Hello, and welcome back to another edition of Lace ‘Em Up’s Presidential Election series. Today we will be going over the re-election of George Washington as well as the partisan issues that are developing in the meanwhile with the election of 1792.
Washington’s First Term
Upon being the country’s first elected President, George Washington had the duty of establishing the role of commander-in-chief and this saw him making decisions such as who would be a part of his cabinet and ensuring the economy remained stable during his term.
Despite his reluctance to run for a second term, Washington was persuaded to run for re-election as he was seen as the only person to keep the peace in a series of growing tensions.
Much like the previous election, Washington’s victory wasn’t in any doubt however things were more complicated when it came to the race for the Vice Presidency. But before we talk about the VP situation I think it’s important to talk about the partisan divisions that are really been forming since the last Presidential election between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.
A Line In The Sand
Even before the 1788-89 election, frictions were starting to merge between the Federalists (who were politicians that supported the ratifying of the Constitution) and the Anti-Federalists or also known as the Democratic-Republicans (who are the politicians that were against ratification).
Unfortunately for the anti-feds by 1792 all of the States that made up the U.S. at the time ratified the Constitution. This group needed to find another ideology to stand for and they were able to find it under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson who believed that the United States should be an agrarian-like community which focuses more on agriculture, limiting executive power, favouring State’s rights and opposing the idea of a national bank.
The Federalists, on the other hand, favoured the idea of a strong federal government and pushed for a national bank in order for the U.S. to have some economic growth. This party is led by Washington’s Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton but also includes politicians like the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay and Vice President John Adams among others; Now Washington himself was never a part of the Federalists or Anti-Federalists, he did support many of the Federalist ideas which in raged Jefferson and ultimately led to him resigning from his position as the Secretary of State.
By 1792 the partisanship has become more and more rabid with both sides looking to steer the country in a different direction, but they are held together with some sort of unity with Washington as President. However, that’s not to say that those issues didn’t show when it came to this election as evidenced by the race for the Vice Presidency.
Vice Presidential Ticket
John Adams, Washington’s current Vice President was the obvious pick for the Federalists Party but the Democratic-Republicans have a little issue when comes to picking a candidate.
You see Thomas Jefferson was looking to challenge Adams for the VP spot but there’s something in the Constitution that prevents this from happening as Jefferson and Washington were both from Virginia and electors were not permitted to vote for candidates that come from the same home state. So, therefore, the Democratic-Republicans nominated former New York Governor, George Clinton for the Vice Presidency but some Anti-Federalists are not going to get behind Clinton and instead their looking to vote for someone else like Thomas Jefferson or New York Senator Aaron Burr.
Since the last election, all of the States that made up the United States at the time finally got around to ratifying the Constitution as previously mentioned and the new states of Vermont and Kentucky officially became a part of the U.S. in March of 1791 and June of 1792 respectively.
As you probably already know, George Washington won re-election making him the first two-term President and the only one to win 100% of the electoral votes in two consecutive elections. Washington received 132 electoral votes, John Adams came in second with 77 electoral votes, George Clinton received 50 electoral votes, Thomas Jefferson got 4 votes and Aaron Burr only received one.
Even though George Washington warned against the creation of political parties and foreign alliances, it was far too late as the battle lines had been drawn between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans and by 1796 the war over who will be in charge as President will begin.
And that’s the Election of 1792, be sure to come back in two weeks for the next presidential election, but if you are interested in learning more about U.S. political history on this site, be sure to check the links below to read more about that:
10 Most Unbelievable U.S. Presidential Stories In History
10 Most Unbelievable U.S. Presidential Stories In History | Lace ‘Em Up (laceemupmedia.com)
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