004 – It’s My Party and I’ll Sing If I Want To: Party Politics in 1840



Silk ribbon for Harrison Rally, courtesy of Wikipedia Silk ribbon from the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, MD, courtesy of Wikipedia

This week’s episode provides a general overview of party politics leading up to 1840. While different in many respects from our modern politics, there are some commonalities that listeners in 2016 will pick up on. The primary focus of the episode is on the organization of the Democratic and Whig parties, but I do discuss the third-party option that was available on some ballots in 1840 – the Liberty Party – and its significance in the history of the United States despite the fact that its candidate, James G Birney, only earned just over 7,000 votes in an election where 2.4+ million Americans cast their ballots.

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  • Butler, Lindley S, ed. The Papers of David Settle Reid, Volume I: 1829-1852. Raleigh, NC: Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, 1993.
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  • Curtis, James C. The Fox at Bay: Martin Van Buren and the Presidency, 1837-1841. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1970.
  • Green, James A. William Henry Harrison: His Life and Times. Richmond, VA: Garrett and Massie Inc, 1941.
  • Gunderson, Robert Gray. The Log-Cabin Campaign. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977 [1957].
  • Henig, Gerald S. “The Jacksonian Attitude Toward Abolitionism in the 1830s.” Tennessee Historical Quarterly. 28:1 (Spring 1969), 42-56.
  • Martin Van Buren Papers, Reel 23, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
  • Mayo, Bernard, ed. Jefferson Himself: The Personal Narrative of a Many-Sided American. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1976.
  • McCormick, Richard P. “Was There a ‘Whig Strategy’ in 1836?” Journal of the Early Republic. 4:1 (Spring 1984), 47-70.
  • Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822-1832. New York: Harper & Row, 1981.
  • Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845. New York: Harper & Row, 1984.
  • Remini, Robert V. Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union. New York: W W Norton & Co, 1991.
  • “Republican Committee of Seventy-Six.” https://www.loc.gov/resource/rbpe.19700300/
  • Stahr, Walter. Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensible Man. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012.
  • Wiltze, Charles M, and Harold D Moser, eds. The Papers of Daniel Webster: Correspondence, Volume 4: 1835-1839. Hanover, NH and London: University Press of New England, 1980.

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