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The election of 1844

The election of 1844 - “reoccupation” of Oregon in fact...

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The election of 1844.  The front runners for the presidency in 1844 were Henry Clay for the Whigs and Martin  Van Buren for the Democrats. Before the parties' nominating conventions, the two men  met and agreed to keep the issues of expansion and slavery out of the campaign. Both  men published lengthy letters in the national press opposing the immediate annexation  of Texas. Clay easily won the Whig nomination, but the Democrats deadlocked because  Van Buren's stand on Texas cost him votes. In the end, he could not hurdle the party's  rule that required a candidate to win two thirds of the vote of the convention for  nomination. James Polk of Tennessee, a former Speaker of the House, was chosen on  the ninth ballot. The Democratic platform called for the “reannexation” of Texas and the 
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Unformatted text preview: “reoccupation” of Oregon; in fact, one of the party's most effective slogans was “Fifty-four Forty or Fight !,” a reference to the northernmost boundary of the Oregon Country. Clay was on the defensive from the beginning, but he eventually came out with a qualified endorsement for the annexation of Texas. His strategy backfired. Whigs in New York had switched to the anti-slavery Liberty party in enough numbers to cost Clay the state. Had Clay taken New York, he would have won the presidency by seven electoral votes. Only thirty-eight thousand popular votes separated the candidates, but the margin for Polk in the Electoral College was 170 to Clay's 105....
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