Federalists claimed that Jefferson performed strange rites in his Monticello home and would unleash a French Revolution-like Reign of Terror on America.
In the end, Jefferson became president, with Aaron Burr as his vice-president.
At the other extreme, New England remained Federalist territory, with the Democratic Republicans carrying only a minority of the congressional elections.
Also, with the exception of 18, they lost all the New England states to the Federalists in presidential elections, except for Vermont in 18.
The sharply delineated views of America’s first two political parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, would shape the politics of the country for decades to come.
The Federalist Party was formed around 1787 after Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison wrote the Federalist Papers, a series of essays calling for a strong federal government which had a central bank, a standing army and tax laws.Jefferson, on the other hand, could have won the presidency in 1796 by carrying New York.The same sectional patterns determined state politics.Based in New Jersey, Joseph Cummins has been a freelance writer since 2002.He has written 17 books covering history, politics and culture.Victory or defeat depended upon the mid-Atlantic states, where a decision for George Clinton or for his nephew De Witt Clinton in Pennsylvania would have made the uncle the vice president in 1792 and his nephew president in 1812.A victory in this state for John Adams in 1800 would have given him a second term as president.The Federalists would never again win a presidential election and would, within the next 20 years, disappear.Many of the party's seminal ideas – a strong federal government, a central bank, a standing army – remain integral features of America’s government today.A complex amalgam of sectional, class, ethnic, and cultural interests supported the Democratic Republicans.In the national elections between 17, they completely controlled the western states of Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, along with Georgia in the Deep South.