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1812 United States 1820
United States presidential election, 1816
JamesMonroe.png RufusKing.png
Nominee James Monroe Rufus King
Party Democratic-Republican Federalist
Home state Virginia New York
Running mate Daniel D. Tompkins John Eager Howard
Electoral vote 183 34
States carried 16 3
Popular vote 76,592 34,740
Percentage 68.2% 30.9%
Presidential election results map. Green denotes states won by Monroe, orange denotes states won by King. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

Incumbent President
James Madison

The United States presidential election of 1816 came at the end of the two-term presidency of Democratic-Republican James Madison. With the opposition Federalist Party in collapse, Madison's Secretary of State, James Monroe, was seen by many as pre-ordained to succeed him into the presidency. Indeed, Monroe won the electoral college by the wide margin of 183 to 34.



The previous four years were dominated by the War of 1812. While it had not ended in victory, the peace was nonetheless satisfactory to the American people, and the Democratic-Republicans received the credit for its prosecution. The Federalists had been discredited by their opposition to the war and secessionist rhetoric from New England. Furthermore, President Madison had adopted such Federalist policies as a national bank and protective tariffs, which would give the Federalists few issues to campaign on.



Democratic-Republican Party nomination

Democratic-Republican candidates

The Democratic-Republican caucus nominated Monroe for President and Governor Daniel D. Tompkins for Vice President.[1]

The Balloting
Presidential Ballot Vice Presidential Ballot
James Monroe 65 Daniel D. Tompkins 85
William H. Crawford 54 Simon Snyder 30

Federalist Party nomination

Federalist candidates

The Federalist caucus did not even bother to make a formal nomination, although many Federalists supported New York Senator Rufus King, who had been defeated twice before as the Federalist vice presidential candidate. John E. Howard of Maryland was the principal Federalist candidate for vice president.

General election

Dispute about Indiana

On February 12, 1817, the House and Senate met in joint session to count the electoral votes for President and Vice President. The count proceeded without incident until the roll came to the last state to be counted, Indiana. At that point, Representative John W. Taylor of New York objected to the counting of Indiana's votes. He argued that Congress had acknowledged the statehood of Indiana in a joint resolution on December 11, 1816, whereas the ballots of the Electoral College had taken place on December 4, 1816 and hence that at the time of the ballot, there had been merely a Territory of Indiana, not a State of Indiana. Other representatives contradicted Taylor, asserting that the joint resolution merely recognized that Indiana had already joined the Union by forming a state constitution and government on on June 29, 1816. These representatives pointed out that both the House and Senate had seated members from Indiana who had been elected prior to the joint resolution, which would have been unconstitutional had Indiana not been a state at the time of their election. Representative Samuel D. Ingham then moved that the question be postponed indefinitely. The House agreed almost unanimously, and the Senate was brought back in to count the electoral votes from Indiana.


When the votes were counted, Monroe had won all but three of the nineteen states.

Each of the three states that were won by King voted for a different person for Vice President. Massachusetts electors voted for former United States Senator (and future Governor) John E. Howard of Maryland. Delaware chose a different Marylander, sitting United States Senator Robert G. Harper. Connecticut split its vote between James Ross of Pennsylvania and Chief Justice John Marshall.

Maryland did not choose its electors as a slate; rather, it divided itself into electoral districts, with each district choosing one elector. Two of Maryland's eleven districts were won by Federalist electors. However, these electors did not vote for King or for a Federalist vice president, instead casting blank votes as a protest, and thus resulted in Monroe winning the votes through all the Maryland state electors.

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote(a), (b) Electoral
Running mate Running mate's
home state
Running mate's
electoral vote(c)
Count Pct
James Monroe Democratic-Republican Virginia 76,592 68.2% 183 Daniel D. Tompkins New York 183
Rufus King Federalist New York 34,740 30.9% 34 John Eager Howard Maryland 22
James Ross Pennsylvania 5
John Marshall Virginia 4
Robert Goodloe Harper Maryland 3
(unpledged electors) (none) (n/a) 1,038 0.9% 0 (n/a) (n/a) 0
Total 112,370 100% 217 217
Needed to win 109 109

(a) Only 10 of the 19 states chose electors by popular vote.
(b) Those states that did choose electors by popular vote had widely varying restrictions on suffrage via property requirements.
(c) One Elector from Delaware and three Electors from Maryland did not vote.

Electoral college selection

Method of choosing Electors State(s)
Each Elector appointed by state legislature Connecticut
New York
South Carolina
Each Elector chosen by voters statewide New Hampshire
New Jersey
North Carolina
Rhode Island
State is divided into electoral districts, with one Elector chosen per district by the voters of that district Kentucky

See also


U.S. Congressional Documents

Source (Popular Vote): U.S. President National Vote. Our Campaigns. (February 9, 2006).
Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (July 30, 2005).

External links



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