The United States presidential election of 1800 was the fourth United States presidential election. It was held from Friday, October 31 to Wednesday, December 3, 1800. In what is sometimes referred to as the "Revolution of 1800", Vice President Thomas Jefferson of the Democratic-Republican Party defeated incumbent President John Adams of the Federalist Party. The election was a realigning election that ushered in a generation of Democratic-Republican rule.
Adams had narrowly defeated Jefferson in the 1796 election. Under the rules of the electoral system that were in place prior to the 1804 ratification of the 12th Amendment, each member of the Electoral College cast two votes, with no distinction made between electoral votes for president and electoral votes for vice president. As Jefferson received the second-most votes in 1796, he was elected vice president. In 1800, unlike in 1796, both parties formally nominated tickets. The Democratic-Republicans nominated a ticket consisting of Jefferson and Aaron Burr, while the Federalists nominated a ticket consisting of Adams and Charles Pinckney. Each party formed a plan in which one of their respective electors would vote for a third candidate or abstain so that their preferred presidential candidate (Adams for the Federalists and Jefferson for the Democratic-Republicans) would win one more vote than the party's other nominee.
The chief political issues revolved around the fallout from the French Revolution and the Quasi-War. The Federalists favored a strong central government and close relations with Great Britain. The Democratic-Republicans favored decentralization to the state governments, and the party attacked the taxes imposed by the Federalists. The Democratic-Republicans also denounced the Alien and Sedition Acts, which the Federalists had passed to make it harder for immigrants to become citizens and to restrict statements critical of the federal government. While the Democratic-Republicans were well organized at the state and local levels, the Federalists were disorganized and suffered a bitter split between their two major leaders, President Adams and Alexander Hamilton. According to historian John Ferling, the jockeying for electoral votes, regional divisions, and the propaganda smear campaigns created by both parties made the election recognizably modern.
At the end of a long and bitter campaign, Jefferson and Burr each won 73 electoral votes, Adams won 65 electoral votes, and Pinckney won 64 electoral votes. The Federalists swept New England, the Democratic-Republicans dominated the South, and the parties split the Mid-Atlantic states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The Democratic-Republicans' failure to execute their plan to award Jefferson one more vote than Burr resulted in a tie, which necessitated a contingent election in the House of Representatives. Under the terms laid out in the Constitution, the outgoing House of Representatives chose between Jefferson and Burr. Each state delegation cast one vote, and a victory in the contingent election required one candidate to win a majority of the state delegations. Neither Burr nor Jefferson were able to win on the first 35 ballots of the contingent election, as most Federalist Congressmen backed Burr and all Democratic-Republican Congressmen backed Jefferson. Hamilton personally favored Jefferson over Burr, and he convinced several Federalists to switch their support to Jefferson, giving Jefferson a victory on the 36th ballot of the contingent election. The result of this election was affected by the three-fifths clause of the United States Constitution; historians such as Garry Wills have noted that had slaves not been counted for the purposes of congressional apportionment, Adams would have won the electoral vote.
|United States presidential election, 1800|
138 electoral votes of the Electoral College
70 electoral votes needed to win
|Turnout||32.3% 12.2 pp|
Presidential election results map.
Because electors could not distinguish between their presidential and vice presidential choices until the passage of the Twelfth Amendment, the map above assumes that the presidential votes are exactly the votes for Adams or Jefferson. Green denotes states won by Jefferson, burnt orange denotes states won by Adams, and gray denotes non voting territories. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state. Note that until 1820, the state of Maine was a part of Massachusetts.
Both parties used congressional nominating caucuses to formally nominate tickets for the first time. The Federalists nominated a ticket consisting of incumbent President John Adams of Massachusetts and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina. Pinckney had fought in the American Revolutionary War and later served as the minister to France. The Democratic-Republicans nominated a ticket consisting of Vice President Thomas Jefferson of Virginia and former Senator Aaron Burr of New York. Jefferson had been the runner-up in the previous election and had co-founded the party with James Madison and others, while Burr was popular in the electorally important state of New York.
While the 1800 election was a re-match of the 1796 election, it ushered in a new type of American politics, a two-party republic and acrimonious campaigning behind the scenes and through the press. On top of this, the election pitted the "larger than life" Adams and Jefferson, who were former close allies turned political enemies.
