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The origins of the second American party system, the Ohio evidence

Ratcliffe, Donald John (1985) The origins of the second American party system, the Ohio evidence. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The cleavage in voter loyalties that was to sustain the Second Party System in Ohio was created in the thirty years before 1830. Its origins are to be found in the national disputes of the 17908, which by 1802 had become involved with the issue of Ohio statehood. These early divisions were more deep-rooted than commonly assumed, dictating political behaviour for over a decade and providing political experiences that became controlling influences on later developments. However, the more immediate origin of the divisions established by the 1830s was the many-sided crisis of 1819-22, which made men look to politics for the solution of their problems, break with older loyalties and create new ones. In Ohio the demands for a non-slave-holding President and positive federal economic legislation melded into what became the National Republican and Whig parties, though a minority of Ohioans - for reasons peculiar to particular localities and particular ethnocultural groups - insisted on supporting Andrew Jackson in 1824 and subsequent years. The contest between these two groupings drew unprecedented numbers of new voters to the polls in 1828, most of whom committed themselves to Jackson, thus establishing the balanced distribution of party strength that was to persist for decades. Jackson's advantage in 1828 came from neither superior party organization nor the "rise of democracy," but from the opportunity to harness social resentments of long standing which had previously disrupted rather than reinforced party ties. Jackson's partisans could also call upon old-party loyalties that dated back to the War of 1812, and so created a party that bore some resemblance to the Jeffersonian Democrats, even if the crisis of the early 1820s had forged a nationalist opposition party far more powerful electorally in Ohio than the Federalists had ever been.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1985
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 14:10

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