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Thomas Jefferson's election in 1800 is considered by historians to be a "evolution" in that:
Jefferson's election saved the US from becoming a constitutional monarchy.
The election was so close that the Supreme Court was forced to chose a winner, preventing a loss of faith in the Electoral College.
For the first time, the government changed in an orderly fashion despite bitter partisan conflict.
Slave states, aided by the Three-Fifths Compromise, swung the election by playing on fears of abolitionist actions by the incumbent John Adams.
Wealthy businessmen and bankers contributed huge sums to Jefferson, enabling him to win the election.