Archive for the ‘10th President’ Tag

Choosing A President: 1824   1 comment

John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States, after losing the popular vote and losing the electoral college vote.

John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States, after losing the popular vote and losing the electoral college vote.

It was chaos.

In our 10th Presidential election, no candidate won a majority of the electoral college vote. In such a situation, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution governs what happens next: when no single candidate gets a majority of the electoral college vote, the election of the President is thrown into the House of Representative, who choose from the top 3 electoral candidates in a single vote. That’s exactly what happened 192 years ago.

We think today’s politics are crazy? Here is what happened in 1824:

The # 2 political party, the Federalist Party, had effectively dissolved, leaving only the Democratic-Republican Party standing. The Democratic-Republican Party had in fact won the last 6 elections for President. Unfortunately, in 1824 the Party could not agree on a single candidate, so they fielded what were essentially 4 regional candidates: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William H Crawford & Henry Clay.

Andrew Jackson was the popular favorite, and his group would eventually become what we know today as the Democratic Party. John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay represented a group that would become the National Republican Party (which is not the same thing as today’s G.O.P.).

Andrew Jackson “won” the popular vote – though in this era, not all states even had a popular vote. Rather, some states simply empowered their state legislature to decide how their state’s electoral votes should be cast for President!  Jackson did win 99 of the 261 Electoral College votes. That was the largest number won (with John Q Adams 2nd with 84) … so neither of them won a majority of the electoral votes. In this election, they would have had to have 131 votes to win the Presidency outright.

But they didn’t.

Andrew Jackson, the popular vote winner in 1824, but not President until he won again in 1828.

Andrew Jackson, the popular vote winner in 1824, but not President until he won again in 1828.

So, it was up the the House of Representatives to choose the 6th President of the United States. The Speaker of the House was Henry Clay, who finished 4th in the Electoral College vote and thus was excluded from the Top 3 that the House would choose from. Clay endorsed Adams, and that helped to swing the vote to Adams. The final House tally was Adams 87, Jackson 71 and Crawford 54. Adams was the new President, by a margin of 16 votes in the House.

Adams later appointed Clay to become Secretary of State, which was a rumored deal when Clay first endorsed Adams. Neither Adams nor Clay ever confirmed such a deal existed, but the alleged deal became known as the “Corrupt Bargain” in the press. Jackson railed against this supposed backroom deal throughout Adams’ term, and then unseated him as President in the election of 1828.

John Quincy Adams thus joined his father as the only one-term Presidents in the then-short history of our Republic.

History Repeating In 2016?

Let’s pretend the current front runners, Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton, win their parties’ nominations. However, since they both have very large negative ratings, a movement happens to bring another candidate onto the Presidential ballot in November … let’s nominate the most popular Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine (liked by 78% of her constituents!). Collins promises to nominate prominent politicians into her cabinet, perhaps choosing popular Ohio Governor John Kasich or California Governor Jerry Brown as Vice President. Trump & Clinton run a dead heat of a race, and neither wins 270 electoral votes. If Ms. Collins just won her state’s electoral votes – finishing # 3 overall in the electoral vote of the Presidential race – then the House could choose to elect her over both Trump and Clinton.

That’s not my prediction, mind you, but it could happen!


Huffington Post: Doomsday Savior?

Wikipedia: United States Presidential Election, 1824

270ToWin:Presidential Election Of 1824

Portrait: John Quincy Adams

Portraits: John Tyler   Leave a comment

John Tyler (1790 – 1862)John Tyler circa 1850 Daguerreotype

The 10th President of the United States, 1841 – 1845

AKA: His Accidency (from his opponents; he was the first President be elevated to the office after the death of his predecessor)

From: Virginia

College: The College of William & Mary

Married to: Letitia Christian, Julia Gardiner

Children: Mary, Robert, John Jr, Letitia, Elizabeth, Anne Contesse, Alice, Tazewell, David Gardiner, John Alexander, Julia Gardiner, Lachlan, Lyon Gardiner, Robert Fitzwalter, Pearl

Party: Independent, 1841 – 1862; Whig, 1834 – 1841; Democratic, 1824 – 1834; Democratic-Republican, before 1825

Previous Jobs: lawyer, Chancellor of the College of William & Mary, US Congressman, Governor of Virginia, US Senator, President pro tempore of the US Senate, Vice President

In His Words: “Popularity, I have always thought, may aptly be compared to a coquette – the more you woo her, the more apt is she to elude your embrace.”

“I can never consent to being dictated to as to what I shall or shall not do. I, as President, shall be responsible for my administration. I hope to have your hearty co-operation in carrying out its measures. So long as you see fit to do this, I shall be glad to have you with me. When you think otherwise, your resignations will be accepted.”

“So far as it depends on the course of this government, our relations of good will and friendship will be sedulously cultivated with all nations.”

“For how can the example of a democratic America be resisted? Do you not perceive that a light is breaking forth everywhere? That this same free America has already civilized a continent, which when we were boys was almost all in a wilderness state?”

“In 1840 I was called from my farm to undertake the administration of public affairs and I foresaw that I was called to a bed of thorns. I now leave that bed which has afforded me little rest, and eagerly seek repose in the quiet enjoyments of rural life.”

“If the tide of defamation and abuse shall turn, and my administration come to be praised, future Vice-Presidents who may succeed to the Presidency may feel some slight encouragement to pursue an independent course.”

Not true: Tyler is now a US citizen, but was not when he died!  After leaving office in 1845, Tyler worked to resolve the differences between the North and the South, but when he could not get Virginia to compromise, he supported secession.  He was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives, but died before taking his seat.  He’s often thought of as a traitor, and was actually not a citizen when he died.  He’s the first President whose death was not recognized by the US government.  His citizenship was restored over 100 years later by President Carter.

True: Tyler was vehemently against the slave trade, but was supportive of slavery itself.  He believed in the ascendancy of the white man over the black man.

After he did not support key Whig policies after he assumed the Presidency, the Whigs dropped this sitting President from their party!

President Tyler would often play his violin at White House parties. At one time he wanted to be a concert violinist.

During his Presidency, Florida was admitted as a state, Texas was annexed and Tyler extended Monroe Doctrine protection to Hawaii.

Tyler was one of two Presidents widowed while in office (Wilson was the other).

When President Harrison died in 1841, our country faced for the first time the transition for the elected Vice President to assume the office of the Presidency.  It was no certain thing, with all of the turmoil of the mid-19th century.  President Tyler asserted himself immediately and properly, ensuring future generations could count on a smooth transition of power.

President Tyler would often play his violin at White House parties. At one time he wanted to be a concert violinist.

Tyler would return unopened any mail – any mail – that failed to address him properly as president.

The Official Portrait: One of several presidential portraits painted by George P. A. Healy.  This painting is dated 1859, and was displayed in the White Blue Room as recently as 2009.

I am fascinated with the contempt for journalism shown in this portrait!


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