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Election of 1824

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The election of 1824 is one of the most unique and interesting elections in American history. The four candidates in the election were William Crawford, Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson. They were all from the Jacksonian Republican Party.

William H. Crawford was very experienced in politics. Before running for president in 1824, he was James Monroe's secretary of war and he was also secretary of treasury under Monroe and James Madison. He also served in congress as an U.S. Senator from Georgia. He was a minister to France from 1813 through

1815. Prior to the election of 1824, Crawford had a stroke and was nearly blinded. Despite his health, the Congressional caucuses selected Crawford for their presidential candidate. This move proved very unpopular with many states and they decided they were no longer obligated to support the caucus's nominee.1

Henry Clay was originally from Virginia but eventually moved to Lexington, Kentucky. In Kentucky, he was elected to the state legislature in 1803 and served in it until 1809. After leaving the state legislature, Clay was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1811. While in the House of Representatives, he became one of the leaders of the "War Hawks." In 1820, Clay brought about the Missouri Compromise. Clay eventually became the Speaker of the House and had great influenced over the House and he was a slaveholder. Later in his life he became known as "The Great Pacificator" and "The Great Compromiser."2

Andrew Jackson was the first person ever elected to the House of Representatives from Tennessee. After leaving the House, he served in the Senate. In the war of 1812, Jackson became one the major generals of the war and he became the national hero of the war when he defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans. After this battle people nationwide started calling him "Old Hickory."3 Jackson said his main concern if he was president would be the internal improvements to the nation to guarantee national defense and he claimed adherence to a "judicious tariff."4

John Quincy Adams, the son of former president John Adams, had a very rich political background prior to the election of 1824. In 1803, he was elected to the senate. He spent a few years in the senate, and then in 1809, James Madison appointed Adams his minister to St. Petersburg. He helped to bring about the end of The War of 1812 by help negotiate the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. After the war was over he became the minister to London in 1815. Then in 1817, James Monroe appointed Adams his secretary of state.5 Adams supported protective tariffs and federal programs that were intended for internal improvements. He was also had a much more formal manner than the other candidates.6

As for the election, Andrew Jackson had the most popular votes with 153,544. John Quincy Adams came in second with 108,740. Coming in third and fourth respectively were William Crawford and Henry Clay. Crawford had 46,618 votes and Clay had 47,136. Jackson also had the most electoral votes with 99; Adams had 84, 41 for Crawford, and Clay ended up with 37.7

At the time everyone thought this meant Jackson had one the election, but that was not the case. According to the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution, to win the presidential election one candidate must have more than 50% of the



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