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Westward Expansion . Prelude to Manifest Destiny. Birth of the Whigs and the Election of 1836. The Jacksonians/Republicans became Democrats.  Whigs , a group united only by their opposition to Jackson and, at first, led by Clay and John C. Calhoun .

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Westward expansion

Westward Expansion

Prelude to Manifest Destiny

Birth of the whigs and the election of 1836
Birth of the Whigs and the Election of 1836

  • The Jacksonians/Republicans became Democrats. 

  • Whigs, a group united only by their opposition to Jackson and, at first, led by Clay and John C. Calhoun.

  • As the election of 1836 neared, the Whigs planned to put so many candidates (favorite sons) that no one would get a full majority; the leading “favorite son” was William H. Harrison.

  • Democrats supported Martin Van Buren (with Jackson’s help)

Who won the election
Who won the election?

  • Martin van Buren won election

  • 170 to 124

  • Very close popular vote

Problems for van buren
Problems for Van Buren

  • Lacked support of Democrats and Jackson’s popularity

  • A rebellion in Canada in 1837 threatened to plunge America into war

  • Van Buren also inherited the depression caused by Jackson’s BUS killing.

  • Panic of 1837

  • The Whigs proposed expansion of bank credit, higher tariffs, and subsidies for internal improvements, but Van Buren spurned such ideas.

  • He proposed the “Divorce Bill” that advocated the independent treasury, and in 1840, it was passed.

  • The next year, the victorious Whigs repealed it, but in 1846, it was brought back; it finally merged with the Federal Reserve System in the next century

Election of 1840 tippecanoe versus little van
Election of 1840“Tippecanoe” Versus “Little Van”

  • William Harrison was nominated because he was “issueless” and “enemy-less,” John Tyler as his running mate

  • .       With slogans of “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” the Whigs advocated this “poor man’s president” idea and replied, to such questions of the bank, internal improvements, and the tariff, with answers of “log cabin,” “hard cider,” and “Harrison is a poor man.”

  • The popular election was close, but Harrison blew Van Buren away in the Electoral College. 234 to 60

The two party system emerges
The Two-Party System Emerges

  • The Democrats:

    *Glorified the liberty of the individual

    *Clung to states’ rights and federal restraint in social and economic affairs

    Mostly more humble, poorer folk

  • The Whigs:

    • natural harmony of society and the value of community

    • Favored a renewed national bank, protective tariffs, internal improvements, public schools, and moral reforms

    • Mostly more aristocratic and wealthier

The accession of tyler too
The Accession of “Tyler Too”

  • The Whig leaders, namely Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, had planned to control newly elected President William H. Harrison, but their plans hit a snag when he contracted pneumonia and died—only four weeks after he came to the White House.

  • Tyler did not agree with the Whig party, since they were pro-bank and pro-protective tariff and pro-internal improvements, but he was not

John tyler a president without a party
John Tyler: A President Without a Party

  • Tyler vetoed bill for a new bank of the US that the Whigs supported

  • Whig extremists now started to call Tyler “his accidency.”

  • His entire cabinet resigned, except for Webster

  • Tyler vetoed a proposed Whig tariff and signed a revised version after realizing the country need it.

Ashburton webster treaty
Ashburton-Webster Treaty

  • Maine had claimed territory on its northern and eastern border that was also claimed by England

  • 1842 Britain sent Lord Ashburton to negotiate with Daniel Webster

  • gave Britain their desired Halifax-Quebec route for a road

  • America got more land north of Maine as well as a readjustment of the U.S.-Canadian border

Lone star state
Lone Star State?

  • Mexicans refused to recognize Texas’s independence threatened war against the US if they gave it statehood to Texas

  • Texas had to maintain a costly military to protect them against Mexican forces

  • 1839, 1840 Texas signed treaties with Britain, France and Belgium for protection

  • Britain wanted Texas to remain independent for military and economic pursuits

  • Debate within the US began as to admit Texas a state.


  • Oregon Country: west of the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean, and north of California to the line 54’ 40’

  • Claimed by Spain, Russia, Britain and the US

  • Spain dropped it claim in the Flordia Treaty of 1819

  • Russia retreated to the 54’ 40’ line

  • America v. Britain (again)

  • 1840 Oregon Fever 5000 American settlers lived in the Oregon Country and only 700 hundred British

  • British wanted to set the boundary at the Columbus River and the US wanted it to be set at the 49th parallel.

  • Became a major issue in the election of 1844 but overshadowed by the Texas issue

Questions to consider
Questions to Consider

  • Were the Texans justified in rebelling against Mexico?

  • What should happen to Texas now?

  • Why was there a shift in politics?

  • Compare the presidential elections of 1836 and 1840 to today?

  • Were they honest?

  • Is it fair?