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1812 Presidential Elections - History


1812 Election Results Madison vS Clinton

The election of 1812 was the first wartime election of a President. It began a tradition that has continued in reelecting wartime Presidents. The war had started a month after Madison was renominated. While the war was mostly popular, there were many who either opposed the war or, opposed how it was being prosecuted.

Dewitt Clinton of New York was selected to run against Madison by the Federalist. He hoped to defeat Madison by both attacking both for getting the United States into war at the same time for not fighting it vigorously enough. Clinton also hoped to win the support of those wishing someone other than a Virginian be President. Former President Adams was so disgusted by what he thought was a two-faced campaign by the Federalist that he established a committee in his home town of Quincy- Federalist for Madison. The results of the election showed that whatever qualms country might have had about the prosecution of the war they were not willing to change leaders in the middle of a war. Madison was reelected by a comfortable majority.


Election of 1812: DeWitt Clinton Nearly Unseated James Madison

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    The presidential election of 1812 was noteworthy for being the first wartime election in the United States. It gave voters an opportunity to render judgment on the presidency of James Madison, who had recently led the United States into the War of 1812.

    When Madison declared war on Britain in June 1812 his action was fairly unpopular. Citizens in the Northeast in particular opposed the war, and the election to be held in November 1812 was viewed by political factions in New England as an opportunity to turn Madison out of office and find a way to make peace with Britain.

    It's worth noting that the candidate nominated to run against Madison, DeWitt Clinton, was a New Yorker. The presidency had been dominated by Virginians, and political figures in New York State believed it was time a candidate from their state, which had surpassed all other states in population, brought an end to the Virginia dynasty.

    Madison won a second term in 1812. But the election was the closest presidential contest held between the deadlocked elections of 1800 and 1824, both of which were so close they had to be decided by votes held in the House of Representatives.

    The reelection of Madison, who was obviously vulnerable, was partly attributable to some peculiar political circumstances that weakened his opposition.


    Three Years of War, And No End in Sight

    Soldiers reading postings about the 1864 election.

    Today, conventional wisdom holds that incumbent presidential candidates are more likely to win reelection, especially during wartime. Franklin Delano Roosevelt won an unprecedented fourth term during World War II, and Richard Nixonꃞlayed Vietnam peace talks because he thought prolonging the Vietnam War would help his reelection chances in 1972 (and indeed, he won a second term). Yet in 1864, this wasn’t a common assumption—the eight presidents directly preceding Lincoln had each served one term or less.

    Lincoln’s main weakness as a candidate was that the Union’s war against the Confederacy wasn’t going well. By the spring of 1864, the Civil War had been going on for three years with no end in sight, and many voters (i.e., white men ages 21 and up) were starting to get war-weary. Lincoln agreed with his advisors that his chances for winning reelection looked grim, but he disagreed with those who suggested he delay the election.

    “Lincoln always felt that the Civil War was, number one, about democracy,” says Eric Foner, a professor emeritus of history at Columbia University and author of The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.

    “[Lincoln thought] if you suspend democracy in the middle of the war, you are basically undercutting the whole purpose of the war,” he continues. “So even when he thought he was going to lose, he never really contemplated suspending the presidential election.” (Lincoln did, however, suspend the writ of habeas corpus and ignore a ruling by the Supreme Court’s chief justice that he didn’t have the authority to do so.)


    War of 1812 Bicentennial

    What are the causes of the War of 1812? Well, the War of 1812 can't be examined in a vacuum goings-on in the rest of the world need to be taken into consideration. Over in Europe, Napoleon had been crowned Emperor of France and had gained control of much of Europe, with Great Britain next on his "to-do" list. As the United States were neutral, American merchants didn't mind this initially, as it meant that they were able to sell at inflated prices to both powers. However, in 1806, Napoleon issued his Berlin Decree, which declared Great Britain to be in a state of blockade and prohibited neutral countries from trading with Great Britain. In retaliation, the British passed Orders-in-Council the following year that similarly forbade trading with countries under Napoleon's sway. These naturally caused problems for American traders. It caused the Americans to get rather upset at the British, as opposed to the French, because the British could actually enforce it, their navy dominating the high seas.

    Another American grievance was the British right of search. In the early 1800s, deserting the British Navy was the "in" thing to do, and the best place to get a job after you've done that would be on an American merchant vessel. So, Great Britain claimed the right to search other countries' ships for such deserters and impress them back into navy service. The United States claimed that the British Navy often defined "deserter" to mean "anyone who couldn't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were an American citizen," and there was most likely some truth to that complaint. Great Britain and the United States also held different views on naturalization. Great Britain felt that you couldn't just leave the country of your birth and become a citizen or subject of another country and thus get out of your obligations to the country of your birth, and the United States felt that, well, yes, you could.

    One incident in 1807 was particularly rankling. Five British sailors had deserted a British sloop and enlisted on the American frigate Chesapeake, and a few weeks later, when the Chesapeake was stopped by the British frigate Leopard, Captain James Barron of the Chesapeake refused to let the Leopard's officers search his ship. The Leopard fired on the Chesapeake, and the Chesapeake submitted after a fight during which twenty-one men were killed or wounded. Four men were seized. The only one of the four who actually was a deserter was hanged, which makes you wonder why the British bothered in the first place. Another of the men died. The British tardily returned the other two men, apologized and paid for damages, but that didn't really help matters much.

    A third cause of the war was American expansionism. While the Americans were indignant about Great Britain's naval policy, war started to seem imminent only after 1810, when several frontier states, though located far away from the maritime hubs of the United States, sent a bunch of warlike politicians to Congress. These states were hungry for land, whether British (Canada), Spanish (Florida), or Indian. For the past few decades they had been slowly but steadily kicking the Indians off of land in the "West", which now comprises states that we no longer think of as being in the West, like Ohio and Michigan. The Indians, led by Tecumseh, called on Great Britain for help, and the Americans believed that Great Britain was secretly helping the Indians. While there was no hard evidence to support this claim, nothing fuels innuendo like a lack of hard evidence, so there you go. It was felt that an invasion of Canada would resolve this problem, perhaps not necessarily as an end in itself, but it could put an end to the imagined British support of the Indians, either by kicking the British off the continent completely, or by forcing the British to agree to terms favourable to the United States.

