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No More Whigs

Updated on October 21, 2019
cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

Mrs. Fox, aka cmoneyspinner, former civil servant, now self-employed; engaged in multiple online endeavors, including freelance writing.

Before the Republicans, There Were Whigs

The Whig was a U.S. Political party that was in existence from 1834 to 1856. It was formed in opposition to the Democratic party. They favored higher tariffs and a liberal interpretation of the Constitution. The members eventually united with the Republicans and their party, as we know of it in history, was no more. But before the dissolution, at least four of the active and influential members were honored to serve US as our leader.

The Whigs who served as POTUS were:

- William Henry Harrison (1841)

- John Tyler (1841 – 1845)

- Zachary Taylor (1849 – 1850); and

- Millard Fillmore (1850 – 1853).

Did I say opposed to the Democratic party? Perhaps it would be fairer to say they were probably anti-Jackson-ites. With good reason too!

Andrew Jackson

  • Andrew Jackson, Democrat, 9th President 1829 – 1837

Followers of Mr. Jackson, dissatisfied about him losing the election, tormented John Quincy Adams (1825 -1829), the winner. They accused him of collusion and corruption; and they discouraged him such that he chose not to run for a second term. Jackson was elected and the first thing he did in his official capacity was give government jobs to about 2,000 of his supporters. He also created what has been called a “kitchen cabinet”, which is a group of informal advisers the president consults, even though he has a formally recognized presidential advisory group.

What? Isn't that illegal? It couldn't have been, because he was elected twice! The thing is he advocated opening up greater opportunities for the small business owner, the farmer and the artisan. (Yeah yeah. He pushed for the little guy. That's why his face is on the twenty dollar bill!)

He was a proponent of strong federal government, but set up state banks instead of rechartering the National Bank. (National banks are members of the Federal Reserve System and are under the supervision of the federal government.) He advocated increased popular participation in government and believed that monopolies and the privileged class were contrary to democracy ideals. (Still … ? The idea of putting in place a “kitchen cabinet” could be construed as the “pot calling the kettle black”.)

Back on point, regards the four Whigs who served as POTUS, below is a synopsis of their accomplishments.

William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison

Harrison, 9th POTUS

- William Henry Harrison (1841)

(1773 - 1841)

We will never of he would have served our country well because he died one month after taking office of pneumonia.

Would he have taken America onward and upward?

Well, the Pope didn't make an official statement for public record, but the brevity of his term could have been interpreted as a "sign".

(Crass joke?)

John Tyler

John Tyler
John Tyler

Tyler, 10th POTUS

- John Tyler (1841 – 1845)

(1790 - 1862)

Tyler was disowned by his political party because he drew the line when it came to banking bills supported by the Whigs and provoked their ire by vetoing them. The Whigs introduced impeachment resolutions in the House. His cabinet resigned, except for the Secretary of State, Daniel Webster. (It was fortunate that Mr. Webster stayed on. That way the president could consult an authoritative reference on the definition of the word “impeach”. Impeach: that means to charge with a crime, especially to accuse a public official of treason or corruption. Impeachment? Hmmm? Sounds like peach. Sweet! We'll work on it later. Meanwhile …) Moving on with the country's affairs, Tyler opened up trade with China, and signed bills admitting Florida and Texas to the Union. (Florida, the state where I was born; and Texas, the state where I now reside. It may be too late, but he would have gotten my vote!)

Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor

Taylor, 12th POTUS

- Zachary Taylor (1849 – 1850)

(1874 - 1850)

Respected as a war hero. “Old Rough and Ready” was his nickname. He served a little bit longer than Harrison; about a year and a half. But before he could implement his policies concerning the exclusion of slavery from newly acquired lands, he passed away. He was staunch on his position; albeit when it came to California, this land could be admitted as a slave state or a free state. (I get it! There's slave labor, i.e. the proverbial "six". Then there's gold. Which is the "half a dozen" times … who knows how much! $$$$ California has to be an exception. The business of the nation trumps a moral imperative. Politics is all about compromise. Don't believe me? Read about Fillmore.)

Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore

Fillmore, 13th POTUS

- Millard Fillmore (1850 – 1853)

(1800 - 1874)

Fillmore delayed the debate over slavery by agreeing to a compromise. However, he did not compromise when it came to calling a spade, a spade. Thus the historical document Congress passed and he signed is called exactly what it was: a compromise. The Compromise of 1850 gave each newly acquired territory the “liberty” to decide, on their own, whether they would be a slave-state or a free-state. Ultimately the historical record shows that the final decision was not left to the states. It was settled by the American Civil War.

[Image Credits for American Presidents: Wikimedia Commons]

Meet the Modern Whig Party

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© 2013 Treathyl FOX


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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      4 months ago

      Thank you for the history lesson. Andrew Jackson's "Indian Removal Policy" resulted in the "Trail of Tears".

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile imageAUTHOR

      Treathyl FOX 

      6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Jodah - Awesome! Glad you got something out of it! :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I found this very interesting. Not being American it was all new information to me and I found it easy reading. Well done.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile imageAUTHOR

      Treathyl FOX 

      6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      NateB11 and RonElFran - Thank you b oth for your remarks. Apologize for not responding back sooner. Yep yep. The Whigs are back! Kind of hope that's a good thing because this constant bickering between Republicans and Democrats is really getting tiresome and harks of the "same old, same old". We need some fresh new voices and perspectives. Come on! I know this country has intelligent thinking people who have ideas and thoughts and can make decisions for the good of all the people. A lot of them write for HUBPages. :)

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      6 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      An interesting topic. I was just reading about the reemergence of the Whig Party. Robert Bucholz was recently elected in Philadelphia to the position of election judge running as a member of the Modern Whig party. The man he beat, 36 votes to 24, was a Democrat. So, the Whigs are back!

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      Very interesting to learn about the Whigs and also Andrew Jackson. Also, that's quite fascinating about the Compromise of 1850, that the issue of slavery had come up some time before the Civil War which ultimately decided the issue. Thanks for this informative piece.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile imageAUTHOR

      Treathyl FOX 

      7 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Thank you HSchneider. I am very grateful for your insightful remarks.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Excellent Hub, cmoneyspinner. The Whigs are actually much more like the Democratic party of today. Jacksonian Democrats were very inward looking and mistrusted most institutions. They hearkened back to the individualistic days as the Tea Party does not. Jackson was also an incredible murderer of the American Indians and defied the Supreme Court to do so. The Whigs were a response to that and they led into the Republican party. Of course, Republicans now are more like the old Democrats. Thumbs up for this Hub.


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