President Infinity 1848 Election


*This scenario was updated greatly by the Historical Scenario Commission on July 27, 2017. Version 2.0 can be downloaded here: United States – 1848 v. 2.0

This election follows the Mexican War, which helped secure our “Manifest Destiny,” but also intensified the rivalry between Free States and Slave States. Can the country unite behind a single president?

For the Whigs, their leader Henry Clay maintains his prominence; however, many are considering another person as a more electable candidate. As such, they promote two war heroes of the recent military engagement: Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. Daniel Webster, the leader of New England Whigs, maintains control of his region. John Clayton and John McLean are other prominent Whigs hoping to beat out the two inexperienced military

For the Democrats, James K. Polk fulfills his promise of not seeking a second term. With the acquisition of new territory, Lewis Cass, the land expansionist, is the front runner.  However, James Buchanan, Levi Woodbury and John C. Calhoun challenge him for the nomination.

A relatively strong third party exists under the Free Soil Party, composed of an alliance between liberal Northern Democrats and abolitionists. Former president Martin Van Buren, who was unable to gain any influence into the conservative-dominated Democratic National Convention, has emerged as the front runner of this third party. The irony is that Van Buren was the grand architect of the party he abandoned. He is challenged in this nomination by three prominent abolitionists: John P. Hale, Joshua Giddings and Charles Francis Adams, the son and grandson of the previous Adams presidents.

This election allows for many what-if scenarios:

  • What if rising Northern Whig, former governor William H. Seward ran?
  • What if 1st-term US Rep for Illinois, Abraham Lincoln ran at age 39?
  • What if Martin Van Buren had not left the Democratic Party and fought for delegates in the convention?
  • What if James K. Polk broke his promise and ran for a 2nd term?
  • What if former senator Franklin Pierce ran for president after having just served in the Mexican War?
  • What if the single-issue Liberty Party ran, rather than having joined the Free Soil Party?

Feedback is desired.

9 thoughts on “President Infinity 1848 Election”

  1. Looks solid! Love having the option to make Lincoln the Stephen Douglas of the Whigs, running at age 39. The only little thing is that Smith’s picture is the same as John Hale’s.

  2. Will the Tyler party, the National Democratic Republicans be in the 1844 round?

  3. Keith, thanks for pointing that out. That’s just an oversight on my part.

    Nick, I may have him as a 3rd party, but I may have him just as a Democrat, or both.

  4. Fair enough. Thanks for all you do, these are amazing to play. Still haven’t beaten 1856 yet.

  5. vcczar I had a question about making a scenario myself. How do you change which regions are part of the map in the campaign editor? I’m interested in fooling around with the 1876 map but would like to know how to edit it. Everything else looks simple enough. Thanks!

  6. Keith,
    JViking made the maps for me. I don’t know how to do that. I’d consult him.

  7. Some suggestions for Democratic candidates: Silas Wright and George M. Dallas.

  8. I read somewhere that Thomas Corwin was considering running as a Whig. I had it in my notes, but unfortunately I can’t find it anywhere at the moment.

    VPs for the party: Abbott Lawrence and Daniel Webster.

    Zachary Taylor was courted as a potential Democrat candidate before announcing himself as a Whig, so I see him as a potential candidate. I also have John A. Quitman noted as a potential VP candidate for the Dems.

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