Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Look Into History: U.S. Presidential Election of 1840

Martin Van Buren returned to seek his 2nd term as president despite leading the country into the Panic of 1837. He actually ran with no official running mate since the Democrats were tired of Vice President Johnson. 

William Henry Harrison returned as the sole candidate for the Whig Party. 

His running mate was the controversial John Tyler.

James G. Birney ran as the only distant 3rd party for the Liberty Party. Which ran on anti-slavery platform. 

The wake of The Panic of 1837 left the country in a sense of Anti-Van Buren feelings. Harrison used Jackson's strategy to run as a war hero, and as a "man of the people" so to speak. Harrison convinced voters he was a everyday man (despite being very wealthy), and that Van Buren was a rich snob living off the expensive of tax payers.

Harrison's plan worked quite well, with Van Buren suffering a massive loss in electoral votes. Harrison managed to get 234 electoral votes versus Buren's 60. The popular vote was a closer race with Buren only losing by 147,000.

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