The campaign was bitter and characterized by slander and personal attacks on both sides. Federalists spread rumours that the Democratic-Republicans were radicals who would ruin the country (based on the Democratic-Republican support for the French Revolution). In 1798, George Washington had complained "that you could as soon scrub the blackamoor white, as to change the principles of a professed Democrat; and that he will leave nothing unattempted to overturn the Government of this Country". Meanwhile, the Democratic-Republicans accused Federalists of subverting republican principles with the Alien and Sedition Acts, some of which were later declared unconstitutional after their expiration by the Supreme Court, and relying for their support on foreign immigrants; they also accused Federalists of favoring Britain and the other coalition countries in their war with France in order to promote aristocratic, anti-democratic values.
Adams was attacked by both the opposition Democratic-Republicans and a group of so-called "High Federalists" aligned with Alexander Hamilton. The Democratic-Republicans felt that the Adams foreign policy was too favorable toward Britain; feared that the new army called up for the Quasi-War would oppress the people; opposed new taxes to pay for war; and attacked the Alien and Sedition Acts as violations of states' rights and the Constitution. "High Federalists" considered Adams too moderate and would have preferred the leadership of Alexander Hamilton instead.
Hamilton had apparently grown impatient with Adams and wanted a new president who was more receptive to his goals. During Washington's presidency, Hamilton had been able to influence the federal response to the Whiskey Rebellion (which threatened the government's power to tax citizens). When Washington announced that he would not seek a third term, Adams was widely recognized by the Federalists as next-in-line.
Hamilton appears to have hoped in 1796 that his influence within an Adams administration would be as great as or greater than in Washington's. By 1800, Hamilton had come to realize that Adams was too independent and thought the Federalist vice presidential candidate, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina, more suited to serving Hamilton's interests. In his third sabotage attempt toward Adams, Hamilton quietly schemed to elect Pinckney to the presidency. Given Pinckney's lack of political experience, he would have been expected to be open to Hamilton's influence. However, Hamilton's plan backfired and hurt the Federalist party, particularly after one of his letters, a scathing criticism of Adams that was fifty-four pages long, fell into the hands of a Democratic-Republican and soon after became public. It embarrassed Adams and damaged Hamilton's efforts on behalf of Pinckney, not to mention speeding Hamilton's own political decline.
The contemporarily unorthodox public campaigning methods employed in 1800 were first employed by Jefferson's running mate and campaign manager, Aaron Burr, who is credited by some historians with inventing the modern electioneering process.
Partisans on both sides sought any advantage they could find. In several states, this included changing the process of selecting electors to ensure the desired result. In Georgia, Democratic-Republican legislators replaced the popular vote with selection by the state legislature. Federalist legislators did the same in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This may have had some unintended consequences in Massachusetts, where the makeup of the delegation to the House of Representatives changed from 12 Federalists and 2 Democratic-Republicans to 8 Federalists and 6 Democratic-Republicans, perhaps the result of backlash on the part of the electorate. Pennsylvania also switched to legislative choice, but this resulted in an almost evenly split set of electors. Virginia switched from electoral districts to winner-take-all, a move that probably switched one or two votes out of the Federalist column.
Because each state could choose its own election day in 1800, voting lasted from April to October. In April, Burr's successful mobilization of the vote in New York City succeeded in reversing the Federalist majority in the state legislature to provide decisive support for the Democratic-Republican ticket. With the two parties tied 63–63 in the Electoral College in the autumn of 1800, the last state to vote, South Carolina, chose eight Democratic-Republicans to award the election to Jefferson and Burr.
Under the United States Constitution as it then stood, each elector cast two votes, and the candidate with a majority of the votes was elected president, with the vice presidency going to the runner-up. The Federalists therefore arranged for one of their electors to vote for John Jay rather than for Pinckney. The Democratic-Republicans had a similar plan to have one of their electors cast a vote for another candidate instead of Burr, but failed to execute it, thus all of the Democratic-Republican electors cast their votes for both Jefferson and Burr, 73 in all for each of them. According to a provision of the United States Constitution, a tie in a case of this type had to be resolved by the House of Representatives, with each state casting one vote. Although the congressional election of 1800 turned over majority control of the House of Representatives to the Democratic-Republicans by 68 seats to 38, the presidential election had to be decided by the outgoing House that had been elected in the congressional election of 1798 (at that time, the new presidential and congressional terms all started on March 4 of the year after a national election). In the outgoing House, the Federalists retained a majority of 60 seats to 46.
