party; thereafter it was known as the Democratic-Republican party. John Adams succeeded Washington as President, defeating Jefferson by a majority of but three electoral votes. The alien and sedition laws aided in rendering Adams' administration extremely unpopular, and in the next presidential contest the small Federalist majority was overcome and Jefferson was elected President by the House of Representatives, into which the election had been thrown by a tie in the electoral college. The party as now constituted aimed at strict construction, an elective judiciary, reduction of expenditure (on this ground they opposed a navy), and, as a consequence, thereof, a reduction of taxation, and the extension of the suffrage. The party was so successful that before 1805 the State governments of all but two of the States (Vermont and Connecticut) were in their hands, and they controlled the Senate and House of Representatives. The purchase of Lousiana by Jefferson, though enthusiastically commended everywhere, was a palpable deviation from strict construction, as was also the embargo; to this latter step the party was forced by its previous policy of refusing to establish a navy. The failure of the embargo occasioned a change in party feeling, and as a result war against England was declared in 1812. The war increased the national feeling, the restriction of trade preceding the war and incident to it, had fostered manufactures to maintain which the party was forced to adopt a tariff slightly protective, and the financial difficulties raised by the war led to the establishment, of a national bank in 1816. Thus the party had been forced into a position closely resembling that of its former antagonists. These were now politically dead, the few that remained calling themselves Federal-Republicans. It was an "era of good feeling," but it was not destined to continue long. The party was soon divided into two wings, again on the general lines of strict and loose construction. John Quincy Adams was an advocate of the latter, and the opposition to him culminated in the election of Andrew Jackson as his successor. During the presidency of Adams, his followers gradually came to be known as

"Jackson men," ultimately took the name of Democrats. The former were the precursors of the Whigs. Jackson undertook to give lorm to his party, using the federal patronage as a means, and he was eminently successful; his own leanings were to strict construction, and the party was once more placed on that basis. A distinctively Southern and slavery faction of the party, under Calhoun, carried their opposition to the length of threatening secession, but Jackson firmly repressed the movement. (See Nullification.) In practice, Jackson was not uniformly consistent, but he enforced his strict construction theories in the case of the United States bank, and the adoption, under Van Buren, of the sub-treasury system, still more firmly entrenched the theory. The panic during Van Buren's administration was effectively used against him in the next campaign, and Harrison, a Whig, was elected. It was about this time that the name Loco-foco was applied to the Democratic party. Harrison died within a month after his inauguration, and was succeeded by the Vice-President, Tyler, a Calhoun Democrat. The ascendency of the Calhoun faction committed the party, in its convention of 1844, to the annexation of Texas. From this time forward, it vibrated between strict and loose construction, as suited its purpose, using the latter for the purpose of spreading slavery, and the former to secure it where thus established; the Calhoun faction was first and foremost a proslavery party. The election of Polk was in great part due to the Liberty party. His successor, Taylor, was a Whig, but his election was owing to local dissensions among the Democrats, and Fillmore, who became President on Taylor's death, was succeeded by Pierce, a Democrat. Northern Democrats were not in favor of slavery, but they regarded it as the policy of their party to ignore the question; Southern Whigs were pro-slavery, and to them the question of slavery was paramount to any party ties. Buchanan, another Democrat, succeeded Pierce, but the power of the party was diminishing,


