Federalists attacked Jefferson as an un-Christian deist whose sympathy for the French Revolution would bring similar bloodshed and chaos to the United States. On the other side, the Democratic-Republicans denounced the strong centralization of federal power under Adams's presidency. Republicans' specifically objected to the expansion of the U.S. army and navy, the attack on individual rights in the Alien and Sedition Acts, and new taxes and deficit spending used to support broadened federal action.
Overall, the Federalists wanted strong federal authority to restrain the excesses of popular majorities, while the Democratic-Republicans wanted to reduce national authority so that the people could rule more directly through state governments.
The election's outcome brought a dramatic victory for Democratic-Republicans who swept both houses of Congress, including a decisive 65 to 39 majority in the House of Representatives. The presidential decision in the electoral college was somewhat closer, but the most intriguing aspect of the presidential vote stemmed from an outdated Constitutional provision whereby the Republican candidates for president and vice president actually ended up tied with one another.
Votes for President and Vice President were not listed on separate ballots. Although
During the election of 1800, Federalists cast Thomas Jefferson as an infidel because of his strict advocacy for the separation of Church and State.
Adams ran as Jefferson's main opponent, running mates Jefferson and AARON BURR received the same number of electoral votes. The election was decided in the House of Representatives where each state wielded a single vote.
Interestingly, the old Federalist Congress would make the decision, since the newly elected Republicans had not yet taken office. Most Federalists preferred Burr, and, once again, Alexander Hamilton shaped an unpredictable outcome. After numerous blocked ballots, Hamilton helped to secure the presidency for Jefferson, the man he felt was the lesser of two evils. Ten state delegations voted for Jefferson, 4 supported Burr, and 2 made no choice.
One might be tempted to see the opposing sides in 1800 as a repeat of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist divisions during the ratification debates of 1788-1789. The core groups supporting each side paralleled the earlier division. Merchants and manufacturers were still leading Federalists, while states' rights advocates filled the Republican ranks just as they had the earlier Anti-Federalists.
Support for Thomas Jefferson throughout the entire Western frontier assured his victory over John Adams in the presidential election 1800.
The political cartoon above has the "Eye of God" directing the American Eagle to snatch the Constitution from Thomas Jefferson hands. Jefferson is kneeling at an alter to "Gallic (French) Despotism." The "Mazzei" letter in Jefferson's right hand where he refers to George Washington as "Monarchical." Jefferson was thought to be playing both sides of the fence.