19th Century Election Strategies

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Throughout the early decades of the 19th century, it is apparent that the country 's mood had swayed from the strong nationalism following the Era of Good feelings, to a political controversy consumed in personal and sectional interests. Campaign strategies in the early elections from the year 1924 through 1844 laid the foundation for future campaigns, such as promoting popular image, hosting rallies to promote ideals, and most importantly, highlighting the competitors flaws. With the fall of the Federalist Party, the new democratic-republican competition to win the popular and electoral votes became more of a political battle than simply running for office. In the years following the election of 1824, after it had been determined "that [presidential …show more content…
Similarly, the election of 1840 relied heavily on portraying false images about the competing candidates through the use of songs and slander. These early presidential elections were consumed in the idea of misrepresenting the enemy and winning the public’s interest, rather than utilizing their time to convey their political goals in office, and it is this "drama" that increased voter turn-out exponentially and sparked the excitement of elections to come. The election of 1824 was an exciting time in which previous political caucus methods were non-existent, and many new voters emerged as the criteria for property ownership to vote was exterminated. Although there were five presidential candidates, the race to win states votes remained a clear competition for two candidates, Jackson and Adams. Andrew Jackson held the reputation of an outsider, a self-made man who worked his way to Congressional office, and was also deemed a war hero after the Battle of New Orleans. The General was supported by voters in the south and west, as well as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and claimed "152,901 out of 361,120 [popular] …show more content…
The Whigs were eager to make a name for themselves as they strived to maintain unity as a national party. They blamed Jackson for the Panic of 1837 claiming Jackson 's Species circular, an executive order requiring gold and silver for land purchases, was the reason for economic collapse. The Whigs decide to do away with Henry Clay and promote Harrison. Similar to Jackson, Harrison was a war hero and was promoted for being a common man of the west. On the contrary, Van Buren was depicted as a wealthy snob who did not relate to the people. After Van Buren took office-succeeding Jackson, it did not take long for Whig supporters to promote Harrison 's campaign. They fueled off of democratic ignorance as a reported claimed that Harrison could be bought off with "a barrel of hard cider," and a "pension of two thousand a year" (Watson,215). This generalist claim upset thousands of frontiersmen who still lived in log cabins and affected other citizens that reminisced on the idea of the frontier who were upset of the frontier’s moral and political decay. Instead of sulking on these claims from the democrats, the Whig party uplifted them. Whigs continued to strive for the presidency, deeming the democrats as elitist. they built many log cabins at rallies, parading what now symbolized the appeals of the Whig

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