THE CAMPAIGN OF 1832

Jackson stood for re-election in 1832. By this time he had come out publicly against the American System. He had also created a new issue by vetoing the recharter of the Bank of the United States. The American System men, now calling themselves National Republicans, nominated Henry Clay. A third party also took the field: the quixotic Anti-Masonic Party, formed in reaction to exposures of political favoritism and corruption by members of the fraternal order of Freemasons. Strong in some northern states, the Anti-Masons nominated former attorney general William Wirt. They were generally anti-Jackson, but thoughts of uniting with the National Republicans collapsed when Clay refused to denounce the Masonic order, of which both he and Jackson were members.

The 1832 campaign introduced the national nominating convention in place of the old discredited congressional caucus as a means of selecting a candidate. The National Republicans and Anti-Masons held conventions and adopted formal addresses to the public. Jackson's followers, popularly though not yet officially known as Democrats, met in Baltimore to endorse Jackson's choice of Martin Van Buren for vice president. To show their unanimity, they also adopted a rule requiring a two-thirds vote for nomination—a rule that would later deprive Van Buren of the Democratic presidential nomination in 1844.

Despite the new issues and innovations in party organization, the election was essentially a replay of 1828. Jackson again carried Pennsylvania, New York, and nearly the entire South. He defeated Clay handily, with 55 percent of the popular vote and 219 electoral votes to the latter's 49. Jackson read his victory as a popular ratification of his policies, especially the Bank veto. Opponents chalked it up to his untouchable personal popularity.

Source: Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “Andrew Jackson: Campaigns and Elections.” Accessed May 22, 2016. http://millercenter.org­/president/biography/jackson-campaigns-and-elections.

Anonymous. c. 1832/1833. "King Andrew the First." Lithograph. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 

1832 poker.jpg

John B. Pendleton. 1831. "A Political Game of Brag." LIthograph.  From the Political Cartoon Collection, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts.