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a way, the Democrats could not escape the force of this doctrine before the country. It was the doctrine that afterwards became known as "Popular" or "Squatter Sovereignty," which figured so prominently in the Kansas nffair, and which served to draw such men as Douglas, Geary and Reeder outside of the Democratic lines. The California miners had applied it in their own state. While the doctrine, or its opposite, had forced the Whig party asunder, it was now about to do the same thing for the Democratic party.
Decline Of The Whig Party.
In 1852, the Democrats nominated Franklin Pierce/of New Hampshire, for the Presidency. Their platform affirmed that of 1848, and added an endorsement of the compromise measures of 1850, emphatic opposition to the interference of Congress with State affairs, adhesion to the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions of 1798, no monopoly for the few at the expense of the many, and the Union as it is and should be.
The Whigs nominated General Winfield Scott, of Virginia, for President, on a platform favoring tariff, internal improvement, a Government sufficiently strong to make it operative, the compromise measures of 1850. This last plank was also in the Democratic platform, but the Whigs fell into the trap set by the extreme pro-slavery leaders, and foolishly added to the plank the words "including the fugitive slave law." The plank was a bold stroke on the part of the pro-slavery people to commit both parties to the extension of slaveiy, but the attempt reacted with thrice the effect on the Whig party thwt it did on the Democrats.
The Free Soil Democrats nominated John P. Hale, of New Hampshire, for President, on a platfoim denouncing Hon. Nelson W. Aldrich.
Born at Foster, R. I , November 6, 1841. Academically educated; engaged in mercantile pursuits; President of Providence Common Council, 1871-73; member of State Assembly, 1875-76; Speaker of House of Representatives in 1876; elected to Congress for 46th and 47th Congresses; elected, as Republican, to United States Senate, 1880; re-elected, 1886 and 1893; rose to prominence as advocate of Protection ; authority in party and Senate on matters pertaining to Tariff Legislation; conspicuous in preparation and adoption of Tariff act of 1890; Chairman of Committee on Rules and member of Committees on Finance and Transportation.
Hon. Fred. T. Dubois.
Bom in Crawford co., 111., May 29, 1851; graduated al Yale, 1872; Secretary of Board of Railway and Warehouse Commissioners of Illinois, 1875-76; moved to Idaho and entered business, 1880; United States Marshal of Idaho, 1882-86; elected Delegate to 50th and 51st Congresses; elected, as Republican, to United States Senate, December 18, 1890; one of the youngest members of Senate; Chairman of Committee on Public Lands, and member of Committees on Civil Service, Enrolled Bills, Naval Affairs and National lianks.
the fugitive slave law, the compromise measures of 1850, and slavery extension.
The result of the election was most disastrous to the Whigs. They carried but four States. But this was by no means their worst blow. They stood appalled at the discovery that their endorsement of the compromise measures of 1850 and of the fugitive slave law had proved to be a logical commitment of the party to further slavery agitation, if not to actual slavery extension. They could not advance except by going directly into the Democratic ranks. They could not retreat except with shame and demoralization. They could not stand still, for the Free Soil Democrats had swept the ground from under their feet. They never recovered from their shock, lost their organization, never ran another President. As was' piquantly said, the Whig party died of too much compromise, of a " vain attempt to swallow the fugitive slave law."
President Pierce moulded his administration wholly in the interest of the pro-slavery Democrats. This party was now in position to force its construction of the slavery issue, for it had large majorities in both House and Senate. The construction forced was that the compromise measures of 1850 repealed those of 1820, and therefore the slavery question was again open as to all the territory of the United States. The gage of battle was thrown down in the celebrated Kansas-Nebraska contest which served to solidify the pro-slavery Democrats and Whigs, to divide the Northern Democrats into two equal factions and to divide the Northern Whigs into two parties, one of which coalesced with the Free Soil Democrats, the other to soon lose its name and identity entirely, for a time under the title of anti-Nebraska men, and afterwards in that of the modern Republican party.
Native American Party.
The Native American idea is almost as old as the country. It cropped out in 1790 in connection with the passage of a naturalization law, and again in 1795, 1798, and again in 1802. The legislation of the latter date was designed to secure to the old Republican party the preponderance of foreign votes in the cities. To correct this, an organized movement was begun in New York as early as 1835, and in 1844 the Native Americans carried the city. The movement spread to other cities, and was signalized by great excitement and riots.
In 1852, it reappeared in politics as a secret organization, known officially as the American party, but popularly as the Know Nothing party, from the reticence of its members. Its cardinal principle was " Americans must rule America." Its rise was rapid, and its existence being at a time when the Whig party was disintegrating, and when much dissatisfaction existed in all political organizations, it was greatly encouraged to exist by its ability to hold the balance of power in many cities and even States. In 1855 it carried no less than nine State elections.
In the national campaign of 1856, it entered the race for the Presidency, by nominating Millard Fillmore, of New York, on a platform of distinct Americanism and naturalization, only after a residence of twenty-one years, with denunciation of existing parties as sectional. It succeeded in carrying the state of Maryland. In the 34th Congress it had a strong contingent of members, fortythree in all in the House and five in the Senate. In the 35th Congress it had only five members in the House.
In the vicissitude of parties between 1856 and 1860, its titles became merged into that of "Constitutional Union,"