Chapter 17: Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy
I. The Accession of “Tyler Too”
The Whig leaders, Henry Clay(king of the Whigs) and Daniel Webster, secretary of state, had planned to control newly elected president William Henry Harrison, but their plans hit a snag when he contracted pneumonia and died-only four weeks after he came to the White House.
The new president was John Tyler, a Virginia gentlemen, a lone wolf.
-Tyler’s enemies accused him of being a Democrat in Whig clothing.
-This president belonged to the minority wing, which embraced a number of Jeffersonian states’ righters.
-(He really was more of a Democrat).
-On every major issue, Tyler was at odds with the majority of the Whig party, which was pro-bank, pro-protective tariff, and pro-internal improvements.
II. John Tyler: A President Without a Party
Financial reform came 1st-Whig Congress hastened to pass a law ending the independent treasury system, and Pres. Tyler, disarmingly agreeable, signed it.
-Clay next drove through Congress a bill for a “fiscal bank”, which would establish a new Bank of the US, but the bill was soon vetoed.
Whig leaders, striving to pacify Tyler’s objections to a “fiscal bank”, they passed another bill providing for a “fiscal corporation”.
-But the pres. Vetoed the offensive substitute.
Whig extremists condemned Tyler as “His Accidency”, and as an “Executive Ass”.
-He received numerous letters threatening him with death.
-A wave of influenza threatening the country was called the “Tyler grippe”.
-To delight of Democrats, the Virginian was expelled from his party by Whig congressmen, and a serious attempt to impeach him was broached in HOR.
-His entire cabinet was resigned in a body, except sec of state Webster.
Also, Tyler vetoed the proposed Whig tariff. He could see no point in squandering federal money when the federal treasury was not overflowing.
Chastened Clayites redrafted their tariff bill. They chopped our the offensive...