    Some smaller-minded Americans would be willing to use any excuse to invade Canada certainly the idea of the Americans conquering Canada was not a new one. They had already tried twice. The first time was in 1690, when America was British (although this attack was thoroughly American) and Canada French. The second time was in 1775, led by Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery. Both attempts were complete failures, but hey, third time's the charm, right? Many people, such as Thomas Jefferson and U.S. Secretary of War William Eustis, felt that it would be trivial to conquer provinces such as Upper Canada. The fact that that province was originally populated by those who fled the United States under threat of persecution for backing the losing side in the War of Independence notwithstanding, they thought that they would just have to show up and they would be welcomed as liberators.

    Support for a war was not unanimous in the United States. The New England states, even though they were most affected by the Orders-in-Council and by impressment, opposed war, believing that it would ruin their trade, while the Western states, such as Kentucky, were hungry for war. James Madison, then President of the United States, was perhaps not as war-hungry as many of his fellow members of the Democratic Party (actually, the party was more often referred to as the Republican Party, but this is the party that is now known as the Democratic Party, not the party currently known as the Republican Party. Confused yet? Back then, the word "democrat" was a bit of a bad word, with connotations to anarchy) but in 1812 presidential elections were just around the corner and Madison needed some votes in the West. So, he started a now time-honoured tradition among Presidents of the United States who want to get their approval ratings up: He asked Congress to declare war, on June 1st. There was a bit of a delay in the senate, but on June 18th, Congress had voted in favour of the measure and Madison approved the bill. The next day Madison issued a proclamation of war, and the War of 1812 had begun.


    Eleven Foreign Policy Presidential Elections In American History, And Now 2016!

    America has had foreign policy affect eleven Presidential elections, overshadowing domestic policy issues. This has usually been centered about military intervention and wars. The list of foreign policy dominated Presidential elections follows:

    1812—With the War of 1812 having begun, it became the major issue under President James Madison

    1844—With the issue of Texas annexation a major issue, and with James K. Polk running on expansionism and “Manifest Destiny”, the issue of relations with Mexico became a major issue under John Tyler and Polk.

    1848—With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after the Mexican War under James K. Polk granting so much new territory to the United States, the issue of what to do with these territories became the major issue of the campaign.

    1900—With the Treaty of Paris ending the Spanish American War under William McKinley granting new territories to the United States, the issue of what do to with those territories reigned during the campaign, and the Filipino Insurrection was a hot issue as well.

    1916–The issue of keeping America out of World War I dominated, with Woodrow Wilson campaigning on the fact that he had kept us out of the war.

    1940—The issue of isolationism and World War II in Europe and Asia, and Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigning on keeping us out of war, but offering some assistance to Great Britain, dominated the campaign.

    1944—The fact that we were still in World War II, and what to do about the postwar world and the Soviet Union, were key issues of the campaign.

    1952—The debate over what to do about the limited nature of the Korean War under Harry Truman was a major factor in this campaign which elected Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    1968—The debate over the Vietnam War under Lyndon B. Johnson, and the resulting split in the Democratic Party, and Richard Nixon declaring he had a secret plan to end the war, dominated the discussion in the campaign.

    2004—The Iraq War and Afghanistan War under George W. Bush dominated the discussion in this campaign, as September 11 transformed the issue of national security.

    2008—The continued intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan became a major issue, along with the Great Recession emerging during the campaign, and benefited Barack Obama, who promised to end the war in Iraq and downgrade the war in Afghanistan.

    Now 2016 seems likely to be centered much more than many people want over foreign policy, particularly the threat of Iran in the Middle East, along with the danger of ISIL (ISIS) Terrorism, and the growing menace of the Russian Federation under Vladamir Putin, overall adding to the image of growing threats to national security.

    And in these circumstances, one needs a steady hand at the helm, and only Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have the experience and the judgment needed, along with Jon Huntsman, who, although listed by many as a long shot nominee for the Republicans, has indicated he is not a candidate. In any case, the Republicans are not smart enough to realize that the true treasure in their midst is Jon Huntsman!


    The Revenge of the Crown : An Alternate 1812 and Beyond.

    “The 1816 US Presidential Elections were the eighth quadrennial presidential election. It was held from November 1 to December 4, 1816. In the first election following the disastrous War of 1812, the new political parties of the Whigs, Democrats and the American Nationalists campaigned against each other.

    As President Madison had been utterly humiliated by the War of 1812, he hadn’t taken up the presidency after returning from his house arrest in England, instead letting President Gaillard take care of the affairs. Gaillard had tried to do his best, however his character, which was described as ‘democratic but as stiff as cardboard’ made his legislations all the harder to commit to. The blame game that was being thrown out in America in the aftermath of the War of 1812 also made his attempts at rapprochement between the political divides almost impossible to become successful. The fact that states had seceded had also reared tensions, however that matter was kicked down the road as no politician was willing to talk about that in the political arena during these tiresome times in the American nation.

    The Whigs were firmly behind their leader Henry Clay. However Clay also faced stiff opposition from the northern states, who were by this point fed up of having southern presidents. The remaining rump New York State backed their governor Daniel Tompkins. However Tompkins had been disgraced by the war of 1812 as well, and only New Yorkers held him in high regard. They believed that their governor had saved them from needless fighting after the fall of Albany and had saved countless lives, which he had, and his policies had saved the economical structure of New York, however these weren’t appreciated out of New York. To the rest of America, he was a coward who bowed before the British. Clay, being from the South, was more or less was also a target from the northern states and they weren’t really enthused about voting for him. Clay chose Nathan Sanford as his running mate for the elections.

    The Democrats under Monroe were also backing their leader. Monroe knew that his party was probably the weakest of the big three that were fighting in the elections. He campaigned heavily, and decided to appoint James Barbour, the famous and popular governor of Virginia for his running mate. Nonetheless, both candidates having been from Virginia, he also faced a good amount of opposition from the north.

    In the American National Party, initially many people were conflicted on whom to choose as their nominations, and in the end a ballot vote was held. The Presidential Candidates were John C. Calhoun, and William H. Crawford. The Vice Presidential Candidates were Andrew Jackson and Charles Tait.

    The ballot elections ended in favor of Calhoun and Jackson. Calhoun received around 65 of the ballot votes against Crawford’s 54 ballot votes for the presidential position. For the Vice Presidential balloting, Andrew Jackson won 80 of the ballots, and Charles Tait won 30 of the ballot votes.

