Dividing a Nation in 1820-1840

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Dividing a Nation The period of 1820-1840 was a very exciting time of growth in America. America was becoming more independent in its thinking and also in the way that its politics worked. There were many things that contributed to the reemergence of a two party system in the period of 1820-1840. The major political personalities were a major contributor. By using their influence on the people and their influence in the government, many men were able to help bring about the two different parties and to influence the views of each party. States rights was another major issue that helped to establish a two party system. Conflicts and disputes over the rights of the states ultimately brought about the rise of political parties by creating a division in the views of states and their people.

There were many political personalities that contributed to political parties in different ways. The election of 1828 was run on the personalities of Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams instead of on the issues important of the day. Because it was run on personalities and not issues, Jackson was able to prevail. This election is where the supporters of Jackson began to call themselves the Democratic Party and the former Democratic-Republicans were replaced by the National Republicans who were in support of Adams. There were more changes that came about in the election of 1832. Andrew Jackson had made many enemies during his first term as president. The National Republicans joined with Jackson’s opponents to form the Whig party. The one thing the unified the Whig party was their dislike for Jackson and they nominated Henry Clay to run against him in the election of 1832.

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States rights was a major issue that contributed to the reemergence of political parties. Jackson proposed that once the federal debt had been paid off, the government would be able to distribute the surplus money among the states. This angered the westerners because if the government gave the surplus of money to the states then it would not be able to lower the price of public lands. The West proposed an alliance with the South based on this idea. Daniel Webster was able to prevent this from happening with a brilliant speech equating the position of states right to treason. This incident aided in the division of political ideas, which led to a separation of political parties.

Both Jackson and Calhoun were not very different in the ideas about America except in the idea of a states right to overrule federal authority. The two men became somewhat enemies and there were many times that they each used attacks on the personal character of the other to try and gain what they wanted. In the end the different views of the two men influenced the views and stances of the political parties and created issues, which further divided the nation.

There were many things that contributed to the reemergence of a two party system in the period of 1820-1840. Both the major political personalities and the issue of states rights helped to bring about this system. The political personalities were important in laying the foundational beliefs of the separate parties, which still remain foundational in the beliefs of today’s political parties. The issue of states rights created further division in the parties. The period of 1820-1840 was a time for America to for America to be separated and it was a time for each American to choose a side.

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Dividing a Nation in 1820-1840. (2017, Apr 02). Retrieved from


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