Some of the most important presidential elections

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1812


The election of 1812 consisted of a battle between James Madison, and De Witt Clinton. Madison had represented both Democratic and Republican beliefs, while Clinton was a Federalist.

James Madison was born in Port Conway, Va., on March 16, 1751. A Princeton graduate, he joined the struggle for independence on his return to Virginia in 1771. He had been an active politician in the 1770's and 1780's. He was greatly know for championing the Jefferson reform program, and in the Continental Congress. Madison, in collaboration, had participated greatly in the, Federalist, a paper who's main purpose was to ratify the constitution. Madison first became president in 1809, when he bested Charles C. Pickney. He had led the U.S. in a very unpopular war, in which the U.S. hadn't been prepared for...the War of 1812.

De Witt Clinton was a Federalist, who's main purpose of the election was to get the U.S. out of a war in which he felt was very unnecessary. DeWitt held every major elective office in New York between 1797 and 1828--assemblyman, senator, mayor of New York City, lieutenant governor, and governor. He was a philanthropist and patron of the arts and science and, as canal commissioner, championed construction of the Erie and Champlain canals

The method in which these candidates received nomination was by the Electoral College, or by King Caucus. The idea of political conventions had not been present at this time. There were no third-party candidates in this election.

The major issue of this election was the War of 1812. The War of 1812, or "Mr. Madison's War", had been very unpopular among different sections of America. Mainly the ship owners in New England. The war was supposed to protect. This war was supposed to help their shipping, but instead, it had kept them from trading and making money.

The winner of the election of 1812 was James Madison. Madison collected 128 electoral votes, while Clinton received 89, and the number of "No Votes Cast" was 1. The Vice-presidential candidate, who won the election was Elbridge Gerry, who received 131 electoral votes, while Jared Ingersoll received 86. There was no record of the number of popular votes for this election.

My opinion of why Madison had won the election is because he had led the country into the War of 1812, and therefore, he should be allowed to fight it. He was also much more popular than De Witt Clinton. Madison's part in ratifying the Constitution, and his other early deeds, were also influential on the voters minds. He also did pretty well during his first term.

1844


The candidates for the election of 1844 were James K. Polk, and Henry Clay. Two very respectable men, who had great plans for the U.S. Polk represented the Democratic party, while Clay represented the Whigs.

James Knox Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, N.C., on November 2, 1795. He graduated from the University of North Carolina, from which he then moved to Tennessee, where he became prominent in state politics. He was elected to the house of representatives in 1825. He was elected Speaker of the House in 1835. Four years later, he was elected governor of Tennessee, but was beaten in tries for re-election in 1841, and 1843. Martin Van Buren, the president prior to the 1844 election, counted on Polk as his running mate; but when Van Buren's stand on Texas alienated Southern support, the convention swung to Polk on the Ninth ballot.

Henry Clay, a key figure in U.S. politics during the first half of the 19th century, was a master of the art of political compromise. Born in Hanover County, Va., on April 12, 1777, he studied law in Richmond and moved to the frontier state of Kentucky in 1797. Clay became more and more important in Kentucky politics, becoming speaker of the state assembly in 1807, and winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1811. Clay made his first try for the presidency in 1824. Four men ran, including Andrew Jackson, were on the ballot. When no candidate won a majority, Clay threw his support to John Quincy Adams. Adams won and promptly named Clay his secretary of state.

The party members won their candidacy by primary. The major upset of this time happened during the Democratic convention. Everyone expected Van Buren to be named the Democratic candidate, but because of Van Buren's