Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 July 2021
Chapter 8 treats the decades between 1790 and 1830, focusing on the formation of the first two party systems and the parties’ different views of the American people and the Union. Excerpts from Alexander Hamilton and Fisher Ames illustrate the Federalists’ support of strong central government and of a strong executive, while selections from Thomas Jefferson and John Taylor represent the Republicans’ advocacy for state and individual rights. In turn, letters and speeches from Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson, and Enos Throop offer insights into the formation of the Democratic Party and their populist, horizontal understanding of the people, while excerpts from the Daniel Webster’s Speeches on Foot’s Resolution represent the Whig’s classical republican view of government. Extending the traditional narrative of the two-party system(s), the chapter also includes excerpts from the party platforms of the Anti-Masonic Party and the Native American Party, also known as the Know Nothings.