This campaign advertisement for Lewis Cass in the election of 1848 targeted male farmers and slave owners in the South. This is because women still could not vote, and many “conscience-Whigs” in the North, were in support of the presidential candidate Zachary Taylor, so it would be best for Cass to turn to the South for support. Also, some in the South began supporting Zachary Taylor, for they had assumed that since both Taylor and Andrew Jackson were great war heroes, they would have similar qualities, which is another reason why Cass’s advertisement targeted the South(“A.M.Z.T”). This advertisement was also an attempt to win over some votes from the Whig party, since there was much controversy within the Whig party at that time regarding whether Taylor was qualified to be president. A big portion of this advertisement castigated Taylor, and many of these criticisms were political references more understandable in the nineteenth century. This advertisement also helped distinguish Cass’s position on the highly controversial topic of slavery.
The topic of slavery caused significant division in America. This was partly due to the fact that America had recently acquired the land known as present day California, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado. Aside from that, the results of the 1846 Mexican American War also led to the annexation of Texas (Howe). With such a huge increase in land, the big question came down to whether or not slavery would be prohibited, and many in the North and South held different viewpoints on the tolerance of slavery. Slavery inevitably became the most vital influence on the outcome of presidential election of 1848.
In order to lambaste Taylor in a more effective manner, Cass needed to make political references in his advertisement. In 1846, a man named David Wilmot proposed the Wilmot Proviso, which claimed that slavery should be banned in the land won over from the Mexican American war. Though this bill was vetoed, it...
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