In The Rhetoric of the “Corrupt Bargain” in the 1824 Election: Clay, Jackson, and Democratic Strategy, Amos Kiewe explores the story of the 1824 presidential election, when the House of Representatives elected the president after no candidate won outright the majority of the Electoral College. Though most in the nation assumed that Andrew Jackson, who won the popular vote and the plurality of the Electoral College, would be elected the presidency by the House, Kiewe demonstrates how maneuvering, vote trading, and special favors dictated a different outcome. Through inspecting speeches, statements, private letters, and published accounts, Kiewe simultaneously intersects rhetoric, history, and politics to tell the story of the 1824 presidential election. Scholars of communication, political science, and history will find this book of particular interest.
Amos Kiewe is is professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University. He is the author of numerous books on presidential rhetoric.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: The Candidates
Chapter Two: Jackson For President
Chapter Three: Clay For President
Chapter Four: The Election Is Not Over
Chapter Five: A “Military Chieftain”
Chapter Six: Clay Speaks To His District
Chapter Seven: Post-Election
Chapter Eight: The Presidential Campaign Is Underway, Again
Chapter Nine: Enters James Buchanan
Chapter Ten: Markley Comes Forward
Chapter Eleven: The Charge That Would Not Die
About the Author
“Kiewe’s study of the 1824 election involving Jackson and Clay offers vastly more than a detailed history of unliving proceedings or facts along a rapidly moving historical timeline. Rather, his micro-analysis of the language used during the campaigns, deployed throughout the debates, offered sotto voce in backroom chambers, and revealed through other public venues adds to the contour of not just rhetorical invention of the time, but also of discursive style. Kiewe offers readers a close-textual glimpse into one of our nation’s first truly tumultuous and uncertain electoral moments.”
"The Rhetoric of the “Corrupt Bargain” in the 1824 Election is a superb rhetorical history, and Kiewe offers a meticulous accounting of the election of 1824, both in state voting patterns and the tense negotiations in the House of Representatives. Kiewe offers a lucid picture of the bargain between Clay and Adams, developing a compelling argument that there is at least as much fire as smoke to the charge of a corrupt bargain. 1824, 1828, and the interlocutors who contested them have long been overlooked by rhetorical studies. This book proves convincingly that there is much we can learn here—much that is increasingly relevant in modern democratic life."
"The Corrupt Bargain is a must read for scholars, students and those interested in the life and political career of Andrew Jackson and the political drama of the 1824 presidential election. This insightful and informative study reveals the rhetorical strategies, underhanded practices, intrigue and party negotiations of Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams. The 1824 election changed future presidential campaigns and the polity itself."