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Bruce Fischer

An Electoral History of the United States of America

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Harrison Cabinet, 1837-1841

President: William Henry Harrison

Vice President: Francis Granger

Secretary of State: James Buchanan

Secretary of Treasury: Thomas Ewing

Secretary of War: John Bell

Attorney General: John J. Crittenden

Postmaster General: John Tyler

Secretary of the Navy: George E. Badger

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Harrison Term, 1837-1841

  • March 4, 1837: Harrison and Granger inaugurated. Harrison gives long speech detailing his plans for his first term
  • April 1837: Harrison tries to establish good relations with Congress, controlled by Democrats, by nominating John McKinley, a Democrat, to the Supreme Court
  • September 1837: Harrison fights Congress on economic policy, saying that "the Democratic Congress must put country above party if the nation is to recover from this economic calamity"
  • May 1838: Harrison, trying to do something to stop the recession created by the Panic of 1836, fights with Congress very publically
  • September 1838: President Harrison campaigns heavily for Whig candidates for Congress, as his agenda cannot be pushed unless he has a sympathetic Congress
  • October 1838: The Anti-Masonic party dissolves, and its elected officials become registered as Whigs

Midterms

House:

Whigs: 123 (up 23)

Democrats: 119 (down 6)

Senate:

Whigs: 27 (up 10)

Democrats: 25 (down 9)

  • January 1839: Harrison and the new Whig Congress start to work together on fixing the economy
  • April 1839: Bank of the United States reestablished
  • July 1839: A singular paper currency begins circulation; all other currency besides US mint coinage is made valueless
  • December 1839: While President Harrison pays lip service to the elimination of the spoils system, he does not actually do anything meaningful to end it
  • February 1840: The economy has stopped its tailspin and is improving again
  • August 1840: Vice President Granger states that he will not run for reelection with President Harrison
  • February 25, 1841: Justice Philip Barbour dies
  • February 26, 1841: President Harrison appeases Congressional Democrats by nominating Peter Daniel to Barbour's seat

Conclusion

President Harrison is unsuccessful at first, but America gives him extremely slim majorities in Congress during the midterms and he comes into his own. He is very big on working with Congress, and only wants to be involved with legislation having to do with solving the economic troubles of the day; otherwise, he prefers to let Congress give him legislation to sign (or veto).

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Supreme Court, 1837-1841

Chief Justice: Roger B. Taney (1836-)

Associate Justices

  • Smith Thompson (1820-)
  • Richard Rush (1823-)
  • John McLean (1829-)
  • Henry Baldwin (1830-)
  • James Moore Wayne (1835-)
  • Philip Barbour (1836-1841)
    • replaced with Peter Daniel (1841-)
  • John McKinley (1837-)

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Elections of 1840

President

President Harrison is easily renominated by the Whigs, and John Tyler is given the Vice Presidential nomination to fill Francis Granger's place. The economy is not nearly as good as it was before the Panic of 1836, but it's improving and thus Harrison is popular.

Former Vice President Martin Van Buren is back, hoping to capitalize on his popular vote win and narrow Electoral College loss in 1836 to come back and win in 1840. The Democrats nominate the same ticket in 1840 as they did in 1836: Van Buren and Richard Mentor Johnson.

William Henry Harrison has proven himself to be the kind of President that America wants. The President calls Van Buren "Jackson's third term" and blames the Panic and the subsequent economic recession on Jackson and Van Buren's economic policy. This is extremely effective; in the election with the highest turnout yet, Harrison gets more than double the number of popular votes in 1840 compared to 1836, and while Van Buren gets more too, it's not nearly enough. Harrison wins a second term in a landslide.

Capture.PNG.8a166d42888665f56379625065e77a0f.PNG

Popular vote:

Harrison/Tyler: 1,355,192, 53.9%

Van Buren/Johnson: 1,105,710, 44%

Liberty Party nobodies: 52,690, 2.1%

(Played as: Harrison)

Congress

House:

Whigs: 142 (up 19)

Democrats: 99 (down 20)

Senate:

Whigs: 29 (up 2)

Democrats: 23 (down 2)

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YE OLDE NEWSPAPER

April 4, 1841

PRESIDENT HARRISON DIES IN OFFICE, JOHN TYLER SWORN IN AS 9TH PRESIDENT

President Harrison died today! The cause of death is not currently known, but rumors are circulating that he caught pneumonia from his extremely long second inaugural address, delivered on a cold day on which the President did not wear a coat. John Tyler is now the President of the United States.

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5 minutes ago, HomosexualSocialist said:

This thread is LIT!!!!!

Thanks!

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Harrison/Tyler Cabinet, 1841-1845

President: William Henry Harrison (March 4, 1841-April 4, 1841)

  • John Tyler sworn in on April 4, 1841; serves the rest of the term

Vice President: John Tyler (March 4, 1841-April 4, 1841)

  • Tyler assumes Presidency on April 4, 1841; vacant the rest of the term

Secretary of State: Daniel Webster

Secretary of Treasury: Thomas Ewing 

Secretary of War: John Bell

Attorney General: John J. Crittenden

Postmaster General: Francis Granger

Secretary of the Navy: George E. Badger

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Harrison/Tyler Term, 1841-1845

Same as IRL, more or less.

Midterms

House:

Democrats: 148 (up 50)

Whigs: 73 (down 69)

Law and Order: 2 (up 2)

Senate:

Whigs: 27 (down 2)

Democrats: 25 (up 2)

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Elections of 1844

President

President Tyler is universally seen as a failure. So much so that the Whigs refuse to renominate him. Instead, they created an electoral disaster: they nominated John McLean, the Associate Justice. One problem: his hatred for Tyler means that he refuses to step down and let his seat go to someone he nominates, vowing only to do so if he wins. This means he can't campaign.

The Democrats nominate Secretary of State and former Pennsylvania Senator James Buchanan for the Presidency, and Alabama Senator William Rufus King for the Vice Presidency. (The two who might've been gay lovers at the time IRL)

John Tyler, angry at the Whigs for refusing his renomination, and at McLean for refusing to resign, runs as an independent candidate.

The Liberty Party exists apparently, and nominates John G. Birney for President.

In the general election, the discourse is dominated by Manifest Destiny, specifically the annexation of Texas, and solving the Oregon boundary dispute. The Whigs and John Tyler were against Texas's annexation and favored a compromise in Oregon, while Buchanan wanted Texas to be annexed and wanted "All Oregon" and wanted to take California and New Mexico for the US as well. The people were angry at Tyler for the Oregon compromise and projected that anger onto the Whigs as well. Buchanan won every state but Vermont, and Tyler most likely spoiled the election for McLean (almost all of Tyler's voters would have otherwise voted for the Whig). Most likely, the election would have been much closer without Tyler.

Capture.PNG.8aacca96286c7cd18ea04989acd2405b.PNG

Popular vote:

Buchanan/King: 1,715,649, 51.4%

McLean/Frelinghuysen: 1,116,993, 33.5% (BYE, BYE MISS AMERICAN PIE oh wait that's Don McLean)

Tyler/Gibbs: 454,654, 13.6%

Liberty nobodies (John G. Birney): 47,549, 1.4% (#FEELTHEBIRN!!!1!)

(Played as: Buchanan)

Congress

House:

Democrats: 142 (down 6)

Whigs: 79 (up 6)

Know-Nothings: 6 (up 6)

Law and Order: 0 (down 2)

Senate:

Democrats: 27 (up 2)

Whigs: 25 (down 2)

Vacant: 2

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Buchanan Cabinet, 1845-1849

President: James Buchanan

Vice President: William Rufus King

Secretary of State: Franklin Pierce

Secretary of Treasury: Robert J. Walker

Secretary of War: Winfield Scott

Attorney General: Nathan Clifford

Postmaster General: James K. Polk

Secretary of the Navy: John Y. Mason

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Buchanan Term, 1845-1849

  • March 4, 1845: Buchanan and King inaugurated
  • March 1845: Buchanan gives a speech and outlines his three goals for his administration's first term: Negotiate Oregon, acquire California and New Mexico, and establish an independent treasury system like that which Martin Van Buren campaigned on in 1836 and 1840
  • July 1845: Congress passes a law lowering tariffs, which Buchanan enthusiastically signs
  • December 1845: Texas annexed, joins the Union; Buchanan Administration silently begins war preparations
  • 1846-1848: Mexican-American war happens, goes like it does IRL
  • March 1846: Buchanan's Secretary of State, Franklin Pierce, communicates to the British government that the Buchanan Administration is open to compromise regarding Oregon
  • June 18, 1846: Oregon Treaty ratified
  • August 1846: Robert C. Grier confirmed to the Supreme Court
  • August 6, 1846: Independent Treasury Act signed

Midterms

House:

Whigs: 116 (up 37)

Democrats: 112 (down 30)

Know-Nothings: 1 (down 5)

Senate:

Democrats: 35 (up 8)

Whigs: 19 (down 6)

Independent Democrats: 1 (up 1)

  • December 28, 1846: Iowa joins the Union
  • March 1847: President Buchanan travels to meet with soldiers in the Mexican-American war, to boost morale
  • September 1847: President Buchanan signs a bill lowering the tariff even more; a boom in trade occurs and boosts the economy
  • January 1848: President Buchanan announces that he will run for a second term
  • May 29, 1848: Wisconsin joins the Union
  • March 3, 1849: Department of the Interior established

Conclusion

Much more successful than the IRL Buchanan Administration was. With the American victory in the war, and the good economy and lots of trade, Buchanan is quite popular. He has also fulfilled all of his campaign promises, though he did compromise on Oregon.

