The election of the seventh President, Andrew Jackson, in 1828 is said to be the first modern election of our time. It was the first election where the personalities of each candidate were the issues. Mr. Jackson attacked John Adam's as "not a man of democracy" and an aristocrat. Adams attacked Jackson calling him a drunkard and pointed out that Jackson lived with his wife two years before he married her. Despite this, Jackson was a great public speaker and captured the popular vote--you could say voters voted with their heart. Between the popularity, and strategically campaigning in high electorial voting states, Jackson won the election. Jackson also promised to improve expansion westward (which won him some votes, I'm sure)--and he did--beginning an expansion that would reach it's peak over the next two presidents also. There were two major reasons which made people expand the country during Jackson's presidency the silver & gold believed to be in the areas near Mexico, and also bankers accumulated so much money from material from the west that money became inflated--which encouraged people to move west to escape this growing inflation.
Martin Van BurenVan Buren was the next president who had to face the horrible economic conditions began during Jackson's presidency. In 1836 Van Buren was elected president, this time I think voters used their heads and knew Van Buren was the only candidate really ready to face the economic conditions. Soon after Van Buren took over there a depression began, This was a time when virtually everyone was poorer. Many people blamed Van Buren for the Depression because he was president at the time, but it wasn't really his fault. Van Buren made a long term solution by creating "The independent Treasury Bill", which in essence took away the banks dominant control of the countries money. This might seem insignificant, but helped people have more control of there country and ultimately led to more expansion.
William H. HarrisonIn the election of William H. Harrison it was again a time when the characters of each candidate mattered. People generally were mad at the Democrats at this time and were looking for another president (similar with Clinton, today). The Whigs (later known as the Republicans), used Harrison's "War Hero" past to sell him, and said "Harrison preferred life in a Log Cabin to the White house" (which was very ironic, since Harrison had never been in a Log Cabin and came from a rich family). This election proved people could easily vote from their heart above their head. This election is also used a lot as a chief example of why the electorial system today doesn't work: Under the popular vote Harrison only had 53%, but as electorial Harrison clobbered Van Buren with 234 to 60!
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