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The Use of Propaganda in Presidential Elections

            The elections of 1828 and 1840 were the first presidential elections won primarily by propaganda and appeal to the westerners and southerners. Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson, won in 1828 by winning over these southern and western states while William Henry Harrison won in 1840. The short-term results of the two elections saw the propaganda and appeal to the poor used to reel in the majority of the voters, as well as both parties used "war heroes" to win over the general public; this saw a change to the American political system that is still intact today, which is the use of pathos and moral questioning to win elections rather than actual political standpoints.
             The short-term results of the two elections saw the victory of Jackson in 1828, and Harrison in 1840. Both men won because of their appeal to the voters; they were both "war heroes," they both lived in log cabins, and they both came from the middle class. The Democratic Party and Jackson were the first to use this method of picking a candidate that represented the majority of the people, while also spewing dishonest remarks about the opposing candidate because the general public had very little knowledge and believed much of what they heard. .
             In 1840, the Whigs, used a very similar strategy by picking a candidate who was a war hero and who also came from a less fortunate family who lived in a log cabin. This approach barely worked the second time. It only worked because of the economic struggles the Jacksonian Democrats had led the country to right before the election, and because of the negative propaganda directed against Van Buren. The Narrow victory of Harrison was different from the domination of Jackson in 1828. Both elections saw a vast number of people coming out to vote. Three times the number of normal voters came out in 1828, while 78% of eligible voters came out in 1840.
             These elections left a huge mark on the political parties and their approaches to elections.

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