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Estonianzulu

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A Summary of Names, Places and People
Time Line

The Election of 1836 and The Little Magician

“I tread in the footsteps of illustrious men”- Martin Van Buren

With the end of Andrew Jackson’s second term America was facing a turning point. It could either follow the path laid out by Jackson; or turn to his opponents in the Whigs. While prevailing winds still favored Jackson, whose two terms in office had been years of change and reform, the Whigs did pose a serious threat. Van Buren, who had been Jackson’s Vice-President in the 1832 campaign, represented what would come to be called the Jacksonian Democrats; a political faction which traced its lineage back to Thomas Jefferson. The Whigs developed from a coalition of anti-Jacksonians who’s only real binding feature was their hatred for all things Jackson.

So as the election of 1836 approached both sides began their campaigns, for the democrats the selection was relatively easy. Jackson endorsed his one-time Secretary of State and Vice President Martin Van Buren of New York. Van Buren accepted and his campaign began. “Old Kinderhook” was and had been for many years a New York machine politician. He had risen from a rather humble political background as a Clinton supporter into national prominence. Through the spoils system and his work in the Legislature, Van Buren established himself as a member of the most powerful political club in New York; the so called “Albany Regency”. From here Van Buren paced his way to the Senate and the White House.


President Andrew Jackson

For the Whigs this was a serious hurdle to overcome. The party was of two minds in this regard. Some wanted to put all their support behind one candidate; others felt that forcing the issue into the House of Representatives (with a lack of majority) would be the best plan of action. So it was that with the 1836 election approaching that the Whigs had three candidates in action. The best known of these was Daniel Webster. Perhaps one of America’s finest orators, Daniel Webster was already a leading politician by the time he came to the Senate. A fiery New Englanders, Webster battled government interference with New England shipping during the war of 1812. He was a strong supporter of the National Bank, and opposed the Jacksonian policy of Universal Suffrage (feeling that property should determine suffrage). Webster found serious support for his bid from New Englanders and in Maryland.

The second candidate to make his appearance for the Whigs was far less revered. William Henry Harrison, the man known as Tippecanoe for his victory over Tecumseh years earlier. The Virginia born Buckeye had risen to prominence in the military before becoming a politician in the Northwest Territory. His political rise to power would be through the Ohio legislature and then on to the Senate. Harrison’s war record and his fame in the Mid-West propelled him up the ladder into the Whig’s nomination for President. Though Harrison had never held executive office (having lost his election as Governor of Ohio), his legislative background and his fame made him a favorite.

The third candidate was chosen by those in the Whig party who hoped regional success would force a vote in the House of Representatives. Hugh Lawson White of Tennessee was a staunch supporter of Jackson up until 1835. When, in 1835, the Tennessee legislature nominated White for President, a rift developed between the two Tennessee politicians. While White still supported many of the Jacksonian policies including universal suffrage and anti-national bank; he found himself chosen by his legislature to run against Van Buren. White followed his legislature’s commands, no matter how they affected his political rise. And so he became the third Whig candidate, whose focus mainly was the south where his Jacksonian policies were popular.

This divided stance of the Whigs would not lead to success. Although Harrison would fine moderate victories in the Midwest (especially Ohio); the other Whig candidates would fail. Van Buren rode Jackson’s legacy to victories in most of New England and the South West. White managed to carry Tennessee and Georgia, but little else. Webster failed to gain electoral votes from any state outside of his home Massachusetts. Finally, South Carolina would vote for the anti-Jackson Democrat W.P. Magnum whose only impact was his ability to carry his home state. Harrison managed to take Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Delaware and North Carolina. Harrison also did very well in Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania, gaining over 45 percent of the popular vote in each of those states.


Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the United States.

