The 1792 U.S. Presidential Election was the second presidential election in the nation. As in 1789, President George Washington was selected, and he assumed the office of the President of the United States for his second consecutive term.
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr and George Clinton were among the other leading candidates. John Adams received seventy-seven electoral votes and was the candidate with the second highest number of votes after George Washington (who had 132 votes), thereby becoming the Vice President of United States. All of the original thirteen states, along with the newly added states of Vermont and Kentucky, took part in the election process during the 1792 election. Unlike all other presidential elections in the United States, this election took place just two years after the first election.
In the 1792 election, each elector was allowed to cast votes for two different presidential candidates. The candidate who received a majority of votes would be elected as the President of the United States. The second highest recipient would be elected as the Vice President of the United States.
The electoral system used during the 1792 presidential elections was similar to the procedure followed in the 1789 election, with certain modifications. According to the new system, each state was divided into several electoral districts. The process of electing representatives for these districts varied from state to state. For example, in Massachusetts, an elector was selected by majority vote of statewide voters. In some states, like New Hampshire, the state legislature appointed the electors.
The 1792 presidential election was marked by a rift that occurred between members of George Washington’s administration. Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson battled over issues surrounding the role of the federal government, particularly in relation to the nation’s economy.
Hamilton called for the federal government to be closely involved in the country’s economy, while Jefferson focused on states’ rights and the working class. The break was inevitable, and the Democratic-Republican Party broke away under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
This party division affected the 1792 election results, though in an unusual way. Both parties still elected George Washington to his second term as president, but there was fierce competition over the vice presidential seat. Incumbent Vice President John Adams ran as a Federalist candidate against Thomas Jefferson of the newly formed Democratic-Republican Party and defeated him.
The breakdown of candidates and electoral votes was as follows: