Nominated for president in 1824, Jackson narrowly lost to John Quincy Adams. Jackson's supporters then founded what became the Democratic Party. Nominated again in 1828, Jackson crusaded against Adams and the "corrupt bargain" between Adams and Henry Clay he said cost him the 1824 election. Building on his base in the West and new support from Virginia and New York, he won by a landslide. The Adams campaigners called him and his wife Rachel Jackson "bigamists"; she died just after the election and he called the slanderers "murderers," swearing never to forgive them. His struggles with Congress were personified in his personal rivalry with Henry Clay, whom Jackson deeply disliked, and who led the opposition (the emerging Whig Party). As president, he faced a threat of secession from South Carolina over the "Tariff of Abominations" which Congress had enacted under Adams. In contrast to several of his immediate successors, he denied the right of a state to secede from the union, or to nullify federal law. The Nullification Crisis was defused when the tariff was amended and Jackson threatened the use of military force if South Carolina (or any other state) attempted to secede.
Congress attempted to reauthorize the Second Bank of the United States several years before the expiration of its charter, which he opposed. He vetoed the renewal of its charter in 1832, and dismantled it by the time its charter expired in 1836. Jackson's presidency marked the beginning of the ascendency of the "spoils system" in American politics. Also, he supported, signed, and enforced the Indian Removal Act, which unilaterally and forcibly relocated a number of native tribes to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma); disregarding previous treaty-agreements, and dispossessing and displacing native communities, including those which had previously been integrated into "Western" civilization. He faced and defeated Henry Clay in the 1832 Presidential Election, and opposed Clay generally. Jackson supported his vice president Martin Van Buren, who was elected president in 1836. He worked to bolster the Democratic Party and helped his friend James K. Polk win the 1844 presidential election.