The Elections of 1828 and 1832

1828: Andrew Jackson (178 Electoral Votes)
          John Quincy Adams (83 Electoral Votes)

1832: Andrew Jackson (219 Electoral Votes)
          Henry Clay (49 Electoral Votes)

The election of 1828 was a grudge match.  Jackson’s supporters continued to accuse Adams of reaching the presidency through a corrupt bargain with Henry Clay.  Adams’ partisans accused Jackson of adultery for marrying his second wife before her divorce was final.  (The marriage had taken place before the divorce was final, but the couple had made the error inadvertently.)   Jackson easily won the Electoral College majority that eluded him in 1824.  John Quincy Adams became the most distinguished American ex-President, returning to politics as a member of the House of Representatives, where he led the opposition to rules requiring the suppression of antislavery petitions.  Jackson pursued policies of limiting government (vetoing internal improvements and renewal of the charter for the Bank of the United States) and promoting a more democratic politics (at least for white men).  In 1832, Jackson faced his other nemesis from 1824, Henry Clay (perhaps the greatest American statesman never to reach the presidency), and easily won a second term. The followers of Jackson and Clay coalesced into the parties that would dominate the next two decades, the Democrats and Whigs.

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