U.S. presidential election, 1792
Wikipedia | 2012-10-12 17:04
The United States presidential election of 1792 was the second presidential election in the United States, and the first in which each of the original 13 states appointed electors (in addition to newly-added states of Kentucky and Vermont). It is also the only presidential election that was not held four years after the previous election, although part of the previous election was technically held four years prior. The first inauguration was on April 30, 1789 at Balcony of Federal Hall in New York City and the second inauguration was on March 4, 1793 at the Senate Chamber Congress Hall in Philadelphia. All subsequent inaugurations were held on March 4th up until 1933 when the ratification of the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution changed the inaugural date to January 20th.
As in 1789, George Washington, now president, ran unopposed. Under the system in place then and through the election of 1800, each voting elector cast two votes — the recipient of the greatest number of votes was elected president, the second greatest number, vice-president. As in his first term, Washington is considered to have been elected unanimously.
The recipient of 77 electoral votes, Vice-President John Adams finished second in voting and was therefore re-elected.
By 1792, a party division had emerged between Federalists led by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, who desired a stronger federal government with a leading role in the economy, and the Democratic-Republicans led by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Representative James Madison of Virginia, who favored states' rights and opposed Hamilton's economic program. Madison was at first a Federalist until he opposed the establishment of Hamilton's First Bank of the United States in 1791. He formed the Democratic-Republican Party along with Anti-Federalist Thomas Jefferson in 1792.
The elections of 1792 were the first ones in the United States to be contested on anything resembling a partisan basis. In most states, the congressional elections were recognized in some sense as a “struggle between the Treasury department and the republican interest,” to use the words of Jefferson strategist John Beckley. In New York, the race for governor was fought along these lines. The candidates were Chief Justice John Jay, a Hamiltonian, and incumbent George Clinton, who was allied with Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans.
Although Washington had been considering retiring, both sides encouraged him to remain in office to bridge factional differences. Washington was supported by practically all sides throughout his Presidency and gained more popularity with the passage of the Bill of Rights. However, the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists contested the vice-presidency, with incumbent John Adams as the Federalist nominee and George Clinton as the Democratic-Republican nominee. With some Democratic-Republican electors voting against their nominee George Clinton - voting instead for Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr - Adams easily secured re-election.
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