Chapter

“We Have Many Recruits in Our Ranks from the Pressure of the Times”

Michael F. Holt

in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161045
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849635 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161045.003.0004
“We Have Many Recruits in Our Ranks from the Pressure of the Times”

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To Henry Clay, the new Whig party seemed as ineffectual and divided as the various anti-Jackson elements had been at the beginning of 1833. Meanwhile, the party had barely begun to organize in the West and Southwest, and in many eastern states it had been thrust into the minority. The economic crisis in the spring of 1837 channeled political development in a different direction. However shaky its condition, the Whig party was in place to benefit from discontent with the “in” Democratic regime engendered by depression. The slump allowed Whigs to fashion a distinctive national and state program of governmental economic policy. Once created, that partisan identity became a prism through which Whig voters viewed sectional issues themselves. All in all, the economic disaster that followed Andrew Jackson's departure from office was the pivotal episode in the growth of the Whig party.

Keywords: Henry Clay; Whig party; depression; partisan; Andrew Jackson; economic policy

Chapter.  15622 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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