1824 United States presidential election
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All 261 electoral votes of the Electoral College
131 electoral votes needed to win
|Turnout||26.9% 16.8 pp|
Presidential election results map. Blue denotes states won by Jackson, orange denotes those won by Crawford, green denotes those won by Adams, light yellow denotes those won by Clay. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.
The voting by state in the House of Representatives. States in orange voted for Crawford, states in green for Adams, states in blue for Jackson.
The 1824 United States presidential election was the tenth quadrennial presidential election, held from Tuesday, October 26, to Thursday, December 2, 1824. In an election contested by four members of the Democratic-Republican Party, no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, necessitating a contingent election in the House of Representatives under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment. On February 9, 1825, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams as president. The 1824 presidential election was the first election in which the winner of the election lost the popular vote.
Prior to the election, the Democratic-Republican Party had won six consecutive presidential elections, and by 1824 the opposition Federalist Party had collapsed as a national party. Secretary of State Adams, General Andrew Jackson, Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford, and Speaker of the House Henry Clay all sought the presidency as members of the Democratic-Republican Party. A fifth candidate, John C. Calhoun, also sought the presidency before dropping out to run for vice president. The 1824 Democratic-Republican congressional nominating caucus nominated Crawford for president, but the other candidates disregarded this nomination and continued to seek the presidency.
In the election, Adams won New England, Jackson and Adams split the mid-Atlantic states, Jackson and Clay split the Western states, and Jackson and Crawford split the Southern states. Jackson finished with a plurality of the electoral and popular vote, while the other three candidates each finished with a significant share of the electoral and popular vote. Calhoun, who supported Jackson, also became the de facto running mate of Adams and as such was elected with a comfortable majority of the vice presidential vote in the Electoral College. However, no one had won a majority of the presidential electoral vote, and the 1824 election thus became the first (and, so far, only) election to be decided in the House of Representatives under the terms of the 12th Amendment. The 12th Amendment specified that only the three top finishers in the electoral vote were eligible to be selected by the House, thus eliminating Clay, who was influential within that chamber. In the contingent election, Clay threw his support behind Adams, who shared many of his positions on the major issues. With Clay's backing, Adams won the contingent election on the first ballot.
After Adams took office, he appointed Clay as Secretary of State, and supporters of Jackson accused Clay and Adams of having agreed to a "corrupt bargain" in which Clay supported Adams in return for his appointment to the most prestigious Cabinet position. Later, the faction led by Jackson would evolve into the modern Democratic Party, while supporters of Adams and Henry Clay would form the National Republican Party and then the Whig Party. Adams's 1824 election victory was thus the last of seven consecutive wins by the Democratic-Republican Party.
- 1 Background
- 2 General election
- 3 Nomination process
- 4 Results by state
- 5 1825 contingent election
- 6 Electoral College selection
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The Era of Good Feelings associated with the administration of President James Monroe was a time of reduced emphasis on political party identity. With the Federalists discredited, Democratic-Republicans adopted some key Federalist economic programs and institutions. The economic nationalism of the Era of Good Feelings that would authorize the Tariff of 1816 and incorporate the Second Bank of the United States portended abandonment of the Jeffersonian political formula for strict construction of the Constitution, limited central government, and primacy of Southern agrarian interests.
An unintended consequence of wide single-party identification was reduced party discipline. Rather than political harmony, factions arose within the party. Monroe attempted to improve discipline by appointing leading statesmen to his Cabinet, including Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford of Georgia, and Secretary of War John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. General Andrew Jackson of Tennessee led high-profile military missions. Only Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Clay of Kentucky held political power independent of Monroe. He refused to join the Cabinet and remained critical of the Administration.
Two key events, the Panic of 1819 and the Missouri crisis of 1820, influenced and reshaped politics. The economic downturn broadly harmed workers, the sectional disputes over slavery expansion raised tensions, and both events plus other factors drove demand for increased democratic control. Social disaffection would help motivate revival of rivalrous political parties in the near future, though these had not yet formed at the time of the 1824 election.
