The election of 1828 was a seminal election in American history. It was the first election which was to be decided by popular vote. It was an election which pitted Andrew Jackson, who projected an image of a populist, against President Adams, who was a member of “the ruling class".
Once again the election campaign included numerous personal attacks on each of the candidates. Adams was attacked for living in "kingly pomp and splendor". Adam was also attacked for traveling on Sunday and having premarital relations with his wife. Jackson was attacked as being uneducated and reckless. They also attacked Jackson, branding him a murderer, for his executions of deserters. Jackson’s marriage to his wife also came under attack, based on a technicality. Jackson’s wife was an adulterer when she initially began her relationship with him.
Beyond personality traits, there were actual policy differences between the two candidates. Adams supported the National Bank. He wanted high tariffs and supported federal funds for internal improvements. Jackson opposed the bank. He wanted lower tariffs and was in favor of only limited federal support for internal improvements.
Adams continued the tradition of presidential candidates not personally campaigning at all. Jackson, on the other hand, was intimately involved in organizing his campaign. Jackson won the southern and western states, which were enough to insure his victory. Adams maintained his support in New England.
Account of Election