Judging Presidential Losers (1796 to 1824) Vol. 1

The Faces Of Defeat

Thomas Jefferson, 1797 to 1801

  • Better relations with France

  • Support of Maximillian Robespierre

  • No Alien & Sedition Acts

  • No all powerful SCOTUS

  • No Quasi-War with France

  • Further hostilities against Great Britain

  • Jefferson appoints Levi Lincoln to Supreme Court Justice, John Marshall becomes an influential senator from Virginia

Would He Preserve Peace?
Peace with Revolutionary France, continued bitter relations with Great Britain despite the earlier passage of the Jay’s Treaty. A earlier Jefferson administration in a more turbulent time is very murky and hard to gauge. Overall, I say worser relations and a potential earlier embargo on Great Britain leads to a Quasi-War with the Brits in place of the French.

Jefferson was a fan of the Provisional government in France and didn’t think highly of Napoleon. Maybe the U.S sends troops to stop Bonapartes rise? Or maybe the U.S is drawn into conflict with Napoleonic France? Hard to say. Maybe the Quasi-War Adams lead the U.S into becomes an actual war under Jefferson. 
Score: Negative one point

Would He Ensure Liberty?
No Alien and Sedition Acts, which George Washington supported Adams signing because after crushing the Whiskey Rebellion the pro-Jefferson tabloids heckled the general mercilessly. 

But then there’s his many slaves…

Score: Plus one point

Would He  Provide Prosperity?
Jefferson accurately assessed the tyrannical nature of finance capital and capitalism as a whole. Alexander Hamilton ensured only the elites would gain power and a responsive government, in a purposeful nature. That being said, to reaffirm what I said earlier his alternative was this fallacy of the Yeomen farmer not having to rely on the government to whip up revenue, the slave masters will force the slaves to pick cotton and tobacco to do it. This is also tyrannical. 

In the end Jefferson’s alternative to Hamilton’s dystopian pleasuring of the rich was an agricultural based economy profiting off exploiting non-whites. Not good.

Score: Negative two points

Would He Be Effective?

The Democratic-Republicans possessed a 12 seat advantage in the House of Representatives, but the Federalist enjoyed a 19 to 10 margin in the Senate. Plus he undermined Adams during his presidency as Veep and I doubt if we reversed the roles it be any different. Jefferson would be even more handicapped by the machinations Hamilton.

Score: Negative one point

Final score: Negative three-points 

In the election of Adams vs Jefferson did Americans make the right choice? Eh, not really. But both options sucked so I’d call this a wash. I think if Adams and Jefferson switched presidential victories they’re more effective in a positive sense by what they would and wouldn’t have done. 

John Adams, 1801 to 1805

  • No Louisiana Purchase

  • Hamilton is too busy to duel Aaron Burr

  • No disastrous Embargo of 1807 against Britain, leading to better relations and free trade
  • Possible war with France

Would He Preserve Peace?
Peace with Britain and Adams was a good enough diplomat to avoid escalated conflicts with France so… three points

Would He Ensure Liberty?
Cc: Alien and Sedition Act. Negative three

Would He Attempt To Provide Prosperity?

The north and southern states competed directly with one another setting up different economies with conflicting interests. Not much is said about Adams on the domestic front, but we know Jefferson spent like an asshole and it wasn’t for internal improvements or stuff the people actually needed. I’ll cut Johnny some slack and give him a plus one score.

Would He Be Effective?

Adams enjoyed a fourteen seat majority in the House and thirteen in the Senate. I believe he would be effective. Plus two.

Final score: three-points

Did Americans make the right decision? 

Eh… no. I think the Louisiana Purchase was a horrible idea as I don’t find slaughtering native Americans to make room for slaves all that enticing. I don’t believe Adams would have done this and given the icier relationship the U.S would have with France I say this deal doesn’t get offered to the U.S and maybe Spain ponies up the dough for it. Jefferson’s ideals was based on never ending expansion, but once the frontiers closed his libertarian values became null and void. The “Revolution of 1800” which saw the demise of the Federalists Party could have very well been the death-nail for the Dem-Reps.

So… no. I’m more sympathetic to Jefferson’s point of view on government than Hamilton, as the former didn’t call the people the great beast. But I’d rather see slave power curtailed rather than it work hand and hand with capitalism.