    The campaign from all three sides were bitter and very much bitter. All three parties blamed each other for their loss in the War of 1812, and all three sides tried to project themselves as the better candidates to regain American honor.

    Monroe campaigned on the premise of a new national bank and creation of proper protective tariffs to allow the growth of native industries in the United States of America. This premise was favored by Federalist sympathizers, however those were very few by the point of the elections, and Monroe struggled. He was credited with saving the government during the chaos that had followed the Burning of Washington, however he was still unpopular anywhere south of Virginia, and the initial votes swung around between the multiple candidates of Virginia.

    Clay and Sanford also worked hard during their campaign for the 1816 elections. Clay and Sanford led their campaigned on a premise of a mixture of mercantilist policies and free trade policies trying to gain votes from both the north and south. They promised mild protective tariffs and also promised agricultural and plantation incentives in the south, where they did manage to gain some amount of rapport and followers. However Clay’s abysmal handling of the Treaty of Ghent still haunted him, as many looked at him suspiciously for it. Clay also antagonized Andrew Jackson at one point of time stating:

    Killing multiple New Orleanists doesn’t give that man the right to suddenly take over administration.’

    Calhoun and Jackson ran on a platform that favored the south. They favored an agrarian society, and making America ‘self-sufficient’ economically, and remaining detached from European affairs whilst becoming the leading power in North America and South America and keeping the bare minimum of tariffs.. Calhoun also directly participated in the use of political cartoons, and publishing through his participation in the publishing of the newspaper, The Patriot as a member of the Editorial staff. This was a sure way to promote his own political agendas and campaign. Jackson also riled up the veterans who had once been under his command and stated that the army had been humiliated in the War of 1812, and he would revive their ‘lost honor’. In the south Calhoun and Jackson also rode on a platform of keeping the three-fifths compromise and keeping the Plantation system flourishing.

    The 1816 Elections were a total dismal affair, as all sides couldn’t seem to find a common ground, and the political scene in America quickly started to mirror the polarization of federalists and the democratic-republicans of before. There was also a dispute regarding the electoral votes delegated to the state of New York. Some stated that the former number of 29 should be kept, and or it should be reduced to 19, 25, 23 or something along those lines. With the aid of the Congress and the Senate however, President Gaillard laid rule that the Electoral vote of the state of New York would be 19, based on the population that was lost to New England and the British North American holdings. The total electoral vote was also reduced to 147 with 74 needed for majority due to the fact a huge number of electoral votes were lost when New England declared independence.

    Nonetheless the election results came in by early December. The results were pretty embarrassing for Monroe. He hadn’t been able to hold onto his state of Virginia as well.

    With a turnout of 19%, of 132,300 people for the elections, such low turnouts were pretty common during this era, Calhoun won 60,872 popular votes or 46% of the total electorate and won 62 electoral votes which he had carried from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Virginia. Clay and Sanford won 44,992 popular votes or around 34% of the total votes carrying the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and New York for a total of 49 electoral votes. Monroe won 26,466 of the total votes, or around a fifth of the total percentage, and carried the states of Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey for a total electoral vote of 36.

    The election saw massive amounts of gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries, which is most commonly used in first past the post electoral systems. The term is named after Elbridge Gerry, who as Governor of Massachusetts in 1812, signed a bill that created a partisan district in the Boston area that was compared to the shape of a mythological salamander. All sides in the 1816 elections took part in Gerrymandering, and new constituent districts or partisan districts cropped up multiple times throughout the entire election. It is hard to understand how much gerrymandering influenced the elections, however nonetheless, what we do know is that it influenced the result quite a bit.

    However Calhoun had only won a plurality of the electoral college and hadn’t won 74 electoral college votes. Therefore a contingent elections were called between the states on December 15th, 1816. The United States currently had 13 states, and the one which won the most states would become president of the United States. Having been utterly defeated in the elections, Monroe dropped out of the running and instead the Contingent vote was divided between Calhoun and Clay. Monroe instead supported Clay, stating that his American System Economics would be the best for the United States of America, and stated that he endorsed Clay for the presidency. The states of Philadelphia, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and New York voted for Clay and the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Virginia voted for Calhoun. Clay and Sanford thus won the presidency. Calhoun protested massively, stating that by the bylaws of democracy he had won the elections, however the constitution was clear, and Clay would now become the next President of the US, along with Sanford becoming the next Vice President.” A Political History of North America, University of Montreal, 1998.

    “The New English Commonwealth was also in slight political crisis during the year of 1816. Following a Parliamentary Republican system meant that the Commonwealth needed a ceremonial head of state. Many advocated for a ‘personal union’ with Great Britain in the same manner that Hannover was in a personal union with Great Britain, that is to say, foreign policy and monarch managed by Britain, whilst all internal affairs and economy managed by the state. Of course, whilst this did have many a supporters, it wasn’t in the majority, as much of the population wasn’t about to loose their republican system. Therefore, a purely ceremonial head of state, a president, was required. A Presidential ballot was held in the New English Parliament, where the 120 member parliament voted on who would become their ceremonial head of state.

    The two candidates for the position were Timothy Pickering and Israel Thorndike, both of whom had been extremely involved in the process that had given New England independence. The end ballot results were 67 in favor of Timothy Pickering and 53 in favor of Israel Thorndike. The parliamentary session also put in every general election term to be of 5 years, and delegated the year of 1821 to be the next parliamentary/general election for the state.

    In mid-1816, the State of Saranac, or what was once Upper New York was brought into the Commonwealth of New England as well. By this point, Maine Territory which was under Massachusetts was agitating for itself to become a new state within the Commonwealth as well. The Maine Question had come up a lot even during when New England had been a part of the United States, and the rest of the states were becoming restless with the political instability it brought, and in a parliamentary session, it was decided that Maine would become a new state in 1817. This was heavily criticized by many in Massachusetts, however the state found itself incredibly un-backed in this crisis.

    Nonetheless, despite these parliamentary and political shenanigans which were being conducted in New England, the country’s economy flourished. The construction of the merchant marine by Cabot aided the economy, and European trade into North America flowed directly into New England, with it’s capital Boston quickly becoming a massive state of trade and commerce. Cabot also sought to bring in immigration. However in this regards, the Anglo-saxon friendly and nativism nature of New England reared its head. The immigration that New England would soon start to encourage would be from Britain and from Northern Germany and the Scandinavian countries, and overly catholic nations from Southern Europe were often shunned and not welcomed. Nonetheless, New England would become home to massive amounts of immigration throughout the 19th century with their prosperous economy.

