National Republican Party

National Republican Party
Other name Adams' Men
Leader John Quincy Adams
Henry Clay
Founded 1824 (1824)
Dissolved 1834 (1834)
Preceded by Democratic-Republican Party
Federalist Party
Succeeded by Whig Party
Republican Party
Ideology American School
Colors      Light yellow

The National Republican Party, also known as the Anti-Jacksonian Party and sometimes the Adams Party, was a political party in the United States that evolved from a faction of the Democratic-Republican Party that supported John Quincy Adams in the 1824 presidential election.

Known initially as "Adams-Clay Republicans" in the wake of the 1824 campaign, Adams' political allies in Congress and at the state-level were referred to as "Adams' Men" during his presidency (1825–1829). When Andrew Jackson became president, following his victory over Adams in the 1828 election, this group became the opposition, and organized themselves as "Anti-Jackson". 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 election 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 Adams himself), would gradually evolve into the National Republican Party; and those politicians that supported Jackson would later help form the modern Democratic Party.

After Adams' defeat in the 1828 election, his supporters regrouped around Henry Clay. Now the "anti-Jackson" opposition, they soon organized as the National Republican Party. Led by Clay, the new party maintained its historic nationalistic outlook and desired 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

Presidential elections

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
34 Lost

Congressional elections

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

See also


  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

  • 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.
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