13 thoughts on “The 1848 Presidential Election

  1. michael confoy October 19, 2012 / 11:16 pm

    What a poor lot to vote for. I voted for Martin Van Ruin. He remained Clay’s friend through it all and the reality was that the depression he faced was brought on by Jackson’s destruction of the Federal Banking system. I think as someone more independent and mature, Marty would have turned to politicians like Clay for advice and been half decent or no worse than the rest.

    Even though I can pretend that I know that Taylor does not die, I can not pretend that the Whigs knew they made a mistake by the time he was elected and that anyone they nominated could have won. Taylor didn’t have a clue, didn’t know what a political party was and was picked because Clay lost to Polk.

    Cass was like Buchanan, a real Copperhead. At least he has a street named after him in Detroit. He deserves it.

    • Ned B October 20, 2012 / 11:04 am

      The counter argument is that Van Buren played a role in Jackson’s financial policy along with a lot of his other policies. His effort to rebrand himself as the “free soil” candidate seemed like opportunism motivated by his failure to win the Democratic nomination.

  2. Louis October 19, 2012 / 11:17 pm

    I voted for Taylor because of his willingness to stand up to fellow slaveholders when secession was threatened in 1850. His stand may not have been good politics but it stands out in contrast to the actions of his predecessors and successors who went above and beyond to placate the South on slavery. Van Buren may have represented the Free Soil Party but that was probably because he could not get the Democratic nomination again; he was not known for his fealty to principle. Fairly or not, Cass looks to me like just another doughface Northerner.

  3. wgdavis October 19, 2012 / 11:19 pm

    Marty Van Buren, the Free Soil candidate! Taylor was just out of whack for a Whig. And Cass, well…

  4. Brad October 20, 2012 / 5:43 am

    The Little Magician. Taylor was a slaveholder. Would have voted Cass otherwise.

  5. Lyle Smith October 20, 2012 / 8:14 am

    I don’t feel like thinking much in 1848 so I would vote for the glorified Mexican War hero and Louisianian, Zachary Taylor.

    He would have been trending on Twitter in ’48.

  6. John Foskett October 20, 2012 / 8:22 am

    You’re really testing my commitment to get up early on Election Day and exercise my privilege. Once again the overwhelming negatives of two candidates caused me to pull the trigger for Old Rough and Ready. Van Buren and Cass were both immersed in the reprehensible, racist Cherokee removal and Cass was another aplogist for slaveholders who wanted to bring their evil institution to the territories.

  7. rcocean October 20, 2012 / 11:56 am

    Election of a free-soiler would’ve caused the Civil war to come 10 years earlier, with even tragic results. Taylor was a Jacksonian patriot and that good enough for me. He supposedly told Southern leaders that if necessary, he personally would lead the Army against persons “taken in rebellion against the Union, he would hang … with less reluctance than he had hanged deserters and spies in Mexico.” He never wavered.

  8. Ned B October 20, 2012 / 12:15 pm

    I think I would have been a Whig during that time period based on my postivie feelings for Adams, Clay and Webster and negatives feelings about the jacksonites. I can imagine myself being intrigued by the Free Soil party but would have issues with Van Buren due to his Jacksonian career and would think that voting Free Soil would just siphon votes away from the Whig ticket, possibly swinging the election.

  9. Mark October 20, 2012 / 12:31 pm

    Voted for Taylor. Now that we have completed expansion in the Polk Administration we need someone to stand up (however feebly) to the slave interest.

    • SF Walker October 20, 2012 / 10:36 pm

      I voted for Taylor, too–for exactly the same reason as you. No really exciting choices in this election, either.

  10. Al Mackey October 20, 2012 / 6:52 pm

    This was a tough one for me. While I was at first attracted to Free Soil, it was Van Buren, who I don’t believe was trustworthy, even as politicians go, which is saying a lot.

  11. fra paolo October 25, 2012 / 11:03 am

    I can’t bring myself vote for a popular sovereigntist like Cass. Given Van Buren’s conduct during the Amistad matter, I can only view his switch to ‘Free Soil’ as an opportunist move. So, by process of elimination, I’m left with Taylor.

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