The War of 1812 effectively ended the already weak Federalist Party as a national political force. President James Monroe of the Democratic-Republican Party, the only national party, faced his most effective opposition in 1816 not from a Federalist in the general election but from William H. Crawford at the nomination. Monroe narrowly defeated Crawford for the nomination in 1816, but was unopposed in 1820. He then declined to seek a third term. Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins, unpopular and physically ill, died in 1825. In 1824 the Congressional Caucus finally nominated Crawford, who represented the political establishment, but other Democratic-Republicans ran against that establishment and against each other.
Andrew Jackson was recruited to run for the office of the president by the state legislature of Tennessee. Jackson did not seek the task of running for president. Instead, he wished to retire to his estate on the outskirts of Nashville called the Hermitage. However, Andrew Jackson was not one to decline such a request.
Candidates who withdrew before election
|Presidential candidate||Ballot||Vice Presidential candidate||Ballot|
|William H. Crawford||64||Albert Gallatin||57|
|Henry Clay||2||Erastus Root||2|
|John Quincy Adams||2||John Quincy Adams||1|
|Andrew Jackson||1||William Eustis||1|
|William Rufus King||1|
The Congressional caucus nominated Crawford for president and Albert Gallatin for vice-president, but it was sparsely attended, negatively perceived, and widely attacked as undemocratic. Gallatin had not sought the nomination and soon withdrew at Crawford's request. Gallatin was also dissatisfied with repeated attacks on his credibility made by the other candidates. He was replaced by North Carolina Senator Nathaniel Macon.
State legislatures also convened state caucuses to nominate candidates. Candidates drew voter support by different states and sections. Adams dominated the popular vote in New England and won some support elsewhere, Clay dominated his home state of Kentucky and won pluralities in two neighboring states, and Crawford won the Virginia vote overwhelmingly and polled well in North Carolina. Jackson had geographically the broadest support, though there were heavy vote concentrations in his home state of Tennessee and in Pennsylvania and populous areas where even he ran poorly. Regardless, not every candidate appeared on the ballot in every state with a popular vote. Policy played a reduced role in the election, though positions on tariffs and internal improvements did create significant disagreements. Both Adams and Jackson supporters backed Secretary of War John C. Calhoun of South Carolina for Vice President. He easily secured the majority of electoral votes for that office. After the election, Calhoun frequently opposed Adams's policies.
The campaigning for presidential election of 1824 took many forms. Contrafacta, or well known songs and tunes whose lyrics have been altered, were used to promote political agendas and presidential candidates. Below can be found a sound clip featuring "Hunters of Kentucky", a tune written by Samuel Woodsworth in 1815 under the title "The Unfortunate Miss Bailey". Contrafacta such as this one, which promoted Andrew Jackson as a national hero, have been a long-standing tradition in presidential elections. Another form of campaigning during this election was through newsprint. Political cartoons and partisan writings were best circulated among the voting public through newspapers. Presidential candidate John C. Calhoun was one of the candidates most directly involved through his participation in the publishing of the newspaper The Patriot as a member of the editorial staff. This was a sure way to promote his own political agendas and campaign. In contrast, most candidates involved in early 19th century elections did not run their own political campaigns. Instead it was left to volunteer citizens and partisans to speak on their behalf.
The 1824 presidential election marked the final collapse of the Republican-Federalist political framework. The electoral map confirmed the candidates' sectional support, with Adams winning in New England, Jackson having wide voter appeal, Clay attracting votes from the West, and Crawford attracting votes from the eastern South. Jackson earned only a plurality of electoral votes. Thus, the election was decided by the House of Representatives (see "Contingent election" below). John C. Calhoun, supported by Adams and Jackson, easily won the vice presidency.
