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The Rise and Fall of the American Whig PartyJacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War$
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Michael F. Holt

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161045

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161045.001.0001

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“Many Discordant Political Interests to Reconcile”

“Many Discordant Political Interests to Reconcile”

(p.383) Chapter 12 “Many Discordant Political Interests to Reconcile”
The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

Michael F. Holt

Oxford University Press

Optimism abounded among Whigs in the weeks following Rough and Ready's victory. They appeared to be ascending because of their triumps in the presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections of 1848, while Democrats plummeted in the opposite direction. Within a year of Zachary Taylor's victory, hopes raised by the Whigs' performance in 1848 would be dashed. Within four years, they would be routed by their supposedly discredited foe in the next presidential election. Within eight, the Whig party would totally disappear as a functioning political organization. Four years after that, the perpetuity of the Union itself would be in grave jeopardy, in no small part because of the Whigs' disintegration as “a great national party”. The combination of external challenge and internal division that would wrack the Whig party appeared even before Taylor's inauguration in 1849.

Keywords:   Whig party, Democrats, Zachary Taylor, elections, politics, United States

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