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What was the historical significance of the Election of 1800?

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thaceu103 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 23, 2012 at 9:19 AM via web

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What was the historical significance of the Election of 1800?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 23, 2012 at 10:35 AM (Answer #1)

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There are a couple of historical elements of importance in the election of 1800.  The first would be that it was the first Presidential election in American History where a Democratic- Republican, or Republican, was elected to office.  The Federalists were significantly opposed and this was shown in Jefferson's winning the Presidency.  Prior to this election, the Republicans were seen as a small level party that exerted more local control and lacked the organization to aspire for national office.  That was disproven in the 1800 election.  The transfer of power from the Federalist administration of Adams to the Republican administration with Jefferson as its leader was significant, earning the title of "Revolution of 1800" because of the massive and seismic change in power in the American presidency.  Another element that makes the election of 1800 so significant was that it changed how the President and Vice President were to be selected.  The original Constitution called for the Electoral College to vote for two candidates, with the candidate earning the most amount of votes being the President with the candidate who earned the second most amount of votes being the Vice- President.  This meant, as in the case of Jefferson and Aaron Burr, that the President was not able to select their Vice- President.  This was changed after the election of 1800 with the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, which ensured that the President was able to select his running mate as Vice - President and that electors voted for a "ticket" consisting of both President and Vice- President as one entity.

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