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Daniel Webster and the Whig Party
Daniel Webster was a huge figure in American politics as his position as attorney and politician with excellent oratory skills. His influence was huge in American history and too easily forgotten by many. During the Nullification Crisis, Webster pledged his support to Jackson. (1) It would be later in regard to the economic crisis that Webster, along with Clay and Calhoun, would take a stand against Jackson and find themselves as Whigs, anti-Jacksonians. (2) It could be said that it was thanks to these three men that the Whig party was able to become as prominent as it did as the “collective impact they created in Congress was far greater than any President of the era”. (3) Webster began as a simple lawyer and got involved in politics as a Federalist. His election as a representative came about due to “his opposition to the War of 1812, which had crippled New England’s shipping trade.” (4) He continued as a lawyer after his stint in Congress. He then became a Senator after finding himself making a name due to his appearances in the Supreme Court and his oratory skills. (5) This path led him to the perfect position to be in the national spotlight and have such influence. His move to the Whig party would not be seen as a light move. His involvement was so big that he ran for the office of the president as a Whig in 1836. (6) He was a major player whose moves were watched carefully and whose actions impacted many decisions made in Washington and around the nation. He helped shape the two-party system simply by standing against Andrew Jackson.
(1) Charles Sellers, The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 328.
(2) Ibid, 337.
(3) “Three Senatorial Giants: Clay, Calhoun and Webster,” U.S. History: Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium, accessed December 15, 2012, http://www.ushistory.org/us/30c.asp.
(4) Sydney Nathans, “Daniel Webster,” Marshfield, 1995, accessed December 16, 2012, http://www.marshfield.net/History/webster.htm.
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