    Whilst New England did support immigration, it was also subject to emigration. Many unionist supporters, especially from Saranac fled across the border into the rump New York State. The former President of the United States, John Adams sold his estate and whilst he was very sad to leave his home state he was a firm believer in the Union, and he and his family left New England and settled down in Maryland, including his son John Quincy Adams. Quincy Adams had hoped to create a proper political legacy and career for himself, however he found himself attacked verbally by many Americans for not being able to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent ‘properly’, and as such his political career was in ruins.

    In Early 1817, the New English government passed the ‘Free Trade Act’ which was aimed at converting New England from a mercantilist country and economy into a free trading one by the end of the 1820s. The government wished to use the massive trading potential of New England to their advantage, and this move is mostly seen as a good move. However this also precipitated a small crisis, on what the currency of New England should be. By the end of it, and by mid-1817 however, the government of New England starting converting US Dollars which they had been using to the New English Pound which was pegged to the British pound, partially as a way to foster better relations as well.” A Political and Economic History of New England, Osprey Publishing, New England.

    “Mishigama was a probably a very successful country when we look at it. At first many believed that it would fall the moment Tecumseh died, for many believed that he was the only one holding it all together, and whilst this is partially true, at the time, many in the British government believed that they would have to annex the Crown Protectorate outright to make it stable after Tecumseh died.

    They found themselves wrong in the manner. In 1816 the British government appointed George Murray to become the Governor-General of Mishigama, and by the end of the year Tecumseh had died. He had been a warrior for life, and had precious little time to stop, and in the long run, he had not been a healthy man. A heart disease ate at him, and by the end of the year, Tecumseh, the first High Chief passed away. Murray had immediately sent his troops into alert in case of a crisis in Mishigama. However whilst many mourned the loss of their great leader, the passing of leadership was peaceful. John Norton became the High Chief and the Blackhawk became the Vice Chief on the popular vote of the Council of Tribes, in which he received 16-12 votes against the former brother of Tecumseh. Tecumseh’s brother, Tenskwatawa accepted his defeat in the vote handily, even though he didn’t particularly like it. In his autobiography, the Life of the Prophet, he writes,

    I did not like the results of the vote, and I was angry, however contesting it would mean that the cause for which my brother had given his entire life would have been lost in minutes. I could not get the energy to contest the votes the moment I realized that fact.

    It was a pleasant surprise and Mishigama went on. Norton, whilst he detested being a politician, now found himself as one. As an Iroquois, his ascension to power assuaged the fear in many of the Iroquois that the Shawnee and Lenapi would become the ‘Virginia Dynasty’ of Mishigama wasn’t going to happen. Under Norton, the government officially started to reach out to the American government for the immigration of Native Americans in American lands into Mishigama. The American people who looked at the Native Americans as British sympathizers at best and traitors and barbarians at worst after the war quickly snapped the offer up under Gaillard, who signed a treaty of immigration services in July 1816 with Mishigama. This treaty of immigration gave the Fox, Choctaw, Chikasaw and Creek tribes full mobility to immigrate into Mishigama, where the Lands would be distributed accordingly.

    Norton, as a military leader also knew that to stave off any revanchist president of the United States would have to keep a standing army. With a population that was somewhere between 70,000 to 100,000 having a large army was pretty hard. And what was worse was that many inter-tribal conflicts made it hard for warriors of different tribes to be kept in a single regiment. Therefore in February 1817, Norton managed to pass the ‘Mishigaman Military Acts of 1817’. These acts were comprehensive, and very well thought out on part of Norton. The subjects that were included in the Mishigaman Military Acts of 1817 were:-

    • The Mishigaman Military to consist of 7500 standing regulars for the current population of 82,000. Future military standing numbers would be based on this proportion.
    • The 7500 men would be divided into 5 regiments each of 1500 strength. 4 of these regiments would be based on the tribes of the men, with related tribes such as the Iroquois, Mohawks, Creeks etc being lumped into one regiment. The last and fifth regiment would be a regiment consisting of all warriors from all tribes.
    • All troops to become a heavily professional troop with a minimum of 1 month training time every year, with the basic doctrine of the military being quality over quantity.
    • The creation of a proper ordnance and modern military equipment centers, with aid from Britain and the Crown.

    The economy of Mishigama was also driven by Norton’s fishing schemes and fur trade schemes, and for a country with such a low population, such was enough for the time. However soon enough, industrialization from the colonial overlord of Great Britain would soon filter into Mishigama as well even though it would never entertain the Mishigaman people as it did with the Canadians and New English.” A Brief History into Early Mishigama, University of Shikaawa, Shikaawa Publications, 1998.

    “From 1810 to late 1815, Agustin de Iturbide had been a royalist and pro-Spaniard fighter in the ongoing Mexican War of Independence. He had solidly aligned with the Criollos. However events in Spain and America caused problems, as the monarchy for which that class was fighting was in serious trouble, as even the mainland Spanish rose up in unrest over Ferdinand VII’s reneged promises and the renege of the Constitution. The growing support of the American National Party in the United States also made a lot men wary stating the need for the Mexicans to get their independence fast because the threat of America was very clear.

    Iturbide was convinced that only independence for Mexico was the way to protect the country from a republican and American tide. He decided to become the leader of the Criollo Independence Movement in September 1815. However, to succeed, he would need to put together a very unlikely coalition of Mexican Liberal insurgents, landed nobility, and the Church. Therefore, the penned the Plan of Iguala, which held itself up on three guarantees independence from Spain, Religion, and Union. In the plan, a monarchy was ensured, thus assuring the support of the insurgents, clergy, Spaniards and even the royalists due to the last clause. After several attempts of negotiations, Guerroro and Iturbide agreed to implement the plan of iguala.

    With the support of all sectors of Mexican society, Iturbide and Guerroro continued their war against Spain with renewed vigor. The War of 1812 had left aplenty weapons left around in America, and individual merchants sold the weapons to the Mexicans pretty fast and with the aid of the insurgents and the Royalists, the Spanish Armies were smashed outside of Mexico City in the Battle of Toluca which saw Iturbide’s 15,000 strong army destroy the Spaniard army under Juan Ruiz. The city of Mexico City fell and with it Spanish rule over Mexico came to an end after three and a half centuries.

