“We Must Have the Aid of Gunpowder”

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:
“We Must Have the Aid of Gunpowder”

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Although much maneuvering and speculation about the Whig party's presidential candidate had occurred since 1844, systematic efforts to secure the party's presidential nomination began only with the opening of the Thirtieth Congress. Ultimately, decisions at the periphery of the American political system, in states and localities that chose delegates to the Whigs' national convention, determined the outcome of the presidential election. During the first three months of 1848, however, decisions made in Washington had the greatest impact. One of those decisions decisively changed Whig opinion and thus Whig behavior at the periphery; more than anything else, it brought about the nomination of Zachary Taylor. However, as much as that outcome itself, the abrasive process by which it was reached opened wounds that debilitated the Whig party during its remaining lifetime.

Keywords: Whig party; nomination; Congress; Washington; Zachary Taylor; presidential candidate; presidential election

Chapter.  26399 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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