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U.S. Presidential Election 1840

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The 1840 election was the fourteenth presidential election in the United States. William Henry Harrison of the Whig Party defeated incumbent President Martin Van Buren of the Democratic Party by a wide margin to become the eighth President of the United States.

President Van Buren faced a financial crisis with the Panic of 1837 during his presidential term. Jackson era financial policies had damaged the economy, and Van Buren continued his policies, digging the country further into disrepair. Nevertheless, Van Buren was chosen by the Democratic Party to run for a second term in office. The Democratic Party declined to renominate Vice President Richard Mentor Johnson, and did not come to an agreement on any candidate. Their votes were divided among Johnson, Littleton W. Tazewell, and James Polk.

The Whig Party chose their presidential nominee among William Henry Harrison, Winfield Scott, and Henry Clay. The party ultimately nominated William Henry Harrison - the Whig candidate from the 1836 election that had received the highest number of votes. John Tyler was chosen to be his running mate with widespread support. The Anti-Masonic Party, which had mostly dissolved and integrated with the Whigs by that time, also supported Harrison, but chose Daniel Webster as their nominee for vice president.

The Whig Party's strategy was to highlight the economic struggles of Van Buren's presidency, while presenting Harrison as a military hero, with the slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." This slogan was in reference to the Battle of Tippecanoe, in which Harrison had famously fought. Van Buren, on the other hand, was portrayed as a wealthy aristocrat, in opposition to Harrison's portrayal as a common man who could relate to the people.

This strategy, paired with the general discontent of the population caused by the economic depression, was successful against Van Buren's reelection campaign. Harrison won the election by a wide margin, with 234 electoral votes to Van Buren's sixty. The Democratic Party also failed to agree on the vice president, dividing their electoral votes among three candidates. The highest number of electoral votes went to Johnson, who received forty-eight, Tazewell earned eleven, and Polk received one. James Birney, who ran as a third party candidate for the Liberty Party (a single-issue party that focused on abolition), failed to earn any electoral votes. A unique feature of the 1840 election was that four candidates who received electoral votes - Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, and Polk - were President of the United States at some point in history.

Just over a month into his presidential term, Harrison died of pneumonia, becoming the first president to die while in office. His vice president, John Tyler succeeded him and took over the role as President of the United States.

The results of the 1840 elections are as follows:


US Presidential Elections History
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2004 US Presidential Election1928 US Presidential Election1852 US Presidential Election
2000 US Presidential Election1924 US Presidential Election1848 US Presidential Election
1996 US Presidential Election1920 US Presidential Election1844 US Presidential Election
1992 US Presidential Election1916 US Presidential Election1840 US Presidential Election
1988 US Presidential Election1912 US Presidential Election1836 US Presidential Election
1984 US Presidential Election1908 US Presidential Election1832 US Presidential Election
1980 US Presidential Election1904 US Presidential Election1828 US Presidential Election
1976 US Presidential Election1900 US Presidential Election1824 US Presidential Election
1972 US Presidential Election1896 US Presidential Election1820 US Presidential Election
1968 US Presidential Election1892 US Presidential Election1816 US Presidential Election
1964 US Presidential Election1888 US Presidential Election1812 US Presidential Election
1960 US Presidential Election1884 US Presidential Election1808 US Presidential Election
1956 US Presidential Election1880 US Presidential Election1804 US Presidential Election
1952 US Presidential Election1876 US Presidential Election1800 US Presidential Election
1948 US Presidential Election1872 US Presidential Election1796 US Presidential Election
1944 US Presidential Election1868 US Presidential Election1792 US Presidential Election
1940 US Presidential Election1864 US Presidential Election1789 US Presidential Election



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