1800 Election: Adams vs Jefferson - A Nation Defined

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The Election of 1800 was one that some people saw as making or breaking this nation; Edward Larson’s “A Magnificent Catastrophe” outlines the details of the nineteenth century political election between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Of the two candidates one was a “blunt speaking man of independent mind,” and the other was known for the famous line he wrote in the constitution, “All men are created equal.” These gentlemen started out as close friends who confided in one another living under the same roof, and soon became candidates running against their good friend. Both candidates sought out a reason for why the American Revolution occurred and what the meaning was, and both candidates had differenciated views. This presidential election …show more content…

One of the positive aspects is that Larson’s book provides numerous details about the process of how our presidential candidates become elected, why they wanted to be president, and the time and procedures by which this occurs. His book gives a little bit of background about the American Revolution, which is a benefit that he includes this because it helps the reader to see the candidates differentiated view of the Revolution. This is one of the reasons that led Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to run against each other so that they could define and justify their different views about the Revolution and why the revolution was significant. Thomas Jefferson said the Revolution was about the triumph for individual liberty and John Adams said the American Revolution was because the strong central government wanted to fight for and ensure individual freedom. In Larson’s book he writes with great detail about Jefferson’s and Adam’s personal lives before the election, which gives the reader an inside look on the candidate’s opinions, character and their friendship prior to the election; that of which is not really seen when learning about the election of 1800 in school textbooks or in movies which define mostly the facts and …show more content…

Larson is a great read that discusses a more personal view of the election of 1800. Most other books that discuss the election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams mostly talk about the major facts of the presidential election and do not discuss much about Jefferson and Adams close relationship as friends before they decided to run for president. The reader gets an inside look at the candidates as people and not only how they acted while in the election, and also how the election changed their lives and their friendship. The only reason this book would not be a good choice to read is if the reader wants to know more about the other major candidates in the election like Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, because Larson does not really go into detail about their character or past as much as he does for Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The book in its entirety covers the election of 1800 historically and contemporarily in great detail when talking about the two main candidates in the

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