Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party active in the middle of the 19th century in the United States. Four presidents belonged to the party while in office, it emerged in the 1830s as the leading opponent of Jacksonian democracy, pulling together former members of the National Republican and the Anti-Masonic Party. It had some links to the upscale traditions of the long-defunct Federalist Party. Along with the rival Democratic Party, it was central to the Second Party System from the early 1840s to the mid-1860s, it formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party. It became a formal party within his second term, receded influence after 1854. In particular terms, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing, it appealed to entrepreneurs, planters and the emerging urban middle class, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. It included many active Protestants and voiced a moralistic opposition to the Jacksonian Indian removal.
Party founders chose the "Whig" name to echo the American Whigs of the 18th century who fought for independence. The political philosophy of the American Whig Party was not related to the British Whig party. Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide: The Whig Party nominated several presidential candidates in 1836. General William Henry Harrison of Ohio was nominated in 1840, former Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky in 1844, General Zachary Taylor of Louisiana in 1848, General Winfield Scott of New Jersey in 1852 and the last nominee, former President Millard Fillmore from New York in 1856. In its two decades of existence, the Whig Party had two of its candidates and Taylor, elected president and both died in office. John Tyler succeeded to the presidency after Harrison's death in 1841, but was expelled from the party that year. Millard Fillmore, who became President after Taylor's death in 1850, was the last Whig President; the party fell apart because of internal tension over the expansion of slavery to the territories.
With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction prevented the nomination for a full term of its own incumbent President Fillmore in the 1852 presidential election—instead, the party nominated General Scott. Most Whig Party leaders quit politics or changed parties; the Northern voter base gravitated to the new Republican Party. In the South, most joined the Know Nothing Party, which unsuccessfully ran Fillmore in the 1856 presidential election, by which time the Whig Party had become defunct having endorsed Millard Fillmore's candidacy; some former Whigs became Democrats. The Constitutional Union Party experienced significant success from conservative former Whigs in the Upper South during the 1860 presidential election. Whig ideology as a policy orientation persisted for decades, played a major role in shaping the modernizing policies of the state governments during Reconstruction; the name "Whig" repeated the term that Patriots used to refer to themselves during the American Revolution.
It indicated hostility to the king. Despite the identical name it did not directly derive from the British Whig Party; the American Whigs were modernizers who saw President Andrew Jackson as "a dangerous man on horseback"—like a king—with a "reactionary opposition" to the forces of social and moral modernization. The Democratic-Republicans who formed the Whig Party, led by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, drew on a Jeffersonian tradition of compromise, balance in government and territorial expansion combined with national unity and support for a Federal transportation network and domestic manufacturing. Casting their enemy as "King Andrew", they sought to identify themselves as modern-day opponents of governmental overreaching. Despite the apparent unity of Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans from 1800 to 1824, the American people preferred partisan opposition to popular political agreement; as Jackson purged his opponents, vetoed internal improvements and killed the Second Bank of the United States, alarmed local elites fought back.
In 1831, Henry Clay started planning a new party. He defended national rather than sectional interests. Clay's plan for distributing the proceeds from the sale of lands in the public domain among the states was intended to serve the nation by providing the states with funds for building roads and canals, which would stimulate growth and knit the sections together. However, his Jacksonian opponents distrusted the federal government and opposed all federal aid for internal improvements and they again frustrated Clay's plan. Jacksonians promoted opposition to the National Bank and internal improvements and support of egalitarian democracy, state power and hard money; the Tariff of Abominations of 1828 had outraged Southern feelings—the South's leaders held that the high duties on foreign imports gave an advantage to the North. Clay's own high tariff schedule of 1832 further disturbed them as did his stubborn defense of high duties as necessary to his American System. However, Clay moved to pass the Compromise of 1833, which met Southern complaints by a gradual reduction of the rates on imports to a maximum of twenty percent.
Controlling the Senate for a while, Whigs passed a censure motion denouncing Jackson's arrogant assumption of executive power in the face of the true will of the people as represented by Congress. The Whig Party began to take shape in 1833. Clay had run as a National Republican against J
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a
A tariff is a tax on imports or exports between sovereign states. It is a form of regulation of foreign trade and a policy that taxes foreign products to encourage or protect domestic industry; the tariff is used to protect infant industries and to allow import substitution industrialization. Paul Bairoch argues that until the early 1960s, developed countries' international trade was characterized by an era of protectionism rather than a "golden era" of free trade, that in fact, periods of economic growth in the Western world were linked to protectionist policy, he explained that during the 19th century, European countries that were subject to higher tariffs had experienced faster growth. According to Paul Bairoch, the industrialized world of 1913 is similar to that of 1815: "An ocean of protectionism surrounding a few liberal islets", with the exception of a short free trade interlude in Europe between 1860 and 1892. Only two islands of liberalism emerged in the developed part: the Netherlands.
On the other hand, "the Third World was an ocean of liberalism", with Western countries imposing so-called "unequal" treaties on colonized and politically independent countries that required the lowering of customs barriers. Bairoch write that the "Third World" has in fact become underdeveloped because of the imposition of free trade while North America and Western Europe have been able to develop because they have rejected trade liberalism in their history, he notes that:in history, free trade is the exception and protectionism the rule. Trade liberalisation in the United Kingdom from 1846 onwards was the first example of large-scale liberalisation after the Industrial Revolution and was initiated by the dominant economy. However, it is the only country where over a specific period, free trade coincided with an increase in growth. Bairoch explains this by the fact that the country had a significant lead over the other countries in 1846, given that the country had emerged from at least half a century of protectionism.
It was in 1860 that free trade made a real breakthrough in continental Europe with the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty signed by Napoleon III. The agreement was considered in France as a coup d'état, since the parliament was opposed to it, the agreement was established by means of secret negotiations between Napoleon Ill's envoy Michel Chevalier and Britain's Richard Cobden; that agreement was the first of a series which Britain would establish with several European countries, known as the "Cobden agreements": the Franco-Belgian treaty was signed in 1861 and between 1861 and 1866 all European countries joined the Cobden treaty. Only a few countries on the continent had adopted a liberal trade policy before 1860: the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium; the decades that followed were not a period of growth and prosperity, but on the contrary they were likened to "the Great Depression". Paul Bairoch notes in Myths and Paradoxes of Economic History that the Great European Depression began around 1870-1872 at the height of free trade in Europe between 1866 and 1877 and ended with the return to protectionism around 1892: The important point is not only that the crisis started at the height of free trade, but that it ended around 1892-1894, just as the return to protectionism became effective in continental EuropeIt is certain that free trade coincided with the depression for which it was the cause, while protectionism was at the origin of growth and development in most of the current developed countrie.
In Europe, the slowdown in GNP growth was the result of the decline in agricultural production growth. This agricultural crisis in continental Europe can be explained exclusively by the influx of foreign cereals, which became possible thanks to the abolition of tariff protection on cereals in continental Europe between 1866 and 1872, it was the farmers who suffered because cheap imports led to the collapse of agricultural commodity prices. But it affected overall demand for industrial goods and the construction sector. In France, an agrarian economy, wheat imports, which reached 0.3% of national production in 1851/1860, rose to 19% in 1888/1892. In Belgium, this percentage rose from 6% around 1850 to more than 100% around 1890. During the 1870s and 1880s, the United States was Europe's largest supplier of cereals. There was an increasing trade imbalance between Europe and the United States until the 1900s, given that the United States had higher tariffs. In the early 1860s, Europe and the United States pursued different trade policies.
The 1860s were a period of growing protectionism in the United States, while the European free trade phase lasted from 1860 to 1892. The tariff average rate on imports of manufactured goods was in 1875 from 40% to 50% in the United States against 9% to 12% in continental Europe at the height of free trade, it experienced a period of strong growth. Around 1870, Europe's trade deficit with America represented 5% to 6% of the region's imports, it reached 32% in 1890 and 59% around 1900. Germany was the first major European country to change its trade policy by adopting a new tariff in July 1879; this new German tariff meant the end of the period of free trade on the continent. Thus, the period 1879-1892 saw the gradual return of protectionism
Revenue Act of 1924
The United States Revenue Act of 1924 known as the Mellon tax bill cut federal tax rates and established the U. S. Board of Tax Appeals, renamed the United States Tax Court in 1942; the bill was named after U. S. Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon; the Revenue Act was applicable to incomes for 1924. The bottom rate, on income under $4,000, fell from 1.5% to 1.125%. A parallel act, the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, granted all non-citizen resident Indians citizenship, thus the Revenue Act declared that there were no longer any "Indians, not taxed" to be not counted for purposes of United States Congressional apportionment. President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill into law. Both a normal Tax and a surtax were levied against the net income of individuals, as shown in the following table: Exemption of $1,000 for single filers and $2,500 for married couples and heads of family. A $400 exemption for each dependent under 18
1844 United States presidential election
The 1844 United States presidential election was the 15th quadrennial presidential election, held from November 1, to December 4, 1844. Democrat James K. Polk defeated Whig Henry Clay in a close contest that turned on the controversial issues of slavery and the annexation of the Republic of Texas. John Tyler's pursuit of Texas annexation threatened to undermine the unity of both the Whig and the Democratic parties, as the annexation of Texas would expand the institution of slavery in the United States. At the time, the two major parties each had wings in the Northern United States and the Southern United States, but the possibility of the expansion of slavery threatened the ability of both parties to reach inter-sectional compromises. Expelled by the Whig Party after clashing with their domestic policies, Tyler hoped to use the annexation of Texas to propel him to a second term despite the controversial nature of the issue; the early front-runner for the Democratic nomination was former President Martin Van Buren, but his rejection of Texas annexation damaged his candidacy.
