Origins of the Whig Party

By E. Malcolm Carroll | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER II
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1832

THE shock of Jackson's overwhelming victory aroused sincere pessimism among National Republicans in regard to the future of American institutions. Profoundly disruptive influences were seen in the conduct of the crowd at Jackson's inaugural,1 changes amounting to a revolution in the government service were anticipated,2 and in conservative New England it was feared by some that the foundations of the country's civilization would be destroyed.3 W. H. Seward,

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1
James Parton, Life of Andrew Jackson ( N. Y., 1861), III. 170. Cf. Webster to Mrs. E. Webster, Washington, March 4, 1829. Webster, Private Correspondence, I. 473. In 1830, Mrs. Richard Rush found Washington society so disagreeable under the Democratic regime that she left the city. Rush to Barbour, Washington, April 5, 1830. Barbour MSS.
2
John Taliaferro to Barbour, Washington, February 2, 1829. Barbour MSS.
3
C. T. Congdon, Reminiscences of a Journalist ( Boston, 1888), p. 25. "I had a strong belief not only that the republic would go to ruin, but that general ignorance would prevail, that no new books would be printed, that public schools would be abolished, that universal poverty would ensue, and that the whaling business, especially, would come to an end . . . I doubt if any public man was ever more thoroughly hated than General Jackson was in Massachusetts. We even named a cutaneous complaint con- tracted in barber shops after the much admired and much abused hero. Then there was a particularly square toed boot which we called the Jackson." The significance of these gloomy reflections is lessened in that Congdon was then a child of eight years.

-29-

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