Democrats And Whigs Compare And Contrast Essay

Whigs And Jacksonian Democrats

Explanation on The Opposing Parties
      These two parties opposed each other throughout their periods of power in the United States government. This rivalry between parties was important because it started the Second Party System that we have in America today. The Democrats were in favor of states' rights and did not like the Federal Government involvement in social and economic affairs while The Whigs favored a strong federal government through the power of the congress. Jackson and his Democrats worked hard to get rid of the Protective tariff and the National Bank of the United States while the Whigs supported both. A large difference in the policies was determined by those whom the Political Parties favored. The Jacksonian's represented the common man, a lower class person who made his living off the land. The Jacksonian Democrats also promoted the idea that anyone could hold a government position which glorified the individual and its mind. The Whigs were made up of industrialists and nationalists and shaped their policies to benefit those people. These included a tariff which assists manufacturing and big business while it hurts the smaller individuals like farmers who would be forced to pay more for their needs. Though they did favor the big businessmen, they attempted to help the economy and social productivity of the United States through their introduction of internal transportation, public schools, and other improvements like roadways and canal structures which would assist both the wealthy and the poor. The last opposing factor between these two Parties involve the idea of expansion. The Democrats wished to expand fast as it would provide more farming land and potentially more profit, while the Whigs thought expanding was unnecessary. The conflict in these parties occurred due to the differences in who the party supported.
  What were the domestic goals of the Whigs?
The Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism. Democratic Republicans created the American System which created tariffs to protect industry, a national bank to foster commerce, and federal subsidies for internal improvements such as railroads and canals.

The party was named in remembrance of a group in opposition to tyranny. It was destroyed over slavery issues as party members were both for and against slavery.

Contributing Whig Figures
Henry Clay
John Tyler
Millard Fillmore
James Taylor

What were the domestic goals of the Jacksonian Democrats?                 
              The Jacksonian Democrats were worried that the economic modern market manipulation would lead to a rise in aristocrats. They believed in the common man which consisted of average wealth and occupation which was usually farming. They believed that the government should help these common folk to keep them driving the American economy and culture.

Jacksonian Democrats expanded suffrage for white males in order to gain votes. Another way to gain power in Congress was the use of Patronage which was a policy of placing political supporters in office.  
Contributing Jacksonian Democrat Figures
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
John Tyler 
Answer to #3

Answer (a) is correct. Even though the Whigs wished for expansion they wanted it to happen gradually and not immediately and rapidly like the Jacksonian Democrats did.


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Jacksonian Democracy, Democrats and Whigs

Tariff of Abominations, protective tariff, market revolution, Jacksonians, Whig Party

Beginning with Jackson’s administration, the Democrats were opposed by the Whig Party. The Whigs were led by Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and others who called for an active national government and who had a nationalist answer to the growing problem of slavery.

The Whigs proposed what they called the American System. They wanted a high tariff that would protect Northeastern factories from European competition while it generated revenue for the national government. They proposed high prices for government land in the West—a policy that would slow westward movement and that also would increase federal revenue. They insisted that the Bank of the United States be maintained to stabilize currency and to discipline smaller banks. And they wanted to use the money that tariffs and the sale of lands would give the government to build and maintain roads and other internal improvements.

The result, they promised, would be a society with a national market under a government that fostered prosperity and order. At the same time, the national character of the Whig economy would discourage arguments among the three sections of the nation—the Northeast, the South, and the West. The Northeast would manufacture goods for the South and West. The South would supply cotton to Northeastern factories, and the West would provide food for both the South and the Northeast. The prosperity of each section would depend on friendly relations with the other two, and none of them would want to bring up the divisive question of slavery.

Andrew Jackson and his Democratic successors proposed to limit the role of government in the market revolution and in resolving the tensions among the sections. They wanted to abolish the Bank of the United States, set tariffs at low levels, sell government land at low rates, and leave the question of internal improvements to the states.

Democrats hoped to create a national government that never meddled in local affairs (one of the most important of those affairs being slavery), that played no favorites, and that kept taxes low. On the question of slavery and states’ rights, Jacksonians favored minimal central government within a permanent union. When South Carolina threatened the Union by attempting to nullify the protective tariff of 1828 (Southerners termed it the Tariff of Abominations because it penalized Southern states that exported cotton and imported Old World manufactured goods), Jackson threatened South Carolina with a federal invasion. At the same time, he let Southerners know that slavery was safe as long as a Democratic Party committed to states’ rights was in power. Even more than the Whigs, the Democrats were committed to avoiding any congressional debate that could possibly affect slavery.

In the 1830s and 1840s Democrats and Whigs built the most completely national two–party system that Americans have ever had—both parties relied on support from all sections of the country, and both were evenly matched in most states. Within that system, politicians knew that arguments between the North and South must be avoided. Such arguments would, first of all, split the Whig and Democratic parties in which politicians were making their careers. Second, and more dangerous, the breakdown of the national two–party system could realign the parties along North–South lines and focus national politics on the differences between the North and South. Political leaders feared that such a breakdown could lead ultimately to disunion and perhaps civil war. Most historians agree that the national party system’s eventual breakdown was a crucial cause of the American Civil War (1861-1865).

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