The Whig Party Essay Research Paper Politics

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The Whig Party Essay, Research Paper Politics is a diverse and quickly changing facet of civilized society. Politics in America, at least in the current times, focuses on a two party system (although other parties are not discouraged from presenting candidates, and many often do, the political arena is generally dominated by two major parties). This dichotomy exists due to the public?s desire to simplify all competitions to one man against the other. This was not always the case. In the early part of the 1800?s, the concept of political parties in America was just reaching its nativity. If he were asked his political persuasion, The American of the 1820?s and 1830?s would probably tell you he was a Jeffersonist, or a Republican. Disjointed and factitious as it was, there was

considered to be but one major political party in this nation. As the 1800?s drew on however, this disunion became greater and threatened, then eventually led to the separation and creation of distinctive ideological camps. Some Republicans followed Andrew Jackson?s exhortations and formed the Democratic Republican party whose domination peaked when Jackson was elected president. The other party, the National Republican party, whose members include people such as Henry Clay, strove to unseat the Democratic Republican power. This second party was the forebearer of the Whig party of America, a major party who was concerned with the executive?s growing power. The year is 1833. The place, Washington DC The National Republicans had disbanded due to Jackson?s win in the presidential

race. The former National Republican leaders had banded again to fight the power and influence of Jackson, who they dubbed “King Andrew”. The Leaders decide to take the name of the Whigs, after the former British party established a century before to fight the absolute monarchy. They were not alone. A group of staunch anti-Jacksonist New York planters known as the Anti-Masons had always strived to become a major political party. The were known as Anti-Masons for their religious disagreements with secret societies such as the freemasons. They saw their chance at big time politics and opposing Jackson with the National Republicans. Jackson had alienated many a planter with his anti nullification policy of his second term (1832-1836). Being avid state right?s men, they were very

reluctant to join with any existing party with a name containing “national”. These planters were some of the first to don the name “Whigs” since it gave them license to call Jacksonists “Tories”, meaning loyal to the monarchy, a term synonymous with traitor since the Revolutionary war. Despite the Whig party?s drawing under it?s banner such notable figures as John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, William P. Mangum, Samuel Southard, Robert Toombs, Daniel Webster, and William Seward, The Whig party could not manage to win the 1836 presidential election. Communication was a slow and laborious process and, as the election approached, the Whigs were not yet cohesive enough to produce a single candidate, and so they decided produced three. The candidates were Gen.

William Henry Harrison of Ohio, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and Hugh L. White of Tennessee. The party had no real platform on which to run, but just a loose ideological outline, the staples of American Whiggery, which each candidate was to flesh out on their own. These were strengthening of national unity, a protective tariff, the rechartering of the Bank of the United States, a reform of the spoils system, and limitations to the power of the chief executive. The Whigs pulled 124 electoral votes combined, versus the Democratic Republicans who won with 170 electoral votes for Martin Van Buren. The Whig party began to grow in size and influence. The Anti-masons had fluidly integrated and lost their identity as separate ideology. Alienated Jacksonian defectors never ceased to