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Actually, there is no evidence of a "corrupt bargain" between Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams; although Jackson insisted there had been. Adams was elected by the House of Representatives after John C. Calhoun withdrew from the race to run unopposed for Vice President; and Henry Clay also withdrew and asked his supporters to vote for Adams. Adams and Jackson had been political enemies in the past, once fighting a duel with each other. After Adams was elected President, he named Clay his Secretary of State. Since four previous presidents had first been Secretaries of State, it appeared that a sweetheart arrangement had been worked out so that Clay could succeed Adams. In fact, such an arrangement would have been totally out of character for Adams, and most historians seriously doubt that it happened.
True or not, Jackson played it to the hilt. Almost immediately after Adams was declared the winner, Jackson and Martin Van Buren of New York began campaigning for the 1828 election. They portrayed Adams as an elitist out of touch with the common people, and played on Jackson's roots as a self made man. They also insisted that Jackson had been robbed of the Presidency by the "corrupt bargain." The 1828 election was in fact the first popular campaign with speeches, fireworks, and the occasional barbecue. It was Jackson's appeal to the people themselves rather than the 1824 election which led to his victory in 1828.
The 1824 election was the one in which the "Corrupt Bargain" occurred. This helped Andrew Jackson to win the 1828 election.
In the 1824 election, Jackson won more of the popular and electoral votes than any other candidate. However, he did not get a majority of the electoral votes and the election was decided in the House of Representatives. There, a bargain was made between Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams to allow Adams to win the election.
This made many people very angry because they felt that democracy had been subverted. This anger carried over to the 1828 election, where Jackson's supporters portrayed the election as a chance to right the wrong done four years before. This helped Jackson to win with 647,000 votes to Adams' 508,000.
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