Bookreview Ofadams vs. Jefferson

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JOHN FERLING. Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800. (Pivotal Moments in American History.) New York: Oxford University Press. 2004. Pp. xx, 260. $26.00, ISBN 0-19-516771-6. This book is a detailed history report the about early American republic, especially on the presidential election in 1800. The author ,John Ferling, wants to emphasize why the election is important and how it influenced American history in the long run. To explain these effectively Ferling uses narrative biography of four main historical figures; John Adams, Tomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and Thomas Pinckney. He traces the four men’s political lives along with early United States’ political history. This approach helps one understand the elections in 1796, and 1800. The four politicians were all nominated for presidential candidates by two parties, Republicans and Federalists. Although Adams and Jefferson campaigned against each other on two presidential elections, they originally had been close friends. In chapter two, one can tell their friendship from this phrase “he wrote to reassured them ‘of my constant friendship’. Adams responded by expressing ‘an affection that can never die’”(p.30). But as time passed the relationship between them changed. Actually, Adams had a fundamentally different view of an ideal nation from Jefferson’s. Adams thought that strong government is good and the United States needed to follow British system. On the contrary Jefferson thought that decentralization was needed to protect the liberty of American people. They also have opposite views about the French revolution. Their differing political views often clashed during the second term of George Washington’s administration. After George Washington declared his retirement, Jefferson was nominated for a presidential candidate, and began criticizing the Federalist during his campaign. But the campaigns in 1796 were not so fierce. Because the campaigns did not begin until the announcement of the...
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