Hello, and welcome back to another edition of Lace ‘Em Up’s Presidential Election series. Today we will be going over the Election of 1816, James Monroe wants to become the new president but he got to deal with the Federalist Party’s Rufus King to make that happen.
Ending The War of 1812
After narrowly getting re-elected to a second term, incumbent James Madison still had to contend with the war which wasn’t showing any signs of ending as evidenced by the infamous moment in August of 1814 when British soldiers set the White House on fire leading to President Madison, his wife Dolly and the rest of the White House staff to exit the building all while the First Lady was able to save a very important painting of George Washington.
By December of 1814, the ‘Treaty of Ghent’ was signed by both the British and the U.S. which put an end to the war, yet despite the U.S. not coming out victorious in the conflict many Americans were pleased with how they were able to defend themselves against the British forces.
This would soon begin a period of patriotism and American Pride throughout the nation with this period often being referred to as ‘The Era of Good Feelings’.
Much like Washington and Jefferson before him, James Madison decides to walk away after two terms and allows his Secretary of State from Virginia, James Monroe to get the nomination after failing to do so back in 1808.
Monroe was just one of several names who considered or thought about running for the nomination with the Secretary of the Treasury, William H. Crawford being a popular favorite for some within the party.
Despite the closeness of the ballots and many within the party getting sick and tired over the “Virginia Dynasty” aka all the presidents (except John Adams) coming from Virginia, Monroe defeated Crawford to get the nomination and his bringing the Governor of New York, Daniel D. Tompkins as his running mate in order to satisfy the Northern wing of the Democratic-Republicans.
The Hartford Convention
Following two failed attempts in 1804 and 1808, plus the fact they didn’t officially nominate a candidate in 1812, the Federalists have been on a downward spiral which went from bad to worse thanks to the Hartford Convention.
During the War of 1812, the Federalists were staunchly against the United States going to war with Great Britain and as a result of this, many members of the party decided to meet in Hartford Connecticut to discuss a number of issues including America’s involvement in the war, getting rid of the three-fifths compromise and some even talked about seceding from the United States.
When these and several other demands were sent to Washington D.C. the Federalists Party became even more of a laughingstock due to the fact that news of Andrew Jackson’s victory in the Battle of New Orleans coupled with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent had been reported to many except for the Federalists, so now the entire party looked foolish as a result.
Despite this, the remaining members of the party decided to nominate New York Senator, Rufus King who had run in the previous elections in some form or another for the Federalists with John Eager Howard the former Senator of Maryland as his running mate.
The Results of the Election of 1816
An important fact to mention is that Indiana’s votes were a point of contention in this election as Indiana was technically still a territory and not a state when the votes were cast, but they wanted their votes to be counted and after reaching a compromise their votes were indeed counted.
However, it didn’t make much of a difference when it came to the outcome as James Monroe decimates Rufus King to become the 5th president of the United States with Monroe receiving 183 electoral votes 68.2% of the popular vote to Rufus King’s 34 electoral votes and 30.9% of the popular vote.
This election would become the final death blow for the Federalists Party as the Democratic-Republicans under Madison and Monroe have already begun to adopt the more popular ideas of the Federalists Party as the ‘Era of Good Feelings’ continues onward.
Be sure to come back for the next Presidential Election, as will be talking about one of the strangest elections in U.S. History: The Election of 1820.
The Election of 1812: Madison vs. Clinton
The Election of 1808: Madison vs. Pinckney
The Election of 1804: Jefferson vs. Pinckney
The Election Of 1804: Jefferson Vs. Pinckney | Lace ‘Em Up (laceemupmedia.com)
The Election of 1800: Adams vs. Jefferson
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