The American Whigs: An Anthology

By Daniel Walker Howe | Go to book overview
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Though most books written about the Jacksonian era focus on the Democrats, in doing so they often include valuable information and ideas regarding the Whigs. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., The Age of Jackson ( Boston: Little, Brown, 1945); Marvin Meyers, The Jacksonian Persuasion ( Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1957); and Lee Benson, The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy: New York as a Test Case ( Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1961) are three fascinating interpretive works that tell a great deal about Whiggery in the course of trying to define Jacksonianism. They are probably the first places readers of this anthology should turn for further stimulation. The different perspectives and conclusions of the authors are readily apparent.

For a general orientation to the events of the period, a good account is Glyndon G. Van Deusen, The Jacksonian Era ( Boston: Harper Brothers, 1959). Two wider ranging surveys of the American past that contain provocative remarks on the Whigs are Vernon L. Parrington, Main Currents in American Thought, Vol. II ( New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1927), and William Appleman Williams, The Contours of American History ( Cleveland: World, 1961).

The development of the Whig party can be studied through E. Malcolm Carroll , Origins of the Whig Party ( Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1925); George Rawlings Poage, Henry Clay and the Whig Party ( Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1936); and the careful state-by-state analysis of Richard P. McCormick , The Second American Party System ( Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1966). Charles Grier Sellers Jr., "Who Were the Southern Whigs?" American Historical Review, LIX ( 1954), 335-346, is a valuable supplement to Arthur C. Cole, The Whig Party in the South ( Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association, 1913). Joel Silbey, The Shrine of Party: Congressional Voting Behavior, 1841-1852 ( Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1967); and Robert F. Dalzell Jr., Daniel Webster and the Trial


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