MANIFEST DESTINY AND ITS LEGACY
1. Explain the phrase “Tyler became a president without a party, and the Whigs lost the presidency without losing an election.”
Tyler’s enemies accused him of being a Democrat in Whig clothing, but this charge was only partially true. The Whig party, like the Democratic party, was something of a catchall, and the accidental president belonged to the minority wing, which embraced a number of Jeffersonian states’ righters. Tyler had in fact been put on the ticket partly to attract the vote of this fringe group, many of whom were influential southern gentry.
2. What were the main planks of the Whig platform?
Although the dominant Clay-Webster group had published no platform, every alert politician knew what the unpublished platform contained. And on virtually every major issue, the obstinate Virginian was at odds with the majority of his adoptive Whig party, which was pro-bank, pro–protective tariff, and pro–internal improvements. “Tyler too” rhymed with “Tippecanoe,” but there the harmony ended. As events turned out, President Harrison, the Whig, served for only 4 weeks, whereas Tyler, the ex-Democrat who was still largely a Democrat at heart, served for 204 weeks.
3. What did Tyler do with the bill to establish a BUS?
When the bank bill reached the presidential desk, Tyler flatly vetoed it on both practical and constitutional grounds. A drunken mob gathered late at night near the White House and shouted insultingly, “Huzza for Clay!” “A Bank! A Bank!” “Down with the Veto!”
What was the response of his cabinet?
His entire cabinet resigned in a body, except Secretary of State Webster, who was then in the midst of delicate negotiations with England. 4. Why did Tyler veto the proposed Whig tariff?
Tyler appreciated the neces- sity of bringing additional revenue to the Treasury. But old Democrat that he was, he looked with a frosty eye on the major tariff scheme of the Whigs