Alternative History

The United State Presidential Election of 1801 saw for the first time in American history; the peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another.


Democratic-Republican party nomination[]

Democratic-Republican candidates

  • Aaron Burr, former U.S. senator from New York
  • George Clinton, Governor of New York
  • Thomas Jefferson, Vice President of the United States from Virginia

Thomas Jefferson was nominated for President over Clinton and Burr. Burr was nominated for VP over Clinton

Presidential Ballot

Presidential Ballot 1 Vice-Presidential Ballot 1
Thomas Jefferson 31 Aaron Burr 40
George Clinton 15 George Clinton 16
Aaron Burr 10

Federalist party nomination[]

Federalist candidates

  • Alexander Hamilton, former Secretary of the Treasury from New York
  • Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, U.S. Secretary of State from South Carolina

With President Adams deciding to not seek a third term, the Federalists nominated Hamilton for President over Pinckney. Pinckney would be nominated for vice president.

Presidential Ballot 1 Vice-Presidential Ballot 1
Alexander Hamilton 47 Charles Cotesworth Pinckney 78
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney 31

General election[]

The Federalists were sure of victory until a story pamphlet was published about Hamilton's affair with a married woman. This hurt Hamilton very badly and is believed to be the reason that he was defeated by Jefferson.

When the electoral votes were cast, Jefferson and Burr tied and Burr refused to step aside. The House of Representatives finally chose Jefferson on the 36th ballot. This and the '98 election led to the passage of the 12th Amendment in 1804.


Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote Electoral vote
Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican Virginia 39,300 (52.4%) 92
Aaron Burr Democratic-Republican New York - 92
Alexander Hamilton Federalist New York 35,711 (47.6%) 90
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Federalist South Carolina - 90
Total - - 75,011 (100.0%) 182

See also[]