Extinct Political Parties of the 1800s

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xtinct Political Parties of the 1800s
The History of Political Parties Includes the Successful and the Doomed By Robert McNamara, About.com Guide
See More About:political partieswhig partyknow-nothing partyfederalist party

James G. Birney, Liberty Party Candidate in 1840 and 1844

Library of Congress
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The Democratic and Republican Parties can trace their roots back to the 1800s, but some of the most interesting stories in American political history spring from parties which enjoyed flashes of glory before fading away for good.

The extinct political parties of the 1800s include organizations which were successful enough to put candidates in the White House. And there were also others that were just doomed to inevitable obscurity.

Here is a listing of some significant political parties who are no longer with us, in roughly chronological order:

Federalist Party

The Federalist Party is considered the first American political party. It advocated a strong national government, and prominent Federalists included John Adams and Alexander Hamilton.

The Federalists did not build a sustaining party apparatus, and the party's defeat in the election of 1800 led to its decline. It essentially ceased to be a national party after 1816.

(Jeffersonian) Republican Party

The Jeffersonian Republican Party, which, of course, supported Thomas Jefferson for president in 1800, was formed in opposition to the Federalists. The Jeffersonians tended to be more egalitarian than the Federalists.

Following Jefferson's two terms in office, James Madison won the presidency on the Republican ticket in 1808 and 1812, followed by James Monroe in 1816 and 1820.

The Jeffersonian Republican Party then faded away. The party was not a forerunner of the present day Republican Party. At times it was even called a name which seems contradictory today, the Democratic-Republican Party.

National Republican Party

The National Republican Party supported John Quincy Adams in his bid unsuccessful bid for reelection in 1828 (there had been no party designations in the election of 1824). The party also supported Henry Clay in 1832.

The general theme of the National Republican Party was opposition to Andrew Jackson and his policies. The National Republicans generally joined the Whig Party in 1834.

The National Republican Party was not a forerunner of the Republican Party, which formed in the mid-1850s.

Anti-Masonic Party

The Anti-Masonic Party formed in upstate New York in the late 1820s, following the mysterious death of a member of the masonic order, William Morgan. It was believed that Morgan was killed before he could reveal secrets about the masons and their suspected influence in American politics.

The party, while seemingly based on conspiracy theory, gained adherents. And the Anti-Masonic Party actually held the first national political convention in America. Its convention in 1831 nominated William Wirt as its presidential candidate in 1832. Wirt was an odd choice, having once been a mason. And while his candidacy was not successful, he did carry one state, Vermont, in the electoral college.

Part of the appeal of the Anti-Masonic Party was its fiery opposition to Andrew Jackson, who happened to be a mason.

The...
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