Party Government in the United States of America

By William Milligan Sloane | Go to book overview

XIII
NEW POLICIES 1809-1813

Factors in the management of a majority--Growing exasperation with Great Britain--Democratic-Republican inconsistency in maintaining non-intercourse and closing National Bank--New leaders of Democratic-Republican party. Reversal of policy-- The Declaration of War, 1812, for commercial liberty--Effect on politics of its checkered course--Elections. Madison and Gerry inaugurated--Party changes and sectional differences-- Democracy a rising force--Open avowal of party organization.

THE United States were now familiar with the working of a national government by majority rule. The majority was secured in elections by appeals to principle, by campaign cries, by the personal magnetism of writers and orators, by catering to local and sectional interests. The majority once secured, its elected representatives had now an informal organization, the wheels of which were oiled by the use of the administration's patronage, by the self-assertion of party leaders in the use of personal influence, by their adroitness in compromise and in soothing ruffled pride, by the interplay of State interests and national parties, by the use of family influence--rapidly waning--and of political clubs growing in number and importance. These and many minor influences were factors in evolving parties and cementing their elements and in the management of them when created. There was and is one central sun about which they all revolve, the

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