Similarities Between 2016 And The Election Of 1800

1748 Words 7 Pages
The presidential election of 2016 and the presidential election of 1800 were two of the most divisive and partisan elections in the history of the United States, and many of the lessons learned from the election of 1800 have carried on through the years and become relevant to this election two hundred and sixteen years later. While the election of 2016 is widely regarded as unusual, the election of 1800 was also unusual in its time for some very similar reasons, and Edward J. Larson’s book, A Magnificent Catastrophe, describes that election in dramatic detail. Similarities between the two elections included rampant partisanship, divisions within parties, negative political attacks, and the occasional scandals, though the impacts of these were …show more content…
Many people who have heard of these scandals are at once astounded at the sheer number of them, but also at the content of them, and this has lead some to believe as well that the 2016 election is unique. When compared to the election of 1800, it is actually still difficult to refute those beliefs. While the election of 1800 surely had its own impactful scandals, such as rumors of Jefferson’s slave mistress or Alexander Hamilton, the leader of the Federalists at the time, publicly admitting to having an extramarital affair, they did not occur in the same numbers as those in the 2016 election. In fact, the sheer number of scandals caused by Trump’s controversial language and political views alone is likely to be more than the number of all the scandals in the election of 1800 combined. The only relevant correlation between the scandals of these two elections is that these supposed scandals did not make a dramatic impact on the election. Of course, almost everyone in the political world thought Trump’s various scandals had effectively sunk his chances of winning completely, yet as it turned, out the scandals did not seem to matter at all in the polling booths as Trump won the election. Clinton’s own scandal regarding her misuse of an email server could arguably have had a big hand in her loss to Trump, though it seems unlikely that it was a game changer considering she did win the popular vote. Similarly, the scandals of the 1800 election did not seem to have much impact on the results either. Hamilton’s public affair most certainly discredited him, but it did not necessarily impact his party’s candidate in the election; if it hurt anyone, it would have been Hamilton’s preferred presidential candidate for the Federalist party, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, whom Hamilton was

Related Documents