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(Also so far it does not seem that the Supreme Court is super relevant so I'm going to stop doing it unless and until it becomes relevant again)

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Elections of 1848

President

President Buchanan was quite popular (a phrase no one IRL has ever uttered), and ran for a second term. His party renominated him and his Vice President, King, without issue.

On the Whig side, Mexican-American War hero Zachary Taylor decided that he would like to challenge the very President who sent him off to war. He clinched the Whig nomination, and his running mate was Millard Fillmore.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Martin Van Buren is still throwing temper tantrums because he never got to be President. Now he's started his own party, the Free Soil Party, and is running against Buchanan and Taylor.

In the general election, it's rather close the entire time, though Buchanan is always in the lead. People like him and see no real reason to elect a war hero with no political experience over a sitting President who stays true to his promises. Buchanan ends up beating Taylor by a somewhat slim margin. Despite the Whig's gains in the House in 1846, they may be going the way of the Federalists and the National Republicans...

Capture.PNG.f7d93617548cbc80fdb2f38a041b163f.PNG

Popular vote:

Buchanan/King: 1,471,844, 49.6%

Taylor/Fillmore: 1,276,270, 43%

Martin Van Buren: 220,995, 7.4%

(Played as: Buchanan)

Congress

House:

Democrats: 117 (up 5)

Whigs: 108 (down 8)

Free Soilers: 5 (up 5)

Know-Nothings: 1 (no change)

Senate:

Democrats: 33 (down 2)

Whigs: 25 (up 6)

Independent Democrats: 1 (no change)

Free Soilers: 1 (up 1)

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Buchanan Cabinet, 1849-1853

President: James Buchanan

Vice President: William Rufus King

Secretary of State: Franklin Pierce

Secretary of Treasury: Robert J. Walker

Secretary of War: William L. Marcy

Attorney General: Isaac Toucey

Postmaster General: Cave Johnson

Secretary of the Navy: George Bancroft

Secretary of the Interior: Thomas Ewing

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Buchanan Term, 1849-1853

  • March 4, 1849: Buchanan and King sworn in for a second term
  • May 1849: President Buchanan states that he wants to be a less active executive in his second term, preferring to let Congress do what it wants
  • December 1849: President Buchanan signs slight tariff adjustments
  • April 1850: Pierce-Bulwer Treaty ratified
  • September 1850: Compromise of 1850 reached, all bills signed
  • September 9, 1850: California joins the Union

Midterms

House:

Democrats: 130 (up 13)

Whigs: 86 (down 22)

Constitutional Unionists: 10 (up 10)

Free-Soilers: 4 (down 1)

State's Righters: 3 (up 3)

Senate:

Democrats: 35 (up 2)

Whigs: 23 (down 2)

Independent Democrats: 0 (down 1)

Free Soilers: 2 (up 1)

  • January 1851: Congress passes major infrastructure investment bills
  • April 1851: Infrastructure expansion and improvement begins
  • September 1851: As infrastructure projects begin, unemployment drops sharply and the economy improves
  • December 1851: Despite calls for action from Southerners in his own party, Pennsylvanian President Buchanan refrains from interfering in Cuba
  • February 1852: Buchanan, while moderately popular, announces he will not seek a third term; his Secretary of State, Franklin Pierce, will run for the Democratic nomination

Conclusion

Besides the Compromise of 1850, Buchanan's second term is rather uneventful, as he was a naturally hands-off President and only got involved in things during his first term because he felt his country needed him to. He does not enjoy being President and will be happy to leave office. He will not go down as a total disaster and will be rated as solidly average in future academic polls of Presidents. Rumors will circulate for centuries as to whether Buchanan and Vice President King were romantically involved, though proof will be found when new letters between the two are discovered on August 10th, 2397 that confirm what everyone during his Presidency knew: Buchanan and King were, in fact, lovers. On that day, Peter Thiel, the 179th President of the United States (which annexed Mexico in 2051, Canada in 2131, and the rest of South America after World War VI ended in 2263) gave a statement about how interesting the finding was.

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Elections of 1852

President

President Buchanan was reasonably popular, but he did not seek a third term. Instead, his Secretary of State, Franklin Pierce, ran for the Democratic nomination, and got it rather easily. Stephen A. Douglas was his Vice Presidential nominee.

The Whigs, attempting to win the Presidency for the first time in almost a decade and a half (and only the second time overall), nominated General Winfield Scott for the Presidency and former North Carolina Governor William Graham for the Vice Presidency.

