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Whig Party


Definition: The Whig Party was an American political party originally formed as a reaction to the policies of Andrew Jackson in the 1830s. Some of the most prominent Whigs were Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster. The famed editor Horace Greeley edited a Whig magazine.

The Whigs won the presidency in 1840 and 1848, with the elections of William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor, both of whom were notable for dying not long after taking office. Whigs also served in the Congress, and the Whig Party held majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives for periods in the 1840s.

The party eventually fractured and essentially ceased to exist after a lack of success in the 1852 presidential election. However, Whigs and their ideas influenced the new Republican Party. Abraham Lincoln, for instance, had once been a Whig.

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