    Nonetheless this absolute defeat in Mexico wasn’t acknowledged by Ferdinand VII or the Spanish government until 1818, when the Treaty of Havana was signed between the Kingdom of Spain and the Mexican independence movement. The utter humiliation that Spain had suffered in Mexico meant that Ferdinand had accepted the loss of Mexico, however he would not accept the loss of other lands. The Treaty of Havana included the following clauses:-

    • The recognition of the independence of the Mexican Empire by the Spanish kingdom.
    • The peaceful transport of Spanish citizens and military personnel from Mexico into Spain.
    • The Mexican government now formed under Iturbide to pay 3 million pounds to the Spanish government by 1825 as reparations of Spanish property lost and damaged in the war of independence.
    • Spain to allow a foreign catholic monarch to sit on the Mexican throne, however a Spaniard on the throne of Mexico would not be accepted.

    Sārthākā

    Ficboy

    Chapter 11: The 1816 Elections and the Rise of Gerrymandering

    “The 1816 US Presidential Elections were the eighth quadrennial presidential election. It was held from November 1 to December 4, 1816. In the first election following the disastrous War of 1812, the new political parties of the Whigs, Democrats and the American Nationalists campaigned against each other.

    As President Madison had been utterly humiliated by the War of 1812, he hadn’t taken up the presidency after returning from his house arrest in England, instead letting President Gaillard take care of the affairs. Gaillard had tried to do his best, however his character, which was described as ‘democratic but as stiff as cardboard’ made his legislations all the harder to commit to. The blame game that was being thrown out in America in the aftermath of the War of 1812 also made his attempts at rapprochement between the political divides almost impossible to become successful. The fact that states had seceded had also reared tensions, however that matter was kicked down the road as no politician was willing to talk about that in the political arena during these tiresome times in the American nation.

    The Whigs were firmly behind their leader Henry Clay. However Clay also faced stiff opposition from the northern states, who were by this point fed up of having southern presidents. The remaining rump New York State backed their governor Daniel Tompkins. However Tompkins had been disgraced by the war of 1812 as well, and only New Yorkers held him in high regard. They believed that their governor had saved them from needless fighting after the fall of Albany and had saved countless lives, which he had, and his policies had saved the economical structure of New York, however these weren’t appreciated out of New York. To the rest of America, he was a coward who bowed before the Americans. Clay, being from the South, was more or less was also a target from the northern states and they weren’t really enthused about voting for him. Clay chose Nathan Sanford as his running mate for the elections.

    The Democrats under Monroe were also backing their leader. Monroe knew that his party was probably the weakest of the big three that were fighting in the elections. He campaigned heavily, and decided to appoint James Barbour, the famous and popular governor of Virginia for his running mate. Nonetheless, both candidates having been from Virginia, he also faced a good amount of opposition from the north.

    In the American National Party, initially many people were conflicted on whom to choose as their nominations, and in the end a ballot vote was held. The Presidential Candidates were John C. Calhoun, and William H. Crawford. The Vice Presidential Candidates were Andrew Jackson and Charles Tait.

    The ballot elections ended in favor of Calhoun and Jackson. Calhoun received around 65 of the ballot votes against Crawford’s 54 ballot votes for the presidential position. For the Vice Presidential balloting, Andrew Jackson won 80 of the ballots, and Charles Tait won 30 of the ballot votes.

    The campaign from all three sides were bitter and very much bitter. All three parties blamed each other for their loss in the War of 1812, and all three sides tried to project themselves as the better candidates to regain American honor.

    Monroe campaigned on the premise of a new national bank and creation of proper protective tariffs to allow the growth of native industries in the United States of America. This premise was favored by Federalist sympathizers, however those were very few by the point of the elections, and Monroe struggled. He was credited with saving the government during the chaos that had followed the Burning of Washington, however he was still unpopular anywhere south of Virginia, and the initial votes swung around between the multiple candidates of Virginia.

    Clay and Sanford also worked hard during their campaign for the 1816 elections. Clay and Sanford led their campaigned on a premise of a mixture of mercantilist policies and free trade policies trying to gain votes from both the north and south. They promised mild protective tariffs and also promised agricultural and plantation incentives in the south, where they did manage to gain some amount of rapport and followers. However Clay’s abysmal handling of the Treaty of Ghent still haunted him, as many looked at him suspiciously for it. Clay also antagonized Andrew Jackson at one point of time stating:

    Killing multiple New Orleanists doesn’t give that man the right to suddenly take over administration.’

    Calhoun and Jackson ran on a platform that favored the south. They favored an agrarian society, and making America ‘self-sufficient’ economically, and remaining detached from European affairs whilst becoming the leading power in North America and South America and keeping the bare minimum of tariffs.. Calhoun also directly participated in the use of political cartoons, and publishing through his participation in the publishing of the newspaper, The Patriot as a member of the Editorial staff. This was a sure way to promote his own political agendas and campaign. Jackson also riled up the veterans who had once been under his command and stated that the army had been humiliated in the War of 1812, and he would revive their ‘lost honor’. In the south Calhoun and Jackson also rode on a platform of keeping the three-fifths compromise and keeping the Plantation system flourishing.

    The 1816 Elections were a total dismal affair, as all sides couldn’t seem to find a common ground, and the political scene in America quickly started to mirror the polarization of federalists and the democratic-republicans of before. There was also a dispute regarding the electoral votes delegated to the state of New York. Some stated that the former number of 29 should be kept, and or it should be reduced to 19, 25, 23 or something along those lines. With the aid of the Congress and the Senate however, President Gaillard laid rule that the Electoral vote of the state of New York would be 19, based on the population that was lost to New England and the British North American holdings. The total electoral vote was also reduced to 147 with 74 needed for majority due to the fact a huge number of electoral votes were lost when New England declared independence.

    Nonetheless the election results came in by early December. The results were pretty embarrassing for Monroe. He hadn’t been able to hold onto his state of Virginia as well.

    With a turnout of 19%, of 132,300 people for the elections, such low turnouts were pretty common during this era, Calhoun won 60,872 popular votes or 46% of the total electorate and won 62 electoral votes which he had carried from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Virginia. Clay and Sanford won 44,992 popular votes or around 34% of the total votes carrying the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and New York for a total of 49 electoral votes. Monroe won 26,466 of the total votes, or around a fifth of the total percentage, and carried the states of Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey for a total electoral vote of 36.

