The American Whigs: An Anthology

By Daniel Walker Howe | Go to book overview

2
THE LIMITS OF POLITICAL AUTHORITY

William Henry Harrison


INAUGURAL ADDRESS

William Henry Harrison ( 1773-1841) was a western territorial administrator and army officer. He became a hero by defeating the great Indian chief Tecumseh at the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. The Whig party took advantage of his fame to nominate him for the presidency in 1840. The ensuing campaign marked the emergence of modern mass politics in America. The techniques of publicity developed then -- campaign slogans ("Tippecanoe and Tyler too"), banners, processions, and the like -- have been prominent features of American political life ever since. Harrison won the election and promptly summoned a special session of Congress to enact the Whig economic program, including the recharter of the national Bank.

Though the Whigs believed in a strong central government, they were anxious to limit the power of the presidential office, which they felt Jackson had abused. They also firmly believed that the sovereignty of the people needed to be limited by respect for law. Harrison's inaugural address, longer and more philosophical than most of its kind, stresses both these themes. It may be regarded as a counterpoint to the preceding oration by Webster. Webster himself edited Harrison's draft of the speech, so it bears his imprimatur. Just one month after delivering this address, President Harrison died of pneumonia. The Whig triumph was suddenly turned to ashes.

Called from a retirement which I had supposed was to continue for the residue of my life to fill the chief executive office of this great and free nation, I appear before you, fellow-citizens, to take the oaths which the Constitution prescribes as a necessary qualification for the performance of its duties; and in obedience to a custom coeval with our government and what I believe to be your expectations I proceed to present to you a summary of the principles which will govern me in

____________________

SOURCE. William Henry Harrison, "Inaugural Address" ( March 4, 1841), Messages and Papers of the Presidents, ed. James D. Richardson ( Washington, D.C., 1900), IV, 5-21.

-67-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The American Whigs: An Anthology
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 250

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.