National Republican Party

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National Republican Party
Other name Anti-Jacksonians
Leader John Quincy Adams
Henry Clay
Founded 1828 (1828)
Dissolved 1834 (1834)
Preceded by Democratic-Republican Party
Federalist Party
Succeeded by Whig Party
Ideology American School
Colors      Yellow

The National Republican Party, also known as the Anti-Jacksonian Party, was a political party in the United States. During the administration of John Quincy Adams (1825–1829), the president's supporters were referred to as Adams' Men. When Andrew Jackson was elected President of the United States in 1828, this group went into opposition. The use of the term "National Republican" dates from 1830.

Henry Clay served as the party's nominee in the 1832 election, but he was defeated by Jackson. The party supported Clay's American System of nationally financed internal improvements and a protective tariff. After the 1832 election, opponents of Jackson coalesced into the Whig Party. National Republicans, Anti-Masons, and others joined the new party.


Before the elevation of John Quincy Adams to the presidency in 1825, the Democratic-Republican Party, which had been the only national American political party for over a decade, began to fracture, losing its infrastructure and identity. Its caucuses no longer met to select candidates because now they had separate interests. After the 1824 election, factions developed in support of Adams and in support of Andrew Jackson. Adams politicians, including most ex-Federalists (such as Daniel Webster and even Adams himself), would gradually evolve into the National Republican Party, and those politicians that supported Jackson would later help form the modern Democratic Party.

The ad hoc coalition that supported John Quincy Adams fell apart after his defeat for reelection in 1828. The main opposition to Jackson, the new president, was the National Republican Party, or Anti-Jacksonians created and run by Henry Clay. It shared the same nationalistic outlook as the Adamsites, and wanted to use national resources to build a strong economy. Its platform was Clay's American System of nationally financed internal improvements and a protective tariff, which would promote faster economic development. More important, by binding together the diverse interests of the different regions, the party intended to promote national unity and harmony.

The National Republicans saw the Union as a corporate, organic whole. Hence the rank and file idealized Clay for his comprehensive perspective on the national interest. Conversely, they disdained those they identified as "party" politicians for pandering to local interests at the expense of the national interest.[2] The party met in national convention in late 1831 and nominated Clay for the presidency and John Sergeant for the vice presidency.

The Whig Party emerged in 1833–1834 after Clay's defeat as a coalition of National Republicans, along with Anti-Masons, disaffected Jacksonians, and people whose last political activity was with the Federalists a decade before. In the short term, it formed the Whig Party with the help of other smaller parties in a coalition against President Jackson and his reforms.

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Candidate Running mate Votes Vote % Electoral votes +/- Outcome of election
1828 John Quincy Adams Richard Rush 500,897 43.6
83 / 261
New Lost
1832 Henry Clay John Sergeant 484,205 37.4
49 / 286
Decrease 34 Lost

Congressional elections[edit]

  • ^ a: Office left vacant when Calhoun resigned to became Senator on December 28, 1832.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Republican Party". Dictionary of American History. 2003. 
  2. ^ Brown, Thomas (1985). Politics and Statesmanship: Essays on the American Whig Party. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 20. ISBN 9780231056021. OCLC 906445960. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Michael F. Holt, The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Carroll, E. Malcolm, Origins of the Whig Party. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1925.
  • Robert V. Remini, Henry Clay: A Statesman for the Union. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1992.