Pierce and King and Unity

Christopher Cameron

My goal in this campaign video was to paint Franklin Pierce as the candidate of unity.  Pierce did no campaigning on his own behalf for the election, and let the Democratic Party machine do that for him. In the election of 1848 the traditional issues that separated the Whigs and Democrats, such as internal improvements, were being blurred, therefore neither candidate ran an issue based campaign. This lead to very little positive campaigning, and it is instead focused on personal attacks on each candidate. About the only good thing that Pierce had going for him is that he was a political unknown and did not have a lot of enemies or a lengthy political record.  He arose as a compromise candidate out of the Democratic presidential nomination convention because he was a northern man who did not oppose slavery.  Therefore he could be portrayed as a northern man with southern values who could unite both the Democratic party and the nation as a whole.

My goal in the first part of the video is to introduce Pierce to the people.  I started the video off very simple with a portrait of Franklin Pierce, just to get the viewer acquainted with Pierce.  Then I flash to the Democratic ticket that announced Pierce as the presidential candidate and King as the vice-presidential candidate.  The main purpose of this image is for the viewer to put a name to the face, which they saw on the previous slide.  Then I move to a poster with the two candidates together, and I try and then flash both of the faces of Pierce and King to the music.

Then I moved on to the actual substance of my video and start to portray him as the candidate that can unite the Democratic Party.  I started by selling him to the established Democratic voters.  The first quote by Pierce endorsing the party platform is important because it proves that Pierce will stick to the party line and this is safe and acceptable to all Democrats.  He shows that he has been committed to the party line and will continue to remain faithful.  He will not take any unnecessary risks and try and implement any controversial policies.  The next quote reaffirms the first one saying that Pierce is a candidate all Democrats can rally and unite behind because he is very predictable and not controversial.

I then move to trying to reassure both the North and the South that Pierce will protect their interests and thereby unite the nation.  I start by reassuring the South because they are the most paranoid about the issue of slavery, and the most important constituency to the Democratic party.  I first tell the South that Pierce has a “clean southern record” proving that he has not meddled with slavery in the past and therefore will not do so in the future.  I then show a political cartoon of Scott and Pierce standing on opposite sides of the Mason-Dixon line, and Scott is telling Pierce to move so that he can capture the Southern vote, but Pierce responds that Scott has no chance of crossing the line and capturing the Southern vote.  I chose to spend a lot of time on this political cartoon because I wanted to make sure that everyone understood the message that Pierce was the protector of the South.  I then use one slide saying that Pierce will look after the manufacturing and commerce interest of the North.  I then go on to try and assure the nation as a whole that Pierce will bring stability and bind the Union together.  After the Mexican-American War, the tension was very high between the North and the South, and the nation wanted to feel united once again, and I wanted to present Pierce as the candidate to do this.  I then end the video by flashing Pierce and King to the timing of the music.

Pierce was chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate because he was the safe uncontroversial choice.  Scott also ran a very self-destructive campaign and it is often claimed that Scott lost the election more than Pierce won it.  Therefore I was trying to take advantage of Scott’s volatility and paint Pierce as the opposite. Pierce’s safe and uncontroversial attitude doomed him to a weak and unsuccessful presidency because he was merely a puppet of the Democratic party establishment, but at the time he was the perfect candidate to win the election.

 

 

Work Cited

(In order of appearance in video)

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001700080/

  • Title: Genl. Franklin Pierce
  • Creator(s): N. Currier (Firm),
  • Date Created/Published: New York : Published by N. Currier, c1852.

 

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/AMALL:@field%28NUMBER+@band%28rbpe+1860400b%29%29 (Democratic Presidential Ticket)

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001702114/

  • Title: Grand, national, democratic banner – press onward / lith. & pub. by N. Currier.
  • Creator(s): N. Currier (Firm),
  • Date Created/Published: [New York] : Lith. & Pub. by N. Currier, 152 Nassau St. cor. of Spruce, c1852.

