Whig Party of the Northeast Union
William A. Wheeler (first) |
James McCurley (last)
|Founded||April 2, 1869|
|Dissolved||August 21, 1938|
Agrarian Protection Party
Political parties in the Northeast Union
Elections in the Northeast Union
The Whig Party, commonly known as the Whigs, was a political party in the Northeast Union active in the 19th century and early 20th century. The Whig Party was a largely progressive party that espoused economic protectionism, tariffs, federal funds for infrastructure and were supportive of a parliamentarian system. Throughout most of its existence, the Whigs were the primary opponent of the Liberal-Republican Party where both parties shared power in a two-party system which lasted until the 1920s when the Whigs lost seats to the then insurgent Social Democratic Party.
The party was formed in April 1869 during the period of the Northeast Provisional Government and was formed from the remnants of the Republican Party, War Democrats and Anti-Masonic Party following the collapse of the United States in the War of Contingency and the party served as a progressive opponent of the Liberal-Republicans following the formal establishment of the Northeast Union in 1870. The party ran on a progressive parliamentarian platform and took power in the 1878 election which saw William A. Wheeler be elected President succeeding Liberal-Republican President and Founding Father, John B. Page. The Whigs held power in the 1880s and early 1890s and helped establish the Congressional Opposition and subsequent Leader of the Opposition which was inspired by the Westminster system used in the United Kingdom. The party would also hold positions of power throughout the 1910s which would be the last decade that the Whigs held any major political influence in Northeastern politics.
The 1920s saw the Whigs' decline begin with the rise of the Social Democrats in the 1922 congressional election and by 1928, the Social Democrats became the second largest party. The decline worsened when in 1930, left-wing populist and agrarian members of the party broke off to form the Agrarian Protection Party and the party formally dissolved in 1938. The party was later succeeded by the Conservative Republican Party.
The origins of the Whig Party date back to the 1860s when surviving members of the previous Whig Party of the United States and the Republicans along with their War Democrat allies had began siding with the various breakaway states that began forming following the outbreak of the Contingency War after the beginning of the Confederate Uprising. In the north, both New England and Hudson formed a provisional federal government and seized power following Page's insurrection which established the Northeast Union and in 1869, a provisional congress had been formed and the Whigs were formally established as a political party opposing the unofficially established Liberal-Republicans. Wheeler was the founder and first leader of the party and adopted the pro-parliamentarian stance of the former American Whig Party, but was more open to a progressive and protectionist platform as well. Following the formal establishment of the Northeast Union in January 1870, the Whigs and Liberal-Republicans made up the 1st Northeastern Congress with the Whig Party in the opposition.