|Presidential candidate||Party||Home state||Popular vote[a]||Electoral vote|
|John Quincy Adams[c]||Democratic-Republican||Massachusetts||113,122||30.92%||84|
|William Harris Crawford[d]||Democratic-Republican||Georgia||40,856||11.21%||41|
|Needed to win||131|
|Vice Presidential candidate||Party||State||Electoral vote|
|John C. Calhoun||Democratic-Republican||South Carolina||182|
|Nathan Sanford||Democratic-Republican||New York||30|
|Nathaniel Macon||Democratic-Republican||North Carolina||24|
|Martin Van Buren||Democratic-Republican||New York||9|
|Needed to win||131|
Results by state
|John Quincy Adams
|Connecticut||8||no ballots||7,494||70.39||8||no ballots||1,965||18.46||-||10,647||CT|
|Delaware||3||no popular vote||no popular vote||1||no popular vote||no popular vote||2||-||DE|
|Georgia||9||no popular vote||no popular vote||no popular vote||no popular vote||9||-||GA|
|Kentucky||14||6,356||27.23||-||no ballots||16,982||72.77||14||no ballots||23,338||KY|
|Louisiana||5||no popular vote||3||no popular vote||2||no popular vote||no popular vote||-||LA|
|Maine||9||no ballots||10,289||81.50||9||no ballots||2,336||18.50||-||12,625||ME|
|Massachusetts||15||no ballots||30,687||72.97||15||no ballots||no ballots||42,056||MA|
|New Hampshire||8||no ballots||9,389||93.59||8||no ballots||643||6.41||-||10,032||NH|
|New Jersey||8||10,332||52.08||8||8,309||41.89||-||no ballots||1,196||6.03||-||19,837||NJ|
|New York||36||no popular vote||1||no popular vote||26||no popular vote||4||no popular vote||5||-||NY|
|North Carolina||15||20,231||56.03||15||no ballots||no ballots||15,622||43.26||-||36,109||NC|
|Rhode Island||4||no ballots||2,145||91.47||4||no ballots||200||8.53||-||2,345||RI|
|South Carolina||11||no popular vote||11||no popular vote||no popular vote||no popular vote||-||SC|
|Vermont||7||no popular vote||no popular vote||7||no popular vote||no popular vote||-||VT|
Breakdown by ticket
|Electoral votes for President:||261||99||84||40||38|
|For Vice President, John C. Calhoun||182||99||74||2||7|
|For Vice President, Nathan Sanford||30||2||28|
|For Vice President, Nathaniel Macon||24||24|
|For Vice President, Andrew Jackson||13||9||1||3|
|For Vice President, Martin Van Buren||9||9|
|For Vice President, Henry Clay||2||2|
|(No vote for Vice President)||1||1|
1825 contingent election
With no electoral majority, a contingent election was performed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Following the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment, the top three candidates by electoral votes were admitted as candidates in the House: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and William Crawford. Speaker of the House Henry Clay, who had finished fourth, was disqualified.
Clay detested Jackson and had said of him, "I cannot believe that killing 2,500 Englishmen at New Orleans qualifies for the various, difficult, and complicated duties of the Chief Magistracy." Moreover, Clay's American System was closer to Adams' position on tariffs and internal improvements than Jackson's. Even had Clay wished to align with Crawford, no path to victory was evident. Clay thus used his political influence in the House to motivate House delegations in states where he had won at least a voting plurality to vote for Adams. Thus Adams was elected President on February 9, 1825, on the first ballot, with 13 states, followed by Jackson with 7, and Crawford with 4.
Adams' victory shocked Jackson, who, as the winner of a plurality of both the popular and electoral votes, expected the House to choose him. His claim to deserve victory was exaggerated, as the results do not clearly indicate a popular or electoral mandate, but his supporters maximized it in the venue of public opinion. Not long before the contingent House election, an anonymous statement appeared in a Philadelphia paper, called the Columbian Observer. The statement, said to be from a member of Congress, essentially accused Clay of selling Adams his support for the office of Secretary of State. This charge was unsubstantiated, but had a political impact. When Clay was indeed offered the position after Adams was victorious, he opted to accept and continue to support the administration he voted for, knowing that declining the position would not have helped to dispel the rumors brought against him. By appointing Clay his Secretary of State, President Adams essentially declared him heir to the Presidency, as Adams and his three predecessors had all served as Secretary of State. Jackson and his followers accused Adams and Clay of striking a "corrupt bargain". The Jacksonians would campaign on this claim for the next four years, ultimately helping Jackson defeat Adams in 1828.
