- January 18: Jefferson Davis, a relatively unknown politician from Mississippi declares his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America.
- July: Democrats anticipating a loss in the general election and have no consensus on who their candidate should be. The five major candidates end up being Jefferson Davis,Lewis Cass, James Buchanan, William Marcy, and Stephen Douglas. All have some support. Throughout the balloting, numerous favorite son candidates receive a few votes. On the 49th ballot the convention finally nominates, as a compromise candidate, the virtually unknown Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. Even though Davis has little experience. Senator Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire is tapped for Vice President.
- September: The Whigs' platform is almost indistinguishable from that of the Democrats, reducing the campaign to a contest between the personalities of the two candidates. The lack of clear-cut issues between the two parties helps drive voter turnout down to its lowest level since 1836. The decline is further exacerbated by Scott's anti-slavery reputation, which decimates the Southern Whig vote at the same time as the pro-slavery Whig platform undermines the Northern Whig vote. Finally, Scott's status as a war hero is somewhat offset by the fact that Davis was himself a Mexican-American War Hero.
- October: Shortly before the election Union party candidate Daniel Webster dies, causing many Union state parties to remove their slates of electors. The Union ticket does appear on the ballot in Georgia and Massachusetts however.
- November: When America goes to the polls Davis wins in a landslide, Scott wins only the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
- March 4: Jefferson Davis is sworn in as the 14th president of the United States of America.Davis hails an era of peace and prosperity at home and urges a vigorous assertion of US interests in its foreign relations. "The policy of my Administration," said the new president is to solve the domestic problems of our nation at home at protect our interests abroad.
- July: Davis ratifies the Gasden Purchase calling it "righteous expansion of the American way of life".
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