The 1824 presidential election of the United States was the country's tenth presidential election, although all four candidates were members of the Democratic-Republican Party. Running unopposed, this was the seventh victory in a row for the party, who were the party of the previous three presidents and the only national political party at the time. 1824 was the second (and final) election to require a contingent election in the House of Representatives, as the results did not return a majority of electoral college votes for any individual candidate (the only other case was in 1796). In line with provisions set out by the 12th Amendment, the three candidates with the highest number of electoral votes were considered in the contingent election, therefore Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams (son of former President John Adams) and William H. Crawford progressed, while Henry Clay was disqualified.
Contingent election of 1824
Speaker of the House Henry Clay reportedly hated Jackson, and used his influence within the House to garner support for Adams, whose policies were more in line with those of Clay. Because of this, and despite Andrew Jackson winning a plurality in the original election, Adams acquired the 13 (out of 24) votes needed in the contingent election to be named as the sixth President of the United States (Jackson received seven votes, while Crawford received four). This was the first US presidential election where the winner did not receive the highest number of electoral votes.
Adams and Clay's deal?
Jackson was surprised by the results of the contingent election, and felt as though the House of Representatives should have elected him as President, as he received the highest number of both electoral and popular votes. Shortly before the contingent election, an anonymous report surfaced which claimed that Adams had bought Clay's support by promising to make him Secretary of State if he became President (Adams and the three previous presidents had also served in this position before becoming president). Although no formal investigation was ever conducted regarding this claim and Adams was named President, Jackson and his supporters used these allegations when campaigning against Adams in the presidential election of 1828, which they would eventually win.
Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the tenth US presidential election in 1824
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ProCon. (June 30, 2011). Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the tenth US presidential election in 1824 [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from /statistics/1056421/distribution-votes-1824-us-presidential-election/
ProCon. "Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the tenth US presidential election in 1824." Chart. June 30, 2011. Statista. Accessed April 27, 2021. /statistics/1056421/distribution-votes-1824-us-presidential-election/
ProCon. (2011). Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the tenth US presidential election in 1824. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: April 27, 2021. /statistics/1056421/distribution-votes-1824-us-presidential-election/
ProCon. "Share of Electoral College* and Popular Votes** in The Tenth Us Presidential Election in 1824." Statista, Statista Inc., 30 Jun 2011, /statistics/1056421/distribution-votes-1824-us-presidential-election/
ProCon, Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the tenth US presidential election in 1824 Statista, /statistics/1056421/distribution-votes-1824-us-presidential-election/ (last visited April 27, 2021)