The 1828 Campaign of Andrew Jackson and the Growth of Party Politics

Portrait of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States.
Photo caption

Portrait of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States.

Changes in voting qualifications and participation, the election of Andrew Jackson, and the formation of the Democratic Party—due largely to the organizational skills of Martin Van Buren—all contributed to making the election of 1828 and Jackson's presidency a watershed in the evolution of the American political system. The campaign of 1828 was a crucial event in a period that saw the development of a two-party system akin to our modern system, presidential electioneering bearing a closer resemblance to modern political campaigning, and the strengthening of the power of the executive branch.

In this unit, students analyze changes in voter participation and regional power, and review archival campaign documents reflecting the dawn of politics as we know it during the critical years from 1824 to 1832.

Guiding Questions

How did changes in the electorate affect the election of 1828?

How were party politics reflected in the campaign of 1828?

What was the source of Andrew Jackson's popularity?

What was the importance of Andrew Jackson's popularity?


What were the positions of the fledgling Democratic Party and its opposition?

Learning Objectives

Give examples to indicate how the franchise was extended in the first half of the 19th century.

Discuss possible effects of the extension of the franchise on the election of 1828.

Make a connection between changes in voting participation and the election of 1828.

Describe regional factors evidenced by the voting results in the election of 1828.

Analyze campaign materials from 1828.