In the end the victory went to diminutive Martin Van Buren, with 170 Electoral votes, his nearest competitor was Harrison who carried 73. Van Buren received an estimated 764,000 votes, or nearly 51%, while Harrison carried ~550,000 or 37%. Van Buren’s victory can be rested on three factors. First was recognition. While Webster was known by his fellow Senators and the more educated, his popularity with the general public was not strong. And Harrison was merely a war hero, not known for his national presence. Van Buren had served as Jackson’s Vice President, he was known. Adding to that, the success and fame of Jackson now transferred to him; making him the obvious front runner.

The second factor is perhaps the most obvious; a divided enemy. With their party voting three ways, the Whigs could not hope to mount a serious threat to the Presidency; and their plans to force a vote to the House would likely have gone against them anyway. Finally it was Van Buren’s style of campaigning that won him votes. While Harrison proclaimed his bravery and bravado, and Webster portrayed himself as an anti-Jacksonian; Van Buren discussed issues; including to the surprise of many, slavery. In the end these three factors carried Van Buren over his opponents and into power.

Van Buren now had to go about setting his cabinet. The first stop was his Vice President, who had lost votes in the nomination due to his relationship with a former slave. Richard Mentor Johnson rose to fame on a simple claim. As a volunteer officer in the Kentucky Militia, Johnson claimed to have killed Tecumseh, the Indian commander. The accuracy of this claim cannot be attained; nevertheless “Rumpsey Dumpsey” used it to gain political office. Johnson served in the US House for many years, chairing various minor committees and in general staying quiet.

John Forsyth, who was one of Jackson’s strongest supporters, retained his position as Secretary of State. The Virginia born lawyer was positioning himself for a run at the White House in either 1841 or 1846. Van Buren also retained the staunch Jacksonian Levi Woodbury as Secretary of the Treasury, and encouraged Woodbury to continue his policies regarding the end of the National Bank. Woodbury had also served as Secretary of the Navy under Jackson. Next was Van Buren’s Secretary of War Joel Roberts Poinsett; a former ambassador to Mexico. Other Jacksonian politicians rounded out Van Buren’s cabinet.


Richard M. Johnson 9th Vice President of the United States

With his supporters in place, Van Buren set about completing what Jackson had started; immediately throwing his weight behind the Jackson executive order concerning Specie Circular, which forced land speculators to use hard currency not paper money in the west. This was followed quickly by the February 13th treaty with Texas, which was arranged by Forsyth on Van Buren’s behalf. While both acts were seen as necessary by many within the Jackson and Van Buren administration, they would both have long lasting consequences.
~~

Post Link Depository

Or: Where you can find whats gone on thus far...

Part I: A Free Republic
The Free City of Austin and The Cherokee Revolt- 1836-1840
Red White and Neutral- 1836-1840
The Election of 1840 - 1840
Forsyth’s Year and the Richmond Gang - 1841
Mexican-American War- 1841-1844
The Election of 1844 and the Raising of Kansas - 1844
The Bitter Peace and Better Times Ahead- 1844
Windows Part 1- 1844
Windows Part 2- 1844
Windows Part 3- 1844
54, 40 and Anna at the Gate - 1845-1850

Part II: Destiny manifested
Birth of His Nation - 1844-1850
Election of 1850- 1850
Election of 1850:And the Rest- 1850
Away Down South- 1850-1852
The Cost of War-1852-1854
Manifest Destiny and the Election of 1854 -1854
Struggles at Home - 1855
The Killing Blow - 1855-1858
Terms - 1856-1858
The Election of 1858 - 1858
Two Quiet Years - 1858-1860
Texas and Freedom - 1860-1861
Don Carlos and the election of 1862 - 1861-1862

Part III: The US Civil War
Pope’s Little War and the Scandal of 1865- 1862-1865
A Southern Revolution- 1865
The Great Betrayal- 1865
The Battle for the Old Line State- 1865
The Grey House- 1864-1866
The Battle of Shiloh- 1866
The Bloody Hills- 1866
The Big Easy- 1867
The Battle of Washington- 1867
Blue Grass Victory- 1867
The Battle of Frederick- 1867
Death at Smithfield- 1868

Part IV: Reconstructing
The Election of 1868- 1868
Clarkian Reconstruction- 1868-1869
Those Northern Nights- 1869-1871
Failure Often Proves a Blessing- 1871
The Election of 1872- 1872
Panic and the Son of the Morningstar- 1872-1874
In the Navy and the Yellow War- 1874-1876
The Italian Excursion- 1876-1879
Cakewalk in 1880- 1879-1880
The Blizzard of 1880- 1880-1881
Peace and Plenty- 1881-1882

Part V:progression
Maryland's Betrayal and the Election of 1884- 1882-1884
A Unity Cabinet- 1884-1885
We All Must Suffer Colombia- 1885
Choosing a Successor- 1886-1888
The Election of 1888- 1888
The Secret Majority- 1888-1889
Island Hopping- 1889-1891
Alhoa and the Progressive Storm- 1889-1891
The Election of 1892- 1892
Mirror- 1892
"President" Thomas Watson- 1892-1894
In Media Res Debs- 1893-1895
A New Chapter and the Election of 1896- 1895-1896
The Coming Storm- 1896-1897

Part VI:A New Age
The Spanish Invasion- 1896-1898
The Burning of Baltimore- 1898
Wade's War of Revenge- 1899-1900
A House Divided and the Election of 1900- 1900
Why Allen Won and the Two Brothers of Spain- 1900-1901
The Battle of Cadiz- 1900-1901
Boxing Day- 1900-1902
Montevideo and the Election of 1904- 1903-1904
The French Connection- 1904-1905
The Calais Raid- 1906-1907
The Indochina Experience and the Election of 1908- 1906-1908
Our Asian Struggle- 1908-1909
Popular-Socialism- 1908-1910
The Election of 1912- 1911-1912
Moving Forward and "The Ten Tragic Days"- 1912-1913
The Assassination of General Wood- 1913-1915

Part V:The Socialist Revolution
The British-India Crisis of 1915- 1915
The Election of 1916- 1916
The Pacific Fleet and the Chinese Conflict- 1916-1918
The Blood of 1918- 1918
Bully- 1918-1920
The Election of 1920- 1920
Cleaning House- 1920-1922
The Panic of 1921- 1921-1923
The State of the Unions and the Election of 1924- 1924
The East-Asian Naval War- 1924-1925
The Sinking of the Maryland- 1925-1926
The Battle of Midway- 1926-1927

Part VI:Modernity
The Election of 1928- 1928
Conflicting Morals- 1928-1929
Operation Argnet- 1929
Times of Trouble- 1930
Rugged Socialism- 1931
The Election of 1932- 1932

~~~~~~~~~~~---0---~~~~~~~~~~~
Selected 06/03/08 as an good enough example of alternate history by the Tempus Society
 
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stnylan

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A new AAR by a writAAR whose previous work I remember with great fondness. Excellent to see you at it again Estonionzulu.

So you've now set up the scene politically for America. Time for the rest of us to sit back and enjoy.
 

coz1

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Indeed, it's wonderful to see you back in the saddle, as it were. A very thorough analysis of the election and now Van Buren must live up to the hype.

By the way, looks like Johnson there needs a shave. ;)
 

Estonianzulu

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Thanks;

coz1 said:
By the way, looks like Johnson there needs a shave. ;)
Yes, truly he is one of our least well kept VP's
 

Rensslaer

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Check this out!

An AAR by the well-reputed and well-recommended Estonianzulu, whose work I have not seen in some time!

And you ditched Jackson -- one of my least favorite characters of history -- for Martin Van Buren -- one of my favorite! :D

I'll look forward to seeing how this develops.

Rensslaer
 

Estonianzulu

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Bismarck1 said:
Intresting I can't wait to see how this devolops. What version are you using of Victoria?
Revolutions.
 

Estonianzulu

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The Free City of Austin and The Cherokee Revolt
~~~

The Texas-Mexican War was in its bloodiest phases. Just hours after The Texans signed their alliance with the United States, the armies of the Republic of Texas invaded Mexican lands. Victories against the weakened Mexican armies allowed Texas to overrun San Antonio. Immediately the US began putting pressure on the Mexicans to end the conflict with Texas, once again led by Jon Forsyth as Secretary of State. Joel Poinsett also issued orders to General Scott, who led the young nation’s military forces, to move his army into Louisiana, guarding the border with Mexico-Texas.

