1854 United States elections
1852          1853          1854          1855          1856
Midterm elections
Incumbent presidentFranklin Pierce (Democratic)
Next Congress34th
Senate elections
Overall controlDemocratic hold
Seats contested21 of 62 seats[1]
Net seat changeRepublican +3[2]
House elections
Overall controlOpposition gain
Seats contestedAll 234 voting seats
Net seat changeDemocratic -75[2]

The 1854 United States elections was the midterm election choosing members of the 32nd United States Congress during the middle of Democratic President Franklin Pierce's term. It was part of the transition from the Second Party System to the Third Party System, as the Whigs collapsed as a national party and were replaced by a coalition running on the Opposition Party ticket and the nascent Republican Party.

In the House, Democrats suffered a massive defeat, losing seats to the Opposition Party, and to the American Party;[3] the latter (also known as the Know Nothings) won more seats in the House than any other third party in the history of the chamber.[3] Nathaniel Banks, a member of the American Party and the Free Soil Party, won election as Speaker of the House after a protracted battle, defeating Democrat William Aiken.[4] In the Senate, Democrats retained a strong majority, while the Opposition replaced the Whigs as the second largest party in the chamber.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Not counting special elections.
  2. ^ a b Congressional seat gain figures only reflect the results of the regularly-scheduled elections, and do not take special elections into account.
  3. ^ a b "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  4. ^ Glass, Andrew (3 December 2012). "The House speaker bog-down, Dec. 3, 1855". Politico. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present". United States Senate. Retrieved 25 June 2014.