Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 December 2008
A central paradox of the modern American presidency is that citizens regularly call for strong presidential leadership while at the same time their political culture predisposes them to be reluctant followers.1 One of the ways contemporary presidents resolve this paradox is by invoking an electoral mandate. By persuading others that he possesses a mandate from the voters to pursue a particular policy agenda, a president can disguise his leadership under the pretense of simply carrying out “the will of the people.” The presidential mandate thus enables presidents to lead while seeming to follow, to exercise power over people under the guise of empowering the people.
1. As formulated by James Sterling Young in his splendid, but as yet unpublished, The Puzzle of the Presidency: Nation Leading in America.
2. See the relevant work of Morone, James, The Democratic Wish (New York: Basic Books, 1990)Google Scholar, as well as Morgan, Edmund S., Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in America (New York: Norton, 1988)Google Scholar.
3. Gimlin, Hoyt, President Bush: The Challenge Ahead (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1989)Google Scholar, 2. On the pervasiveness of mandate claims in the 1980 election, see Kelley, Stanley Jr., Interpreting Elections (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. 217.
4. New York Times, August 14, 1992, p. Al. Immediately after his election, Bush had refrained from strongly asserting a mandate, saying, ”I don't know whether I want to use the word mandate.… I would simply say the people have spoken, the verdict was clear, and therefore I will take what I think the prime issues of the campaign were and work constructively with Congress to attain the will of the people' (Duffy, Michael and Goodgame, Dan, Marching in Place: The Status Quo President of George Bush [New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992], 16)Google Scholar. Bush's reluctance to claim a mandate for specific policies resulted in criticism that his administration was suffering from drift. According to Fred Barnes such “pandering” to Congress only showed that “Bush didn't understand that the President alone is supposed to reflect the national will, while Congress represents parochial interests” (“Message: I Cave,” New Republic, November 15, 1993, p. 14). Such harsh criticisms suggest the extent to which claiming a mandate has become obligatory for modern presidents. Not to do so is to seem weak or without direction.
5. New York Times, November 13, 1992, p. A8. Also see New York Times, February 19, 1993, p. Al.
6. See Kelley, Interpreting Elections; Wolfinger, Raymond E., “Dealignment, Realignment and Presidential Mandates,” in Ranney, Austin, ed., The American Elections of 1984 (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1985), 277–96Google Scholar; Edwards, George C. III, “Mandates and Misperceptions,” in At the Margins (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 144–66Google Scholar; and Dahl, Robert A., “Myth of the Presidential Mandate, ” Political Science Quarterly 105 (Fall 1990): 355–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
7. Wolfinger, “Dealignment, Realignment and Presidential Mandates,” 293.
8. Ceaser, James W., Presidential Selection: Theory and Development (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), 74Google Scholar. Also see Tulis, Jeffrey K., The Rhetorical Presidency (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987)Google Scholar.
9. Dahl “Myth of the Presidential Mandate,” 356.
10. Dahl himself at times recycles and contributes to this version of presidential history, as, for example, when he writes that “The long and almost unbroken succession of mediocrities who succeeded to the presidency between Polk and Wilson for the most part subscribed to the Whig view of the office and seem to have laid no claim to a popular mandate for their policies - when they had any” (“Myth of the Presidential Mandate,” 358).
11. See Burnham, Walter Dean, Critical Elections and Mainsprings of American Politics (New York: Oxford, 1970)Google Scholar; and Sundquist, James, Dynamics of the Party System (Washington, DC: Brookings, 1973)Google Scholar.
12. Jefferson to Judge Spencer Roane, September 6, 1819, in Lipscomb, Andrew A. and Bergh, Albert Ellery, eds., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 20 volumes (Washington, DC: Jefferson Memorial Association, 1905), 15: 212Google Scholar.
13. See, for example, Jefferson, to Lincoln, Levi, 07 11, 1801, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 264Google Scholar.
14. Cunningham, Noble E. Jr., In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987), 247Google Scholar. Also see Skowronek, Stephen, The Politics Presidents Make: From John Adams to George Bush (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993)Google Scholar, esp. 77—78; and Ellis, Richard and Wildavsky, Aaron, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership: From Washington Through Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1989)Google Scholar, esp. 67.
