Congressional Election of 1794

Congressional Election of 1794

The Congressional Election of 1794 In 1794, John Swanwick was elected to a congressional representative seat in Philadelphia. John Swanwick was the challenger in this election, defeating incumbent Thomas Fitzsimons. This period of history saw many changes from the ratification of the U.S. Constitution to the use of federal troops to quiet rebellions. Through analysis of the evidence on the congressional election of 1794, three key issues take part in the election. The candidate’s backgrounds, the excise taxes of goods, and the role of political factions are the contributing factors that got John Swanson elected in 1794. There were three contributing factors to Swanwick’s election. First are the different backgrounds of the two candidates. Both came to America a few years before the American Revolution. Fitzsimons was a Roman Catholic from Ireland while Swanwick was a Protestant from England. (Becker, p. 101-102). The country of origin and more importantly their religious beliefs were contributing factor to Swanwick’s victory. The north is where people settled to get away from Catholicism and the Church of England, and even with the event happening over a hundred years earlier, that fact was still fresh in the minds of the people. Being English gave Swanwick the upper hand as well. Before the revolution, most people living in the colonies in the northern part of the country (New England) were English, not Irish. A connection to the mother country was made between the people and John Swanwick. In legislative politics, incumbents have the upper hand in elections. Fitzsimons had a service record. Becker states, “[Fitzsimons] served as a captain”?during the Revolution, he was a member of the Continental Congress”?and [he] was elected to Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1786″?” (Becker, p. 101). Fitzsimons service did not stop there. Becker goes on to write, “[he] was a signer of the Constitut…


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