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Tie Breaker by Steve Payne

Author says: what if the Colonel himself was the innocent victim of an anti-Aaron Burr conspiracy? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

On February 17th 1801,

Please click the icon to follow us on Facebook.on this day in the House of Representatives, Thomas Jefferson's bid for the Presidency ended in disgrace with the shocking revelation that he had bargained with the opposition Federalist party for electoral votes; instead, his rival in the Democratic-Republican Party Aaron Burr was elected on the thirty-sixth ballot.

Members of the Electoral College could only vote for President; each elector could vote for two candidates, and the Vice President was the person who received the second largest number of votes during the election.

The Republicans had planned for one of the electors to abstain from casting his second vote for Aaron Burr, which would have led to Jefferson receiving one electoral vote more than Burr. The plan, however, was bungled, resulting in a tied electoral vote between Jefferson and Burr.

Ed. & Eric LippsThis problem with the new union's electoral system forced the issue into the House of Representatives where the Federalists still had some power to decide the election.

A length debate ensued in which Alexander Hamilton sought to convince his party that Jefferson would be a lesser political evil than Burr and that such scandal within the electoral process would undermine the still-young regime. At first, Burr's refusal to remove himself from consideration was criticised as ungentlemanly. At least until Jefferson's own shameful behaviour came to light.

Author says in reality the scandal emerged long after the election had been settled. Burr's refusal to remove himself from consideration created ill will with Jefferson, who dropped Burr from the ticket in 1804 after Burr killed Hamilton in a duel. To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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