In the 1840 PresidentialElection the race was between two people by the name of William H.
Harrison andMartin van Buren. William H. Harrison was the candidate for the Whig party andhis vice-presidential candidate was John Taylor.
On the other end of thespectrum was Martin van Buren, candidate for the Democratic party and hisrunning mate was Richard M. Johnson. The electoral votes for this election doesnot tell the full story, although it may have looked like a landslide win byWilliam H. Harrison with 234 electoral votes for Martin van Buren’s 60electoral votes. The popular vote was very close with William taking 1,275,390votes and Martin taking 1,128,854 votes. Martin won 6 of the 26 states at thetime, which is mainly way the electoral voting looked so lopsided, but thepopular vote did not.
Martin Van Buren was former president before the 1840election, he was in office from 1837-1841. He was one of the founders of thedemocratic party and held several positions in the Government. The only reasonhe won in the 1837 election was because he promised to continue AndrewJackson’s policies (former president). In 1837 a panic struck which led to theWhig Party gaining popularity and growing throughout the nation. The result ofthis ultimately led to his defeat in the election. Martin was most known fordefending Abraham Lincoln’s policies during the American Civil war. He was thefirst president to be born of Dutch descent and is the only president ever tospeak English as a second language. Martin became very unpopular withincongress and that is mainly why he was voted out of office.
William Henry Harrison was the 9th Presidentof the United States (this current election I am talking about) which was shortlived, he only lasted in office for 31 days after defeating Democraticcandidate Martin van Buren. The reason of him lasting only 31 days is becausehe died of pneumonia. He was the first ever president to die in office and hisdeath brought up an issue, it leads to questions of the presidential line ofsuccession which ended up leading to the twenty-fifth Amendment. Harrisongained most of the popularity for the election for leading U.S. forced againstNative Americans in the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. He was promoted to majorgeneral for the war of 1812 and in 1813 he had his most notable battle, theBattle of the Thames.
This led to the death of the Indian coalition whichTecumseh led. Harrison ran for president for the Whig party in 1836 but wasdefeated by Martin van Buren and 4 years later he ran again against Martin vanBuren and won in a landslide victory in the election of 1840. The Whig Party in the 1840 Election mounted a moreeffective campaign for presidency. The Whig Party use an ad campaign against theDemocratic candidate which portrayed him as an elderly and ailing and someonewho drank hard cider and lived in a log cabin. Although this ad helped the WhigParty in the election, the major reason for helping the Whig Party was that VanBuren’s popularity was being diminished, the entire country was going into aneconomic depression. The Whig Party attacked him constantly in partisannewspapers. The idea of expansion into the West was strong in politics in theperiod, it threatened to divide the Whig Party into Northern antislavery andSouthern proslavery factions.
The Whig Party and the Democrats disagreedgreatly on the idea of slavery, the Whig Party was more sympathetic toward theslaves and Native Americans and less enthusiastic about expansion than theDemocratic Party was. The Democratic Party in 1840 nominated Martin van Burenfor reelection in 1840 (previous president) despite his extreme unpopularitybecause of economic failure. The platform of the Democratic Party was that theconstitution was the main guide for every state’s political affairs. Also, thatthe federals government should have their powers limited, everything should befollowed from the constitution. The democratic party mainly focused on theirvice president more than their presidential candidate because of the extremeunpopularity of Martin. In the end the mistake of picking Martin to be theircandidate for the 1840 election proved to be an unwise one and they and lost ina landside of electoral votes, the Whig Party defeated the Democratic Partyvery easily because of the extreme unpopularity of Martin. In the 1840 Presidential Election there were 26 states,the states consisted of Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky,Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey,New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont,Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
WilliamH. Harrison won 19 of the 26 states with 234 electoral votes but only winning52.9% of the population. Martin van Buren won 7 of the 26 states with 60electoral votes but won 46.8% of the population. William H. Harrison wonConnecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland,Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Vermont.
