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The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

Michael F. Holt

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161045
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849635 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161045.001.0001
The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

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The political home of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Horace Greeley, and the young Abraham Lincoln, the American Whig Party was involved at every level of American politics—local, state, and federal—in the years before the Civil War, and controlled the White House for eight of the twenty-two years that it existed. This book gives a comprehensive history of the Whigs—a history covering in rich detail the American political landscape from the Age of Jackson to impending disunion. The history of the Whig Party becomes a political history of the United States during the tumultuous Antebellum period. The book offers a panoramic account of a time when a welter of parties (Whig, Democratic, Anti-Mason, Know Nothing, Free Soil, Republican) and many extraordinary political statesmen (including Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun, William Seward, Daniel Webster, Martin Van Buren, and Henry Clay) struggled to control the national agenda as the United States inched towards secession. It was an era when Americans were passionately involved in politics, when local concerns drove national policy, and when momentous political events rocked the country, including the Nullification Controversy, the Panic of 1837, the Annexation of Texas, the Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This book captures all of this as it shows that, amid this contentious political activity, the Whig Party continuously strove to unite North and South, repeatedly trying to find a compromise position. Indeed, the Whig Party emerges as the nation's last great hope to prevent secession and civil war.

Keywords: Henry Clay; David Webster; Horace Greeley; Abraham Lincoln; American Whig Party; White House; North; South

Book.  1,268 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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Table of Contents

“Not Fitted to Make Converts” in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

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“To Rescue the Government and Public Liberty” in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

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“No Opposition Man Can Be Elected President” in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

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“Harrison and Prosperity <i>or</i> Van Buren and Ruin” in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

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“The Whig Party Seems Now Totally Broken Up and Dismembered” in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

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“The Whigs Are in High Spirits” in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

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“The Present Administration Are Your Best Recruiting Officers” in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

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“We Must Have the Aid of Gunpowder” in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

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