9 September 2017

Although the election of 1796 was the first contested partisan presidential election in American history, it was the election of 1800 that set the early standard for partisan rancor, electoral challenges, and questions over whether or not the republic could survive the exchange of power between political rivals. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, previously close friends, had become increasingly estranged during Adams’ term as president, and through them and their proxies Americans experienced their first truly ugly presidential campaign.

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