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In Topic: ***2015-6th Annual Battle for Shining Path's Cup - Draft is live

Today, 12:40 PM


In Topic: ***2015-6th Annual Battle for Shining Path's Cup - Draft is live

Today, 09:18 AM

This is still going on?  I thought we were done?

In Topic: timschochet's thread- Ranking the 100 Greatest Americans

Today, 07:57 AM

The Electoral College and History of Presidential Elections - Part 1


The first part is fairly easy to get through.  In the first election for President it was a foregone conclusion that George Washington was going to be the President.  And he was unanimously chosen by every elector.  Each elector needed to vote for two people because the person that came in second was the Vice President.  John Adams was by far the second best choice receiving more electoral votes than every other person that was named combined.  The most interesting thing about this election was that three states didn't vote at all - New York was such a mess that they didn't name their electors in time, and North Carolina and Rhode Island hasn't formally ratified the Constution yet.  And of course there was no real party system in place for this one.


Washington received 69 electoral votes, Adams 34 and everyone else combined for less than Adams.


In the next election, Washington was giving hints that he wanted to retire but he allowed himself to be nominated again.  Again, Washington pretty much unanimously elected this time receiving 132 electoral votes as all states had ratified the Constitution, New York got their act together and we had some new votes to add to the mix.  Adams was again selected as the Vice President.  Thus ended the easy Presidential campaign system in this country.  Washington would not stand for a third term, Thomas Jefferson was growing in power, John Adams was thought of as a natural successor but not universally supported and the party system in American politics was formed on the backs of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson - both of them having able assists from the top names of the time.



The first truly contested election in our history.  The Federalists nominated John Adams as their Presidential candidate with Thomas Pickney as their second.  The Democratic Republicans in Congress met and they nominated Thomas Jefferson with Aaron Burr as their second.  Of the four men, only Aaron Burr actually campaigned - even though it was clear to everyone that he was supposed to be the Vice President, Burr wasn't about to let that stop him.


The Federalists went to war with Jefferson's party accusing Jefferson of being a slave to the french (true), called him a coward duing the revolution (coward is a strong word but he wasn't a rock) and an athiest (not really a total athiest - more a convenient agnostic but that isn't the point here).  Meanwhile, Jefferson's guys did the same to Adams, calling him a lover of England (comically untrue) a monarchist (this going back to the time he wanted the President to be addresses as, his Majesty the President of the United States) and hell bent on creating a republican monarchy staying in power long enough for his son, John Quincy to take over (not true but it kinda worked out a little like that).  The press, controlled by the parties played their part and tore the two men apart, and not even George Washington was safe from the attacks.


Alexander Hamilton didn't like Adams and secretly tried to make moves to get Pickney more electoral votes.  All of this foreshadowed the next election.  In the end, Adams received the most total votes by 3 over Thomas Jefferson.  Since Adams was still Vice President and therefore the presiding officer of the Senate, it was his job to tally the votes in the Senate.  He called out the final tally giving him the currently being built White House.  Jefferson took the entire south, Adams the entire north.  The election fell, basically, to two specific electors - one from Virginia from a north county who hated the plantation class voted for Adams instead of Jefferson, and the same happened with one elector in North Carolina from the shore shipping community.  The country would have a President and Vice President from different parties, who were political enemies.  The next election was going to be fun.  But for now, Adams won 71-68



The same election would occur again.  Attacks on Adams and Jefferson from their respective enemies were worse.  But this time, the Federalists were split in their support for Adams mainly based on the decision to send a peace envoy to France.  The Federalists specifically nominated Adams and Charles Pickney ( who was on the peace envoy) but refused to desigate who was the choice for President, directing the electors to decide who they wanted.  The DR's again chose Jefferson and Burr, naming Jefferson as the choice for President.


This time Alexander Hamilton went public with his hatred of Adams, publishing a pamphlet attacking his mental state.  The pamphlet ended up destroying Hamilton's reputation in the end, and it began a series of events that led to Hamilton meeting Burr on the New Jersey cost with pistols.  Meanwhile, Adams' peace delegation did a masterful job in France, but it was too late as news of the treaty didn't reach America until the voting began and was being counted.  


In the end, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr recieved more votes that John Adams.  The Federalists ended up splitting their ticket even more in the votes cast weakening their already weak party.  Jefferson carried the entire south, Pennsylvania and New York.  His total vote count was 73-65 against Adams.  Thomas Jefferson would be the third President of the United States.  The ultimate change in the map though was New York.  A state where Adams won in the last election, the DR's made it a point to begin a ground game there for four years, and by the time of the 1800 election they controlled the state legislature.  Several states also wen to an at-large policy with electoral votes changing their system from just four years ago - those rebellious electors gave John the White House once but cost him another chance.  It's likely that Adams would have snagged a few votes in the south again but with the at large system in place in several states, Jefferson swept them.


But that is just the start of the story because Jefferson and Burr were tied in the college.  After 35 ballots in the House there was no movement.  Burr refused to step aside even though he was supposed to be the VP.  Alexander Hamilton tried to force the federalists to vote for Jefferson, but they thought Burr would be better to handle than Jefferson.  In the end, the federalists approached both men with a deal that as long as they kept some of Adams' policies and didn't wipe the government clean of all federalists they would support whoever took the deal.  Burr refused.  Jefferson always fought any allegation that he accepted, but on the 36th ballot the House gave the office to Jefferson.  The midnight appointment of judges by Adams led to the Marbury v. Madison fight in the Supreme Court, but ultimately the change of power from one "party" to the next was done as the founders had envisioned - without a war.


The Constitution worked.  Albeit, that office of the Vice President was a problem that needed to be fixed so none of that happened again.



It wasn't so much an election as a coronation of Jefferson.  The federalists were in shambles.  The DR's held the first political convention and renominated Jefferson, with a new VP since Aaron Burr murdered Alexander Hamilton.  The federalists were so broken that they didn't even bother with a formal nominating process and simply named Charles Pickney again as their choice.  The fact that he ended up getting 14 electoral votes and two states is a miracle.  Jefferson obliterated his opponent with 162 electoral votes.  Jefferson saw it as a reclaiming of national unity and an end to party politics.  Always naive was Jefferson.





In Topic: timschochet's thread- Ranking the 100 Greatest Americans

Today, 07:08 AM

Criminey - I spend the week on the beach with a beer in my hand the entire time and this thread ceases to move forward - and it isn't even my thread.  You're slipping tim.

In Topic: Recently viewed movie thread - Rental Edition

Yesterday, 07:29 AM


Better than the first one. Shaileene Woodley is an attractive woman.