Parties and Platforms

Campaigns and Nominations

When did national party conventions arise?

The election of 1824 brought an end to the congressional caucus as a nominating device, after which state legislative caucuses, conventions, and other methods were used to nominate presidential candidates. However, 1831 marked the first year that the national convention was used. The Anti-Masonic Party met in Baltimore in September of that year to choose William Wirt as its presidential candidate; in 1832, both the Democrats and National Republicans followed suit. Because the national convention was made up of delegates chosen by party holders, activists, and office holders in each state, it was a natural extension on the national level of the way party conventions worked at the state level.


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