In 1800, John Adams was the President and he ran for re-election against his rival Thomas Jefferson. Adams and Jefferson had very different ideas about how to run the country and they did not like each other very much. Jefferson won, but there were a lot of hard feelings. Adams could have tried to hang on to power, but instead he allowed Jefferson to become President. Up until then, people with new political ideas could only come to power after violence. The Adams-Jefferson election showed the world that there was a different way. They set the example of how even when people really disagree with each other, power in America goes according to how the people as a whole cast their votes. In fact, later in their lives, Adams and Jefferson set their differences aside and became friends.
The Sixty-Second Patriot series of posts is intended to provide teachers who are required to engage in “patriotic exercises” with truthful, age-appropriate, meaningful, educationally-rich, non-controversial, secular alternatives to rote recital of the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as brief meditations on American history, civics, and values accessible to all people. Suggestions and contributions to this series from Readers are welcome.