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United States House of Representatives elections, 1846

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United States House of Representatives elections, 1846

United States House of Representatives elections, 1846

August 2, 1846 - November 2, 1847[1]

All 230[2] seats to the United States House of Representatives
116 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party Third party
 
Leader Robert Winthrop Linn Boyd Lewis Charles Levin
Party Whig Democratic American
Leader's seat Massachusetts-1st Kentucky-1st Pennsylvania-1st
Last election 79 seats 142 seats 6 seats
Seats won 116 112[2] 1
Seat change Increase 37 Decrease 30 Decrease 5

Speaker before election

John Davis
Democratic

Elected Speaker

Robert Winthrop
Whig

Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 30th Congress were held at different dates in the various states, from August 2, 1846 (Missouri) to November 2, 1847 (Mississippi and Louisiana). The Whigs picked up 37 seats, while the rival Democrats lost 30 seats. The result was a switch of partisan control of the House, with the Whigs gaining a narrow majority of 116 to 112. The Whigs picked up seats in New England and the South. The nativist American Party, dedicated to opposition to immigration and anti-Catholicism, lost five of its Representatives and was left with only a single seat.

The Mexican–American War was the biggest issue of concern during this election. While the war was widely supported west of the Appalachian Mountains, many people in eastern urban regions were opposed. The extreme loyalty of the Democratic Congress—with only 14 representatives voting against the war—was a huge factor in the Whig pick-up. Growing divisions over slavery were also a contentious concern, as this ever-present issue had been brought to the forefront by Congressional rejection of the Wilmot Proviso.

Notable freshmen include future president Abraham Lincoln, elected as a Whig to his first and only term in this election.

Election summaries

The remaining multi-member at-large districts were abolished for this election, leaving all states with two or more Representatives divided into districts. In 1845, Congress had passed a law establishing a uniform date throughout the Union for choosing electors. The law did not apply to Congressional elections, but the date was gradually adopted for Congressional elections as well. In 1846, only three states (Michigan, New Jersey, and New York) used that date (November 3, 1846).

Two seats were added for the new State of Wisconsin.[3] Wisconsin was unrepresented for most of the 1st session.

116 1 1 112
Whig I AKN Democratic
State Type Date Total
seats
Whig Democratic Other
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Michigan District November 3, 1846
(Election Day)
3 0 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
New Jersey District 5 4 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
New York District 34 23 Increase14 11[4] Decrease10 0 Decrease4
Arkansas At-large August 3, 1846 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Delaware At-large November 10, 1846 1 1 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Florida At-large October 5, 1846 1 1 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Georgia District October 5, 1846 8 4 Increase1 4 Decrease1 0 Steady
Illinois District August 3, 1846 7 1 Steady 6[4] Steady 0 Steady
Maine District September 14, 1846 7 1 Steady 6 Steady 0 Steady
Massachusetts District November 9, 1846 10 10 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Missouri District[5] August 2, 1846 5 0 Steady 5 Steady 0 Steady
Ohio District October 13, 1846 21 11 Increase3 10 Decrease3 0 Steady
Pennsylvania District October 13, 1846 24 16 Increase6 7 Decrease5 1[6] Decrease1
South Carolina District October 12–13, 1846 7 0 Steady 7 Steady 0 Steady
Texas District November 2, 1846 2 0 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
Vermont District September 1, 1846 4 3 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
1847 elections
Alabama District August 2, 1847 7 2 Increase1 5 Decrease1 0 Steady
Connecticut District April 5, 1847 4 4 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Indiana District August 2, 1847 10 4 Increase2 6 Decrease2 0 Steady
Iowa District[5] August 2, 1847 2 0 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
Kentucky District August 2, 1847 10 6 Decrease1 4 Increase1 0 Steady
Louisiana District November 2, 1847 4 1 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
Maryland District October 6, 1847 6 4 Increase2 2 Decrease2 0 Steady
Mississippi District[5] November 1–2, 1847 4 1 Increase1 3 Decrease1 0 Steady
New Hampshire District[5] March 9, 1847 4[7] 1 Increase1 2 Decrease1 1[8] Increase1
North Carolina District August 5, 1847 9 6 Increase3 3 Decrease3 0 Steady
Rhode Island District April 7, 1847 2 1 Decrease1 1 Increase1 0 Steady
Tennessee District August 2. 1847 11 5 Steady 6 Steady 0 Steady
Virginia District April 22, 1847 15 6 Increase5 9 Decrease5 0 Steady
1848 elections
Wisconsin[9] District May 8, 1848 2 0 Steady 2 Increase2 0 Steady
Total[2] 230 116
50.4%
Increase38 112[10]
48.7%
Decrease33 2
0.9%
Decrease4
House seats
Whig
  
50.43%
Democratic
  
48.70%
Know-Nothing
  
0.43%
Others
  
0.43%

Complete returns

Florida

District Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates
Florida at-large William H. Brockenbrough Democratic 1845 (special) Retired
Whig gain
Edward C. Cabell (W) 50.9%
William A. Kain (D) 49.1%

See also

http://clerk.house.gov/histHigh/Congressional_History/index.html

References

  1. ^ Excludes states admitted during the 30th Congress
  2. ^ a b c Includes late elections
  3. ^ Stat. 58
  4. ^ a b Includes 1 Independent Democrat
  5. ^ a b c d Changed from at-large
  6. ^ 1 Know-Nothing
  7. ^ One seat was vacant in the 29th Congress
  8. ^ 1 Independent
  9. ^ New state
  10. ^ Includes 2 Independent Democrats
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