The Whig Party in Pennsylvania - Vol. 1

By Henry R. Mueller | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE study was undertaken as the result of a suggestion from Professor William A. Dunning of Columbia University. The original intention of the author was to confine the investigation to the last decade of the existence of the Whig party in Pennsylvania. As the work proceeded, it became necessary to examine portions of the early period of the party. It was soon evident that for the sake of unity and continuity the history of the Whig party in Pennsylvania should be presented from the time of its formation until its disappearance. The late Charles McCarthy in his excellent The Anti-Masonic Party and Miss Marguerite G. Bartlett in The Chief Phases of Pennsylvania Politics in the Jacksonian Period have covered the period in which the Whig party was formed but not with the Whig party as the main interest. Consequently, despite the previous work in the field, the author felt justified in including this material.

Pennsylvania during the period of the Whig party was undergoing an extensive expansion in manufacturing and mining, which tended to draw her to the policy desired by the New England states. On the other hand, conditions similar to those existing on the frontier persisted in the mountain districts of the state until the close of the period. The relation of certain sections of the state to the South through the mercantile interest was close, causing the adoption of a kindly attitude toward the slave holder. As a result of these conditions, the state, in a measure at least, reflected the sentiments of the different sections of the

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