It's been a Presidential race like no other with the internet and social media age insuring a bitter divide between the two sides and acrimonious debate throughout. And even at its conclusion there's dispute over the result. But does that make 2020 unique? Jonathan Freedland is joined by Historian Professor Adam Smith of Oxford University and commentators from both wings of the US spectrum, Kate Andrews and Richard Wolffe to compare today with what happened back in 1800 when another one term President, John Adams, lost an equally divisive election. And as with today's result Adams was far from content to accept defeat. Famously, he didn't turn up to the inauguration ceremony of his successor, the Republican-Democrat Thomas Jefferson.
Actor Kerry Shale reads the words of Adams, Jefferson and the extreme press of both sides. Did Adams come to terms with his loss? And what damage did the election do to his party, the Federalists who included in their number the now famous star of musical theatre, Alexander Hamilton.
Producer: Tom Alban