The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War

The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War The political home of Henry Clay Daniel Webster Horace Greeley and the young Abraham Lincoln the American Whig Party was involved at every level of American politics local state and federal in t

  • Title: The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War
  • Author: Michael F. Holt
  • ISBN: 9780195055443
  • Page: 287
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The political home of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Horace Greeley, and the young Abraham Lincoln, the American Whig Party was involved at every level of American politics local, state, and federal in the years before the Civil War, and controlled the White House for eight of the twenty two years that it existed Now, in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party, MichaeThe political home of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Horace Greeley, and the young Abraham Lincoln, the American Whig Party was involved at every level of American politics local, state, and federal in the years before the Civil War, and controlled the White House for eight of the twenty two years that it existed Now, in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party, Michael F Holt gives us the only comprehensive history of the Whigs ever written a monumental history covering in rich detail the American political landscape from the Age of Jackson to impending disunion In Michael Holt s hands, the history of the Whig Party becomes a political history of the United States during the tumultuous Antebellum period He offers a panoramic account of a time when a welter of parties Whig, Democratic, Anti Mason, Know Nothing, Free Soil, Republican and many extraordinary political statesmen including Andrew Jackson, John C Calhoun, William Seward, Daniel Webster, Martin Van Buren, and Henry Clay struggled to control the national agenda as the U.S inched towards secession It was an era when Americans were passionately involved in politics, when local concerns drove national policy, and when momentous political events rocked the country, including the Nullification Controversy, the Annexation of Texas, the Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas Nebraska Act Holt captures all of this as he shows that, amid this contentious political activity, the Whig Party continuously strove to unite North and South, repeatedly trying to find a compromise position Indeed, the Whig Party emerges as the nation s last great hope to prevent secession and civil war The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party is a magisterial work of history, one that has already been hailed by William Gienapp of Harvard as one of the most important books on nineteenth century politics ever written.

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    One thought on “The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War”

    1. I recently finished the tome I affectionately refer to as “Dad’s Whig Book”, Michael Holt’s The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party. As an aside, it wasn’t me who dubbed that 985- page monster “Dad’s Whig Book.” That honor belongs to his kids. From sheer size alone, I can guess the work impacted their lives to no small extent, just as it’s had a harmless impact on mine for months now. I can no longer stay up and read until the wee hours of the morning, evening respites put [...]

    2. The first 200-300 pages are very good, discussing how the party evolved out of the Madison wing of the Democratic-Republicans after the factious and misnamed "Era of Good Feeling." However, their is another 1,000 pages after that. The book gets bogged down in the details of various elections (all branches of state government, congressional, presidential, even local) which can be good for references if, say, one wanted to know how President Taylor's opposition to the "Compromise" of 1850 played o [...]

    3. The book is over 1200 pages long (including extensive notes and index), so you really have to care about the Whigs to read it in its entirety. If you do, it's a wonderful experience. If you don't, you could still learn quite a bit by sticking to the more narrative or personality-driven segments, which make up something more than half the book, and skipping over the detailed analyses of election results. Just the parts about Millard Fillmore, who couldn't be called a major character, are more enl [...]

    4. Huge, epic study of the Whig Party. Like Wilentz, it is a big/long read, but essential reading for anyone who's interested in the politics of the early republic.

    5. Truth be told, this is my second time through this book, so it was more of a brush-up read than a thorough going-through had I just cracked the binding on it. But it is a great book. Holt spent much of his career as a history professor working on the history of the American Whig Party, and it shows. I don't think there is any book, or series of books, with this level of detail about the forgotten political party that dared to stand against the tide of the Jacksonian Democrats. He tells great sto [...]

    6. Wow. This book is very long, and very detailed. There's a lot here that's very interesting, but I feel, overall, that Holt missed his chance by focusing too much on highlighting data and examining state-by-state election returns, which he used to support certain conclusions that may be revisionist. It seems as though the book is written more for historians who already know a lot about antebellum politics, as a means of getting the mainstream view to change. However, he missed a good opportunity [...]

    7. This book is fascinating, but reading it is like eating sand. Holt is a statistician, and this book is choked with them. Often the narrative will stop cold to expound on page after page of percentages and voting tallies. Such evidence might be necessary to the case at hand, but it makes for stultifying reading, and more than once, I swore I would rather shave my nethers with a chainsaw than read another page.Worth a read, but best taken in small doses.

    8. 1296 pages of Jacksonian goodness! I promise you I am reading parts of this and not all of it! But, I'll be back! :)

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