The rise of the Democrats and Whigs

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Democrats and Whigs

In the 1830s the rise of a new political party in America emerged. During the presidency of Monroe there was little turbulence created by opposition parties. Although there were no major opposing political parties during Monroe's term, the formation of parties began to occur during the Jacksonian democracy. Jackson's opponents, who came to make up the Whig party, were strongly disturbed by his stubborn and harsh exercise of presidential power. The Whigs condemned him as "King Andrew I". While the Whig party was developing, the Democrats, a strong group founded earlier by Jefferson, were eager to challenge the Whigs. The Whigs and the Democrats strongly opposed each other's beliefs, public policies, and supporters. Of the many issues the Whigs and the Democrats disagreed on, slavery, banking, and tariffs were the most prominent arguments.

Southerners and south descendents in northern states generally supported the Democrats. Farmers and Catholic immigrants from Ireland and Germany also supported them. Generally the Democrats opposed a strong government, tariffs, were pro-slavery, and wanted strong national banks. New England citizens and their descendants, those benefiting from the market economy and other northern Protestants, generally supported the Whigs. They supported a strong federal government that promotes economic and social goals, tariffs, transportation and weak banks.

The Democrats, most strongly supported by Southerners, did not oppose the issue of slavery. They felt that slavery should be left to do what it would naturally evolve. The Democrats let southerners know that slavery was safe as long as a Democratic Party committed to state's rights was in power. Along with the limitation of federal governmental power, they believed in states rights. Through state's rights, the Democrats believed that slavery was an issue the individual state should monitor, not the national government. The Whigs...