Federalists preferred Burr to the hated Jefferson and tried to switch the candidates, but in the end Jefferson was named president.With this, John Adams became the last Federalist president, the Federalist party slowly disappeared between then and the days of Andrew Jackson. Jefferson claimed that this election was a revolution comparable to that of 1776, he believed his election represented a return to the original spirit of the Revolution. Jefferson wanted to revive the Republican experiment, check the growth of federal power and restore virtues destroyed by Federalists.The peaceful transfer of power was also commendable for the new nation, and now the Americans could take pride in their pursuit of democracy.Responsibility Breeds ModerationJefferson was inaugurated on March 4th, 1801 in Washington, the new capital. His inaugural address outlined his views on democracy, such as the will of the majority and the rights of the minority. Jefferson declared that all are Republicans, and that he would form honest friendships, but no alliances.The rustic capital of Washington beautifully contrasted with Federalist Philadelphia. Jefferson extended arule at official dinners; seating without rank.Jefferson was not formal, and was considered unconventional. He started the precedent of sending messages to Congress to be read by a clerk.It is described that Jefferson was two men in one, one man was a scholarly private citizen, studying philosophy, and the other was a harassed public official, his idealistic theories hit hard in the political arena. Therefore, Jefferson was very inconsistent.Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican takeover of the Federalists marked the first party overturn in American history. Instead of taking advantage of this, Jefferson showed great moderation. Jefferson was an able politician, he was effective in the dinner atmosphere and relied on his personal charm to make up for his weak-jointed party. The chief thing holding the Democratic-Republicans together was the opposition to the Federalists. When they faded out, so did Jeffersonian unity.Jeffersonian RestraintJefferson sought to rid the nation of the Federalist abuses, such as the Alien and Sedition Acts. The president pardoned many who were affected by the Sedition Act, and reduced the residency requirements back down to a reasonable 5 years compared to 14.Jefferson tossed away the excise tax, however, it cost the government millions in revenues. Jefferson’s treasurer, Albert Gallatin, was as able as Hamilton. He agreed that the national debt needed to be reduced. Besides this, Jefferson left Hamilton’s financial framework intact.By absorbing these Federalist programs, Jefferson showed pity for the defeated group, his restraint led the way to a two-party system.
The “Dead Clutch” of the JudiciaryThe Judiciary Act of 1801 was the last important law passed by the Federalists, it created 16 new federal judicial offices. This reform created much resentment, as it seemed that the Federalists were trying to entrench themselves in one of the branches.