Martin van Buren wonAlabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.Although the election did not look closely with Harrison winning 19 states andMartin only 7 states, the voting for the general population was a lot closer.It all came down to who got most of the votes in each state, regardless of itbeing close or not. Martin only won by a couple thousand votes if that in moststates but because he could not win those states it looked like a landslidevictory for his opponent William H. Harrison. One of the Vice-Presidential candidates in this electionwas John Tyler, Vice-Presidential candidate of the Whig Party. John Tyler ranwith William H. Harrison in the 1840 presidential election.
He was the tenthPresident of the United States, going into office after President William H.Harrison died 31 days into office. John Tyler was Ex-Senator of Virginiaserving from 1827-1836, Governor of Virginia from 1825-1827, Representative ofVirginia from 1816-1821, and President pro tempore from 1835-1835 (shortlasted). John Tyler was the first president in U.S history that was not electedinto the office of the President. Because of John Tyler going into office itsoon made the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. Although John Tyler ran with the WhigParty he found most of the platform unconstitutional and voted several of hisparty’s bills.
John Tyler died at age 71 in Richmond Virginia and was part ofthe Democratic party from 1828-1834 before switching to the Whig Party in 1834and running with them in the 1840 election. John Tyler was a very busy man, hehad 15 children and his profession was being a lawyer besides a politician.John Tyler and Harrison’s victory over the Democrats came mainly from theslogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” which put a huge surge of nationalism intothe country and southern sectionalism.
Another one of the Vice-Presidential candidates in the1840 election presidential election was Richard M. Johnson. Richard M. Johnsonwas part of the Democratic Party, he was part of the administration ofPresident Martin van Buren from 1837-1841. Johnson’s full name is RichardMentor Johnson, he was born in 1780 in Kentucky and died in 1850, in Kentucky.Johnson was part of the Kentucky legislature in 1804 and two years later to thehouse of representatives, he served in the house of representatives for 20years.
Johnson was a supporter of Andrew Jackson which led him to become partof the Democratic party. Jackson was the person who told Martin van Buren toplace Johnson as his vice-presidential candidate in 1836. For the first timeever, the electoral college could not agree on who they wanted to pick for thevice-presidential candidates and Johnson ended up being selected by senate,which is a rule set by the Twelfth Amendment in the Constitution. Johnson’sterm in office was very uneventful, opposition against him within the partyincreased, this was mainly thought of because he has a long-term relationshipwith a female slave even though he was unmarried. Johnson had two children withthe female slave. In the 1840 election Johnson ran with Martin van Buren onceagain but this time they lost, Martin van Buren had lost supporters and so didthe Democratic Party which in the end was the result of their loss.
After theloss Johnson decided to retire and died shortly after he was reelected to theKentucky legislature. The 1840 Presidential Election consisted of twocandidates. The two candidates, of course, Martin van Buren and William H.Harrison. Both candidates were qualified for the job of president, Martin vanBuren of course, previously being president, serving from 1837-1841 and WilliamH. Harrison holding several positions of the United States Government beforerunning for the office of President.
The Whig Party had a more offensiveapproach to this election then their opponents, the Democratic Party. The WhigParty ran several ads that diminished Martin van Buren’s character and made himlook like a horrible person. The Whig Party also ran all kinds of slogans, oneof the famous ones being “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too”.
The Democratic Party rana more conservative approach to this presidential election and did not run asaggressive as a campaign as the Whig Party. The voting breakdown of theelection looked to be as if the Whig Party won in a landslide victory, and inelectoral voting they in fact did, winning two hundred and thirty-fourelectoral votes to sixty electoral votes. But the popular vote said otherwise.William H. Harrison only won by a little over a million votes, the popularvotes being Harrison with one million two hundred seventy-five thousand andsixteen votes to Martin van Buren’s one million one hundred twenty-ninethousand and one hundred and two votes. In the end though the election seemedto not be close and the Whig Party won, and William H.
Harrison becamepresident and although he won he only lasted thirty-one days in office afterdying from pneumonia and his vice-presidential candidate John Tyler took theplace as President of the United States American, being the tenth President ofthe United States of America.