Wednesday, May 25, 2016


It was not until 1832 when the Whigs became the National Republicans when the first national party convention was held in Baltimore. Henry Clay was their nominee for the Presidency.

Although Washington was the unanimous choice for the first President and elected by the Congress, there were no official political parties at the time but two factions existed; the Federalists and the Republicans. Their names reflected their political views. The VP was the candidate that received the next most votes.

In 1796 the electoral system was in use. The electors for each state cast their ballot in the state’s capitol on the first Wednesday in December but the ballots e=were not opened until the 2nd Wednesday in February.

The two major contenders were John Adams a Federalist and Jefferson a Republican. At that time the winner became President and the runner up was Vice President; therefore there was antagonism in the Executive branch.

By 1824 all States had been using caucuses to select candidates but that year all candidates boycotted the caucuses and ran individual campaigns. Indeed some states had already abandoned the “King Caucuses.”

Both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson were Republicans. Other candidates included Wm. Crawford and Henry Clay. It was a mudslinging election with the pamphleteers leading the way.

After multiple electoral ballots no one had obtained the required majority, Jackson had on the last ballot Jackson had 99 electoral votes Adams 84, votes JQA 84, H clay 37 Crawford 11.

The election then went to Congress’s House where each state delegation had 1 vote. Clay withdrew and gave his 3 state’s votes to JQA and he became President with Jackson his antagonistic VP

Jackson was infuriated by this deal and Clay became Secretary of State.

1832 marked the first national conventions. No longer would the state legislatures chose their candidates. The Democrat-Republicans became the Democrat Party led by Jackson and the National Republicans with Clay as the Candidate was now known as the Wigs after England’s conservative party.

In part due .to a Cholera epidemic the vote was light and Jackson was reelected by a 2:1 majority.

(To be continued at a later date)

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