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ARE YOU A WHIG?...
***See the bottom for the new, improved, comprehensive Whigquiz***
Or, take the self-scored Whig Quiz here.
30 Years with the Whigs and their foes, in Pictures and Hypertext.
Why do whigs love or hate some people? Well, find out here! New from the New Whig Party.
Whig Central Update:
A Collection of brief biographies of your favorite Whiggish people is now available! Click here.
I have just discovered a really good book about the Whigs. It's called The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War by Michael Holt, published by Oxford University Press. It's a damn sight better than that other Whig book. It chronicles the party's history from its National Republican beginnings through Henry Clay's amazing tenure as Speaker, to the pivotal elections of 1840, 1844, 1848, and 1852. It's a tragic story, but an important one. The book is easy to read (though weighing in at over a thousand pages, it's kinda long). I highly recommend this book to any people doing research on the Whigs or are just plain interested in joining the NWP. Buy it from Amazon.com here, or if you prefer, from Barnes and Noble.com here.
ZACH TAYLOR WAS ASSASSINATED! or so some say... According to a 1992 exhumation of the former president and god, there were trace elements of arsenic found in his hair and fingernails. The findings were not conclusive, but it appears that The Hero of Buena Vista was assassinated by somebody... perhaps Democrats? Who knows. What seems certain is that Zachary Taylor was very likely the first president to be assassinated.
General Winfield Scott, Hero of the War of 1812, was slaughtered by the Young Hickory, Frank Pierce, a Democrat, in 1852. A sad day in American history.
The Year is 1852
Whigs everywhere could be heard jeering at the dark-horse democratic candidate,
"Who is Frank Pierce?"
To them, the party constituents replied,
"Young Hickory of the Granite Hills!"
Suddenly the President died, and "Tyler Too," was in office. A traitor to his cause and his country, this phony-Whig, parrot-man, constanly invoked the constitution. The worst president in history, hands down.
He stopped the Civil War, 14 years earlier... Millard Fillmore's conciliatory politics helped postpone the Civil War.
Clay as Speaker of the House. The young, embodiment of Whiggism takes time out of his busy schedule as Speaker of the House to pose for a portrait. It is a shame that he and the National Republican Party (RIP 1833) were seen as snobbish aristocrats. The Anti-Masonic Party was one of the main reasons that Clay lost 5 presidential elections.
Tippecanoe... and with him died the Whig program... William Henry Harrison, aka Tippecanoe, died, and with him the Whig ticket which succumbed to the strict constitutional policies of "Tyler Too." His claim to fame (aside from "Tyler Too") was that he was the first Whig president ever. He blazed the trail for Taylor and Fillmore. In fact, he even paved the way for Abraham Lincoln, who was elected the representative from Illinois as a Whig!
The Hero of Buena Vista. Indeed Ol' Rough n' Ready, Zachary Taylor was the best president ever to hold office.
Northerners and Southerners disputed sharply whether the territories wrested from Mexico should be opened to slavery, and some Southerners even threatened secession. Standing firm, Zachary Taylor was prepared to hold the Union together by armed force rather than by compromise.
Born in Virginia in 1784, he was taken as an infant to Kentucky and raised on a plantation. He was a career officer in the Army, but his talk was most often of cotton raising. His home was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and he owned a plantation in Mississippi.
But Taylor did not defend slavery or southern sectionalism; 40 years in the Army made him a strong nationalist.
He spent a quarter of a century policing the frontiers against Indians. In the Mexican War he won major victories at Monterrey and Buena Vista.
President Polk, disturbed by General Taylor's informal habits of command and perhaps his Whiggery as well, kept him in northern Mexico and sent an expedition under Gen. Winfield Scott to capture Mexico City. Taylor, incensed, thought that "the battle of Buena Vista opened the road to the city of Mexico and the halls of Montezuma, that others might revel in them."
"Old Rough and Ready's" homespun ways were political assets. His long military record would appeal to northerners; his ownership of 100 slaves would lure southern votes. He had not committed himself on troublesome issues. The Whigs nominated him to run against the Democratic candidate, Lewis Cass, who favored letting the residents of territories decide for themselves whether they wanted slavery.
In protest against Taylor the slaveholder and Cass the advocate of "squatter sovereignty," northerners who opposed extension of slavery into territories formed a Free Soil Party and nominated Martin Van Buren. In a close election, the Free Soilers pulled enough votes away from Cass to elect Taylor.
Although Taylor had subscribed to Whig principles of legislative leadership, he was not inclined to be a puppet of Whig leaders in Congress. He acted at times as though he were above parties and politics. As disheveled as always, Taylor tried to run his administration in the same rule-of-thumb fashion with which he had fought Indians.
Traditionally, people could decide whether they wanted slavery when they drew up new state constitutions. Therefore, to end the dispute over slavery in new areas, Taylor urged settlers in New Mexico and California to draft constitutions and apply for statehood, bypassing the territorial stage.
Southerners were furious, since neither state constitution was likely to permit slavery; Members of Congress were dismayed, since they felt the President was usurping their policy-making prerogatives. In addition, Taylor's solution ignored several acute side issues: the northern dislike of the slave market operating in the District of Columbia; and the southern demands for a more stringent fugitive slave law.
In February 1850 President Taylor had held a stormy conference with southern leaders who threatened secession. He told them that if necessary to enforce the laws, he personally would lead the Army. Persons "taken in rebellion against the Union, he would hang ... with less reluctance than he had hanged deserters and spies in Mexico." He never wavered.
Then events took an
unexpected turn. After participating in ceremonies at the Washington Monument
on a blistering July 4, Taylor fell ill; within five days he was dead.
After his death, the forces of compromise triumphed, but the war Taylor
had been willing to face came 11 years later. In it, his only son Richard
served as a general in the Confederate Army.
The Whig Quiz: Answer true or false to each of the following questions. If you answer true, give yourself one point.
You can take the self-scoring WhigQuiz right here.
10-13 pts: You're a Whig, and you know it.
7-10 pts: Deep down you're a Whig, don't hesitate to enter the world of Whigdom.
4-6 pts: You suck.
1-3 pts: You're evil.
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