The Election of 1796
By: Linda Bath
The year is 1796. It is time to elect the second president of the United States. This election, however will be the first of its kind due to the creation of two separate political parties. The Democratic-Republicans have chosen Thomas Jefferson as their candidate, and the Federalists have chosen John Adams to represent their party in the election. With issues such as the ratification and interpretation of the Constitution, constitutionality of a National Bank, and the powers of the state and federal government being debated, the vote of every American is important. Help your candidate become elected, the wellbeing of our country depends on it.
You are campaigning for one of the 1796 presidential candidates. Based on the major 1796 campaign issues, you will persuade your fellow Americans to vote for either Jefferson or Adams. You are responsible for writing the president's campaign speech, and for creating anything that will be on display to the public pertaining to his campaign. You may create a banner, flyer, political cartoon, or anything else you believe will persuade the voters to select your candidate as their president.
Your group will collectively research the candidate you support, including their background, the beliefs of their party, and the major issues that concerned voters in 1796. You will then present your candidate to the class.
During this activity you must:
Form groups of four.
Choose a role from the list for each group member.
Research using links found on the resource page each presidential candidate and their political party for the 1796 election (everyone should be researching and taking notes on both candidates).
Discuss your findings with the other members of your group. Through this discussion your group must agree upon who is the best candidate and why they should be elected president based on the major issues of the 1796 election.
Begin campaigning. Write a speech to be given by your candidate that will persuade the public to vote for him as the next president instead of his opponent.
Create a visual aid such as a poster, banner, political cartoon, or flyer. Creativity counts so use your imagination!
Be ready to present your presidential candidate to the class.
Click on the links below to find out information on each presidential candidate
You should also use your notes from previous classes to supplement this information
The webquest is worth a total of 75 points. Fifty points will come from my evaluation of the group work, 25 points will come from your fellow group members evaluation of your input and effort.
All group members will receive the same score for the evaluation of the group work done by the teacher.
This evaluation is not based solely on the final product, but how you work throughout the project based on teacher observations. Creativity of your visual aid will count for as many points as the speech you wrote, so don't slack off on the visual aid.
The job of the president is one of the most important jobs in our country. Now that you have looked at issues important to the 1796 election, I urge you to look at current political issues. I challenge you to know your candidates for the 2008 presidential election and understand the issues presented. Just because you are not yet old enough to vote, doesn't mean that you can't let your opinion be known and perhaps educate others on the topics that are important to you. How will you make a difference in the upcoming years?