Results by state in House of Representatives
|Delegation winner||Adams vote||Jackson vote||Crawford vote|
|Total votes||Adams||87 (41%)||71 (33%)||54 (25%)|
|Votes by state||Adams||13 (54%)||7 (29%)||4 (17%)|
Electoral College selection
|Method of choosing electors||State(s)|
|Each Elector chosen by voters statewide|
|Each Elector appointed by state legislature|
|State divided into electoral districts, some with plural districts|
- Corrupt bargain
- Electoral college
- History of the United States (1789–1849)
- Inauguration of John Quincy Adams
- Realigning election
- Second Party System
- Smoke-filled room
- 1824 and 1825 United States House of Representatives elections
- 1824 and 1825 United States Senate elections
- The popular vote figures exclude Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, South Carolina, and Vermont. In all of these states, the Electors were chosen by the state legislatures rather than by popular vote.
- Jackson was nominated by the Tennessee state legislature and by the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania.
- Adams was nominated by the Massachusetts state legislature.
- Crawford was nominated by a caucus of 66 congressmen that called itself the "Democratic members of Congress".
- Clay was nominated by the Kentucky state legislature.
- "National General Election VEP Turnout Rates, 1789-Present". United States Election Project. CQ Press.
- Ammon, 1958, p. 4: "The phrase 'Era of Good Feelings", so inextricably associated with the administration of James Monroe ..."
- Ammon, 1958, p. 5: "Most Republicans like former President [James] Madison readily acknowledged the shift that had taken place within the Republican party towards Federalist principles and viewed the process without qualms." And p. 4: "The Republicans had taken over (as they saw it) that which was of permanent value in the Federal program." And p. 10: "Federalists had vanished" from national politics.
- Brown, 1966, p. 23: "a new theory of party amalgamation preached the doctrine that party division was bad and that a one-party system best served the national interest" and "After 1815, stirred by the nationalism of the post-war era, and with the Federalists in decline, the Republicans took up the Federalist positions on a number of the great public issues of the day, sweeping all before them as they did. The Federalists gave up the ghost."
- Brown, 1966, p. 23: The amalgamated Republicans, "as a party of the whole nation ... ceased to be responsive to any particular elements in its constituency. It ceased to be responsive to the South." And "The insistence that slavery was uniquely a Southern concern, not to be touched by outsiders, had been from the outset a sine qua non for Southern participation in national politics. It underlay the Constitution and its creation of a government of limited powers ..."
- Brown, 1966, p. 24: "Not only did the Missouri crisis make these matters clear [the need to revive strict constructionist principles and quiet anti-slavery agitation], but 'it gave marked impetus to a reaction against nationalism and amalgamation of postwar Republicanism'" and the rise of the Old Republicans.
- Ammon, 1971 (James Monroe bio) p. 463: "The problems presented by the [consequences of promoting Federalist economic nationalism] gave an opportunity to the older, more conservative [Old] Republicans to reassert themselves by attributing the economic dislocation to a departure from the principles of the Jeffersonian era."
- Parsons, 2009, p. 56: "Animosity between Federalists and Republicans had been replaced by animosity between Republicans themselves, often over the same issues that had once separated them from the Federalists."
- Wilentz, 2008, p. 251–252: "The panic ... was pivotal ... the hard times of 1819 and early 1820s revive[d] ... fundamental questions about the nationalist economic policies of the new-style Republicans under Madison and Monroe, and focused inchoate popular resentments on the banks, especially the Second BUS." p. 252: "The Missouri controversy ... proved for more important than the [incidental] outbursts."
- Wilentz, 2008, p. 252: "Both the panic and the Missouri debates underscored in different ways the overriding question of democracy as Americans perceived it. In economic matters, the questions arose primarily as a matter of privilege. Should unelected private interests, well connected to government, be permitted to control, to their own benefit, the economic destiny of the entire nation?"
- Hofstadter, 1947, p. 51: The "general mass of the disaffection to the Government was not sufficiently concentrated to prevent re-election, unopposed, of President Monroe in 1820 in the absence of a national opposition party; but it soon transformed politics in many states. Debtors rushed into politics to defend themselves, and secured moratoriums and relief laws from the legislatures of several Western states ... A popular demand arose for laws to prevent imprisonment for debt, for a national bankruptcy law, and for a new tariff and public land policies. For the first time Americans thought of politics as having an intimate relation to their welfare."
