This Former Vice President Conspired Against The U.S. – But Then He Faced The Terrible Consequences
Thirteen years after the ratification of the United States Constitution, Aaron Burr became the third man to take on the role of vice president. But despite having held this patriotic position, Burr eventually plotted against the country that he’d helped to found. And after this once-powerful politician’s scheming came to light, his career lay in tatters – never to be recovered. So, what did Burr do to make himself such an outcast? And why did he conspire against the U.S. in the first place?
As history buffs know, Burr initially ran as a Democratic-Republican Party presidential candidate alongside Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson would win the race to become the American leader, of course, with Burr instead serving for four years as Jefferson’s VP. But throughout that period, the relationship between the two men was an uneasy one, filled with drama and dissent.
Distrustful of his ambitious second-in-command, Jefferson eventually shut Burr off from party affairs. And even though Burr had won praise in the courtroom, he was nevertheless viewed as dangerous and untrustworthy by some fellow politicians. Then, in July 1804, he fatally shot a rival during a duel, bringing his time in office to an abrupt conclusion.
Today, Burr is mostly remembered for this act, which caused the untimely death of founding father Alexander Hamilton. In the years that followed, however, he became involved in a treacherous plot that caused even more scandal than the murderous duel. And as a result, in 1807 he appeared in court accused of treason – making him one of the first in the U.S. to face such a charge.
So, how did Burr’s political career come to such an acrimonious end? After all, like many of his peers, the future vice president had enjoyed a relatively privileged start in life. Born in 1756, he was the son of the College of New Jersey president Aaron Burr Sr. and his wife, Esther. Religion heavily factored into the couple’s lives; Aaron Sr. was also a Presbyterian minister, while Burr’s mother had been raised as the daughter of respected theologian Jonathan Edwards.