Third Parties | Civics: Links to History

Updated July 22, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Civics: Government and Economics in Action

Links to History: Third Parties

1832 For the first time in American history, a third party challenges the major two parties. William Wirt of the Anti-Masonic Party carries 8 percent of the vote and one state. Andrew Jackson, Democratic-Republican, is reelected President over National-Republican Henry Clay.
1848 Former Democratic President Martin van Buren becomes the presidential candidate of the anti-slavery Free-Soil Party. He wins 10 percent of the popular vote, and is credited with siphoning off enough votes from Democratic candidate Lewis Cass to help Whig candidate Zachary Taylor win the election.
1856 Democrat James Buchanan defeats Republican John C. Fremont in national elections. Former President Millard Fillmore is selected the presidential candidate of the Know-Nothing or American Party. He wins 22 percent of the popular vote and 8 electoral votes on his anti-Catholic and anti-immigration platform.
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