The American Presidential Election of 1844

mr. beat presents presidential elections in American history the 15th presidential election in American history took place from Friday November 1st to Wednesday December 4th 1844 this was the last presidential election to be held on different days and different states all future presidential elections would be held on a single day president John Tyler had taken over after William Henry Harrison died but he remained at odds with the Whig party the Whig party actually stopped supporting him and so did the Democratic Party his old party at odds with both of the major political parties in the country he tried to start a third party movement for reelection hoping that many who agreed with him on the annexation of Texas would support him the Texas annexation issue would divide not only the country but the Democratic Party Martin Van Buren originally a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination in 1844 was against the annexation of Texas however many influential Southern Democrats like John Calhoun and Andrew Jackson wanted Texas at the Democratic National Convention three nominees were discussed at first Van Buren James Buchanan a senator from Pennsylvania and Lewis Cass the Ambassador to France then seemingly out of nowhere came James Polk a former Governor of Tennessee and former Speaker of the House though Polk had originally entered the convention hoping to be the vice president nominee by the end of the convention he was the most popular guy in the room getting the nomination unanimously Polk famously became the first well-known quote dark horse candidate meaning before the election he was not well known George Dallas a former senator from Pennsylvania was nominated as Pope's running mate the fact that the city of Dallas Texas was named after him might be a hint as to who would win the election the Whig party was firmly against Texas annexation after abandoning John Tyler the party went back to the original Whig Andry clay it was pretty much the leading Whig ever since the party began though clay had run before for president and cost he lost three times actually things seem to be going more his way this time as he could appeal to both southern slave owners who didn't want to annex Texas because it might make their land less valuable and slaves more expensive and northerners who didn't want slavery to expand further west in 1840 the Whigs did quite well with Harrison and with clay they just assumed it would be another blowout the Whigs nominated Theodore Frelinghuysen a former senator from New Jersey as clays running mate things got a little more complicated when John Tyler dropped out of the running for re-election and threw his support to Polk also the abolitionist Liberty Party Rand James Bernie again his support had grown since 1840 and some worry that northern Whigs might vote for him instead of clay so clay was confident he would win at first but as the election drew near Hulk's support had grown Polk was all about manifest destiny or the belief that it was the United States destiny to expand from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean Polk wanted to expand the country's border whenever and wherever possible and more and more Americans seem to agree with him Polk called for not only adding Texas but also California and Oregon Territory the northern boundary of Oregon which Britain claimed as well was the latitude line of 54 degrees 40 minutes many of his extremist supporters used the slogan 54:40 or fight in hopes that a Polk presidency meant getting all of Oregon and here are the results manifest destiny was proving to be pretty popular so ultimately that was why James Polk won narrowly defeating Henry Clay to become the 11th President of the United States Pope received 170 electoral votes clay received 105 electoral votes although the popular vote was much closer with Polk getting 49.5% and clay getting 48.1% 20% more Democrats came out and voted in this election compared to the 1840 election while only 4% more way came out James Burnie came in third and received 2.3 percent of the popular vote a much better showing than the 1840 election George Dallas became the 11th wise president in American history this election was the only one in which the winner lost both his birth state and his state of residence pope lived in tennessee but was born in north carolina and he lost in both states it was also the only presidential election in which both major party nominees were former speakers of the house at age 49 James Polk was the youngest to become president up to that point in American history both promised to serve only one term and he went straight to work within a little over one year in office Polk would get half of Oregon and be at war with Mexico over Texas after its annexation I'll see you for the next election buddy