SAT Subject US History Practice Question 722: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 722

73. The accusation of a "corrupt bargain" in the election of 1824 was significant because

A. it marked the beginning of the spoils system in the administration of Andrew Jackson.
B. it was a cross-party agreement between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams.
C. it led to the overwhelming election of Andrew Jackson in 1828.
D. John Quincy Adams had a majority of the popular vote but not a majority of the electoral vote.
E. it led to the political demise of Henry Clay.

Correct Answer: C


In the election of 1824, no candidate had a majority of the electoral votes, but Andrew Jackson had more popular votes than anyone else, even though it was not a majority. In the House of Representatives, Henry Clay threw his support to John Quincy Adams, making Adams president. When Adams subsequently appointed Clay to the position of Secretary of State, Jackson accused Adams, of making a "corrupt bargain" to gain the votes of Clay's supporters in the House. Jackson used this accusation against Adams, and this contributed to his landslide victory in 1828. The spoils system (A) of Jackson's administration did not begin until 1828 when Jackson was elected. The "corrupt bargain" was not an agreement between Adams, and Jackson (B). No candidate received the majority (D) of the popular or electoral vote in 1824. Henry Clay (E) continued to be a leading statesman despite the accusation.

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