15. Cunningham, In Pursuit of Reason, 223. Although these were private letters, Cunningham notes that Jefferson “expected the views that he expressed in this and other letters to circulate beyond the persons to whom they were expressed. The principles and issues that he stressed appeared repeatedly in Republican newspapers, broadsides, and party leaflets throughout the campaign” (p. 224). Moreover, “Jefferson personally took a hand in the distribution of political pamphlets favorable to the Republican party” (p. 222). Also see Cunningham, Noble E. Jr, “Election of 1800,” in Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr, ed., History of American Presidential Elections, 1789–1968 (New York: Chelsea House, 1985), 1: 118Google Scholar.
16. Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1793; and First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789, Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1898), 6, 2.
17. First Inaugural Address, Inaugural Addresses, 2. Also see Tulis, Rhetorical Presidency, 48–49. Washington's presidency helped Jefferson see the dangers of a system that based presidential selection and approval on character or reputation but gave the presidency the power to set policy direction. “Such is the popularity of the President,” Jefferson complained, “that the people will support him in whatever he will or will not do, without appealing to their own reason or to anything but their feelings toward him” (To Stuart, Archibald, January 4, 1797, in Ford, Paul, ed., The Works of Thomas Jefferson [New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1904], 8: 265)Google Scholar. Also see Jefferson, to Taylor, John, 06 1, 1798, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 44Google Scholar.
18. First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801, Inaugural Addresses, 15–16; Cf. Jefferson's, letter to Gerry, Elbridge a year earlier: “I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple, applying all the possible savings of the public revenue to the discharge of the national debt.… I am for relying, for internal defense, on our militia solely, till actual invasion” (11 26, 1799, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 77)Google Scholar.
19. First Inaugural Address, Inaugural Addresses, 14.
20. Jefferson, to Shipman, Elias and Others, a Committee of the Merchants of New Haven, 07 12, 1801, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 271–72Google Scholar. Two decades later, Jefferson told Judge Spencer Roane that in the revolution of 1800, “The nation declared its will by dismissing functionaries of one principle, and electing those of another, in the two branches, executive and legislative, submitted to their election” (Jefferson, to Roane, Spencer, 09 6, 1819, in Writings of Jefferson, 15:212)Google Scholar.
21. McDonald, Forrest, The American Presidency: An Intellectual History (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1994), 247Google Scholar. Johnstone, Robert M. jr., Jefferson and the Presidency: Leadership in the Young Republic (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1978), 128–29Google Scholar. Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, 69, 75—76.
22. Johnstone, Jefferson and the Presidency, 128.
23. Fifth Annual Message, December 3, 1805, The State of the Union Messages of the Presidents, 1790–1966, ed. Israel, Fred L. (New York: Chelsea House, 1966), 1: 78Google Scholar. Also see First Inaugural Address, Inaugural Addresses, 14.
24. Cunningham, Noble E. Jr., The Process of Government Under Jefferson (Princeton University Press, 1978), 75Google Scholar; emphasis added.
25. First Inaugural Address, 15.
26. To Dickinson, John07 23, 1801, in Works of Jefferson, 9: 281Google Scholar. Also see Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciuszko, March 14, 1801, and Jefferson to Joseph Fay, March 22, 1801, quoted in Cunningham, Noble E. Jr., The Jeffersonian Republicans in Power: Party Operations, 1801 — 1809 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1963), 8Google Scholar; as well as Jefferson to Moses Robinson, March 23, 1801, to Henry Knox, March 27, 1801, to Levi Lincoln, July 11, 1801, to Levi Lincoln, August 26, 1801, to Thaddeus Kosciusko, April 2, 1802, and to Lincoln, Levi, 10 25, 1802, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 236Google Scholar, 246, 264, 275–76, 309–10, 339. Also see Tulis, Rhetorical Presidency, 50.
27. Virginia Argus, March 12, 1799, in Cunningham, Noble E. Jr., The Jeffersonian Republicans: The Formation of Party Organization, 1789–1801 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1957), 253Google Scholar. In “nearly all political contests at the beginning of the 1790s,” Noble Cunningham remarks, “it was generally the personal characters of the individual candidate, their public records and private habits, their qualifications for office, and their integrity as citizens which served to commend them to the voters and furnished the issues for the electorate to decide” (p. 250). However, “during the last decade of the eighteenth century, the voters were urged increasingly to subordinate personal considerations to the party cause” (p. 253).
28. Hofstadter, Richard, The Idea of a Party System: The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States, 1780–1840 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969), 146–48Google Scholar, 153. Cunningham, Life of Reason, 240–41.
