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Factionalism and Political Parties
Domestically, the presidency of Monroe (1817-1825) was termed the "era of good feelings." The phrase acknowledged the political triumph of the Republican Party over the Federalist Party, which had collapsed as a national force. All the same, this was a period of vigorous factional and regional conflict.
The end of the Federalists led to a brief period of factional politics and brought disarray to the practice of choosing presidential nominees by congressional party caucuses. For a time, state legislatures nominated candidates. In 1824 Tennessee and Pennsylvania chose Andrew Jackson, with South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun as his running mate. Kentucky selected Speaker of the House Henry Clay; Massachusetts, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, son of the second president, John Adams. A congressional caucus, widely derided as undemocratic, picked Secretary of the Treasury William Crawford.
Personality and sectional allegiance played important roles
in determining the outcome of the election. Adams won the
electoral votes from New England and most of New York; Clay won
Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri; Jackson won the Southeast,
Illinois, Indiana, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and
New Jersey; and Crawford won Virginia, Georgia, and Delaware. No
candidate gained a majority in the Electoral College, so,
according to the provisions of the Constitution, the election
was thrown into the House of Representatives, where Clay was the
most influential figure. He supported Adams, who gained the
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Text courtesy of the U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Information Programs, 2005