[Footnote 2: His death was a great shock to the people. Two vice presidents, George Clinton and Elbridge Gerry, had died in office. But nobody seems to have thought it likely that a president would die.]
[Illustration: John Tyler]
%354. The Quarrel between Tyler and the Whigs%.—The first thing they did was to repeal the law establishing the Independent Treasury. This Tyler approved. They next attempted to reestablish the Bank of the United States under the name of the “Fiscal Bank of the United States.” Tyler, who was opposed to banks, vetoed the bill, and when the Whigs sent him another to create a “Fiscal Corporation,” he vetoed that also. Then every member of the cabinet save Webster resigned, and at a meeting of the great Whig leaders Tyler was formally “read out of the party.”
%355. The Webster-Ashburton Treaty%.—Webster was Secretary of State, and though a Whig, retained his place in order that he might complete a treaty which determined our boundary line from the source of the St. Croix to the St. Lawrence, thus settling a long dispute between Maine and the British provinces of New Brunswick and Canada. The difficulty arose over the meaning of terms in the treaty of 1783, and though twice submitted to a joint commission, and once to arbitration, seemed further than ever from a peaceful settlement when Webster and Lord Ashburton arranged it in 1842. The treaty ratified, Webster soon resigned.
The people meanwhile had recovered from the excitement of the campaign of 1840, and at the congressional election of 1842 they made the House of Representatives Democratic. There were thus a Whig Senate, a Democratic House, and a President who was neither a Whig nor a Democrat. As a consequence few measures of any importance were passed till 1845.
1. During 1789-1825 a marked change had taken place in the ideas of government, and this led to new state constitutions; to an extension of the right to vote; to the belief that no President should have more than two terms; to the belief that political offices should be given to political workers; and to the introduction of the “gerrymander.”
2. The disappearance of issues which divided the Federalists and Republicans; the loss of old leaders; the appearance of a new generation with new political issues, destroyed old party lines.
3. First to disappear were the Federalists. In 1820 there was but one presidential candidate (Monroe), and but one political party (the Republican).
4. During Monroe’s second term the new issues began to break up the Republican party, and in the election of 1824 the people of the four great sections of the country presented candidates. For the second time a President (John Quincy Adams) was elected by the House of Representatives.
5. In 1828 the Republicans again supported Jackson, and his opponents under Adams were defeated. In 1827 the antimasonic party arose.