Guided Controversy: Did the Electoral College System Fail?
Directions: Use the following information and your knowledge to help you debate the question: Did the Electoral College system fail in 1824?
(Electoral Maps in PDF)
FACTS ABOUT THE ELECTION OF 1824
- No state had all four of the top candidates on the ballot. Jackson did not appear on the ballot in most New England states; Adams was not on the ballot in Kentucky or North Carolina.
- One fourth of the states had no popular vote—the state legislature appointed the state’s electors in New York, Georgia, Vermont, Louisiana, and Delaware.
- The largest state at the time, New York, had no popular vote.
- Clay and Adams favored similar commercial policies.
- Clay and Adams met privately about a month before the House voted.
- Andrew Jackson’s political views were largely unknown in 1824.
- Both Adams and Clay denied making a “corrupt bargain,” and no evidence of an agreement between the two men was ever presented.