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, 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
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".
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!)
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.)
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]
Links of Interest
- The Modern Whig Institute - Committed to Authentic Service
Welcome to The Modern Whig Institute. We are the policy arm of a political movement dedicated to reason, civility, and service to our country. A grassroots force founded by veterans, we are committed to fighting for a political system based on princi
- Why are Democrats ‘Left’ and Republicans ‘Right’? The Surprising History of Political Affiliations
The terms right and left refer to political affiliations that originated late in the eighteenth century (1789–1799) in relation to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France. During the French Revolution of 1789, the members
- U.S. History Timeline: From Washington to Tyler
Ever have a significant event occur in your life and wonder what might be happening in someone else's life at the same time?
- The French Revolution: From Bastille to Bonaparte
The French Revolution lasted a decade: 1789 - 1799. France was on its way to embracing democracy just like the Americans.
- Reading a Self-Help Book For a Perspective of American History | Writedge
Ever hear of Tony Robbins? He’s an excellent motivational speaker and author of several bestselling books on how to forge your path to success. My son appears to be a huge fan. He’s always quoting…
Meet the Modern Whig Party
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America's Two-Party System: Yes or No
© 2013 Treathyl FOX
Robert Sacchi on June 01, 2020:
Thank you for the history lesson. Andrew Jackson's "Indian Removal Policy" resulted in the "Trail of Tears".
Treathyl FOX (author) from Austin, Texas on May 26, 2014:
Jodah - Awesome! Glad you got something out of it! :)
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on May 25, 2014:
I found this very interesting. Not being American it was all new information to me and I found it easy reading. Well done.
Treathyl FOX (author) from Austin, Texas on December 12, 2013:
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. :)
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on November 24, 2013:
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!
Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on November 22, 2013:
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.
Treathyl FOX (author) from Austin, Texas on July 19, 2013:
Thank you HSchneider. I am very grateful for your insightful remarks.
Howard Schneider from Parsippany, New Jersey on July 19, 2013:
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.