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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian
Editor says, what if Thomas Jefferson had succeeded General Washington? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the American Heroes thread. Alternate Historian and 1 other(s) like this article.
Revolution of 1796: Jefferson succeeds WashingtonAny other outcome would have been a travesty of justice for the simple reason that in the popular vote Jefferson had won 55 electoral votes compared to 33 for his opponent John Adams.
Cynics suspected that Jefferson had hoped to lose the election because General Washington's successor was bound to lose re-election. While this was certainly a calculation in his mind, there was a much more tangible reason for his reluctance. Because Jefferson, as a dogmatic supporter of the French Revolution, would be forced to take office at a time when both nations were locked in a state of quasi-war that would probably escalate into a major conflict. Ironically, the result of this tricky situation was that Jefferson was indeed proven right, he did fail to get re-elected, and instead was succeeded by John Marshall.
Editor says, in reality, the Federalists had little to worry, however. In the eight states choosing Electors by the legislatures, Federalists controlled seven legislatures (CT, DE, NJ, NY, RI, SC, and VT to TN for the Anti-Federalists). This meant that Adams could expect an additional 47 electoral votes to just four for Jefferson. The Federalists thus appeared headed for certain victory, with a margin of 80-58. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.