others first known as especially in the West. When it appeared that the Kansas-Nebraska bill would fail to make Kansas a slave State, the Southern section of the party took refuge in the Calhoun doctrine of the duty of government to protect slavery, and the split thus occasioned ended in dissension in the party convention at Charleston, in 1860. Douglas led the Northern Democrats, who upheld popular sovereignty; the Southern members had adopted the Calhoun view. Douglas triumphed in the convention. On this the Southern wing withdrew, to meet at Richmond; the Douglas wing adjourned to Baltimore, where further dissensions caused the withdrawal of many of the border States. These latter, aided by the original seceders, nominated John C. Breckenridge; Douglas was named by his party. These conflicts in the party resulted in the election of Lincoln, the Republican candidate. The Civil War followed. During that struggle the party was uniformly opposed to the government measures, rendered necessary by the anomalous condition of the country. The secession of the Southern States had deprived them of most of their members in Congress, and in the North only New York and New Jersey had Democratic Governors. Their convention of 1864 denounced the war measures of the Republicans, declared the war a failure and demanded the cessation of hostilities. On this issue they were overwhelmingly defeated. The reconstruction measures of the Republicans, notably the Civil Rights bill, were strenuously opposed by the Democrats, and opposition to this was made the most prominent feature of the party creed, and in its desire to repress the negroes, the party swerved from its old principle of the extension of suffrage. In 1872, the action of the Liberal-Republicans helped in clearing away these dogmas, which had greatly hampered the party, and aided by the financial depression of 1873, and by the disfavor with which Grant's second term was regarded, the party made large gains, carrying the State elections in many of the Northern States, and getting a majority in the House. Tilden, the Democratic candidate for President in 1876, had a popular majority over Hayes, the Republican, but the result of the electoral vote was in doubt, and the election was finally awarded to Hayes. (See Electoral Commission.) Their next candidate, Hancock, was likewise defeated. The action of the party, after the war, in opposing negro suffrage, had tended to consolidate Southern whites in its favor, while the memories of the war have been a strong rallying point for the Republicans in the North, so that, generally speaking, the latter has been Republican, the former Democratic. In 1884, Cleveland, a Democrat, was elected President, the deciding State being New York, which he carried by a plurality of only 1,047, in a total vote of over 1,100,000. His election was partly owing to dissatisfaction of many of the Republicans with their candidate. The Democratic party has generally been in favor of a "tariff for revenue only," but a strong minority favors protection, and its platform has attempted to meet the views of both wings; the President's message to the Fiftieth Congress, dealing as it did, exclusively with the tariff, and strongly advocating its reduction, probably tended to identify the party more thoroughly than before with that view. It is difficult, as the parties now stand, to draw a sharp line between them; the Democratic party still stands as the representative of stricter construction • than the Republican, and the declaration of a Supreme Court, appointed by Republican Presidents, of the unconstitutionality of the Civil Rights bill, and its decision in the Virginia bond cases, seems to justify its position; both parties profess devotion to Civil Service Reform, and while the Republican party has consistently favored cessation of the coinage of depreciated silver dollars, the Democrats, owing to divided opinions within the party, have failed to act. But the immediate future may see great changes in both parties.


Democratic Rooster.—The emblems of the Democratic party at the time of Jackson's administration were the hickory pole and broom. About 1840, in Indiana there lived a man named Chapman, a Democrat, who had a local reputation for exercising his vocal organs iii the way of crowing. One story says that in answer to a desponding letter of Chapman's concerning the political situation, a friend wrote an encouraging letter ending with the words, "Crow, Chapman, crow!" Another account makes the letter pass between two friends, and close with the words, "Tell Chapman to crow." The letter, whichever it was, was published, and the phrase spread. In 1842 and 1844, after Whig defeats, the rooster came into general use as the Democratic emblem of victory.

Democratic Society.—In 1793, during the war between England and France, while Citizen Genet was active here on behalf of the latter, a society on the plan of the Jacobin clubs of France was formed in Philadelphia. It was founded for the purpose of encouraging sympathy for France, of scrupulously examining all governmental innovations, and generally (it was asserted) to guard the rights of man. The club soon had branches everywhere, the one at Charleston going so far as to seek and obtain recognition as a branch of the Jacobin Club of Paris. The career of the society was marked by abuse of the excise laws and of the government. The overthrow of Robespierre and the suppression of the Jacobin clubs of France dealt it a fatal blow, however, and it disappeared after the year 1794.

Demonetization of Silver.—To demonetize a metal is to take from it its standard value and thus make it a commodity merely. (See Silver Question.)

Departments of the Government. (See Interior, Department of the; Justice, Department of; Navy, Department of the; Post-Office Department; State Department; Treasury Department; War Department.)

Deposit Banks.—The State banks in which government funds were deposited when President Jackson had them removed from the Bank of the United States were so called. They were also called Pet Banks.

Deposits, Removal of. (See Removal of Government Deposits from the United States Bank.)

Deseret. (See Mormons.)

Dickinson, Don M., was at one time Postmaster Gen

« ForrigeFortsett »