A magnificent catastrophe thesis

The outcome remained shrouded in doubt long after the voting ended, and as Inauguration Day approached, Congress met in closed session to resolve the crisis.

As the competition heated up, other founders joined the fray—James Madison, John Jay, James Monroe, Gouverneur Morris, George Clinton, John Marshall, Horatio Gates, and even George Washington—some of them emerging from retirement to respond to the political crisis gripping the nation and threatening its future.

Adams received 71 votes from the electors, Jefferson With one group favoring France in the European wars and the other England, each could accuse the other of treasonable conduct that threatened the survival of American independence.

In its first great electoral challenge, our fragile experiment in constitutional democracy hung in the balance. Unlock This Study Guide Now Start your hour free trial to unlock this 8-page A Magnificent Catastrophe study guide and get instant access to the following: Hamilton, who thoroughly disliked Adams, covertly tried to sabotage his candidacy by urging electors to withhold votes for Adams, thereby putting his running mate, Thomas Pinckney, in the presidential chair.

The country was descending into turmoil, reeling from the terrors of the French Revolution, and on the brink of war with France.

Magnificent Catastrophe

In the election, war fever elected a large Federalist majority to the House of Representatives. Adams and Jefferson had been the leading candidates in when Washington retired.

It increased the size of the army; George Washington accepted command and chose Hamilton as his deputy, putting him in charge.

Those who became the Federalists shuddered at French Revolutionary excesses, blaming extreme democracy. Drawing on unprecedented, meticulous research of the day-to-day unfolding drama, from diaries and letters of the principal players as well as accounts in the fast-evolving partisan press, Larson vividly re-creates the mounting tension as one state after another voted and the press had the lead passing back and forth.

Republicans in Virginia created state and local campaign committees, the first signs of true party organization; similar groups appeared in Maryland and New Jersey.

Absent from the Constitutional Convention while serving in Europe, each supported the new Constitution with reservations; as Adams phrased it, he feared the rise of an aristocracy while Jefferson worried about the possibility of monarchy.

Bywhat had seemed differences in emphasis had become unbridgeable chasms. Larson points out, disagreements over domestic policy became highly emotional when they intersected with different reactions to the French Revolution. 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.

Larson points out that Jefferson would have won if he had received the two votes, a possibility noted by his partisans, who determined to prevent such defections in the future. Emotions became even more intemperate in when French depredations against American ships and requests that U.

Congress appropriated funds to build warships.

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—flanked by the brilliant tacticians Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, who later settled their own differences in a duel.

The entire section is 1, words. In ten states, legislatures chose the electors. The plot backfired when New Englanders, angered over news of his plan, dumped Pinckney, permitting Jefferson to come in second.

A Magnificent Catastrophe is history writing at its evocative best: To Jeffersonians, it was a continuation and validation of the American Revolution as a world-altering event. Larson goes into great detail describing the variety of ways states organized in Blistering accusations flew as our young nation was torn apart along party lines: Of five states permitting voter choice, three North In the name of national security, a Sedition Act made criticism of the government and its officials a crime, but prosecution of opposition newspaper editors backfired, creating in the eyes of their supporters honorable martyrs for freedom of the press.

Larson stresses that partisans on each side insisted the public faced a choice between order and liberty.

A Magnificent Catastrophe Analysis

Under the original Constitution, which did not separate votes for vice president from presidential votes, Jefferson became vice president. The stakes could not have been higher. Parties were still evolving, and one elector in both Virginia and North Carolina deviated from otherwise solid Jeffersonian blocs by voting for Adams.The book A Magnificent Catastrophe, by Edward J.

Larson, is the story of the first presidential campaign in America. The future of the United States of America was in this election and whatever its outcome would be how the United States would start out as this new independent country.

This book.

In the book “A Magnificent Catastrophe” the author, Edward J. Larson, writes about all of the little details that has occurred in the First Presidential Campaign in the s. January 15, A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Election of By Heather Wilhelm.

A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election ofAmerica's First Presidential Campaign. A Magnificent Catastrophe by Edward Larson provides a fast-paced, rip-roaring narrative of the Presidential election—arguably one of the most important in American history.

At the start.

A Magnificent Catastrophe

A Magnificent Catastrophe by Edward J. Larson - CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title"They could write like angels and scheme like demons." So begins Pulitzer Released on: June 10, In this well-paced, finely crafted narrative, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J.

Larson turns his skills to one of the most closely contested and hi.

A magnificent catastrophe thesis
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