When the electoral ballots were opened and counted on February 11, 1801, it turned out that the certificate of election from Georgia was defective. While it was clear that the electors had cast their votes for Jefferson and Burr, the certificate did not take the constitutionally mandated form of a "List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each". Vice President Jefferson, who was counting the votes in his role as President of the Senate, immediately counted the votes from Georgia as votes for Jefferson and Burr. No objections were raised. If the disputed Georgia ballots were rejected on these technicalities, Jefferson and Burr would have lost 4 electoral votes, leaving them with 69 electoral votes each. The counting of the votes would have failed to result in a majority of 70 votes for any of the four candidates, causing a constitutionally mandated Congressional runoff among the top five finishers. Instead, the total number of votes for Jefferson and Burr was 73, a majority of the total, but a tie between them.
Jefferson—and Burr—won all or a majority of the voters in each state that he had won in 1796, and additionally won majorities in New York and Maryland. Adams picked up votes in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, but these votes were not enough to offset the Democratic-Republican gains elsewhere. Of the 155 counties and independent cities making returns, Jefferson and Burr won in 115 (74.19%), whereas the Adams ticket carried 40 (25.81%). This was the last time that Vermont voted for the Federalists.
|Presidential candidate||Party||Home state||Popular vote(a), (b), (c)||Electoral vote|
|Aaron Burr||Democratic-Republican||New York||—||—||73|
|John Adams (incumbent)||Federalist||Massachusetts||25,952||38.6%||65|
|Charles Cotesworth Pinckney||Federalist||South Carolina||—||—||64|
|John Jay||Federalist||New York||—||—||1|
|Needed to win||70|
Source (Popular Vote): U.S. President National Vote. Our Campaigns. (February 10, 2006).
Source (Popular Vote): A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787-1825
Source (Electoral Vote): "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved July 30, 2005.
(a) Votes for Federalist electors have been assigned to John Adams and votes for Democratic-Republican electors have been assigned to Thomas Jefferson.
(b) Only 6 of the 16 states chose electors by any form of popular vote.
(c) Those states that did choose electors by popular vote had widely varying restrictions on suffrage via property requirements.
|Presidential candidate||Running mate||Electoral vote|
|Thomas Jefferson||Aaron Burr||73|
|John Adams||Charles Cotesworth Pinckney||64|
|John Adams||John Jay||1|
Source: "Tally of Electoral Votes for the 1800 Presidential Election, February 11, 1801". The Center for Legislative Archives. National Archives. August 15, 2016. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
In February 1801, the members of the House of Representatives balloted as states to determine whether Jefferson or Burr would become president. There were sixteen states, each with one vote; an absolute majority of nine was required for victory. It was the outgoing House of Representatives, controlled by the Federalist Party, that was charged with electing the new president. Jefferson was the great enemy of the Federalists, and a faction of Federalist representatives tried to block him and elect Burr. Most Federalists voted for Burr, giving Burr six of the eight states controlled by Federalists. The seven delegations controlled by Republicans all voted for Jefferson, and Georgia's sole Federalist representative also voted for him, giving him eight states. The Vermont delegation was evenly split and cast a blank ballot. The remaining state, Maryland, had five Federalist representatives to three Republicans; one of its Federalist representatives voted for Jefferson, forcing that state delegation also to cast a blank ballot.
Publicly, Burr remained quiet between mid-December 1800 and mid-February 1801, when the electoral votes were counted. Behind the scenes, he faced mounting pressure from within the party to step aside if he and Jefferson should tie in electoral votes. He refused to disavow the presidency, writing in December 1800 to Representative Samuel Smith that he would not "engage to resign" if chosen president, adding that the question was "unnecessary, unreasonable and impertinent." Rumors circulated that Representative James A. Bayard, a Federalist, had—purportedly in Burr's name—approached Smith, and Edward Livingston with offers of political appointments if they voted for Burr.
