Jay’s Treaty (1796) favored British trade and prohibited the US from selling contraband to France. France was displeased and starting seizing U.S. merchant ships (over 300 merchant ships plundered by French when Adams was inaugurated in 1797). France refused to receive a US ambassador and hostility grew. Adams sent 3 men (Charles Pinkney, John Marshall, Elbridge Gerry) to negotiate peace and avoid war. The French foreign minister (Talleyrand) refused to meet with them. Instead, 3 French officials met with them and demanded that they pay a bribe of $250,000 and a loan to the French government in exchange for a meeting. The US refused to give in to French demands. Talleyrand did eventually meet with them, but refused to end the seizure of American ships. The report demanded by Democratic-Republicans in Congress listed the 3 French officials as X, Y, and Z. Democratic-Republicans were suspicious of Federalist activities and wanted to avoid war with France.
Quasi War with France (1798 – 1800):
The XYZ Affair was a diplomatic incident between the US and France which led to an undeclared war. Adam’s prepared for war: U.S. Navy began to fight the French in the Caribbean, where many American ships had been seized. Peace was negotiated with the Convention of 1800 or the Treaty of Mortefontaine.
Known as the Revolution of 1800 because John Adams’s accepted defeat in the election and set a precedent for a peaceful transfer of power in the U.S.
Thomas Jefferson would have lost the election without the 3/5thCompromise because it gave more power and votes to the South.
What was the outcome of this election?
House of Representatives determined election due to tie between Jefferson and Aaron Burr
(both got 71 electoral votes).
Hamilton (federalist) helps swing vote to Jefferson (Republican) rather than Burr because he felt Burr was "an embryo Caesar"
Winners: President Thomas Jefferson (Rep) & VP Aaron Burr
12 Amendment – changed the operation of the electoral college
Originally, the electoral college voted for 2 people on the ballot and the one with the most votes would be President and the runner-up was Vice President. 1800 Election, Jefferson tied with his running mate Aaron Burr, so the House of Representatives broke the tie.
Republicans campaigned proved to mobilized large numbers of voters and be effective.