Election of 1828

The Election of 1824 had left supporters of Andrew Jackson bitterly disappointed. He had garnered the most electoral votes, but had been denied the presidency by the House of Representatives.

The Election of 1828 was unique in that nominations were no longer made by Congressional caucuses, but by conventions and the state legislatures. John Quincy Adams was re-nominated by forces then calling themselves the National Republicans; his running mate was Secretary of the Treasury Richard Rush. The Democratic Republican (soon to be simply Democratic) opposition was posed by Jackson and his vice-presidential candidate, John C. Calhoun (who had previously been vice president under Adams).

The campaign was the first true mud-slinging contest. Adams was accused of misusing public funds — he had supposedly purchased gambling devices for the presidential residence; actually he had simply bought a chessboard and a pool table. The charges against Jackson were much more malicious. He was accused of murder for executing militia deserters and dueling. In addition, he and his wife were accused of adultery. Rachel was a divorcee'; she and Jackson believed her divorce was finalized before their marriage. The papers were incomplete, however, and she was publicly branded an adulteress by Jackson's political opponents. Mrs. Jackson was humiliated, became ill and died before the inauguration. Jackson believed these attacks caused his wife's death and said, "May God Almighty forgive her murderers as I know she forgave them. I never can."

The election results were a clear victory for Jackson, but were highly sectional in nature. The South, West, and the states of Pennsylvania and New York went for Jackson; New England voted for Adams. The final tally showed:

Election of 1828
Candidates

Party

Electoral
Vote

Popular
Vote

Andrew Jackson (TN)
John C. Calhoun (SC)

Democrat
Republican

178

647,286

J.Q. Adams (MA)
Richard Rush (PA)

National
Republican

83

508,064


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American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham.
Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing ...
Mr. Adams's Last Crusade: The Extraordinary Post-presidential Life of John Quincy Adams by Joseph Wheelan.
Following his single term as President of the United States (18251829), John Quincy Adams, embittered by his loss to Andrew Jackson in the Election o...
The Birth of Modern Politics: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828 by Lynn Hudson Parson.
The 1828 presidential election, which pitted Major General Andrew Jackson against incumbent John Quincy Adams, has long been hailed as a watershed mom...

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