The Democratic Republicans controlled the western states and, barring a few elections, the entire South except Maryland and Delaware—where the Federalists remained dominant. Even when voter turnout reached extremely high levels in the gubernatorial elections of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire before and during the War of 1812 (1812–1815), levels that matched those under the second party system, the Federalists remained closely competitive.
In Pennsylvania the Democratic Republicans, after winning the closely contested election of 1798, lost to an independent candidate supported by the Federalists in 1808, but they had little difficulty winning the 1805, 1811, and 1814 gubernatorial elections.
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.
Democratic-Republican factionalism at its most vicious. Each party felt that the other was out to destroy America and subvert the Constitution.
Accusations against Adams again centered on his supposed royalist leanings and his support of the Alien and Sedition Act, which allowed anyone who criticized the president to be thrown in jail.Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans believed in an agrarian society where most of the power resided with the states and their citizens.The two parties saw their first major clash in the election of 1796, when Vice-President Adams ran for president against Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.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.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.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.Based in New Jersey, Joseph Cummins has been a freelance writer since 2002.He has written 17 books covering history, politics and culture.