The Rise of the Whigs

How this political party came to be.

Before the Whig party came, there was the Era of Good Feelings and then the National Republicans v. the Jacksonian Democracy.

With the arrival of the Whig Party, the US once again had two competing political parties by the mid-1830s.

The Whigs vs. Democrats. (1834)

What exactly was the Whig Party though? And how did they rise up?

  • The party was a combination of the old federalists, old national republicans, and those opposed to the Jacksonian government.
  • Named after the antimonarchist political party in England, which was better able to stigmatize Jackson as "King Andrew".
  • Much of their support came from Northern Business and Manufacturing interests and from large southern planters.

More on what the Whigs were...

Whiggery was a political philosophy in favor of:

  • expanding the power of the federal government.
  • encouraging industrial and commercial development (banks and corporations).
  • binding the country together with a consolidated economic system.
  • cautious westward expansion.
  • cautious growth which would produce stability.
  • a vision for America which included a republic embracing the industrial future and rising to world greatness as a commercial manufacturing power.

Whig Candidates : The "Great Triumvirate"

Lost the Election of 1836 to Jackson's successor, Martin Van Buren.

Whig candidate wins the Election of 1840! With William Henry Harrison and John Tyler

However, Harrison dies of pneumonia after one month in office...