Despite the actions of his cabinet, Van Buren was slow to respond. The step from being Jackson’s lackey to being his own force in power had taken the new President by surprise. And the economic backlash from the Specie Circular order, which sent a massive amount of hard currency out of the East and into the West, was a sharp and critical shot at Van Buren’s presidency. So, rather than force the issue with Mexico, Van Buren; facing a split House, sat silent. He hoped that the issue would resolve itself, as the Mexican will to fight would eventually collapse. He turned out to be very wrong.

Although the Texans won a major victory in the north, the Mexicans were able to surround them by sending cavalry through Oklahoma. With the Northern forces surrounded, Texas was forced to pull back. By November 30th, 1836, Harrisburg, Galveston, and Velaco had all been named capital of the Republic before being captured and destroyed by the oncoming Mexicans. Soon the Mexicans had taken all of Texas but a strip of land reaching from the city of Austin (named after a revolutionary leader who died during the invasion of San Antonio). So after months of negotiations between the US; whose reluctant president had now stepped in, Mexico and Texas, peace was reached. Mexico regained all of Texas but the narrow strip of land held by Texas in December of 1836. So, on March 2nd, 1836, the Free City of Austin as it was official known became independent.



So it was the in two swift punches, the Van Buren administration had been dealt black-eyes. Van Buren needed to swiftly draw public attention away from the Mexican debacle and back home. To this effect he turned his focus, and that of his Attorney General, Felix Grundy (his 2nd Attorney General), towards the states of Georgia and Tennessee. Here lay the Cherokee Indians; who by the terms of Jackson’s “Treaty of New Echota” which forced the Cherokee Indians into the West. Despite court objections, concerns over the legality of the treaty and the objections of the Cherokee people, Van Buren sided with Georgia in removing the Indians. This freed up land and gold mines to further excavation.

The result was shocking. The Cherokee Indians were forced into Tennessee and then sent packing into Oklahoma. This “Trail of Tears” ended the lives of nearly 4,000 Cherokee Indians. It got so bad that in August of 1839, One Thousand Cherokee Indians rose up from their camps south of Chattanooga, Tennessee. George Washington Getty was then ordered to take the US Dragoons, a military force that had been sent to enforce the treaty, and put down the revolt. Almost 300 of the Indians were killed in the ensuing fight, about 100 to US fire, the rest trampled to death by the terrorized Indians of the camp. It was the last act of Indian resistance east of the Mississippi in US history. Some historians claim that the 1841 revolt in Knoxville was the final revolt, however this was in reality a riot involving many individuals; not just Indians, and was not an act of resistance.

As a result, the ‘bravery’ of G.W. Getty helped turn attention away from an embarrassing situation in Mexico, a shaky economy, and a hostile House of Representatives as Van Buren approached the 1840 elections.
 
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stnylan

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So Van Buren has again proved himself to be a more capable assistant than he is leader. I am not entirely sure another 4 years of him would be a good thing.
 

unmerged(55206)

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intresting, sad about the trail of tears at lest Van Buran was able to get people's minds off the other issues but that might not be a good thing.
 

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stnylan: You'd think so; but a voter is a fickle thing :)

Bismark1 Thanks! I've always lost a deal of respect for Van Buren and Jackson for the Trail of Tears. I wanted to display that without broadcasting it at the top of my lungs.

Rensslaer: you are too kind. Ditched Jackson, but the public is still staunchly democrat.

Jingles: Jackson; truly a master of Leet speak.

