Political Parties

~[1828 - 1836]~

National Republicans --- Democrats --- Anti-Masons --- Whigs

Great graphic on the development of political parties.

Picture Explanation

   This picture shows the transformation from Democratic-Republicans and Federalists to the Democrats, National Republicans, Anti-Masons, and Whigs. Notice how the lower lines share beliefs with the Federalists and the upper lines agree with the Democratic-Republicans. The text boxes pointing at certain dates elaborate on the significance of the elections.

The Four Parties

   Run by Henry Clay, the National Republican Party formed in opposition to Andrew Jackson after he won the election of 1828. Members supported John Quincy Adams and were formerly Federalist. The main reason for formation was to prevent Jackson from running the government how he wanted; the party was even called the “Anti-Jacksonians” sometimes. The Democratic Party was formed from the Democratic-Republican party and worshipped Andrew Jackson. They fought for state’s rights, considered Federalist actions unconstitutional, and had a strict following of the constitution. The party was strong in the south but weak in the north. In about 1824, the Democratic-Republican party split four ways over issues such as leaders and goals. Two of the four new parties were the anti-Masonic party and the Whig party. The Anti-Masonic party was the first "third party", which lead to the innovation of party platforms, when previously there had only been two at a time. The Anti-Masonic party was against the masons, a fraternal group which included many politicians such as James Monroe and Andrew Jackson. Their single-issue political campaign was that "true Americans" needed to get rid of the masons. Support of this party spread out of New York in 1830 but soon broke up. It merged into the Whig party in 1833. The Whig party was comprised of National Republicans, Anti-Masonists, and some unsatisfied Democrats; the Whig party became the “catch all” for everyone against the Democrats so they could all be in one party instead of being split up between multiple parties. The supporters were against Andrew Jackson and the overbearing nature of the federal government. They even went as far as naming the seventh president "King Andrew". This was a modernizing party for the time which collected many supporters before it was demolished by arguments about slavery later in 1860.

Historian's Analysis


   This source analyzes the short-term and long-term significance of Andrew Jackson's Democratic party. The website describes how the Whigs challenged the Democrats in a Second Party System which lasts to this day. Jackson described the Democratic party with three criteria: they were ordinary workers, they opposed privileges of elites, they offer affordable western land to ordinary Americans.

   If the entire webpage is too cumbersome to read, then at least read this one select paragraph in quotes below.

   "Jackson's election marked a new direction in American politics. He was the first westerner elected president, indeed, the first president from a state other than Virginia or Massachusetts. He boldly proclaimed himself to be the "CHAMPION OF THE COMMON MAN" and believed that their interests were ignored by the aggressive national economic plans of Clay and Adams. More than this, however, when Martin Van Buren followed Jackson as president, it indicated that the Jacksonian movement had long-term significance that would outlast his own charismatic leadership."

Long Term Significance

   The development of these political parties spawned many features in American politics that last to this day. Because there were so many parties, Party Platforms were established to declare the beliefs of a party. Having a platform allows the values of a party to be widely understood and standardized, which is important when trying to keep track of multiple parties.

   Presidential nominating conventions, which last to this day, developed for similar reasons to the Party platform. Due to political parties growing and becoming more competitive, nominating conventions were created to allow presidential candidates to be elected within the party before the actual presidential election. These conventions solved the problem of multiple figures in a party trying to run for president at the same time, which was the case for the Whigs in the 1836 election as seen in the picture above.



"Political Parties in the United States, 1788–1840." Political Parties in the United States, 1788–1840. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.


"Jacksonian Democracy and Modern America." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.

Put together by:

Kylar, Xander, Claire, and Andrew in Period 1 APUSH with teacher Espinosa

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