True or not, House Republicans, who from the start of the 1800 campaign viewed Jefferson as their candidate for president and Burr for vice president, faced two abhorrent possible outcomes when they met to vote: A–the Federalists manage to engineer a victory for Burr, or, B–the Federalists refuse to break the deadlock leaving a Federalist—Secretary of State John Marshall—as Acting President. Neither came to pass however, chiefly due to the energetic opposition to Burr by Hamilton. Over the course of seven days, from February 11 to 17, the House cast a total of 35 ballots, with Jefferson receiving the votes of eight state delegations each time, falling just one short of the necessary majority of nine each time. Hamilton recommended to Federalists that they support Jefferson because he was "by far not so dangerous a man" as Burr; in short, he would much rather have someone with wrong principles than someone devoid of any. Hamilton embarked on a frenzied letter-writing campaign to get delegates to switch votes.
On February 17, on the 36th ballot, Jefferson was elected. Federalist James A. Bayard of Delaware and his allies in Maryland and Vermont all cast blank ballots. This resulted in the Maryland and Vermont votes changing from no selection to Jefferson, giving him the votes of 10 states and the presidency. Bayard, as the sole representative from Delaware, changed his vote from Burr to no selection. The four representatives present from South Carolina, all Federalists, also changed their 3–1 selection of Burr to four abstentions.
|Overall results||8 Jefferson
2 No result
|10 Jefferson |
2 No result
|Georgia(b)||Jefferson (1–0)||Jefferson (1–0)||Jefferson (1–0)|
|Kentucky||Jefferson (2–0)||Jefferson (2–0)||Jefferson (2–0)|
|New Jersey||Jefferson (3–2)||Jefferson (3–2)||Jefferson (3–2)|
|New York||Jefferson (6–4)||Jefferson (6–4)||Jefferson (6–4)|
|North Carolina||Jefferson (9–1)||Jefferson (6–4)||Jefferson (6–4)|
|Pennsylvania||Jefferson (9–4)||Jefferson (9–4)||Jefferson (9–4)|
|Tennessee||Jefferson (1–0)||Jefferson (1–0)||Jefferson (1–0)|
|Virginia||Jefferson (16–3)||Jefferson (14–5)||Jefferson (14–5)|
|Maryland||no result (4–4)||no result (4–4)||Jefferson (4–0–4)|
|Vermont||no result (1–1)||no result (1–1)||Jefferson (1–0–1)|
|Delaware||Burr (0–1)||Burr (0–1)||no result (0–0–1)|
|South Carolina(c)||Burr (0–4)||Burr (1–3)||no result (0–0–4)|
|Connecticut||Burr (0–7)||Burr (0–7)||Burr (0–7)|
|Massachusetts||Burr (3–11)||Burr (3–11)||Burr (3–11)|
|New Hampshire||Burr (0–4)||Burr (0–4)||Burr (0–4)|
|Rhode Island||Burr (0–2)||Burr (0–2)||Burr (0–2)|
(a) The votes of the representatives is typical and may have fluctuated from ballot to ballot, but the result for each state did not change.
(b) Even though Georgia had two representatives apportioned, one seat was vacant due to the death of James Jones.
(c) Even though South Carolina had six representatives apportioned, Thomas Sumter was absent due to illness, and Abraham Nott departed for South Carolina between the first and final ballots.
The Constitution, in Article II, Section 1, provided that the state legislatures should decide the manner in which their electors were chosen. Different state legislatures chose different methods:
|Method of choosing electors||State(s)|
|State is divided into electoral districts, with one Elector chosen per district by the voters of that district||Kentucky|
|Each Elector chosen by voters statewide||Rhode Island|
|Each Elector appointed by state legislature||(all other states)|
The election's story and the eventual reconciliation between Jefferson and Adams was also retold in a second-season episode of Comedy Central's Drunk History, with Jerry O'Connell portraying Jefferson and Joe Lo Truglio as Adams.
The election's story is also told, briefly, in 'Hamilton', in the song 'The Election Of 1800.' The song focuses on Alexander Hamilton's effect on the outcome of the election for the most part. Hamilton endorsed long-time rival Thomas Jefferson, which led to the election of President Jefferson, according to the song.
