Impact on the 1824 Election

 
 
                Although Andrew Jackson didn’t win the election of 1824, he was clearly the favorite for

the citizens of the Unites States, having won 43 percent of the popular vote.  He went on to win

the 1828 election.  This might have not happened if male suffrage hadn’t been extended.

                Before 1800, the right to vote was limited to white male property owners or taxpayers,

resulting in political control resting in the hands of the elite.  Western expansion, however, was

undermining this practice.  Most of the new western states allowed all white males over the age

of 21 the right to vote.  By 1820, most of the older states followed.  Competition for votes

between political parties was the driving force behind this reform.  A few states, such as Rhode

Island, Virginia, and Louisiana, didn’t liberalize until later on, but by the 1840’s, more than 90

percent of adult white males in America could vote.  Most African men and women of any race

were denied the right to vote, though.

                The election of 1824 ended up being between Andrew Jackson of Tennessee and John

Quincy Adams of Massachusetts.  Jackson had a wide appeal, especially in southern and western

regions, and won 43 percent of the popular vote and 99 electoral votes.  Adams had 31 percent of

the popular vote and 84 electoral votes, but became president because of the “corrupt bargain.” 

                Jackson was clearly the favorite among voters.  He grew up in North Carolina, and made

a career in Nashville, Tennessee.  He had owned slaves and was ruthless toward the Native

Americans.  Jackson was a symbol of the “common man”, and since male suffrage was extended,

poorer citizens felt better represented.

                Andrew Jackson ran for the presidency again in 1828, and voter turnout was more than

double that of 1824.  Jackson’s political party was called the Democrats, which opposed special

privileges and favored states’ rights.  His running mate was John C. Calhoun of South Carolina,

who was the then-current vice president under John Quincy Adams.  Adams was running for

reelection with his National Republican Party.

 Rigorous campaigning was done from both sides to support their candidates.  There were

also rumors against the opposing candidate.  Jackson won, with 56 percent of the popular vote

and 178 electoral votes.  His victory was also a “victory for the common man.”  His party had

support in the North, South, and West. 

Jackson’s time as president began a new age in politics, which historians call the “Age of

the Common Man.”  Jackson had a mass appeal to ordinary people all over the nation.  Because

of the expansion of male suffrage in the early 1800’s, ordinary people had the chance to directly

vote for whom they thought best represented their needs and interests.  Andrew Jackson was

their pick.

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