---

The next update will be a short one, but the 1840 election will be nice and beefy; so be prepared ;)
 
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Red White and Neutral
~~~

Although Van Buren had inherited the political legacy of Jackson, he did not inherit the strengths that Jackson used to steer his policy. Whereas Jackson was firm and demanding; Van Buren was weak-willed and slow. Incidents with Mexico had harmed Van Buren’s stance on the international scene. Rather than try to reverse his trend towards inactivity, Van Buren took the neutral stance. Though he cited Washington as his guide, his opponents in the Whig party called him a coward. Old Kinderhook was attacked from all sides by Whigs, and even some Democrats for his lack of action. These attacks became especially prominent during two incidents with England.

When Van Buren came to office he sought a quiet relationship with the empire that was the United Kingdom. Luckily for Van Buren, England did not have time for dealings with America. Its King, William IV had just tried to appoint a Prime Minister in opposition of the elected Whigs. In the throws of political crisis, England was in no attitude to deal with American problems. Thus when Van Buren did nothing to stop the attacks of Canadian rebels from within the US; the British likewise could sit silently. However, members of the Canadian militia, led by a British officer, invaded the US and burnt the USS Caroline, which had supplied weapons to the rebels. Van Buren’s reaction was slow and ineffective. Americans retaliated by burning down the SS Sir Robert Peel. Eventually Van Buren sent Winfield Scott and some men to the border to ensure no further incursions occurred.


The Aroostook War

The second incident was both less volatile and far more persistent. Where the Caroline Affair was a sudden shock, the Aroostook War was a long time coming. Although the treaty of 1783 created the line between British Canada and the United States; there were places along the border where the line was not as solidly known. With this backdrop, the government and citizens of the US state of Maine and the Canadian Province of New Brunswick began to come to blows. As lumberjacks moved deeper and deeper into the disputed territory, the governments became involved. Maine and New Brunswick would both organize their militias and prepared for war.

By this time American dislike for foreign affairs was waning. The troubles of the War of 1812 were a distant memory to many, and the English were still the enemy. Especially after the Caroline Affair. Some Hawk members of the Congress proclaimed the guilt of the British government for the destruction of the SS Caroline and the fallout from the “invasion”. Even some Democrats crossed party lines in calling for war with the British government. Again Van Buren would play the card of calm. While he did send General Scott north with orders to defend the state if attacked; he did not expect conflict to occur. In the end Scott worked with the British government to put an end to the crisis. Again Van Buren, when faced with the pressure of war, back down.
 

coz1

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His position is not looking terribly secure come 1840, but he was able to keep the country out of war. It might not be popular at the time, but later history might judge him differently (much like Adams.)

Looking forward to the election post. You're handling the politics of this as well as ever, Estonianzulu.
 

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All in all he looks very pacific. This is setting things up for a far more choleric opponent.
 

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Intresting I wonder who will seccuded Van Buran? I wonder if he did the right thing by not going to war when the public demanded it?
 

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Coz:Thanks; there is no part of any Paradox game I enjoy more than the politics of Victoria, and the USA can be just so full of them.

stnylan:Its funny you should use the word choleric; it certainly describes one politician to be introduced in the next update. But while irratble politicians are often remembered; they rarely win the top job.

Bismark: Answers to be solved in the next update :)
 
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The Election of 1840
---


With Van Buren’s peaceful if turbulent presidency as its backdrop, the election of 1840 rapidly approached. It seemed that the vastly unpopular Democrats would be swept away. With his Hawk opponent, William Henry Harrison as the frontrunner for the Whigs, Van Buren seemed destined to be a one term President. Harrison had fought Van Buren for every inch in 1836, and now he had 4 more years of ammunition to throw on the anti-Jackson fire. Van Buren had failed to defend Texas, had led the economy into stagnation and had let the British have their way in Canada. In all the Democratic Party was no longer the tough fighting party of Jackson. Instead they were seen as the high-class, wealthy party of New York politicians. Van Buren’s unpopularity was dragging not only his own career down, but his party as well.

