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Which candidate in 1824 supported a strong federal government that took action to develop the national economy?
C.John Quincy Adams
D.William H. Crawford
ANSWER: C. John Quincy Adams
The Campaign and Election of 1824:
Although John Quincy Adams should have been the heir apparent to the presidency as James Monroe’s secretary of state,
the year 1824 was a political turning point in which none of the old rules applied. Four other men also wanted to be President,
each with substantial regional backing. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina had served as secretary of war in the Monroe
administration and had support from slave owners in the South but he needed support from outside the region to be a viable candidate.
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- which candidate in 1824 supported a strong federal government
The politically ambitious and able William H. Crawford of Georgia enjoyed the support of party regulars in
Congress—especially Senator Martin Van Buren of New York—as well as substantial footing in Georgia. Crawford had served
as secretary of war and of the treasury in the two previous administrations. His main drawback stemmed from his explosive temper,
which had alienated a number of fellow political leaders including President Monroe. The two men had almost engaged in a fistfight in
a cabinet meeting before Crawford gathered his wits enough to apologize. Thereafter, the two men seldom spoke to one another.
The most visible candidate was House Speaker Henry Clay. A leading War Hawk during the War of 1812, Clay had a power base in Kentucky,
was a gifted public speaker, and had support for his so-called American System of protective tariffs and federally sponsored
internal improvements. His high-profile advocacy of these issues made him a familiar name in much of the country.
Although he was well known, his clear identification with the war and nationalism weakened his roots in the South,
which was beginning to fear supporting anyone for President who was not a slave owner or a supporter of states’ rights.
Four Democratic-Republican Candidates
In the summer of 1824, an unofficial caucus of less than a third of the congressmen eligible to attend nominated Crawford for President.
Supporters for Adams denounced the caucus bid, and the Massachusetts legislature nominated Adams as their favorite-son candidate.
The Kentucky legislature did the same for Clay. Both nominations followed the pattern set by the Tennessee legislature,
which had nominated Andrew Jackson in 1822. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina dropped out of the presidential race by
announcing his bid for the vice presidency, a move that both Adams and Crawford endorsed. Because all four candidates
were nominal Democratic-Republicans—the Federalist Party had disintegrated by this point—the election would be decided without reference to party affiliation.
As the campaign progressed, Jackson emerged as the man to beat. The size of his rallies in key swing states—Pennsylvania,
Illinois, Indiana, New York, and New Jersey—far surpassed or rivaled those for Clay and Adams. In this first election in
American history in which the popular vote mattered—because eighteen states chose presidential electors by popular
vote in 1824 (six states still left the choice up to their state legislatures) —Jackson’s popularity foretold a new era in the making.
When the final votes were tallied in those eighteen states, Jackson polled 152,901 popular votes to Adams’s 114,023;
Clay won 47,217, and Crawford won 46,979. The electoral college returns, however, gave Jackson only 99 votes,
32 fewer than he needed for a majority of the total votes cast. Adams won 84 electoral votes followed by 41 for Crawford and 37 for Clay.
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