    The election saw massive amounts of gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries, which is most commonly used in first past the post electoral systems. The term is named after Elbridge Gerry, who as Governor of Massachusetts in 1812, signed a bill that created a partisan district in the Boston area that was compared to the shape of a mythological salamander. All sides in the 1816 elections took part in Gerrymandering, and new constituent districts or partisan districts cropped up multiple times throughout the entire election. It is hard to understand how much gerrymandering influenced the elections, however nonetheless, what we do know is that it influenced the result quite a bit.

    However Calhoun had only won a plurality of the electoral college and hadn’t won 74 electoral college votes. Therefore a contingent elections were called between the states on December 15th, 1816. The United States currently had 13 states, and the one which won the most states would become president of the United States. Having been utterly defeated in the elections, Monroe dropped out of the running and instead the Contingent vote was divided between Calhoun and Clay. Monroe instead supported Clay, stating that his American System Economics would be the best for the United States of America, and stated that he endorsed Clay for the presidency. The states of Philadelphia, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and New York voted for Clay and the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Virginia voted for Calhoun. Clay and Sanford thus won the presidency. Calhoun protested massively, stating that by the bylaws of democracy he had won the elections, however the constitution was clear, and Clay would now become the next President of the US, along with Sanford becoming the next Vice President.” A Political History of North America, University of Montreal, 1998.

    “The New English Commonwealth was also in slight political crisis during the year of 1816. Following a Parliamentary Republican system meant that the Commonwealth needed a ceremonial head of state. Many advocated for a ‘personal union’ with Great Britain in the same manner that Hannover was in a personal union with Great Britain, that is to say, foreign policy and monarch managed by Britain, whilst all internal affairs and economy managed by the state. Of course, whilst this did have many a supporters, it wasn’t in the majority, as much of the population wasn’t about to loose their republican system. Therefore, a purely ceremonial head of state, a president, was required. A Presidential ballot was held in the New English Parliament, where the 120 member parliament voted on who would become their ceremonial head of state.

    The two candidates for the position were Timothy Pickering and Israel Thorndike, both of whom had been extremely involved in the process that had given New England independence. The end ballot results were 67 in favor of Timothy Pickering and 53 in favor of Israel Thorndike. The parliamentary session also put in every general election term to be of 5 years, and delegated the year of 1821 to be the next parliamentary/general election for the state.

    In mid-1816, the State of Saranac, or what was once Upper New York was brought into the Commonwealth of New England as well. By this point, Maine Territory which was under Massachusetts was agitating for itself to become a new state within the Commonwealth as well. The Maine Question had come up a lot even during when New England had been a part of the United States, and the rest of the states were becoming restless with the political instability it brought, and in a parliamentary session, it was decided that Maine would become a new state in 1817. This was heavily criticized by many in Massachusetts, however the state found itself incredibly un-backed in this crisis.

    Nonetheless, despite these parliamentary and political shenanigans which were being conducted in New England, the country’s economy flourished. The construction of the merchant marine by Cabot aided the economy, and European trade into North America flowed directly into New England, with it’s capital Boston quickly becoming a massive state of trade and commerce. Cabot also sought to bring in immigration. However in this regards, the Anglo-saxon friendly and nativism nature of New England reared its head. The immigration that New England would soon start to encourage would be from Britain and from Northern Germany and the Scandinavian countries, and overly catholic nations from Southern Europe were often shunned and not welcomed. Nonetheless, New England would become home to massive amounts of immigration throughout the 19th century with their prosperous economy.

    Whilst New England did support immigration, it was also subject to emigration. Many unionist supporters, especially from Saranac fled across the border into the rump New York State. The former President of the United States, John Adams sold his estate and whilst he was very sad to leave his home state he was a firm believer in the Union, and he and his family left New England and settled down in Maryland, including his son John Quincy Adams. Quincy Adams had hoped to create a proper political legacy and career for himself, however he found himself attacked verbally by many Americans for not being able to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent ‘properly’, and as such his political career was in ruins.

    In Early 1817, the New English government passed the ‘Free Trade Act’ which was aimed at converting New England from a mercantilist country and economy into a free trading one by the end of the 1820s. The government wished to use the massive trading potential of New England to their advantage, and this move is mostly seen as a good move. However this also precipitated a small crisis, on what the currency of New England should be. By the end of it, and by mid-1817 however, the government of New England starting converting US Dollars which they had been using to the New English Pound which was pegged to the British pound, partially as a way to foster better relations as well.” A Political and Economic History of New England, Osprey Publishing, New England.

    “Mishigama was a probably a very successful country when we look at it. At first many believed that it would fall the moment Tecumseh died, for many believed that he was the only one holding it all together, and whilst this is partially true, at the time, many in the British government believed that they would have to annex the Crown Protectorate outright to make it stable after Tecumseh died.

    They found themselves wrong in the manner. In 1816 the British government appointed George Murray to become the Governor-General of Mishigama, and by the end of the year Tecumseh had died. He had been a warrior for life, and had precious little time to stop, and in the long run, he had not been a healthy man. A heart disease ate at him, and by the end of the year, Tecumseh, the first High Chief passed away. Murray had immediately sent his troops into alert in case of a crisis in Mishigama. However whilst many mourned the loss of their great leader, the passing of leadership was peaceful. John Norton became the High Chief and the Blackhawk became the Vice Chief on the popular vote of the Council of Tribes, in which he received 16-12 votes against the former brother of Tecumseh. Tecumseh’s brother, Tenskwatawa accepted his defeat in the vote handily, even though he didn’t particularly like it. In his autobiography, the Life of the Prophet, he writes,

    I did not like the results of the vote, and I was angry, however contesting it would mean that the cause for which my brother had given his entire life would have been lost in minutes. I could not get the energy to contest the votes the moment I realized that fact.

    It was a pleasant surprise and Mishigama went on. Norton, whilst he detested being a politician, now found himself as one. As an Iroquois, his ascension to power assuaged the fear in many of the Iroquois that the Shawnee and Lenapi would become the ‘Virginia Dynasty’ of Mishigama wasn’t going to happen. Under Norton, the government officially started to reach out to the American government for the immigration of Native Americans in American lands into Mishigama. The American people who looked at the Native Americans as British sympathizers at best and traitors and barbarians at worst after the war quickly snapped the offer up under Gaillard, who signed a treaty of immigration services in July 1816 with Mishigama. This treaty of immigration gave the Fox, Choctaw, Chikasaw and Creek tribes full mobility to immigrate into Mishigama, where the Lands would be distributed accordingly.

    Norton, as a military leader also knew that to stave off any revanchist president of the United States would have to keep a standing army. With a population that was somewhere between 70,000 to 100,000 having a large army was pretty hard. And what was worse was that many inter-tribal conflicts made it hard for warriors of different tribes to be kept in a single regiment. Therefore in February 1817, Norton managed to pass the ‘Mishigaman Military Acts of 1817’. These acts were comprehensive, and very well thought out on part of Norton. The subjects that were included in the Mishigaman Military Acts of 1817 were:-

    • The Mishigaman Military to consist of 7500 standing regulars for the current population of 82,000. Future military standing numbers would be based on this proportion.
    • The 7500 men would be divided into 5 regiments each of 1500 strength. 4 of these regiments would be based on the tribes of the men, with related tribes such as the Iroquois, Mohawks, Creeks etc being lumped into one regiment. The last and fifth regiment would be a regiment consisting of all warriors from all tribes.
    • All troops to become a heavily professional troop with a minimum of 1 month training time every year, with the basic doctrine of the military being quality over quantity.
    • The creation of a proper ordnance and modern military equipment centers, with aid from Britain and the Crown.

    The economy of Mishigama was also driven by Norton’s fishing schemes and fur trade schemes, and for a country with such a low population, such was enough for the time. However soon enough, industrialization from the colonial overlord of Great Britain would soon filter into Mishigama as well even though it would never entertain the Mishigaman people as it did with the Canadians and New English.” A Brief History into Early Mishigama, University of Shikaawa, Shikaawa Publications, 1998.

    “From 1810 to late 1815, Agustin de Iturbide had been a royalist and pro-Spaniard fighter in the ongoing Mexican War of Independence. He had solidly aligned with the Criollos. However events in Spain and America caused problems, as the monarchy for which that class was fighting was in serious trouble, as even the mainland Spanish rose up in unrest over Ferdinand VII’s reneged promises and the renege of the Constitution. The growing support of the American National Party in the United States also made a lot men wary stating the need for the Mexicans to get their independence fast because the threat of America was very clear.

    Iturbide was convinced that only independence for Mexico was the way to protect the country from a republican and American tide. He decided to become the leader of the Criollo Independence Movement in September 1815. However, to succeed, he would need to put together a very unlikely coalition of Mexican Liberal insurgents, landed nobility, and the Church. Therefore, the penned the Plan of Iguala, which held itself up on three guarantees independence from Spain, Religion, and Union. In the plan, a monarchy was ensured, thus assuring the support of the insurgents, clergy, Spaniards and even the royalists due to the last clause. After several attempts of negotiations, Guerroro and Iturbide agreed to implement the plan of iguala.

    With the support of all sectors of Mexican society, Iturbide and Guerroro continued their war against Spain with renewed vigor. The War of 1812 had left aplenty weapons left around in America, and individual merchants sold the weapons to the Mexicans pretty fast and with the aid of the insurgents and the Royalists, the Spanish Armies were smashed outside of Mexico City in the Battle of Toluca which saw Iturbide’s 15,000 strong army destroy the Spaniard army under Juan Ruiz. The city of Mexico City fell and with it Spanish rule over Mexico came to an end after three and a half centuries.

    Nonetheless this absolute defeat in Mexico wasn’t acknowledged by Ferdinand VII or the Spanish government until 1818, when the Treaty of Havana was signed between the Kingdom of Spain and the Mexican independence movement. The utter humiliation that Spain had suffered in Mexico meant that Ferdinand had accepted the loss of Mexico, however he would not accept the loss of other lands. The Treaty of Havana included the following clauses:-


    Contents

    Timeline of life events

    Below is an abbreviated outline of Madison's professional and political career: Ώ]

    • 1751: Born in Port Conway, Virginia
    • 1771: Graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University)
    • 1774: Elected to the Orange County Committee of Safety
    • 1775: Served in the Virginia militia
    • 1776: Attended the Virginia Convention and helped draft Virginia's constitution
    • 1777: Lost a bid for the Virginia Assembly later appointed to the Governor's Council
    • 1780: Delegate to the Continental Congress from Virginia
    • 1781-1783, 1786-1787: Delegate to the Congress of the Confederation from Virginia
    • 1787: Represented Virginia at the Constitutional Convention and wrote the Federalist Papers alongside Alexander Hamilton and John Jay
    • 1789: Proposed amendments to the Constitution, ultimately leading to the Bill of Rights
    • 1789-1797: Served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia
    • 1794: Married to Dolley Payne Todd
    • 1801: Inherited Montpelier estate
    • 1801-1809: Served as Secretary of State for President Thomas Jefferson
    • 1807: Campaigned for Embargo Act of 1807, banning American ships from trading with foreign nations
    • 1808: Elected president of the United States
    • 1809: Embargo Act repealed and replaced with the Non-Intercourse Act, banning trade with only Great Britain and France
    • June 1812: United States declares war on Britain, initiating the War of 1812
    • 1812: Re-elected as president of the United States
    • 1814: White House and Capitol burned by British soldiers
    • 1815: Treaty of Ghent signed, ending the War of 1812
    • 1826: Appointed rector of the University of Virginia
    • 1833: Became president of the American Colonization Society
    • 1836: Died at his Montpelier estate

    Before the presidency

    Madison was born on March 16, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia. He attended the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University) and graduated in 1771. Madison's political career began shortly before the Revolutionary War. He was elected to the Orange County Committee of Safety in 1774 and served in the Virginia militia the following year.

    In 1776, Madison attended the Virginia Convention and helped draft Virginia's constitution. The following year he lost a bid for the Virginia Assembly but was later appointed to the Governor's Council. In 1780, Madison was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Virginia. He then served as a delegate at the Congress of the Confederation from Virginia from 1781 to 1783 and again from 1786 to 1787. Madison represented Virginia at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and pushed for ratification of the Constitution, writing the Federalist Papers alongside Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. Following its ratification, Madison proposed a series of amendments to the Constitution, which ultimately became the Bill of Rights.

