The year of 1828 was a tumultuous year in American politics. It so
happened that it was a presidential election year. The election of 1828 was
different from any other presidential election up to that point. The election
not only set a precedent, but was also one of the bitterest in American history.

Out of all the elections up to that point, it had all the makings of a
present-day campaign. The two modern aspects evident in the campaign were
horrific mudslinging and the choice of presidential electors by a popular vote.

The two men running for the office of president that year were the incumbent,

John Adams, and the once-defeated Andrew Jackson. John Adams ran as a National

Republican, later to be known as the Whigs. Adams had the support of the
respectable Secretary of State, Henry Clay, but he did not have the support of
his own Vice-President, John C. Calhoun. Calhoun was very powerful in the
politics of that time period. He threw his support in favor Jackson because he
could tell that Adams and the Republicans wanted Henry Clay to succeed Adams in
the election of 1832. William H. Crawford, presidential hopeful in 1824, also
gave his support to Jackson. However, the most important man to lend his backing
to Jackson was Martin Van Buren, because he could tell that Jackson was going
places. Jackson was running as a Democratic Republican. Because the Democrats
are widely known to be the party of the "common man," Jackson could
use the theory of "us against them." The Democrats also gained the
support of the newly formed Workingman\'s Party. When Adams had beaten Jackson
for president four years before, the Jacksonians protested that there was a
"corrupt bargain" between Clay and Adams. This came about because once
the vote went to the House of Representatives, Clay, a candidate, threw his
support in favor of Adams. Once in office, Adams made Clay Secretary of State.

Throughout Adams\' administration and the campaign, the Jacksonians made the
phrase "corrupt bargain" a rallying cry for their supporters. Adams
though made enemies of his allies by refusing to remove competent civil servants
from their jobs in favor of his political friends. Adams\' views were already
known so he had to run on those. Jackson however was for anything against Adams
that made Adams look bad. Everything else he was safely shrewd in defining his
position on the current issues of the time. He would just put himself in the
middle if he didn\'t have an opinion or he didn\'t want to upset his supporters.

So, in fact, he ran without a program. While he campaigned in the South, his
friends in Washington, led by Van Buren, were winning the election for him. They
concocted a tariff bill aimed at attracting electoral votes in both the

Northeast and Northwest by hiking the protective rates on items favored in those
areas. It was called the Tariff of Abominations, especially in the South. This
raised dislike for the Adams Administration. That year was also the first year
in which presidential electors were chosen by popular vote instead of
congressional caucuses. This made the election even more democratic, which is
what the Democrats, as they had come to be known, wanted. The Democrats, after
all, were on raising the idea of democracy versus aristocracy. This campaign was
not only one of the most savage elections up to that time, it is one of the
nastiest in our country\'s history. Both candidates used the newspapers to do a
significant part of their mudslinging. One newspaper editor that Jackson used
was Amos Kendall of Kentucky. Kendall was the editor of the Argus of Western

America. All of his editors though did an expert job of making his political
head-hunting look like a crusade to clean Washington of corruption and
privilege. One of Adams\' editors was Charles Hammond of Cincinnati. He was the
editor of the Cincinnati Gazette. Hammond turned Jackson\'s marriage into a
contemptible type of propaganda. But the even more effective propaganda was the
"Coffin Handbill," which made Jackson out to be a murderer and a
ruffian because he had executed six Tennessee militiamen for mutinying during
the Indian wars. Adams and the Republicans tried to make Jackson look like a
murderer, a slave trader, a gambler, a brawler, a cockfighter, a swearer, a
thief, a traitor, and a adulterer. The claims of him being an adulterer hurt him
the most because he was madly in love with his wife, Rachel. They even described
her as being a strumpet and a whore. The Democrats countered with accusations of

Adams pimping for