- Ratcliffe, Donald (2015). The One-Party Presidential Contest: Adams, Jackson, and 1824's Five-Horse Race.[full citation needed]
- Bradley, Harold. "Andrew Jackson". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica, inc. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
- Patrick, John J.; Pious, Richard M.; Ritchie, Donald A. (2001). The Oxford Guide to the United States Government. Oxford University Press. p. 93.
- Hansen, Liane (October 5, 2008). "Songs Along The Campaign Trail". Election 2008: On The Campaign Trail (Radio series episode). National Public Radio.
- Hay, Thomas R. (October 1934). "John C. Calhoun and the Presidential Campaign of 1824, Some Unpublished Calhoun Letters". The American Historical Review. 40 (1): 82–96. doi:10.1086/ahr/40.1.82. JSTOR 1838676.
- McNamara, R. (September 2007). "The Election of 1824 Was Decided in the House of Representatives". About.com. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
- Schimler, Stuart (February 12, 2002). "Singing to the Oval Office: A Written History of the Political Campaign Song". President Elect Articles. Archived from the original on December 28, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2008.
- Leip, David. "1824 Presidential Election Results". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved July 26, 2005.
- "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved July 30, 2005.
- Henry Clay to Francis Preston Blair, January 29, 1825.[full citation needed]
- Adams, John Quincy; Adams, Charles Francis (1874). Memoirs of John Quincy Adams: Comprising Portions of His Diary from 1795 to 1848. J.B. Lippincott & Co. pp. 501–505. ISBN 978-0-8369-5021-2. Retrieved August 2, 2006 – via Google Books.
- United States Congress (1825). House Journal. 18th Congress, 2nd Session, February 9. pp. 219–222. Retrieved August 2, 2006.
- Schlesinger, Arthur Meier; Israel, Fred L. (1971). History of American Presidential Elections, 1789–1968, Volume I, 1789–1844. New York: Chelsea House. pp. 379–381. ISBN 978-0070797864. Retrieved November 19, 2008 – via Google Books.
- McMaster, J. B. (1900). History of the People of the United States... vol. V. New York: D. Appleton and Company. p. 81. Reprinted in Bemis, Samuel Flagg (1965). John Quincy Adams and the Union. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 54.
- Akin (1824). "Caucus curs in full yell, or a war whoop, to saddle on the people, a pappoose president / J[ames] Akin, Aquafortis". Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Three electors, three districts.
- Fourteen electors, three plural districts, one electing four electors and the other two electing five each.
- Eleven electors, nine districts; two plural districts.
- Three electors, three districts.
- Eleven electors, 11 districts.
- Ammons, Harry. 1959. "James Monroe and the Era of Good Feelings". Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, LXVI, No. 4 (October 1958), pp. 387–398, in Essays on Jacksonian America, Ed. Frank Otto Gatell. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970.
- Brown, Richard H. 1966. "The Missouri Crisis, Slavery, and the Politics of Jacksonianism". South Atlantic Quarterly, pp. 55–72, in Essays on Jacksonian America, Ed. Frank Otto Gatell. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970.
- Dangerfield, George. 1965. The Awakening of American Nationalism: 1815-1828. New York: Harper & Row.
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- Nagel, Paul C. (1960). "The Election of 1824: A Reconsideration Based on Newspaper Opinion". Journal of Southern History. 26 (3): 315–329. doi:10.2307/2204522. JSTOR 2204522.
- Ratcliffe, Donald J. The One-Party Presidential Contest: Adams, Jackson, and 1824's Five-Horse Race (University Press of Kansas, 2015) xiv, 354 pp.
- Murphy, Sharon Ann. "A Not-So-Corrupt Bargain". Review of The One-Party Presidential Contest: Adams, Jackson and 1824's Five-Horse Race by Donald Ratcliffe. Common-place, Vol. 16, No. 4.
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