    Madison then served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1797. He was appointed Secretary of State to Thomas Jefferson's administration in 1801 and served in that role until 1809. During his time as Secretary of State, he campaigned for the Embargo Act of 1807, which banned American ships from trading with foreign nations. Madison succeeded Jefferson in 1808 when he was elected President. He ran as a Democratic-Republican and defeated Federalist candidate Charles C. Pinckney and sitting Vice President George Clinton. Madison received 122 out of a total of 175 electoral votes (roughly 70 percent). Pinckney received 47 votes, and Clinton received the remaining 6 votes. Clinton remained as Vice President through Madison's first term. Ώ] ΐ]

    Presidency

    In 1809, the Embargo Act was repealed and replaced with the Non-Intercourse Act, banning trade with only Great Britain and France. Macon's Bill Number 2 was then passed in 1810, which lifted the embargoes on Britain and France. It stated that if either Great Britain or France ceased attacks upon American shipping, the United States would stop trading with the other country, unless the other country also agreed to recognize the rights of American trade ships. The charter of the First Bank expired in 1811 and the bill to re-charter the bank failed in the House of Representatives. The Battle of Tippecanoe also took place in 1811, in which William Harrison fought Native Americans led by Tecumseh. Α]

    Attacks on American shipping continued, and the United States declared war on Great Britain in 1812. Shortly after the war began, Madison was re-elected with nearly 60 percent of the vote. He defeated Federalist De Witt Clinton. The Creek War between the Creek Native Americans and the U.S. and the Peoria War between the U.S. and the Potawatomi and Kickapoo Native American Tribes took place from 1813 to 1814. On August 14, 1814, the City of Washington was burned by invading British soldiers. In January 1815, Andrew Jackson defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans. The war ended shortly after, with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. Β]

    Following the war, Madison signed the charter for the Second Bank of the United States into law in 1816. The Tariff of 1816 was also passed by Congress. It was the first tariff passed by Congress to protect U.S. manufacturing from overseas competition. Madison left office in 1817 and was replaced by James Monroe, also of the Democratic-Republican Party. Ώ] Γ]

    Post-presidency

    Madison and Thomas Jefferson helped to create the University of Virginia, which opened in 1825 with Jefferson serving as rector. Following Jefferson's death in 1826, Madison took over in leading the university. In 1829, Madison served as a delegate to the state's Constitutional Convention. He also served in the American Colonization Society, an organization with the goal of returning freed slaves to Africa, which he had co-founded in 1816. He became president of the organization in 1833. Madison died on June 28, 1836. Ώ]

    Personal

    Madison was married to Dolley Madison from 1794 until his death in 1836. He had no children of his own but had a step-son, Payne, from his wife's first marriage. Ώ]


    Electoral Vote - 1812 Election

    This page details the electoral vote for the 1812 Presidential Election. Other electoral vote counts can be found on the Main Electoral Vote Page. The popular vote and names of major candidates that did not get any electoral votes in each election can be found on the Elections Page.

    1812
    President Vice President
    State James Madison De Witt Clinton Elbridge Gerry Jared Ingersoll
    CT - 9 - 9
    DE - 4 - 4
    GA 8 - 8 -
    KY 12 - 12 -
    LA 3 - 3 -
    MA - 22 2 20
    MD 6 5 6 5
    NC 15 - 15 -
    NH - 8 1 7
    NJ - 8 - 8
    NY - 29 - 29
    OH 7 - 7 -
    PA 25 - 25 -
    RI - 4 - 4
    SC 11 - 11 -
    TN 8 - 8 -
    VA 25 - 25 -
    VT 8 - 8 -
    Totals 128 89 131 86
    Notes: This was the first election in which Louisiana cast votes. One vote from Ohio was not cast.

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    The Electoral College

    The Certificates from the 2020 Electoral College are posted to the 2020 results page after we receive them from the States and can process them. We post the Certificates on a rolling basis and update the page only on Federal business days.

    It's a Process, not a Place

    The Electoral College is how we refer to the process by which the United States elects the President, even though that term does not appear in the U.S. Constitution. In this process, the States (which includes the District of Columbia just for this process) elect the President and Vice President.

    The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) is a part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and, on behalf of the Archivist of the United States, coordinates certain functions of the Electoral College between the States and Congress. Acting as an intermediary, it reviews the Certificates of Ascertainment and Vote before Congress accepts them as evidence of official State action in preparation for the counting of electoral votes in Congress. In addition to posting them on this website, OFR makes the physical Certificates available for public inspection for one year following the election. After that year, the Certificates become part of the National Archives collection.

    OFR has no role in appointing electors and has no contact with them.


    First U.S. presidential election

    Congress sets January 7, 1789 as the date by which states are required to choose electors for the country&aposs first-ever presidential election. A month later, on February 4, George Washington was elected president by state electors and sworn into office on April 30, 1789.

    As it did in 1789, the United States still uses the Electoral College system, established by the U.S. Constitution, which today gives all American citizens over the age of 18 the right to vote for electors, who in turn vote for the president. The president and vice president are the only elected federal officials chosen by the Electoral College instead of by direct popular vote.

    Today political parties usually nominate their slate of electors at their state conventions or by a vote of the party’s central state committee, with party loyalists often being picked for the job. Members of the U.S. Congress, though, can’t be electors. Each state is allowed to choose as many electors as it has senators and representatives in Congress. During a presidential election year, on Election Day (the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November), the electors from the party that gets the most popular votes are elected in a winner-take-all-system, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, which allocate electors proportionally. In order to win the presidency, a candidate needs a majority of 270 electoral votes out of a possible 538.

    On the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December of a presidential election year, each state’s electors meet, usually in their state capitol, and simultaneously cast their ballots nationwide. This is largely ceremonial: Because electors nearly always vote with their party, presidential elections are essentially decided on Election Day. Although electors aren’t constitutionally mandated to vote for the winner of the popular vote in their state, it is demanded by tradition and required by law in 26 states and the District of Columbia (in some states, violating this rule is punishable by $1,000 fine). Historically, over 99 percent of all electors have cast their ballots in line with the voters. On January 6, as a formality, the electoral votes are counted before Congress and on January 20, the commander in chief is sworn into office.


    Watch the video: Changing History Presidential Elections from 1789 to 1812 Vlog 22 (January 2022).