By John Ferling
It was once a competition of titans: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, heroes of the progressive period, as soon as intimate pals, now icy antagonists locked in a fierce conflict for the way forward for the USA. The election of 1800 used to be a thunderous conflict of a crusade that climaxed in a impasse within the Electoral collage and ended in a difficulty within which the younger republic teetered at the fringe of cave in.
Adams vs. Jefferson is the gripping account of a turning aspect in American heritage, a dramatic fight among events with profoundly diverse visions of ways the kingdom can be ruled. The Federalists, led through Adams, have been conservatives who preferred a robust relevant govt. The Republicans, led by way of Jefferson, have been extra egalitarian and believed that the Federalists had betrayed the Revolution of 1776 and have been backsliding towards monarchy. The crusade itself was once a barroom brawl each piece as ruthless as any smooth contest, with mud-slinging, scare strategies, and backstabbing. The low element got here whilst Alexander Hamilton revealed a devastating assault on Adams, the pinnacle of his personal social gathering, in "fifty-four pages of unremitting vilification." The stalemate within the Electoral university dragged on via dozens of ballots. Tensions ran so excessive that the Republicans threatened civil battle if the Federalists denied Jefferson the presidency. eventually a mystery deal that modified a unmarried vote gave Jefferson the White residence. A devastated Adams left Washington prior to sunrise on Inauguration Day, too embittered even to shake his rival's hand.
With magisterial command, Ferling brings to lifestyles either the outsize personalities and the hotly contested political questions at stake. He exhibits not only why this second used to be a milestone in U.S. heritage, yet how strongly the issues--and the passions--of 1800 resonate with our personal time.
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Extra resources for Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History)
The decor tant year in my career. There were inspiring lectures where has not changed much in eighty years: the lounge with the the excitement of the audience was palpable, and happy big leather sofas, where tea is served punctually every after- hours spent discussing mathematics on the beautiful lawn noon, the library in Fuld Hall with its high ceilings, dark at the back of the tea room, enjoying coffee and the famous wood paneling, and the bust of Einstein, where one can Institute cookies, or in the cafeteria at the “math table” actually feel the presence of the ghosts of former Institute during lunch.
For a was an unforgettable experience. Later, they were joined by German academic, it was a most unusual, almost exotic Michael Walzer, Joan Scott, and Eric Maskin. I came back experience—and a challenging one for each speaker. If to the Institute in 1982 as a long-term member, but left the you came early, you had half an hour to clean your plate, school prematurely in 1984 to accept an appointment at the and then you had to deliver your talk, for half an hour, not newly founded German Institute for Advanced Study in much more, followed by a period of questions and answers.
The name advanced study. Institutes for advanced study are “Princeton” had a certain aura for me. But this aura had privileged places where various disciplines, national tradi- almost nothing to do with the Institute. “Princeton” was tions of higher learning and research, and individual schol- the university, the place—I wrongly thought, as many arly temperaments regularly meet. If they function well, still do—where Albert Einstein had worked when it had they offer unusual opportunities for checking and chang- become impossible for him to remain in Germany after ing one’s own mind.