Due to opposition from former President Andrew Jackson and most Southern delegations, Van Buren was unable to win the necessary two-thirds vote at the 1844 Democratic National Convention. The convention instead settled on former Governor James K. Polk of Tennessee, who emerged as the first dark horse nominee. Polk ran on a platform that embraced America's popular commitment to territorial expansionism referred to as Manifest Destiny. With the nomination of the pro-annexation Polk, Tyler dropped out of the race and supported the Democratic candidate; the Whigs nominated a long-time party leader who adopted an anti-annexation platform. Though a slave owner himself, Clay denounced annexation as a threat to North-South sectional unity, as well as a potential cause of war between the United States and Mexico, his attempts during the campaign to finesse his anti-annexation position on Texas alienated many voters. Polk linked the United States–British boundary dispute over the partition of the Oregon Territory with the Texas annexation debate.
In doing so, the Democratic Party nominee united the anti-slavery Northern expansionists, who demanded Oregon as free-soil, with pro-slavery Southern expansionists, who insisted on acquiring Texas as a slave state. In the national popular vote, Polk beat Clay by less than 40,000 votes, a margin of 1.4%. James G. Birney of the anti-slavery Liberty Party took 2.3% of the vote. Polk won the electoral vote 170–105, but the flip of several thousand votes in contested New York would have delivered the election to Clay. In the aftermath of the election, Polk presided over the annexation of Texas, which triggered the Mexican–American War. Whigs and Democrats embarked upon their campaigns during the climax of the congressional gag rule controversies in 1844, which prompted Southern congressmen to suppress northern petitions to end the slave trade in the District of Columbia. Anti-annexation petitions to Congress sent from northern anti-slavery forces, including state legislatures, were suppressed. Intra-party sectional compromises and maneuvering on slavery politics during these divisive debates placed significant strain on the northern and southern wings that comprised each political organization.
The question as to whether the institution of slavery and its aristocratic principles of social authority were compatible with democratic republicanism was becoming "a permanent issue in national politics". In 1836, a portion of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas declared its independence to form the Republic of Texas. Texans white immigrants from the Deep South, many of whom owned slaves, sought to bring their republic into the Union as a state. At first, the subject of annexing Texas to the United States was shunned by both major American political parties. Although they recognized Texas sovereignty, Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren declined to pursue annexation; the prospect of bringing another slave state into the Union was fraught with problems. Both major parties – the Democrats and Whigs – viewed Texas statehood as something "not worth a foreign war " or the "sectional combat" that annexation would provoke in the United States; the incumbent President John Tyler vice-president, had assumed the presidency upon the death of William Henry Harrison in 1841.
Tyler, a Whig in name only, emerged as a states' rights advocate committed to slavery expansion in defiance of his party's principles. After he vetoed the Whig domestic legislative agenda, he was expelled from his own party on September 13, 1841. Politically isolated, but unencumbered by party restraints, Tyler aligned himself with a small faction of Texas annexationists in a bid for election to a full term in 1844. Tyler became convinced that Great Britain was encouraging a Texas–Mexico rapprochement that might lead to slave emancipation in the Texas republic. Accordingly, he directed Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur of Virginia to initiate relentlessly pursue, secret annexation talks with Texas minister to the United States Isaac Van Zandt, beginning on October 16, 1843. Tyler submitted his Texas-US treaty for annexation to the US Senate, delivered April 22, 1844, where a two-thirds majority was required for ratification; the newly appointed Secretary of State John C. Calhoun of South Carolina included a document known as the Packenham Letter with the Tyler bill, calculated to inject a sense of crisis in Southern Democrats of the Deep South.
In it, he characterized slavery as a social blessing and the acquisition of Texas as an emergency measure necessary to safeguard the "peculiar institution" in the United States. In doing so, Tyler and Calhoun sought to unite the South in a
Revenue Act of 1926
The United States Revenue Act of 1926, 44 Stat. 9, reduced inheritance and personal income taxes, cancelled many excise imposts, eliminated the gift tax and ended public access to federal income tax returns. Passed by the 69th Congress, it was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge; the act was applicable to incomes for 1925 and thereafter. A rate of 13.5 percent was levied on the net income of corporations. A normal tax and a surtax were levied against the net income of individuals as shown in the following table. Exemption of $1,500 for single filers and $3,500 for married couples and heads of family. A $400 exemption for each dependent under 18
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh