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the House in 1823, was heralded as a significant victory of the Liberal Republican wing, which now took the affirmative of all national questions. Clay had already foreshadowed the " Monroe Doctrine," and Monroe swung back sufficiently to the liberal side to favor, in his message of 1823, the tariff act of 1824, and a plan of internal improvement, thus emphasizing what became known as "The American System."
In the national election of 1824, known as the "Scrub race," the two Republican wings ran separate presidential! candidates, the Liberals supporting Clay and Adams, and the strict-constructionists Crawford and Jackson. The election went to the House, and John Adams was chosen. This result practically disrupted the Republican party and sounded its death knell. It was now to find a grave with its deceased antagonist, the Federal party, which it had outlived for but a few years. They both died of the same disease, inanition due to violent disruption.
Whig And Democratic Parties.
The political movement which, as we have just seen, had ripened within the Republican ranks, and had broken them in twain, was now ready for separate identity under a national name. But a proper title was not easy to be found at first. The right name must be evolved by the ferment of the situation. Adams, as was to be expected, entered on his administration with the Crawford adherents dead against him. These belonged to the "straightest sect" of strict constructionists. It was but reasonable for Adams to expect the support of Jackson and his followers, for all these had mostly inclined to the old Federal ideas of protection and internal improvement, and in this respect had cooperated with Clay in bringing about revolution in the Republican ranks.
But Jackson was embittered by his defeat by Adams, and he and his forces joined those of Crawford in opposition to Adams' administration. Adams had made Clay his Secretary of State. This opened the way for charges of collusion between Adams and Clay, and much crimination and recrimination followed, serving to unite more closely the followers of Crawford and Jackson, as well as those of Adams and Clay.
President Adams, in both his inaugural and first message to Congress, mapped a set of principles which, as to protection, internal improvement and liberal construction of the Constitution, answered as a permanent bond of agreement between his own followers and those of Clay. Thus solidified, the party, now virtually a separate one, with distinctive principles, and with John Adams as its candidate for President in 1828, adopted for its name that of "National Republican," though it passed through that campaign under the general designation of " Adams Men." The title "National Republican " was comprehensive and excellently chosen, for it not only showed that the new party had germinated within the old Republican ranks, but that it had assumed independent being as a liberal, or national interpreter of the Constitution. But accurate and full of meaning as the title was, it was bound, by that strange fatality which sometimes attends party names, to be of short duration, for in a few years it was pushed aside to make room for the meaningless title of "Whig."
The Crawford and Jackson followers were united only in their opposition to the National Republicans. No doubt they would have perpetuated the title of Republican in the campaign of 1828, but for the fact that Crawford was. sick, and it required the tremendous personalism of Jack6on to hold the two opposing wings of the party together. This he did by becoming a candidate for the Presidency against Adams, and by dropping the title Republican altogether, his followers becoming known as "Jackson Men," in contradistinction to "Adams Men."
But as the title " Adams Men " only temporarily usurped that of "National Republican," so when it became necessary to get rid of the personalism of Jackson, the title "Jackson Men " began to give away to something else. Men like Calhoun and others, who never cared for the name Republican, preferred to be spoken of as "Democrats." The title "Democrat" could not, however, be at once projected on the party, for Jackson's personalism was yet too strong, and if his own name was to be lost as a party shibboleth, he preferred that it should be swamped by a revival of the old Republican name, rather than b}f the new name of Democrat, especially since the latter had been proposed by the ultra wing of strict-constructionists.
The time when "Democrat" began to have meaning in a party sense, and as comprehensive of "Jackson Men," or of Republican, and as expressive of definite principles, was in 1831, preparatory to the presidential election of 1832. Yet even in that election, the transition to " Democrat " was not complete, for the Jackson, or Republicanticket was thus headed "Democrat-Republican ticket for President in 1832, Andrew Jackson." While this conipio mise title showed the elimination of Jackson's personalism to a certain extent, it showed also that the time was not yet ripe for the entire dropping of the old word "Republican" and the complete substitution of the new word "Democrat." This substitution was not completed until 1832-33.
In 1832, the ticket of the National Republican party was headed, "National Republican Candidate for President in 1832, Henry Clay" thus showing that the title had come into full recognition prior to that time.
In the national campaign of 1832, the National Republicans, with Clay as their nominee, defined their principles as tariff, internal improvement, question of removing the Cherokee Indians, renewal of United States Bank Charter. The Democrat-Republican published no declaration of principles, they being agitated within either by the grave question of nullification, or by serious divisions respecting the tariff. Ia the former, Jackson scored a signal triumph, after his election. Respecting the latter, Clay effected one of his disastrous compromises, by accepting the ten year scaling tariff of 1832-42.
Jackson's financial policy, especially that relating to the destruction of the United States Bank, together with dissatisfaction respecting the workings of the sliding scale tariff, intensified opposition to his second administration, and to his party, which had by this time adopted the single term "Democrat." Party antagonism was heightened by the bursting on the country of the panic of 1837. During the latter part of Jackson's administration, the title " Whig" had come into general use as a substitute for that of National Republican, and as a party designation it was complete in the National campaign of 18 .6.
In order to head off the strict State rights Democrats of the South, who had early nominated H. L. White, of Tennessee, for the Presidency, the forces of Martin Van Buren, whom Jackson desired should be his successor, met in popular convention in Baltimore in May, 1835, nominated Van Buren for President, and set forth a platform. the most important plank in which was adherence to gold and silver as a circulating medium.
The members of this convention were not designated as Democrats, but as "Locofocos," a term which had sprung into popular use the year before, and which grew out of an incident at Tammany Hall, New York, iu which the lights were put out during a Democratic meeting, and relit by means of locofoco matches, then a new invention.
Thus "Locofoco" and "Whig," coming into popular use at nearly the same time, were fair set offs to each, other, and one was as meaningless as the other.
In this campaign of 1836, the Whigs, Anti-Masons, and some other opponents of Van Buren nominated William Henry Harrison, of Ohio, for president. Van Buren was elected. During the closing days of Jackson's second administration a new and hitherto silent force, known as the National Anti-Slavery Society, incorporated in 1833, began to make itself felt in a political way. By means of lectures and literature it had given offence to the South, and a strenuous effort was made to deny it the use of the United States mails. But Congress was not yet found ripe for so hazardous an experiment.
Van Buren felt himself to be the executor of Jackson's financial policy, but the crisis of 1837, and a violent faction of his own party, calling themselves "Conservatives," caused the 25th Congress to defeat some of his pet schemes of finance. This Congress, too, was the scene of long debates over the question of Federal control of slavery, a question that entered nearly every subsequent congress till 1863.
In 1840 the Whigs nominated William Henry Harrison for president, without a platform. The Democrats renominated Martin Van Buren, with a lengthy platform, which