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1982 Election

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AP American History October 21, 1997 The year of 1828 was a tumultuous year in American politics. It so happened that it was a presidential election year. The election of 1828 was different from any other presidential election up to that point. The election not only set a precedent, but was also one of the bitterest in American history. Out of all the elections up to that point, it had all the makings of a present-day campaign. The two modern aspects evident in the campaign were horrific mudslinging and the choice of presidential electors by a popular vote. The two men running for the office of president that year were the incumbent, John Adams, and the once-defeated Andrew Jackson. John Adams ran as a National Republican, later to be known as the Whigs. Adams had the support of the respectable Secretary of State, Henry Clay, but he did not have the support of his own Vice-President, John C. Calhoun. Calhoun was very powerful in the politics of that time period. He threw his support in favor Jackson because he could tell that Adams and the Republicans wanted Henry Clay to succeed Adams in the election of 1832. William H. Crawford, presidential hopeful in 1824, also gave his support to Jackson. However, the most important man to lend his backing to Jackson was Martin Van Buren, because he could tell that Jackson was going places. Jackson was running as a Democratic Republican. Because the Democrats are widely known to be the party of the common man, Jackson could use the theory of us against them. The Democrats also gained the support of the newly formed Workingman's Party. When Adams had beaten Jackson for president four years before, the Jacksonians protested that there was a corrupt bargain between Clay and Adams. This came about because once the vote went to the House of Representatives, Clay, a candidate, threw his support in favor of Adams. Once in office, Adams made Clay Secretary of State. Throughout Adams' administration and the campaign, the Jacksonians made the phrase corrupt bargain a rallying cry for their supporters. Adams though made enemies of his allies by refusing to remove competent civil servants from their jobs in favor of his political friends. Adams' views were already known so he had to run on those. Jackson however was for anything against Adams that made Adams look bad. Everything else he was safely shrewd in defining his position on the current issues of the time. He would just put himself in the middle if he didn't have an opinion or he didn't want to upset his supporters. So, in fact, he ran without a program. While he campaigned in the South, his friends in Washington, led by Van Buren, were winning the election for him. They concocted a tariff bill aimed at attracting electoral votes in both the Northeast and Northwest by hiking the protective rates on items favored in those areas. It was called the Tariff of Abominations, especially in the South. This raised dislike for the Adams Administration. That year was also the first year in which presidential electors were chosen by popular vote instead of congressional caucuses. This made the election even more democratic, which is what the Democrats, as they had come to be known, wanted. The Democrats,



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