Daniel Webster

A Powerful Speaker and Political Leader

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Whig Party

Daniel Webster was one of the main creators and leaders of the Whig Party along with Henry Clay. This driven group of people disagreed with Andrew Jackson's policies, which were to give more rights to the states. They devised a plan to gain as many followers as possible to out run Andrew Jackson in the 1836 election. Daniel Webster made his first unsuccessful bid for presidency in 1836 and another in 1840. Finally, when Whig Party member William Henry Harrison won, he appointed Webster to Secretary of State.


Court Cases

Webster participated in numerous court cases and won a great deal of them. There were three major cases that he helped win. The first one was Gibbons v. Ogden. At this case, he argued that a state could not intrude on a right to regulate work involving interstate commerce across state lines or from foreign countries. McCulloch v. Maryland was another case he spoke at, where he stated that a state should not be able to tax a federal agency. The last one and also the one he was most proud of was Dartmouth College v. Woodward. In this court case, he spoke up for his school, Dartmouth College and argued against the law that put the school under state control.

All of these cases have something in common:

In all three of these court cases, Daniel Webster argued that states should not have power over the federal government. This was the message that he was trying to send to the people, and it came across nicely.

Secretary of State

Webster-Ashburton Treaty

After he was appointed secretary of state, he was driven to get a lot accomplished. He helped made the Webster-Ashburton Treaty possible. This treaty was very important. It accomplished so much such as the establishment of the Maine boundary and increasing the involvement of the united states in restricting African slave trade. Not only this, but it allowed the government to focus on westward expansion.

Other Accomplishments

  • helped expand Monroe Doctrine
  • against annexation of Texas (declared it unreasonable and unfair)
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"Seventh of March" Speech

Webster was opposed to separation of the states. On March 7, 1850 he gave a famous speech that supported Henry Clay's compromise of 1850. The people of the south agreed with his views and supported him through this process.