Corrupt Bargain Election of 1824

Corrupt Bargain Election of 1824
Critics believe that the corrupt bargain election of 1824 resulted in exposing the flaws inherent in the Electoral College system. The draft aims to provide the reader with the scenario of the famous 1824 electoral scandal.
The President and the Vice President of the United States are elected indirectly by the Electoral College that was proposed by the Constitutional Convention held in the year 1787. The Convention witnessed the difference in opinion among delegates, who were divided on the process of electing the President and the Vice President. Some delegates favored direct election by the masses, while others feared that people, who may not have sufficient understanding of the qualifications and character of the candidates, may end up electing the wrong contestant.

A compromise was reached by proposing to elect the chief executive officer of the nation by electors appointed by each state in accordance with the legislature. The electors, would then gather in their respective states to cast their votes. Each elector was allowed to cast 2 votes and the candidate receiving the maximum number of votes was elected as the President and the runner-up was elected as the Vice President. The Federal principle of the process of elections was acknowledged by allowing a select group of representatives to cast their vote on behalf of the people.

Contingent Elections

The 12th Amendment proposed in the year 1803 and ratified in 1804 revised the election process, by allowing the electors to cast one vote for the President and one for the Vice President, as against the original process of allowing electors to cast 2 votes each for different candidates, since the older system had resulted in a tie between the candidates, belonging to the same party, in the Presidential elections held in the year 1800. Again, the candidate, who got the maximum number of votes was elected as the President. In case no candidate had a clear majority, it was decided that, contingent elections would be held, wherein the President would be elected by the House of Representatives, while the Senate would be entrusted with the task of electing the Vice President. The President would be elected from among the top three candidates receiving the maximum votes in the Electoral College.

The Electoral College system has been the subject of criticism as early as 1803. Again, it was blamed for the outcome of the 1824 elections, better known as the 'corrupt bargain' of 1824.


An Electoral Scandal

The 1824 Presidential elections came to be known as the, 'corrupt bargain of 1824', between John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay. There were four main contestants of the 1824 elections: (1) Andrew Jackson; (2) John Quincy Adams; (3) William H. Crawford; and (4) Henry Clay, all of them being Democratic Republicans. Henry Clay, who had been disqualified from the contingent election process in accordance with the 12th Amendment, had received the minimum number of votes (37). Jackson, Adams and Crawford received 99, 84, and 41 votes, respectively. Although Andrew Jackson received the plurality of the electoral votes -- as well as the popular votes -- he did not have a clear majority. On February 9, 1825, a contingent election was conducted with the House electing John Quincy Adams as President over Andrew Jackson by a vote of 13 states to 7, with an additional 4 states voting for William H. Crawford.

Henry Clay, vying for the presidential candidature himself in the year 1824, led a massive movement, where Jackson was charged with weighty aspersions. It was far better to execute an Ohio Valley-New England coalition to the White house for Adams, than to witness the office being principled by Jackson. Know that Clay shared an ironically famous aversion to Jackson -- an alliance better regarded as an insentient drollery, rather than interactions sealed with cordiality. Adams, as a laudable favor appointed Clay as the secretary of state. This 'filling the blanks' policy was termed a mere arrangement that, unfortunately never proved its potency for Adams as well as Clay. This sparked disapproval among the rooters of Jackson, known as the democrats, giving rise to the term corrupt bargain. The rationale behind designating this moniker for the Adam-Clay alliance was to defame their avaricious associations deluged with top brass members, who put their ulterior motives at the fore, charring the will of the citizens. It was, by no means a pro bono syndicate according to Jackson. In the bargain, Jackson pursued himself to be the messiah of the common man -- a feature that vacuumed Jackson to be rewarded with majority of votes in the electoral presidency of 1824.

Running campaigns far and wide was a job handled by the managers vying for potential candidature. It was when the votes were counted that the plurality of popular votes diverted to Jackson. However, the popular votes stood where they were, due to the fact that the U.S. Constitution was of the opinion that no candidate was found meeting the electoral standards set by the government. There were four candidates who accommodated the top slots; however, the legislature decided that only the top three would be selected; the fourth, incidentally was Henry Clay -- the one to eliminated from the constitution. During the course of time, Adams invited Clay at his residence, where they had the opportunity to exchange their opinions and thoughts. It was then that Clay declared his support toward Adams. Besides, he also made his inclination toward the ad hoc candidature known. The word was bound to spread, and courtesy of Henry Clay, Adam won the senatorship. Jackson unfastened the purging lava seething within and called on the carpet. Jackson fumed with utter discontentment making it public and regarded the entire scenario as the corrupt bargain.

"I'd rather be right than President." -- Henry Clay. Well, his decision to favor Adams during the 1824 Elections, is but his actions overriding his doctrines. Henry Clay, perhaps was considered one of the most powerful political figures. Ironically, his career graph garnered plurality in popularity, but he was never the 'chosen one' for the senatorship.
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