Election of 1816, James Madison is looking to pass the torch to James Monroe, who himself has to deal with the Federalist Party’s Rufus King… Let’s get into it. 

    Background Info

    The then-incumbent president, James Madison was seeking re-election during a time when America was at war with the British in the War of 1812 and while Madison narrowly escaped with the win in that election, the war is still raging on.

    While some see the ending of the War of 1812 as a tie, there were some moments in that war that puts that idea into question most notably the burning of the White House in August of 1814, when British forces set the house ablaze which forced James Madison and many others to flee the Capitol but not before the first lady, Dolly Madison somehow managed to get the famous portrait of George Washington out of the White before any serious damage could occur.

    By December of that same year, the ‘Treaty of Ghent’ is signed and later ratified soon afterwards thereby ending the war; 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 almighty British forces which begins a sense of patriotism that’s sweeping the country known as ‘The Era of Good Feelings’.

    So, that’s how the War of 1812 comes to an end as the United States is starting to feel good about itself and James Madison who’s been enforcing many popular Federalist policies in the meantime is looking to step down after two terms.

    Monroe Steps Up To The Plate

    Much like his predecessors, James Madison decides to walk away after two terms as president and his Secretary of State from Virginia, James Monroe is looking to get the nomination after he was unable to get it back in 1808.

    However, Monroe isn’t the only one who’s looking to get the party’s nomination as names like Henry Clay and military hero, Andrew Jackson was thrown into the mix as well as the Secretary of the Treasury, William H. Crawford but both Clay and Jackson declined.

    With Madison’s VP, Albridge Gerry dying in 1814 and other candidates withdrawing their names from the ballot, James Monroe narrowly defeated Crawford to get the nomination despite much dissension within the Democratic-Republican party over the “Virginia Dynasty” which has seen all the previous presidents (except John Adams) come from the southern state of Virginia.

    Regardless, James Monroe does what he was unable to do in 1808 and becomes the party’s nominee for president and with the congressional caucus nominating the Governor of New York, Daniel D. Tompkins as his running mate to balance out the ticket.

    The Hartford Convention

    The Federalist Party have had some problems for quite a while since 1800 and after two failed attempts in 1804 and 1808, the Federalist has been on a downward spiral and if you can believe it’s going to get a whole lot worse for them thanks to the Hartford Convention.

    During the War of 1812, the Federalists who were staunchly against the United States going to war with Great Britain decided to meet in Hartford Connecticut to discuss several issues regarding the U.S.’s involvement in this war, getting rid of the three-fifths compromised which helped the Democratic-Republicans win in the election of 1800 and some even talked about having New England (The Federalist stronghold state) secede from the United States. When these and several other demands were sent to Washington D.C. the Federalist Party became a laughingstock because news of Andrew Jackson’s victory in the Battle of New Orleans and signing the Treaty of Ghent had been reported to many except for The Federalist, 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 Federalist with John Eager Howard the former Senator of Maryland as his running mate.
    So, the Federalists have themselves their candidates and now it’s time to see who becomes the new president of the United States by looking at the results of this election.

    The Results

    Before I explain the results of the election, an important fact to mention is that Indiana’s votes were a point of contention 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. As you can see from looking at the map, however, it didn’t make much of a major factor in the results as James Monroe obliterates Rufus King in one of the biggest landslides in a presidential election since 1804;
    Monroe received 183 electoral votes and Rufus King received only 34 electoral votes.

    The popular vote is just as jaw-dropping with Monroe getting 68.2% and King getting 30.9%. This election and other previously mentioned factors have pretty much cemented the death blow of the Federalists as the Democratic-Republicans under Madison and Monroe have already begun to adopt the more popular ideas of the Federalist Party and after the election of 1816 the party itself will cease to exist as the ‘Era of Good Feelings’ begins.

    That’s the election of 1816, another Virginian has taken over the White House and the Federalist Party are imploding at the scenes; Next time, I will be going over the election of 1820 and oh boy is that weird one.