The general election did not see the election of the General. Slavery was becoming a more polarizing issue, and there was no way the South would vote for a Whig, which automatically guaranteed at least a close election. Combine that with Buchanan's popularity and both the outgoing President and the Democratic nominee being from the North, and the result is a good Northern showing by the Democrats. Pierce was elected in a landslide, and the Whigs were left in ruins.

Capture.PNG.677142091aa814eddacecd09e81730a7.PNG

Popular vote:

Pierce/Douglas: 1,587,414, 52.9%

Scott/Graham: 1,211,678, 40.3%

Free soilers: 204,376, 6.8%

(Played as: Pierce)

Congress

House:

Democrats: 158 (up 28)

Whigs/Opposition Party: 71 (down 15)

Free Soilers: 4 (no change)

Constitutional Unionists: 0 (down 10)

State's Righters: 0 (down 3)

Senate:

Democrats: 38 (up 3)

Whigs: 17 (down 6)

Free Soilers: 5 (up 3)

Know-Nothings: 1 (up 1)

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Pierce Cabinet, 1853-1857

President: Franklin Pierce

Vice President: Stephen Douglas

Secretary of State: William L. Marcy

Secretary of Treasury: James Guthrie

Secretary of War: Jefferson Davis

Attorney General: Caleb Cushing

Postmaster General: James Campbell

Secretary of the Navy: James C. Dobbin

Secretary of the Interior: Robert McClelland

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Pierce Term, 1853-1857

Same as IRL (this "same as IRL" stuff will change very soon I PROMISE but this is relatively unimportant)

Midterms

House:

Opposition Parties: 100

Democrats: 83

Know-Nothings: 51

Senate:

Democrats: 33 (down 5)

Whigs: 14 (down 3) 

Republicans: 3 (up 3)

Free Soilers: 2 (down 3)

Know-Nothings: 1 (no change)

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Presidential Election of 1856: Start

(I'm trying a new style for this one to reflect technological advancements and will do the same for radio and TV in the future)

President Pierce can't sleep. It's election night in 1856. He's had to scratch and claw his way to this point; his Presidency has been called a failure and he was almost denied renomination by his own party, and was only renominated because the Democrats couldn't find anyone else willing to run in '56. They tried to recruit Pierce's own Vice President, Stephen Douglas, but he was a loyal man and wanted to stay by Pierce's side as VP.

The new party in town was the Grand Old Party, or the Republicans as they like to call themselves. They nominated John Fremont for President and William L. Dayton for Stephen Douglas's job. These upstarts want to abolish slavery. Bah. More like start a civil war. Pierce knows he's the Union's only hope; Fremont means war becomes a near certainty. It is of utmost importance that Pierce wins another term.

And yet, the race is close. Very close.

Despite how terrible his administration had been, Pierce knew the South wouldn't dare vote for Fremont. He's absolutely sure none of those states will back the abolitionists. His being from New Hampshire helps in the North. But all it would take is for Fremont to win every state north of the Mason-Dixon line and he wins the Presidency. Also, some obscure politician by the name of Millard Fillmore is running as the nominee of the American Party. Know nothings, they're called. All it would take is for him to win a state or two amid a weak showing by the President for the whole election to be thrown to the House, which may well be controlled by the opposition come January.

Pierce will not stand by and let the Union be torn apart.

He waits anxiously for the incoming telegrams.

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John Fremont wants nothing more than to win the election of 1856.

If he does this, he will bring equality and justice to the United States at last. He does not care if he has to fight a war to get the US to that point.

But to win an election, he must first win states. He gets a telegram: PRES TAKES SC, KY

The first call of the night is not favorable to Fremont. He does not care much for the South, as they are expected to vote for the President (indeed, he was not even on the ballot in either of those states). His most plausible path to victory is solely through winning all of the North, or hoping Fillmore helps throw the election to a hopefully favorable House.

Like the President, Fremont cannot sleep.

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Pierce gets a telegram late at night:

PRES TAKES ALL OF SOUTH, STRONG IN NH, PA, IL, IN

The President smiles. He knows he will win.

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In the early hours of the morning, Fremont gets a telegram:

FREMONT WINS NEW ENGLAND, NY, OH, MI, WI, IA

He smiles, though it is fleeting. Those states are not enough, even if they are an excellent showing for a new party's first Presidential election.

He receives another telegram a bit later:

IL, IN, CA CLOSE, PRES HAS EDGE

He scowls. The President is close to reelection, though Fremont's loss is not totally inevitable...

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Millard Fillmore did not have any fantasies of becoming the 12th President. He only hoped to make his mark on history by winning a state or two. He was elated when he received this telegram:

FILLMORE WINS MD

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President Pierce had almost fallen asleep when he received the telegram he had been waiting for the entire night, and indeed the past 4 years. It was 3 simple words:

PRES WINS ELECTION

The Union had been saved. For now.

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