*The Historical Scenario Commission greatly updated this scenario on July 23, 2017. Version 2.0 can be downloaded here: United States – 1844 v. 2.0
America has Manifest Destiny on their mind, but they are divided on what party should lead it? How should Western land be acquired? Should slavery be contained or expanded? Should internal improvements link the East Coast to the West through federal aid? Who can lead America though its next epoch?
For the Whigs, the party is trying to rebound from it’s twin disaster of having nominated an aging Whig with a Whig-In-Name-Only as a VP in John Tyler. John Tyler has been kicked out of the party, and the party rallies behind their leader Henry Clay. He does not face an opponent for the nomination.
The Democrats, while supporting the former Whig incumbent president as someone closer to their own, has decided not to support him for reelection. Tyler thought of running as a 3rd party, but ultimately supported the Democratic nominee. The Democratic frontrunner is former president Martin Van Buren, who lost his reelection bid in 1840. In 1840, he was the unanimous nominee. However, in this election, he faces several prominent contenders, including expansionist Lewis Cass, moderate James Buchanan, the legal-minded Levi Woodbury, the eccentric Richard Mentor Johnson and nullifier John C. Calhoun.
The Liberty Party led by former slave-owner turned abolitionist James Birney is the 3rd party.
This election allows for many what-if scenarios:
- What if incumbent president John Tyler ran with his proposed 3rd party, the National Democratic-Republican Party?
- What if Henry Clay faced opposition for the Whig nomination by prominent and popular Whig figures, such as Daniel Webster, Gen. Winfield Scott, John M. Clayton, Judge John McLean, William Seward and the ancient former president John Quincy Adams?
Feedback is desired.
Note: I’ll be away for a week, so 1840 may not appear until after Jan 20th.