Includes bibliographical references (pages 277-314) and index.
Independence Day, July 4, 1776 -- From friends to rivals -- Crossing the bar -- "Electioneering has already begun" -- Burr v. Hamilton -- Caucuses and calumny -- A new kind of campaign -- For God and party -- Insurrection -- Thunderstruck -- The tie -- Inauguration day, March 4, 1801.
The 1800 presidential election, the last great contest of the founding period, was so convulsive and so momentous for American democracy that Jefferson would later dub it "America's second revolution." America's first true presidential campaign gave birth to our two-party system and etched the lines of partisanship that have shaped American politics ever since. The contest featured two of our most beloved Founding Fathers, once warm friends, facing off as the heads of their two still-forming parties--the hot-tempered but sharp-minded John Adams, and the eloquent yet enigmatic Thomas Jefferson. Blistering accusations flew: Adams and his elitist Federalists would squelch liberty and impose a British-style monarchy; Jefferson and his radically democratizing Republicans would throw the country into chaos and debase the role of religion in American life. Historian Larson vividly re-creates the tension as Congress was forced to meet in closed session to resolve the outcome.--From publisher description.