Nomination BackgroundEditFor the last four years, the country had been run by Lewis Cass, a member of the Unionist Party, which was really an alliance between Whigs and Constitionalist Crowns. Cass had proven to be an adept leader, and had overseen the censure and repudiation of the Perry administration, and their lack of concern for the average rights of the people. He also saw the enactment of the Buchanan Act of 1837, a civil service bill that saw promotion based on merit become the standard in the federal government. The Whigs had gained in the Congressional elections of 1838, although they still didn't have a majority on their own. The economy was riding high, and Cass had large amounts of support throughout the country.
The Absolutist Crowns had already nominated 72 year old Andrew Franklin Adams of Massachusetts; Adams had a long career in the public service, including serving as the Governor of Massachusetts (13 years), Congressman (18 years, including 17 as a Minister of Congress), and Perry's Lord Secretary of the Treasury. Adams was a firm monarchist, and what many called an Absolutist, believeing in the power of the monarch to do as he wishes. Because of this, Adams was seen as an unpopular pick to put forward (he lost in an 1838 congressional bid), not to mention his advanced age and that his opposition to slavery alienated Absolutist support in the south. It was believed that Cass could easily defeat Adams, who was no longer in his prime.
For this convention, there remained only one major candidate, with no others attempting to steal the Whig banner:
Cass faced no opposition in trying to recieve the Whig endorsement in 1840. He had run a successful and bipartisan administration, dealt with the justice difficulties of the previous government, enacted civil service reform, entered no expantionist projects, and signed into law key internal improvements. Cass was riding high with Whig and Constitutionalist Crown support, especially against Adams and the remaining Absolutist Crowns.
When the Whigs convened in Philadelphia, their choice was easy enough. Without further a dew, they endorsed Cass for a second term by acclamation. They then did the same for Viceroy James Barbour, who had steered a cautious foreign policy and supported Whig domestic measures and legislation in Congress. The Whigs would once again campaign for the Cass/Barbour Unionist ticket.
ResultsEditDespite his advanced age, Adams still gave several speeches in his native New England and Philadelphia, calling for the people to support King and country, in the form of a new Crown administration, similar to Perry's. He was booed very often, with the memories of the Perry administration and the lack of concern for civil liberties still fresh in the minds of the people. The Absolutist Crowns hit a new low in the public's mind when Adams actually agreed to a debate between himself and the Libertarian nominee, Congressman, and famous lawyer, Daniel Webster. Thousands attended the debate in Boston, and many, despite Webster's radical and mostly unpopular views on the monarchy, achieved great acclaim. His speaking carried more favor with the crowd than Adams ever could, and the Absolutist Crown nominee left in embarassment.
Cass did no campaigning, resting on his past acomplishments and successes, and trusting the party machines in the states. When it came time for Andrew to choose the Prime Minister, Cass was chosen immediately. Polls showed Adams with barely 19% support, comparied to Cass' 73%; even Libertarian Daniel Webster reached an all time high of 6%. Cass and the Unionist Party would win a second term, with the cheers of a large majority of the nation.