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U.S. presidential election, 1828

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Presidential electoral votes by state.
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Presidential electoral votes by state.

Held on December 2, the U.S. presidential election of 1828 featured a rematch between incumbent President John Quincy Adams and chief rival Andrew Jackson, who was now a candidate under the banner of the new Democratic Party.

Unlike the 1824 election, no other major candidates appeared in the race, allowing Jackson to consolidate a power base and easily win an electoral victory over Adams.

Vice President John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina would earn the distinction of being the first Vice President to resign from office, doing so on December 28, 1832 to become a Senator from his home state.

Contents

Background

Andrew Jackson had won a plurality of both the popular(a) and electoral votes in the election of 1824, but had still been beaten by John Quincy Adams when the election was thrown into the House of Representatives. Henry Clay, the then-Speaker of the House, had played kingmaker by throwing his support to Adams; when Adams made Clay his Secretary of State, Jackson and his followers accused Clay and Adams of a "corrupt bargain", and had been bashing Adams' presidency as illegitimate ever since.

(a) It should be noted that a full quarter of the states did not hold a popular vote.

General election

Campaign

This campaign was marked by an impressive amount of mud-slinging. Jackson's marriage came in for attack: when he had married his wife Rachel, the couple had believed that she was divorced; however, the divorce was not yet finalized, so he had had to remarry her once the legal papers were complete. In the Adams campaign's hands, this became a scandal. One pamphlet asked: "Ought a convicted adulteress and her paramour husband to be placed in the highest offices of this free and christian land?"

The notorious Coffin Handbills attacked Jackson for his courts martial and execution of deserters, for his massacres of Indian villages, and for his habit of dueling.

Adams did not escape attack. It was charged that Adams, while serving as Minister to Russia, had surrendered an American servant girl to the appetites of the Czar. Adams was accused of using public funds to buy gambling devices for the presidential residence; it turned out that these were a chess set and a pool table.

Results

Adams won exactly the same states that his father had won in the election of 1800: the New England states, New Jersey, and Delaware. Jackson won everything else. Unfortunately for Adams, there was a lot more everything else in this election than there had been in 1800, and he lost in a landslide.

Template:Start U.S. presidential ticket box Template:U.S. presidential ticket box rowspan Template:U.S. presidential ticket box vp subrow Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:End U.S. presidential ticket box (a) The popular vote figures exclude Delaware and South Carolina. In both of these states, the Electors were chosen by the state legislatures rather than by popular vote.
(b) Template:U.S. popular vote total disclaimer

Aftermath

Rachel Jackson had been having chest pains throughout the campaign, aggravated by the personal attacks on her marriage. She became ill and died, humiliated on December 23, 1828. Jackson accused the Adams campaign of causing her death, saying, "May God Almighty forgive her murderers as I know she forgave them. I never can."

Electoral college selection

Method of choosing Electors State(s)
each Elector appointed by state legislature Delaware
South Carolina
state is divided into electoral districts, with one Elector chosen per district by the voters of that district Maryland
Tennessee
  • two Electors chosen by voters statewide
  • one Elector chosen per Congressional district by the voters of that district
Maine
  • one Elector chosen per Congressional district by the voters of that district
  • remaining two Electors chosen by the other Electors
New York
each Elector chosen by voters statewide (all other states)

See also

Template:Uspresidentialelections

References

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