The 1836 presidential election was the thirteenth presidential election in the United States. Andrew Jackson’s vice president during his second term, Martin Van Buren became the Democratic Party candidate for president.
Van Buren competed against four presidential candidates from the Whig Party, and emerged as the winner.
The Whig Party, created in 1833 out of the dissolution of the National-Republican Party and the Anti-Masonic Party, had an unusual strategy for the election of 1836. Because they were unable to reach an agreement on the party’s presidential nominee, they decided to let several candidates run in hopes of taking away the majority Van Buren needed to secure the presidency. Then the decision would move to the House of Representatives, where they felt a Whig candidate would be selected.
The Whig Party’s candidates were William Henry Harrison, Hugh White, Daniel Webster, and Willie Pearson Mangum, each from a different region of the country, with the intention of receiving support from their respective regions.
The Whig Party’s scheme was unsuccessful, as its candidates failed to take enough votes away from Van Buren to necessitate a House of Representatives tiebreaker. Van Buren won the election with 170 votes to become the eighth President of the United States.
Instead of a House of Representatives tiebreaker among presidential candidates, the election of 1836 became the first and only vice presidential race to be decided by the Senate, as per the Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Senate voted and chose Richard Johnson as Van Buren’s vice president.
Another strange turn of events during the 1836 presidential election was that none of the vice presidential candidates received a majority of votes. The election of 1836 became the first and only vice presidential race to be decided by the Senate, as per the Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Senate voted and chose Richard Johnson to be Van Buren’s vice president.