Monday, January 11, 2021

More historical ignorance

People in the US really love the idealised version of themselves and their history. Problem is that the real deal is not as nice as what they want to believe.

Let's take the Presidential Election of 1800, which I mentioned in a previous post. While probably not as bad as current events, things were pretty bad. The founders didn't always get along and this was one where Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were in a rough and tumble battle.

It also demonstrated that the founders DIDN'T get it right with their concept of what the US would be. The electoral college was already proving problematic (and was the subject of an early amendment). 

The founders also didn't believe that republics would divide into factions, but there was pretty extreme partisanship in the 1800 Election.

Adams didn't attend Jefferson's inauguration.

And let's not forget that Aaron Burr came really close to being President, but became vice president instead. In case you missed that part of US history:

During his last year as vice president, Burr engaged in the duel in which he fatally shot Hamilton, his political rival. Although dueling was illegal, Burr was never tried, and all charges against him eventually were dropped. Nevertheless, Hamilton's death ended Burr's political career.

Burr traveled west to the American frontier, seeking new economic and political opportunities. His secretive activities led to his 1807 arrest in Alabama on charges of treason. He was brought to trial more than once for what became known as the Burr conspiracy, but was acquitted each time.

Alas Burr wasn't made president by the Electoral College.

But maybe that was a good thing.  Especially since Hamilton became a money making Broadway Musical.

No comments:

Post a Comment