Van Buren’s competition would be fierce in the election of 1840, and the toughest would come from within his own party. With so many Democrats now opposed to what they saw as an anti-Jacksonian Democrat, the party of Jackson and Jefferson was split for the first time in almost 20 years. This sets the scene for the Democratic Party Convention, held in Baltimore, of 1840. It was to be in Baltimore that Whigs would learn who was to challenge the clear favorite. Harrison on the other hand faced little challenge. He and John Tyler, a southern Whig politician, were riding the anti-Van Buren wave to its crest. Their slogan of “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” played well in the West, which had once been Jacksonian to the corp.

In Baltimore three camps emerged in the Democratic Convention. First came the party that supported the returning President. These were primarily New York-New Englanders who were more opposed to his southern counterparts than in support of Van Buren. William L. Marcy, who had just been ousted by a Whig opponent as Governor of New York, was his primary supporter. Democrats in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and some Midwesterners joined with the New Yorkers in calling for Van Buren’s return. They believed that his experience and the legacy of Jackson would carry him into the White House, where as Harrison’s lack of tact or political experience would keep him down.


William L Marcy

In direct opposition to Van Buren was John C. Calhoun. Calhoun was the one time Vice President of Jackson who had fallen out of favor with the party during the Nullification Crisis. Calhoun was a southern firebrand, proudly supporting slavery and the power of the States over the Union. Calhoun actively opposed the extension of abolition and supported tough fugitive slave laws. He was a South Carolinian who fought for South Carolina first. While this won him supporters in and around Carolina, it was extremely divisive outside the state. Patrick Noble, the aging governor of South Carolina; and George Rockingham Gilmer of Georgia were his primary supporters. He was vehemently opposed by those Democrats of New England, and most of the Mid-West. Hugh Lawson White, a on again off again democrat of Tennessee, denounced Calhoun as “The most divisive man to grip this nation since King George.”

Eventually a compromise candidate had to be chosen. He had to both represent the interests of the South, but also protect the interests of the North. To win over the west he would have to be a Jacksonian Democrat, pro-war and strong on the military. Thus saw the emergence of John Forsyth. Forsyth had served under both Jackson and Van Buren, as Secretary of State, the springboard to the White House. He was seen as Jeffersonian first, a Jacksonian second. Forsyth was born in Virginia, taught in New Jersey and elected governor in Georgia; he truly was a man for all seasons. Although at first he did not seek the nomination, he was persuaded by fellow Van Buren cabinet member Mahlon Dickerson. Dickerson had served as Secretary of the Navy under both Jackson and Van Buren, but had aspirations for higher office.


John Forsyth

So it was that the 3 way battle for the Democratic Nomination came a head. Many New Englanders, realizing that Van Buren was a loosing horse, threw their weight behind Forsyth. With their support, and the grudging support of Calhoun; Forsyth was nominated, over the objections of Van Buren. Forsyth was forced to initially support Calhoun as his Vice Presidential candidate, however Dickerson also ran. In opposition to Calhoun and Dickerson were Richard Johnson, Van Buren’s vice president, Littleton W. Tazewell, a Virginia politician, John Tyler and a Tennessee politician named James K. Polk. It seemed that while the Presidential race would be easily decided, the Vice Presidential one would be far more difficulty to predict. Then Van Buren made a critical decision.

With support gone from all but a few key politicians, Van Buren announced his intent to run as an independent Democrat. Under the label of Democratic-Republican (a name that was tossed aside in place of Democrat in 1840), the former President declared his intent to run for office. Van Buren, without an obvious running mate, immediately attacked both Harrison and Forsyth, the prior as a war monger and the latter as a traitor to his President. And so it was that the three way Presidential race of 1840 began. The campaign would be one primarily of images. Harrison and Tyler would proudly display their war medals relate to the common man. Their “Log Cabins and Hard Cider” campaign took off in the west, where settlers found relation to the war hero.

