As the north and south began to separate after the Era of Good Feelings (1815-1825), the Second American Party System was established. This system consisted of two distinct parties, the Democrats and their opponents, who were known as Whigs for the most part. The goal of these two parties was to create a common thought process between the north and the south. Three of the issues prominent in their campaigns to gather votes in these two regions were government, economy, and slavery. Using these topics as foundations, the members of both parties of the Second American Party System aimed establish harmony between the north and south.
Slavery played a major role in American society during the early 1820s. The argument over Missouri was a huge issue in the widening differences between north and south. Missouri applied for admission to the Union as a slave state, but Northerners objected to the admission of a new slave state, saying that the three-fifths rule already gave the South political representation in Congress that exceed its share of the nation's white population. Eventually, a compromise (the Missouri Compromise) was established. The terms of this agreement were that Massachusetts would offer its northern counties as a new state in Maine. In response, the North would agree to accept Missouri as a slave state if the South agreed to outlaw slavery in territories above the 36o30'N latitude line (the southern boundary or Missouri). The Missouri crisis, though resolved brought the South's commitment to slavery and the North's resentment of southern political power into collision, revealing an uncompromisable gulf between slave and free states. When Martin Van Buren, a devout Democrat, became Vice Pres...
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...e were also quarrels within parties. For example, Vice President Calhoun argued that states should be able to veto federal legislation and secede from the Union during extreme cases (in response to possible nullification of South Carolina). President Jackson responded furiously, which eventually led to the downfall of Calhoun. In conclusion, both parties of the Second American Parties System tried to keep harmony between north and south by appealing to voters of both regions. Because both parties needed support from the north and south, they were careful to focus national debates on national issues, which avoided sectionalism. Though the second party system ended in 1840, the Jacksonian Democrats and their opponents did their level best to keep the north and south together, even when the differences between these two groups were growing further and further apart.
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