John Quincy Adams won the election of 1824 because some people believed a “corrupt bargain” had been made. In the election of 1824, there were four candidates who were running for President. They were John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William Crawford, and Henry Clay. In the Electoral College, no candidate got a majority of the votes. Andrew Jackson had the most votes, but not a majority. As a result, according to the Constitution, the House of Representatives would choose from the candidates who finished in the top three in the voting in the Electoral College. This eliminated Henry Clay who finished fourth.
In the House of Representatives, they voted to make John Quincy Adams the President. After Adams took over, he named Henry Clay to be his Secretary of State. People assumed a deal was made between Adams and Clay. Many people called this deal the “Corrupt Bargain.” This deal showed the importance of the position of Secretary of State. Many presidents held this position before they became president. Thus, Henry Clay may have sensed making this deal would enhance his chances at becoming President in the future.