United States elections, 1848

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The 1848 United States general election elected the members of the 31st United States Congress. taking place during the Second Party System. In this election, the Free Soil Party established itself as the third most powerful party in Congress. California joined the union before the next election, and elected its first Congressional delegation to the 31st Congress. Whigs won the Presidency, but Democrats won a plurality in the House and retained control of the Senate. Additionally, the Free Soil Party established itself as an important third party, particularly in the closely divided House.

In the Presidential election, Whig General Zachary Taylor defeated Democratic former Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan and the Free Soil candidate, former President Martin Van Buren.[1] Taylor's win made him the last President to win election as neither a Democrat nor a Republican

In the House, Democrats picked up a small number of seats, taking the plurality. The Whigs lost a small number of seats but remained the second largest party, while the Free Soil Party picked up a handful of seats.[2] The House elected Democrat Howell Cobb as Speaker after sixty-three ballots.[3]

In the Senate, the Whigs won minor gains, cutting into the Democratic majority.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1848 Presidential Election". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Jenkins, Jeffery A.; Stewart III, Charles (April 2001). Sophisticated Behavior and Speakership Elections: The Elections of 1849 and 1855–56. Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago, IL. p. 29. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present". United States Senate. Retrieved 25 June 2014.