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 1805 to 1813

  • Further aristocratic dominance

  • No War of 1812; or at least not yet

  • Inadvertently stunts the growth in popularity of Andrew Jackson

  • Very Pro-Slave for a Federalist

Would He Preserve Peace?

Peace with Britain, yes. That’s enough. Plus three. 

Would He Ensure Liberty?
Nope. Pinckney was very pro-slave for a Federalist and believed political office should be held exclusively by aristocratic elites, such as himself and even proposed the president serve a twenty-year term. Yikes. Negative-two.
Would He Provide Prosperity?
No embargo of 1807 leading to an economic collapse so… sure. Solid, conservative governance. Positive one. 

Would He Be Effective?

In OTL the Federalist were beyond toast. Maybe Adams winning in 1800 butterflies this, but we’ll just assume America grows to despise the Feds anyway. The Dem-Reps would throughly kick Pinckney’s ass. So negative one. 
Point total: negative 2 points

Did Americans make the right decision: Madison was by no means a good president. He was tricked by Henry Clay into starting war with the British, let the charter of the nat’l bank expire meaning the U.S had no money to support its war efforts and he vetoed an internal improvements bill because according to his Jeffersonian ideals trying to make the roads and bridges of colonial America more habitable is unconstitutional. Gotta love that Constitution. 

That being said, Pinckney was an elitist dope propped up by Hamilton. It was either going to be Pinckney or Rufus King acting as Hamilton’s avatar, he went with the former because the latter exercised more intelligence which is a big no no for Hammy. 

That all being said… I’m not too fond the Madison administration and think a Pinckney victory in 1808 keeps the Feds alive and more importantly avoids a pointless war with the Brits, and even more importantly minimizes Andrew Jackson’s celebrity. 

So no, the U.S did not make the right choice. Though I understand why they turned their noses up at the snobby, pretentious Anglophiles based in the northeast. 

DeWitt Clinton, 1813 to 1817

  • Superior handling of the economy

  • Superior handling of the War of 1812; Madison was guilty of keeping incompetent generals in charge because political differences

  • Focus on Internal Improvements

  • Establishment of the 2nd Nat’l Bank; Madison let the first bank’s charter expire and collapse

  • Possible gut punch to influence of slave state oligarchs, of which they’d of course recover from but whatever

  • No Hartford Convention (and all their good ideas) leading to the collapse of the Federalist Party

Would He Preserve Peace?

Yes. A thousand times yes. Clinton would inherit a war that was rotten from the jump and considered un-winnable. A peace deal with the Brits. Plus 3 points. 

Would He Ensure Liberty?
De Witt was based in New York during a time where slavery was being phased out entirely above the Mason-Dixon Line. The planter elite would despise him so.. two points

Would He Provide Prosperity?

Clinton proved to be an inspirational, determined and resourceful political figure in New York helming the Erie Canal Commission. He proved effective in garnering $7 million in funds for the project labeled by his detractors as “Clinton’s Ditch” and he had the last laugh by 1825 when he sailed from Buffalo to New York City. He wouldn’t veto the Bonus Bill like Madison did, leading to a construction of roads and canals the country sorely needed for trading purposes. Three points.

Would He Be Effective?
A Clinton election leads to an Era of Good Feelings differencing only in the fusion of the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists. Clinton wasn’t a Fed, rather a Dem-Rep gone rogue. His near victory caused Madison to reestablish the National Bank and govern more like a Federalists. It’s safe to assume Clinton was the best president this country turned down. Plus two. 

Final Score: Plus nine points

Did Americans Make The Right Decision?

No. Madison sucked. He wrote a shitty document that hampers our ability to fix things to this day and his fumbling of the war caused the city of Washington to be burnt down due to him keeping incompetent generals in service because of political affiliation favorable to him. He sucked. He blowed. I’m glad he’s dead. 

Rufus King, 1817 to 1825

  • Continuation of the Proto-American System based on internal improvements and the Nat’l Bank

  • Another blow to the planter elite suffering a defeat against a anti-slavery Federalist

  • No Monroe Doctrine

  • No Panic of 1819

Would He Attempt To Preserve Peace?
I believe so yes. As I stated before the Federalists casted their lot in with the British and as far as survival of the United States is concerned that was likely the right call. One point.