Farther east however Harrison was seen as a war-monger and a trouble maker. He loudly called for War with Mexico and a stronger defense against the English. Harrison was popular with the westerners because they felt threatened by the Mexicans, especially in Missouri and Louisiana, both within marching distance of the Mexican border. In Ohio and the Mid-West, Harrison was seen as a man of the people, one who could and would defend their interests. However he found less support in the East. New Englanders did not want to fight an aggressive war with Mexico, especially as it was likely to expand slavery and southern power. Likewise the South did not trust the Buckeye to protect their interests on a national scale, and feared that they would be dragged into an unnecessary conflict which favored Northern politicians and Western hawks.


General William H. Harrison

Forsyth was popular in the Mid-Atlantic primarily. Slave holders in Virginia and Maryland saw him as one of their own. And his time in Georgia insured his support there. Many previous Van Buren democrats in New England supported him as their compromise candidate, and he earned his keep. Forsyth made promises to work as in the middle ground. He realized the New England fears of Southern growth and the desire for tariffs and taxes; while at the same time personally understanding the slaveholder’s view on the economy, having owned slaves for much of his life. Forsyth trotted the line between north and south, Whig and Democrat, and gained support across the board. His opponents, especially those out west, called him weak, both for not convincing the President to defend Texas, and for backing down in the Amistad case. However this attack did not resonate well in the South or in New England (with a few exceptions).

In the end the election was tougher than expected. For a candidate to win, he needed 147 electoral votes (this number having risen since the induction of Michigan as a state). If neither candidate received this number, the House of Representatives would select the President (and the Senate his VP). In 1840 this was the case. Harrison would carry the west, and have moderate success in New England. His pro-war policy resounded well in Massachusetts and Maine, both still sore with the Democrats over the Aroostook War. Harrison would carry 128 electoral votes. This would have all but ensured Forsyth’s election, if not for one problem; Martin Van Buren. Van Buren had not done well in most states, taking only a few votes away from either candidate. This was not true in his native New York, where the Albany regency exerted all their power to swing the election.

Both Harrison and Forsyth battled for New York, with the anti-Jacksonians going for Harrison and the anti-Whigs going for Forsyth. But in the end neither could overpower the other. As a result the election went to the middle candidate; Van Buren. With New York, Van Buren carried 42 electoral votes, leaving Forsyth with 124. This left neither candidate with a majority. According to the 12th Amendment, this sent the election to the House. There the debate raged, and although the House had once been Whig controlled, the rise of anti-Van Buren democrats had returned the favor of the house to the Democrats. Neither side seemed to have the heads up, in the end a vote had to be called just to end the debate and make a decision. It was to be Forsyth’s southern heritage that would affect the outcome. Calhoun, still popular with certain members of Congress threw his full weight behind the Virginia born politician. This gained him the votes of the state of North Carolina. Lastly, Connecticut, wanting to end the argument, crossed the line from Whig to Democrat, securing Forsyth’s election.


Electoral College of 1840
William Henry Harrison- 128
John Forsyth- 124
Martin Van Buren- 42

The battle for Vice President played out in a similarly, with none of the candidates gaining a true majority. However the Senate was still firmly within the control of the Whigs, and so John Tyler was chosen to serve as Forsyth’s vice president. With a hostile Vice President, and a mixed Congress, Forsyth went about setting up his cabinet. As promised, Dickerson was given the coveted Secretary of State position. George Mifflin Dallas, a fellow New Jersey lawyer was named Attorney General. William Learned Marcy was appointed Secretary of War, Abel P. Upshur was given the position of Secretary of Navy. Lastly, Calhoun, in order to appease the congressional dynamo who had failed to gain the position of Vice President, was appointed Secretary of the Treasury.
 
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stnylan

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Now that is a set-up bound to please no one. I will be astounded if the government holds together.

A very good write-up of an election though. Nice dramatic flair when talking about the electoral college too.
 

coz1

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