The ink was barely dry on the Constitution when it was almost destroyed by the rise of political parties in the United States. The Framers had not anticipated the two-party system, and when Republicans battled Federalists for the presidency in 1800, the rules laid down by the Constitution exacerbated the crisis. With Republican militias preparing to march on Washington, the House of Representatives deadlocked between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Based on seven years of archival research, the book describes previously unknown aspects of the electoral college crisis. Ackerman shows how Thomas Jefferson counted his Federalist rivals out of the House runoff, and how the Federalists threatened to place John Marshall in the presidential chair. Nevertheless, the Constitution managed to survive through acts of statesmanship and luck.
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(235mm x 155mm x 25mm)
The Belknap Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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Author Biography - Bruce A. Ackerman
Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University.