2020’s election is already a part of the historical past books. After a protracted marketing campaign set in opposition to a worldwide pandemic, it seems former Vice President Joe Biden has defeated incumbent President Donald Trump by a large margin within the in style vote, and a decisive depend within the Electoral Faculty.
So far, Trump has refused to acknowledge the election, calling into query whether or not there will likely be an easy transition of energy from one president to the subsequent. In line with the Twentieth Modification of the US Structure, the time period of an outgoing president expires at midday on January 20. However, Trump has not but indicated if he would attend his successor’s inauguration.
Historical past supplies some indication of what Inauguration Day 2021 might seem like. Previously, three outgoing presidents — John Adams in 1801, John Quincy Adams in 1829 and Andrew Johnson in 1869, refused to attend their successors’ inaugurations.
In extremely polarized occasions, by which the outcomes of an election are known as into query, an outgoing president’s refusal to attend the brand new president’s inauguration has yielded surprisingly useful outcomes for the nation. In all three cases, the incoming president went on to run extremely in style administrations and win two phrases in the workplace.
All this will likely bode properly for Biden’s political future.
Here is a glance again at the three outgoing presidents who boycotted their successor’s inauguration:
President John Adams (1801)
1800’s election was probably the most bitter within the nation’s historical past. Incumbent John Adams sought a second time period; however, he confronted a robust problem from his personal Vice President, Thomas Jefferson. Worse nonetheless for Adams, in style opinion, had turned in opposition to his championing of the extremely divisive Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 that restricted international nationals’ actions and restricted the liberty of speech and the press.
The voting course of itself was equally fraught. Earlier than the Twelfth Modification passage in 1803, which regularized the choice course of, electors voted not for a single ticket, however, as an alternative twice for people, with the presidency and vice presidency determined by these receiving the very best and second-highest votes.
The lead to 1800? A tie between Jefferson and working mate Aaron Burr, which meant that the election choice subsequently moved to the Home of Representatives. Within the interim, relations between Adams and Jefferson remained cordial sufficient.
Would a reconciliation show attainable? “Sir, the occasion of the election is inside your personal energy,” Jefferson beseeched Adams in early February. However, Adams refused to intervene within the Home vote. After greater than 30 ballots, the Home of Representatives lastly determined the race for Jefferson.
Adams selected not to attend his successor’s inauguration, departing the nation’s capital at Four a.m. on March 4, 1801. By avoiding Jefferson’s inauguration, Adams was maybe motivated by a want to chill the capital’s political temperature.
The ensuing peaceable switch of energy from Adams to Jefferson was paradoxically dubbed the “Revolution of 1800.” After delivering a conciliatory inaugural handle, Jefferson started the now venerable custom of marching from the Capitol to the White Home. He would go on to serve two phrases in the workplace.
The interval that adopted is known as the Jeffersonian Period and his followers the Jeffersonian Republicans. The Jeffersonians’ emphasis on agrarian republicanism, restricted authorities, and states’ rights reverberate till today.
President John Quincy Adams (1829)
John Quincy Adams adopted in his father’s footsteps in some ways. James Monroe regarded to acquire the presidency in his personal proper in 1824. However, he confronted several challenges, notably from Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay.
Jackson probably posed the most severe risk. In one other parallel to his father’s relationship with Jefferson, Quincy Adams had as soon as been a political ally of Jackson. However, relations cooled significantly when the two males discovered themselves competing for a similar prize in 1824.
Jackson received the most well-liked and electoral votes; however, he didn’t acquire a majority in both columns. Considering the election, the Clay electors switched their help to Adams and the Home of
Representatives voted to make Adams the subsequent president. Later, Jackson declared a “corrupt discount” had taken place and vowed to run once more in 1828.
1828’s election featured a rematch between the two males, with Jackson winning clear this time. Like his father sooner than him, Quincy Adams tried to strengthen relations with the incoming president, though to little avail. He provided use of the White Residence for inaugural festivities; nonetheless, Jackson declined the proposal.
As a substitute, Quincy Adams left the White Residence on the evening of March 3, the day sooner than Jackson’s inauguration. Like his father sooner than him, he purposely chose not to attend the inauguration of his successor.
Nevertheless, Quincy Adams could not stop the wave of in type democracy that adopted.
Inside the years ahead, suffrage expanded to nearly all White males. Mass participation throughout the political custom of the day reignited a second, two-party system of Democrats and Whigs. Jackson served two phrases in office and set the tone for Democratic presidents for know-how.
The “Age of Jackson” nonetheless echoes in our private events; simultaneously, its most detestable choices have restricted its significance.
President Andrew Johnson (1869)
Vice President Andrew Johnson won the presidency after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated back in 1865. The model new president devoted himself to obstructing the necessity of the Republican Congress at every step. Nevertheless, normal appeals did not protect the Republican Celebration’s nomination for president in 1868, and was even impeached by the House of Representatives.
In 1868’s November, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was elected by the nation, an arch-nemesis of Johnson, to the presidency by a big electoral margin. Throughout the in fashion vote, Grant owed his slim majority of 300,000 to the votes of virtually Southern states’ half-million freedmen.
Regardless of Grant’s electoral victory, Johnson refused to go to the inauguration on March 4. He instead remained on the White Home to signal authorized pointers. Equally, Grant rejected the thought of using a similar carriage as that of Johnson.
The snub didn’t do anything to obstruct the Grant administration and its protection of vigorous assist for Reconstruction inside the South. He was merely elected in 1872 to a second-time interval as president. Other than Grover Cleveland’s two phrases in office, Republicans dominated the White House until 1913.
Grant himself stood a firm ground for freed people’s civil rights throughout the South, and concurrently corruption plagued his administration. No matter its points, the newest biographies have rehabilitated Grant’s eight years in office. The interval of Reconstruction has likewise been reframed as America’s good experiment in democracy.
Making an attempt once more, these three examples of recalcitrance from presidential incumbents must be taken with a grain of salt since every completely different outgoing president whose time interval expired went to his successor’s inauguration. However, when Trump continues to call into question the outcomes of the presidential election, he ought to adjust to his long-ago predecessors’ occasion and easily preserve residence.
In actual fact, if he does so, he’ll menace the equivalent future as prior boycotters of presidential inaugurations. In each event of these earlier presidents, the next president moved previous the snub and steered the nation for not one, nonetheless two phrases in office. Whether or not or not this will indicate an “Age of Biden” stays to be seen.