Andrew Jackson



The year was 1824. The election of this year was very unusual because of the number of candidates running for president. One of the candidates was Andrew Jackson, or ?Old Hickory? as they called him, a general that had won the Battle of New Orleans(which was a battle not needed) in the War of 1812. Jackson became a hero after this war, and it would bring him all the way to the presidency. Another one of the candidates was John Quincy Adams. The son of John Adams, the second president of the United States, Adams was a excellent debator from New England. He was the only candidate from the NorthEast. The two other candidates were William Crawford and Henry Clay. Crawford, the secretary of the Treasury during the presidential term of James Monroe, seemed desperate for votes. Martin Van Buren, a political influence from New York, supported Crawford. James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, actually made Crawford the candidate of the fading Virginia Dynasty which h!

ad controlled the presidency for twenty-four years thanks mostly in part to a working agreement with New York. I think Van Buren supported Crawford because of the respect that he had for this fading dynasty.

In May of 1824, a Cumberland planter, Alfred Bach, visiting Washington, sent John Overton a disturbing account of Jackson?s prospects. ?I think his strength is {giving} out... Crd is undoubtedly the strongest man.? Daniel Webster surveyed the field with satisfaction. ?Jackson?s interest is evidently on the wane.? When all the votes were in, Jackson received the popular vote, but he didn?t have the majority needed in the electoral college to become president. The vote then was in the hands of the House of Representatives. Jackson had ninety-nine votes, Adams with eighty-four, Crawford with forty-one, and Clay with thirty-seven. Jackson only needed two more votes to become president. This statement was in The New York Statesman, a journal not unfriendly to Adams. It predicted that he would get three on the first ballot-Ohio, Kentucky, and Missouri. Clay?s most distinguished supporter in the west, Thomas Hart Benton, who had private reasons to hate Jackson, promptly announced!

that as Missouri preferred Jackson to Adams he was for Jackson. Benton didn?t have the casting of Missouri?s vote, however. That would be the duty of John Scott, the state?s sole representative. When Scott declared that nothing could induce him to vote for Adams, hasty observers, of whom there were many, counted the twelfth state for Jackson. After this vote, only one more remained for Old Hickory. It seemed within easy reach.

Kentucky indicated that it would support Jackson. The same was expected with Ohio. Henry Randolph Storrs, a clay man from Utica, exclaimed that the only way Adams could get New York was through the support of the Crawford people. ?And let them do it if they dare.?

Clay knew that he couldn?t win. It was between Jackson and Adams, and Jackson was on the verge of gaining the presidency. The only way Adams could win was to get votes from either Crawford of Clay. The Jacksonians didn?t suspect this, however. Clay seemed to be leaning away from Jackson. Clay declined to follow his friend and lieutenant, Benton, into the Jackson camp. He was going to vote for Adams.

In fact, Clay never intended to vote for Jackson. He had met with Adams when he first got to the capital. Jackson was outraged by this decision because it gave Adams the necessary majority in the House. Therefore John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States. Clay was offered the Secretary of State job by Adams, which he graciously accepted. Jackson called this ?confidential interview? a ?corrupt bargain? and he vowed to do everything that he can to win the presidency in 1828.

When the election of 1828 came around, the presidential candidates sunk to a new low. Adams and Clay took massive shots at Rachel Jackson, the wife of Old Hickory. When all the votes were tallied, Jackson came out on top again. Only this time, he had the necessary majority in the electoral college. Jackson had little to celebrate, however. His wife, Rachel, died a couple days before his inauguration. One of her last remarks were,? I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of God than to live in that palace.? Jackson blamed her death on both his political enemies and himself.

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