Political Party Timeline 1836-1864 by pharmphresh33


									                      Political Party Timeline: 1836-1864
The political party system entered an era of change when the issues surrounding slavery took center stage.
Fears were spurred by the threat of slavery -- or of abolition -- in new territories; the influx of immigrants;
the rise of industry; and the perpetual conflict over states' rights. These concerns drove many Americans to seek
different political alliances. New parties sprung up, representing the nation's widely differing opinions.
Some of these parties were short-lived, since they represented such narrow interests. Amid this turmoil,
the Republican Party was born... and the Whig Party disappeared.

1836       THE WINNER - Democrats: President Martin Van Buren
           The Democrats were the successors of Jeffersonian democracy. They favored localism and freedom
           from modern institutions such as banks, factories, and reform movements. They had a commitment
           to states' rights, a limited government, and an agrarian ideal They believed in westward expansion by
           the acquisition of new territories. They were made up of Northern artisans who felt threatened by
           industry; farmers hurt by tariffs; immigrants who desired to keep their own traditions; and
           Southerners and Westerners in favor of land acquisition. In 1836 they threw their support behind
           Andrew Jackson's successor, Martin Van Buren.

           Whigs: Henry Clay
           The Whig Party formed out of the National Republican Party, the leaders of which were John Quincy
           Adams and Henry Clay. They were nationalists, supported internal improvements and moral reforms,
           and desired gradual westward expansion in congruence with economic growth and modernization .
           The Whigs were based in New England and New York, mostly made up of Northern middle-class
           people, market-oriented farmers, and native-born skilled workers. In 1836, the Whigs factioned off,
           but generally united against Jackson's policies of the last eight years. They especially disliked Martin
           Van Buren, Jackson's hand-chosen successor.

1840       THE WINNER - Whigs: President William Henry Harrison
           In 1840 the Whig Party ran a "Log Cabin and Hard Cider" campaign in which they presented their
           presidential candidate, William Henry Harrison, a Virginia aristocrat, as a simple man and hero of the
           people. The Whigs believed in a "loose construction" of the Constitution which included supporting
           big government with a national bank and the congressional regulation of the expansion of slavery.

           Democrats: Martin Van Buren
           The Democrats upheld a platform which endorsed "strict construction" of the Constitution in 1840.
           They opposed the government's interference with the spread of slavery, the existence of a national
           bank, and the federal funding of internal improvements.

           Liberty Party: James C. Birney
           The Liberty Party was the political outgrowth of the growing anti-slavery movement. It had been
           born in 1839, when the movement factionalized into conservative and radical parts. The radicals
           followed William Lloyd Garrison, who demanded the immediate ending of slavery, denounced the
           U.S. Constitution, and allowed female activists into the movement. The conservatives formed the
           Liberty Party and sought to end slavery gradually through traditional, political channels.
1844   THE WINNER - Democrats: President James K. Polk (the Dark Horse)
       Democrats desired the annexation of Texas and the complete control of Oregon Territory, then
       shared with England as well. They nominated James K. Polk, who was a Southerner and sure to favor
       westward expansion.

       Whigs: Henry Clay
       The Whigs were unanimous in their nomination of Henry Clay for the presidency, standing on the
       same platform as previous elections.

       Liberty Party: James C. Birney
       Again nominating James C. Birney, the Liberty Party continued to stand on an anti-slavery platform,
       including several planks for equal rights and the elimination of racial discrimination in the North.

1848   THE WINNER - Whigs: President Zachary Taylor
       The Whigs were split by the annexation from the Mexican War. They attempted to offset this damage
       by declaring no platform at all and nominating Zachary Taylor, a man who up until 1848 had had
       very little to do with politics.

       Democrats: Lewis Cass
       The Democrats were also split by the Mexican War annexation. Southern and Western Democrats
       allied along a moderate platform to extend slavery, not going far enough for many slaveholding
       Southerners, who desired a firmer assurance of slavery's expansion.

       Free Soil Party: Martin Van Buren
       The Free Soil Party absorbed men from the Liberty Party who had nowhere else to go; "Conscience,"
       or anti-slavery, Whigs; and "Barnburner" Democrats, whose anti-black prejudices allied them with
       anti-slavery men.

1852   THE WINNER - Democrats: President Franklin Pierce
       Democrats also supported the provisions of the Compromise of 1850 and united along pro-slavery

       Whigs: Winfield Scott
       Whigs were dedicated to the enforcement of the provisions of the Compromise of 1850, which
       included the admission of California as a free state and a stricter fugitive slave law. They condemned
       further agitation of the slavery issue and saw the Compromise of 1850 as the solution. Yet they did
       not come out as vehemently pro-slavery, and some Southern Whigs deserted the party to join the

       Free Soil Party: John P. Hale
       Free Soilers were the only political group to officially denounce the Compromise of 1850. They
       demanded the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law and opposed the further admission of slave states.
       THE WINNER - Democrats: President James Buchanan
1856   Democrats again united along a pro-slavery platform, endorsing states' rights, the Fugitive Slave
       Law, and popular sovereignty in the territories.

       Republicans: John C. Fremont
       The Republican Party grew out of resistance to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which overrode the
       Missouri Compromise and allowed slavery to spread into Western territory by popular sovereignty.
       "Anti-Nebraska" men included anti-slavery Whigs, Democrats, Free Soilers, reformers, and

       American Party: Millard Fillmore
       The unprecedented rate of immigration at mid-century, particularly from Catholic Ireland, caused
       many nativists to fear foreign invasion. They organized into a secret order known as the "Know-
       Nothings" or the "Order of the Star Spangled Banner" and then politicized themselves in 1856 as the
       American Party. It was made up of mostly ex-Whigs who were anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, and
       desired to lengthen the naturalization period, allow only citizens to vote, and only native-born citizens
       to hold office.

1860   THE WINNER - Republicans: Abraham Lincoln
       The Republican Party absorbed anti-slavery Whigs and most Know-Nothings. It became more
       moderate in its stance on the exclusion of slavery and denounced John Brown’s raid. The platform
       endorsed a protective tariff, the Homestead Act, and internal improvements.

       Democrats: Stephen Douglas and John C. Breckenridge
       The Democratic Party split completely along sectional lines. Southern Democrats walked out of the
       Democratic National Convention, which nominated Stephen A. Douglas on a popular sovereignty
       platform, to name their own candidate, John C. Breckenridge, on a slave code ticket.

       Constitutional Union Party: John Bell
       The Constitutional Union Party was the anti-extremist party, absorbing Southern Whigs who didn't
       want to vote Democratic and Northern Whigs who felt the Republicans were too radical. They united
       in order to block a Republican victory.

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