The 1800 United States presidential election in Connecticut took place between October 31 and December 3, 1800, as part of the 1800 United States presidential election. The state legislature chose nine representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.
During this election, Connecticut cast nine electoral votes for incumbent Federalist President and New England native John Adams. However, Adams would lose to Democratic-Republican Party candidate Thomas Jefferson nationally.1800 United States presidential election in New Jersey
The 1800 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place between October 31 and December 3, 1800, as part of the 1800 United States presidential election. The state legislature chose seven representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.
During this election, New Jersey cast seven electoral votes for incumbent Federalist President John Adams. However, Adams would lose to Democratic-Republican Party candidate Thomas Jefferson nationally.1800 United States presidential election in New York
The 1800 United States presidential election in New York took place between October 31 and December 3, 1800, as part of the 1800 United States presidential election. The state legislature chose 12 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.
During this election, New York cast 12 electoral votes for Democratic-Republican Party candidate Thomas Jefferson.1800 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania
The 1800 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania took place as part of the 1800 United States presidential election. The Pennsylvania General Assembly, consisting of the State Senate and State House chose 15 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President. The 1800 election marks the only time in Pennsylvania history that presidential electors were chosen by the State Legislature.Pennsylvania elected eight electors supportive the Democratic-Republican candidate, Thomas Jefferson and seven electors supportive of the Federalist candidate, John Adams.1800 United States presidential election in South Carolina
The 1800 United States presidential election in South Carolina took place between October 31 and December 3, 1800, as part of the 1800 United States presidential election. The state legislature chose eight representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.
During this election, South Carolina cast eight electoral votes for incumbent Democratic-Republican Party candidate Vice President Thomas Jefferson.1800 United States presidential election in Vermont
The 1800 United States presidential election in Vermont took place between October 31 and December 3, 1800, as part of the 1800 United States presidential election. The state legislature chose four representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.
During this election, Vermont cast four electoral votes for incumbent Federalist President and New England native John Adams. However, Adams would lose to Democratic-Republican Party candidate Thomas Jefferson nationally.1800 and 1801 United States Senate elections
The United States Senate elections of 1800 and 1801 were elections for the United States Senate that, coinciding with their takeover of the White House, led to the Democratic-Republican Party taking control of the United States Senate. Although the Federalists began the next (7th) Congress with a slim majority, they lost their majority shortly thereafter due to mid-year special elections.
As these elections were prior to ratification of the seventeenth amendment, Senators were chosen by State legislatures.Adams and Liberty
"Adams and Liberty" is considered the first significant campaign song in American political history, and served to support incumbent Federalist John Adams in the 1800 United States presidential election.
The lyrics are from Robert Treat Paine, Jr., to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" (the same tune as the patriotic song and future national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner".)
The country is poetically referred to as Columbia, and enduring national greatness depends on avoiding the evils of mercantilism, French alliances (see XYZ Affair), and political faction. Other songs were used in subsequent presidential campaigns.Bibliography of Thomas Jefferson
This Bibliography of Thomas Jefferson is a comprehensive list of published works about Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. Biographical and political accounts for Jefferson now span across three centuries. Up until 1851, virtually all biographical accounts for Jefferson relied on general and common knowledge gained from official records and public writings and newspapers. It wasn't until Henry S. Randall, the first historian allowed to interview Jefferson's family, giving him access to family letters and records, did biographies of Jefferson take on a more intimate perspective. Randall wrote a three-volume biography which set the premise for many biographies that followed.Before Randall, George Tucker produced his two-volume 1837 account of Jefferson which offered a glint of insight into Jefferson's personal life. Following Jefferson's death he was roundly criticized by the Christian Clergy for his Bible and other writings. Tucker was the first notable historian to explore Jefferson's religious life from a biographical perspective. Though scrutinized by some historians before, during the 1960s civil rights era, historians, many of them with political and social motivations, began criticizing Jefferson for owning slaves and his racial views. While some of their accounts were unforgiving with their often selective points of view, others have noted that Jefferson, while owning slaves and reluctant to release them into freedom unprepared, was among the first of his time to advance the idea of equality and freedom for the African descendants enslaved in the new world. Many of the older biographical works are now in the public domain and often available online in their entirety in the form of e-books, while later publications whose copyrights are still valid can often be partially viewed on the internet.
Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at Shadwell, a plantation on a large tract of land near present-day Charlottesville, Virginia. His father, Peter Jefferson (1707/08-57), was a successful planter and surveyor and his mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson (1720–76), came from a prominent Virginia family. Thomas was their third child and eldest son; he had six sisters and one surviving brother.
In 1762, Jefferson graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he reportedly enjoyed studying for 15 hours then practicing violin for several more hours on a daily basis. He went on to study law under the tutelage of a respected Virginia attorney (there were no official law schools in America at the time), and began working as a lawyer in 1767. As a member of colonial Virginia's House of Burgesses from 1769 to 1775, Jefferson, who was known for his reserved manner, gained recognition for penning a pamphlet, “A Summary View of the Rights of British America” (1774), which declared that the British Parliament had no right to exercise authority over the American colonies.December 3
December 3 is the 337th day of the year (338th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 28 days remain until the end of the year.List of Presidents who didn't win reelection
lThis is a list of incumbent Presidents who ran for another term but weren't reelected.List of elections in 1800
The following elections occurred in the year 1800.
Papal conclave, 1799–1800List of fictional United States presidencies of historical figures (A–B)
The following is a list of real or historical people who have been portrayed as President of the United States in fiction, although they did not hold the office in real life. This is done either as an alternate history scenario, or occasionally for humorous purposes. Also included are actual US Presidents with a fictional presidency at a different time and/or under different circumstances than the one in actual history.United States presidential election
The election of president and vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or in Washington, D.C. cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the U.S. Electoral College, known as electors. These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president, and for vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes (at least 270 out of a total of 538, since the Twenty-Third Amendment granted voting rights to citizens of Washington, D.C.) is then elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes for President, the House of Representatives chooses the winner; if no one receives an absolute majority of the votes for Vice President, then the Senate chooses the winner.
The Electoral College and its procedure are established in the U.S. Constitution by Article II, Section 1, Clauses 2 and 4; and the Twelfth Amendment (which replaced Clause 3 after its ratification in 1804). Under Clause 2, each of the states casts as many electoral votes as the total number of its Senators and Representatives in Congress, while, per the Twenty-third Amendment ratified in 1961, Washington, D.C. casts the same number of electoral votes as the least-represented state, which is three. Also under Clause 2, the manner for choosing electors is determined by each state legislature, not directly by the federal government. Many state legislatures previously selected their electors directly, but over time all of them switched to using the popular vote to help determine electors, which persists today. Once chosen, electors generally cast their electoral votes for the candidate who won the plurality in their state, but at least 21 states do not have provisions that specifically address this behavior; those who vote in opposition to the plurality are known as "faithless" or "unpledged electors". In modern times, faithless and unpledged electors have not affected the ultimate outcome of an election, so the results can generally be determined based on the state-by-state popular vote.
Presidential elections occur quadrennially with registered voters casting their ballots on Election Day, which since 1845 has been the first Tuesday after November 1. This date coincides with the general elections of various other federal, state, and local races; since local governments are responsible for managing elections, these races typically all appear on one ballot. The Electoral College electors then formally cast their electoral votes on the first Monday after December 12 at their respective state capitals. Congress then certifies the results in early January, and the presidential term begins on Inauguration Day, which since the passage of the Twentieth Amendment has been set at January 20.
The nomination process, consisting of the primary elections and caucuses and the nominating conventions, was not specified in the Constitution, but was developed over time by the states and political parties. These primary elections are generally held between January and June before the general election in November, while the nominating conventions are held in the summer. Though not codified by law, political parties also follow an indirect election process, where voters in the 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories, cast ballots for a slate of delegates to a political party's nominating convention, who then in turn elect their party's presidential nominee. Each party may then choose a vice presidential running mate to join the ticket, which is either determined by choice of the nominee or by a second round of voting. Because of changes to national campaign finance laws since the 1970s regarding the disclosure of contributions for federal campaigns, presidential candidates from the major political parties usually declare their intentions to run as early as the spring of the previous calendar year before the election (almost 18 months before Inauguration Day).
the United States
|Founding of the|
State results of the 1800 U.S. presidential election
|Elections by year|
|Elections by state|
|Primaries and caucuses|
and Popular vote