Would He Attempt To Ensure Liberty?

In one of Rufus’ last political acts he denounced the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which while it did prevent an earlier Civil War, and prohibited slavery in the north it served to strengthen the Slave Power in congress and did little to quell the thirst the planter elite had in expanding their empire up north despite the recent ruling. King was deeply anti-slavery and while vetoing this bill definitely leads to a Civil War, perhaps with generals like Winfield Scott on the side of the Union the Confederacy is crushed as is the practice of slavery. Two-points.

Would He Attempt To Provide Prosperity?

For all the boasting I just made about King’s principals, the Federalists are still the party of the aristocratic class of the north. While DeWitt was also of this ilk, his record as Mayor of New York and later Governor showed an ability to expand beyond that. King would be a solid, steady man at the helm.Not a champion of the people by any stretch of the imagination. Zero points.
Would He Be Effective?

By this time the Federalists were deader than dead and if by some miracle King won it leads to a Civil War meaning the bulk of the Dem-Reps up and abandon the country all together leaving behind some loyalist Jeffersonians, but many more Feds… so yes. He’ll be effective. One point.

Final Score: three-points

Did Americans make the right decision?

James Monroe steamrolled opponents in two presidential contests only to be forgotten in history immediately after his term… While in office he didn’t accomplish anything spectacularly good, rather acting as a bridge from the first era of American politics to the next. Monroe was the David Woodley/Don Strock Miami Dolphins stuck between the Bob Griese and Dan Marino eras. Destined to be forgotten and did little to make a case for himself to be remembered.

Andrew Jackson, 1825 to 1829

  • More stuff for the barbarian to destroy

  • Perhaps is less vindictive as his wife is still alive and hasn’t made enemies in John Q. Adams and Henry Clay
  • Earlier Trail of Tears
  • Possibly U.S involvement in The Fredonian Rebellion in Texas

Would He Attempt To Preserve Peace?

Jackson probably invests the military to assist the rebellion in Texas and maybe we get the territory into the Union sooner. I think a Jackson administration at this point in time mirrors James K. Polk’s tenure in office two decades later. A presidency built off expansion of the border and financial sturdiness thanks to low tariffs and free trade.

If Jackson wins the war versus the Mexicans, three-points. If he loses it negative three.

Would He Attempted To Provide Prosperity?

On the economic front Jackson wasn’t very invested in his earlier days. The deficit would continue to decline as it did in OTL. One-point for being a rather inconsequential figure in that regard.

it just so happened that man Jackson wanted hanged was a worser figure in U.S History John C. Calhoun so i guess it wasn’t all that bad.

Perhaps we don’t get those tariffs in the first place as Jackson only did this to piss off the protectionist in the north (I don’t know why, I tried understanding his reasoning but it comes across as a guy with too much time on his hands coming up with elaborate schemes to get one over on his advisories). The tariff was designed to fail in Congress, make Van Buren and the south look reasonable as they were extending an olive branch to the northern protectionists lead by Henry Clay… only they took that offer, thereby pissing off Calhoun.

On second thought… negative two points.

Would He Attempt To Ensure Liberty?

Let’s see… loved to own and slaughter blacks and natives, and threaten representatives if they didn’t agree to his tariffs. Jackson leads an earlier exodus of the natives from their ancestral land. Negative three-points.

Would He Be Effective?

Andy Jack knew how to get his way. If Jackson was Trump, then Martin Van Buren was the Mitch McConnell the real puppet-master. He killed Clay’s bank, won numerous other legislative battles and throughly transformed the United States mentality and forever broaden their ambitions for westward expansion.

I hate every single thing the man did, but he accomplished what he sought to do… three points.

Final score: Plus one-point if he wins the war with Mexico; negative five points if he loses.

Did Americans Make The Right Decision?

Well in ‘24 they did support Jackson, only the House chose Adams instead. Maybe if Jackson wins here he’s less vindictive and deranged… maybe he even steps down after one term because there’s nothing galvanizing him to continue serving. I’m actually leaning towards no. We didn’t make the right choice

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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