 

http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/HistArchive/?p_product=EANX&p_theme=ahnp&p_nbid=L56V53KHMTM1MjkxNjYwOS44MjM3NzE6MToxMzoxMzcuMTY1LjI3LjE0&p_action=doc&s_lastnonissuequeryname=6&d_viewref=search&p_queryname=6&p_docnum=9&p_docref=v2:105F9E4894BE8C00@EANX-105E5FE12AD29A96@2397783-105E5FE174E66F95@1-105E5FE2B0D0DD7D

Headline: [No Headline]; Article Type: Legislative Acts/Legal Proceedings

Paper: Sun, published as The Pittsfield Sun.; Date: 10-21-1852; Volume: LIII; Issue: 2718; Page: [2]; Location: Pittsfield, Massachusetts

(Franklin Pierce’s quote on endorsing the party platform+Quote of democrats being most unified)

 

http://www.loc.gov/item/gm%2070002859

Title: General map of the Orange & Alexandria Rail Road and its connections north, south, and west.

(Map of the South)

 

http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/HistArchive/?p_product=EANX&p_theme=ahnp&p_nbid=L56V53KHMTM1MjkxNjYwOS44MjM3NzE6MToxMzoxMzcuMTY1LjI3LjE0&p_action=doc&s_lastnonissuequeryname=8&d_viewref=search&p_queryname=8&p_docnum=8&p_docref=v2:105F9E4894BE8C00@EANX-105E5FB14D6F2E5A@2397713-105E5FB162022FD1@0-105E5FB24E33BBA9@Remarks+of+Gen.+Butler

Headline: Remarks of Gen. Butler; Article Type: News/Opinion

Paper: Sun, published as The Pittsfield Sun.; Date: 08-12-1852; Volume: LIII; Issue: 2708; Page: [1]; Location: Pittsfield, Massachusetts

(Clean Southern Record)

 

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3a00000/3a09000/3a09000/3a09084r.jpg

(political cartoon of Mason Dixon Line)

 

http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/HistArchive/?p_product=EANX&p_theme=ahnp&p_nbid=L56V53KHMTM1MjkxNjYwOS44MjM3NzE6MToxMzoxMzcuMTY1LjI3LjE0&p_action=doc&s_lastnonissuequeryname=6&d_viewref=search&p_queryname=6&p_docnum=9&p_docref=v2:105F9E4894BE8C00@EANX-105E5FE12AD29A96@2397783-105E5FE174E66F95@1-105E5FE2B0D0DD7D

Headline: [No Headline]; Article Type: Legislative Acts/Legal Proceedings

Paper: Sun, published as The Pittsfield Sun.; Date: 10-21-1852; Volume: LIII; Issue: 2718; Page: [2]; Location: Pittsfield, Massachusetts

(Commerce and Manufacturing North+ bind together the Union)

 

http://www.loc.gov/item/98685344

Title

Disturnell’s new map of the United States and Canada.

Description

Showing all the canals, rail roads, telegraph lines and principal stage routes.

Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.

1 map : col. ; 53 x 67 cm.

Creator

Burr, Henry A.

Created Published

New York : J. Disturnell, 157 Broadway, 1850.

(map of the United States)

 

http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/HistArchive/?p_product=EANX&p_theme=ahnp&p_nbid=B58M55CJMTM1MjkzNjY3Ny4yOTgxOTM6MToxMzoxMzcuMTY1LjI3LjE0&p_action=doc&s_lastnonissuequeryname=23&d_viewref=search&p_queryname=23&p_docnum=32&p_docref=v2:105F9E4894BE8C00@EANX-105E5F92267C10F3@2397664-105E5F92B3358C8A@2-105E5F94534229A7@The+Boston+Daily+Times.+for+the+Campaign

Headline: The Boston Daily Times. for the Campaign; Article Type: News/Opinion

Paper: Sun, published as The Pittsfield Sun.; Date: 06-24-1852; Volume: LII; Issue: 2701; Page: [3]; Location: Pittsfield, Massachusetts

(Pierce and King)