made, I’ll do a grand update to all these scenarios, as some errors have been noticed, and I need to fix the figures in nearly all of them. I plan to also add more candidates.
After the grand update, I may take a brief break. I’m less interested in elections and history in general after World War II, but I’ll make those scenarios if no one else does.
Interesting Hamilton was included with the controversy of whether he’d had support due to some feeling he may have been ineligible. I’ve heard it said, he never really became a citizen. I am a US History teacher and have been unable to ascertain that he ever became a citizen.
That’s great news, because you have a gift for it. I love the “what if” stuff you’ve added, since that’s a big part of the fun of these things. I played around with an RFK lives 1972 scenario for the 2008 game, and it was a lot of fun. No Nixon landslide, let’s put it that way. 🙂
The constitution makes it clear, if you read the requirements for the president, that anyone that was a British-American citizen at the founding of the country was an American citizen. This is why Swiss-born Albert Gallatin was a VP option and this is why Hamilton could have run for president. A lot of people don’t think Hamilton was eligible, but he was. He didn’t run mainly because he was an “arch-Federalist” or “High Federalist,” which were the radical wing of the party. Personally, he had as many enemies as friends, so he wasn’t considered electable. He tried to run things from behind the scenes.
Yeah, RFK in 1972 is a must. I’d also add JFK in 1964.
Yes, JFK in ’64 is also a must. As to the rest of the scenarios, to quote Bart Scott (I don’t think you’ll ever have to add him, but, still) “Can’t Wait!”
I do not know if negative umber are accepted. I will check.
Yes, it allows negative numbers.
I’d like to see one of the Gilded Age elections have a surviving Custer as a Democrat option, myself.
@jmberry – I agree with a living Custer as an option, probably in 1880 as any later would involve imagining an extra decade of life and a possible political career, while he could pull it off in 1880 being the Hero of the Little Big Horn and nothing else. He and William Rosecrans could be good Union Civil War leaders for the Democrats besides Hancock and the what-if Confederates.
@vcczar – Is the 1800 scenario almost done? I can’t wait to see what I’m sure will be a great way to simulate that crazy election!
I’m not sure about Custer, because I don’t know if he was even into politics or not.
I’m not sure when the 1800 scenario will be done. It will be finished within a day or two of whenever JViking makes the map. He has a pretty busy schedule right now, so I’m not sure how much he’s worked on it. My schedule is about to get a lot busier in about 10 days, so I hope I can get to it before then. If I don’t get it by say, Sept 1st, then I’ll try to do it myself, but it probably won’t be as good if I make the map, as that kind of computer work is out of my area of expertise.
Good luck on the scenario if you end up making the map yourself! As for Custer, he served on McClellan’s staff in the Civil War before his own rapid rise in the cavalry, and was a supporter of his during that time. As for ideology, his interactions with the Native Americans don’t give the impression that he was in favor of equality of races and cultures, suggesting a lack of the more racially progressive mindset of President Grant. In a world where Custer triumphs over the Sioux forces at LBH, propelled into the spotlight the year Tilden loses the election to Hayes, it’s easy to imagine Democrats rallying around the popular, socially conservative, fresh faced Custer, much like they did with Hancock, to defeat Grant, the heavy favorite to win the Republican nomination, in 1880.
Also, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain could be a possible Republican candidate in one of the early Gilded Age elections, 1868 and/or 1872, maybe 1876. One of the industrial titans could also be a later Gilded Age candidate, as a reaction to the Populist movement. Andrew Carnegie or John Rockefeller in 1892 to challenge Harrison perhaps?
I believe Custer almost ran for Congress in 1866 before getting a military promotion thanks to traveling with Andrew Johnson in his “Swing around the Circle” campaign. Andrew Carnegie is from Scotland and is not eligible
Nick, you’re right about Carnegie, I completely forgot about his immigration to the U.S. Rockefeller or J.P Morgan could fit that role though. I just like suggesting these what if ideas.
Rockefeller is the best bet….Morgan was self-Concious about his looks (Rosacea) that he hated photographs and paintings of himself making a run for himself difficult
I think a robber baron presidential option is a good idea. I’ll look more into Custer, but he probably won’t poll very high, as I don’t want the what-ifs to be too dominant unless they were a projected front-runner or former president.
I’ll probably be making the earlier scenarios myself. As I don’t know how to create a map and remove states, this may take me a long time. I’d appreciate if someone reading this thread would make a map for me. Otherwise, I don’t see myself getting around to 1800, 1796, 1792, and 1788 until December when I’m on a break from work. If a map is made, I can crank the scenario out in a day, since I’ve done all the other work already.
Note for later: Add Rufus King