Horace Greeley, Nineteenth-Century Crusader

By Glyndon G. Van Deusen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
A Budding Politician

THE SPIRIT OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL UNREST hovered over America during the 1830's. Antimasonry, the "blessed spirit" that preached hatred of secret societies and aristocratic power, spread out of New York State into Pennsylvania and New England. National Republicanism disintegrated and in its place a new conservative party, calling itself Whig, arose to challenge the triumphant Democracy of Jackson and Van Buren. Trade-unionism boomed, only to collapse as swiftly under the stress of hard times. There was a flurry of workingmen's parties at the beginning of the decade, and Loco Focoism spread a pattern across the East as artisans, harassed by the high cost of living, cursed banks and paper currencies and unfriendly courts of law. The mellow voice of Fanny Wright proclaimed class war and an impending revolution.

The restless and dissatisfied generally allied themselves under the banner of Jacksonian Democracy, for the doughty old hero in the White House (champion of the spoils system and foe of Nicholas Biddle's "Monster," the Bank of the United States) had come to be regarded as the standard-bearer in the war against privilege. On the other hand, the bulk of the Old Federalists and of the rapidly rising business class, aristocrats and men of property and substance, the careful and the fearful, rallied under the Whig standard, which was held aloft by black-browed Daniel Webster and a charming and arrogant Kentuckian whom Charles Dickens found "enchanting; an irresistible man," 1 and whose name was Henry Clay. Once more, as in the days of Hamilton and Jefferson, conservatives and liberals were arrayed in opposite camps.

Much sound and fury emanated from these opposing camps. The champions of the respective sides dealt one another many a hearty blow. But it would be a grave error to conceive of this warfare as a clear-cut class struggle between capital and labor, the rich and the

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Horace Greeley, Nineteenth-Century Crusader
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Horace Greeley - Nineteenth-Century Crusader *
  • Dorace Greeley - Nineteenth-Century Crusader *
  • Acknowledgment *
  • Contents *
  • Illustrations *
  • Dorace Greeley - Nineteenth-Century Crusader *
  • Prologue *
  • Chapter 1 - Youth of a Yankee *
  • Chapter 2 - The Slopes of Parnassus *
  • Chapter 3 - A Budding Politician *
  • Chapter 4 - A Bride and an Alliance *
  • Chapter 5 - Microcosms *
  • Chapter 6 - This Brave New World *
  • Chapter 7 - Not So Brave and Not So New *
  • Chapter 8 - Soundings *
  • Chapter 9 - The Crystallization of a "Liberal" Program *
  • Chapter 10 - A Strong-Minded Adjutant *
  • Chapter 11 - Crisis and Schism *
  • Chapter 12 - The Greeleys at Home *
  • Chapter 13 - Interlude *
  • Chapter 14 - A Disruption of Partnerships *
  • Chapter 15 - A Republican Operator *
  • Chapter 16 - Greeley's Battle *
  • Chapter 17 - A Demonstration of Independence *
  • Chapter 18 - A Nationalist at Bay *
  • Chapter 19 - Windswept *
  • Chapter 20 - Storm-Tossed *
  • Chapter 21 - "For You O Democracy" *
  • Chapter 22 - Pursuit of the Dream *
  • Chapter 23 - Valiant Battle *
  • Chapter 24 - And Still the Quest *
  • Chapter 25 - The End of the Rainbow *
  • Epilogue *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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