29. George Washington, for instance, lamented that, “There is no problem better de-fined in my mind that principle, not men, is now and will be the chief object of competition.…. let the [opposition] party set up a broomstick and call it a true son of liberty and it will command their votes in toto” (Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, July 21, 1799, quoted in Ceaser, Presidential Selection, 97).
30. Federalist complaints about Jefferson's leadership typically focused on his hidden-hand tactics. “ Behind the curtain,” charged Massachusetts Senator Timothy Pickering, Jefferson “directs the measures he wishes to have adopted; while in each house a majority of puppets moves as he touches the wires” (Cunningham, Process of Government, 193–94).
31. Cunningham Process of Government, chapter 9, esp. 189–93. Cunningham, Jeffersonian Republicans in Power, chapter 4, esp. 96–97.
32. Jefferson, to Williams, David, 01 31, 1806, quoted in Cunningham, Jefferson Republicans in Power, 95–96. Also see Johnstone, Jefferson and the Presidency, esp. chapter 5Google Scholar.
33. See Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, 67–68; and Ceaser, Presidential Selection, 102.
34. The term “hidden-hand” comes from Greenstein, Fred I., The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader (New York: Basic Books, 1982)Google Scholar. The term is applied to Jefferson in Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, chapter 4.
35. Cunningham, Jeffersonian Republicans in Power, 6. Malone, Dumas, Jefferson the President: First Term, 1801–1805 (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970)Google Scholar, 95. Also see McDonald, American Presidency, 246.
36. Jefferson, to Madison, James, 12 20, 1787, in Thomas Jefferson: Writings (New York: Library of America, 1984), 918Google Scholar. In the Lipscomb and Bergh edition, Writings of Jefferson, the word “always” is absent (5: 392).
37. Jefferson, to Lafayette, , 06 16, 1792, Writings of Jefferson, 8: 381Google Scholar. Jefferson wrote: “Too many of these stock-jobbers and king-jobbers have come into our Legislature. … However, the voice of the people is beginning to make itself heard, and will probably cleanse their seats at the ensuing election.”
38. Lienesch, Michael, “Thomas Jefferson and the American Democratic Experience: The Origins of the Partisan Press, Popular Political Parties, and Public Opinion,” in Onuf, Peter S., ed., Jeffersonian Legacies (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993), 329–30Google Scholar.
39. Johnston, Jefferson and the Presidency, esp. 32–34. McDonald, American Presidency, 247.
40. Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, esp. 67–68.
41. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, esp. 64, 70, 73, 132.
42. After the congressional elections of 1802, Federalists were outnumbered by 25 to 9 in the Senate and 102 to 39 in the House. See Hofstadter, Idea of a Party System, 173. The congressional elections of 1800 had left Republicans with a 66 to 40 majority in the House, and an 18 to 15 edge in the Senate. See Cunningham, Jeffersonian Republicans, 247; and Jefferson to Joel Barlow, May 3, 1802, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 319.
43. As Richard Hofstadter observes, “one could write an alternative scenario for the Jeffersonians, which would call for an all-out attack on the bank charter, a wholesale removal of Federalist officeholders, an inundation of the judiciary with new Republican appointees, an intimate orientation toward France and increasing hostility to England” (Idea of a Party System, 155).
44. Jefferson, to Dickinson, John, 12 19, 1801, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 302Google Scholar. Throughout his life Jefferson continued to complain about the judiciary that “on every occasion [was] still driving us into consolidation despite twenty years confirmation of the federated system by the voice of the nation, declared through the medium of elections” (Jefferson, to Roane, Spencer, 09 6, 1819, Writings of Jefferson, 15: 212)Google Scholar.
45. Jefferson, quoted in Hofstadter, Idea of a Party System, 159.
46. When Jefferson promised, in his second inaugural address, that he would “proceed in the spirit of those principles which [my fellow-citizens] have approved” (Inaugural Addresses, 22), he saw himself embarking not upon a contested party program but upon a republican program around which the nation was united.
47. Jefferson, to Barlow, Joel, 05 3, 1802, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 320–21Google Scholar; also see Jefferson, to Taylor, John, 06 1, 1798, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 45Google Scholar; Jefferson, to Adams, , 06 27, 1813, Writings of Jefferson, 13: 279Google Scholar; and Jefferson, to Waring, Benjamin, Esq., and others, 03 23, 1801, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 235Google Scholar.
48. Jefferson, to Taylor, john, 06 1, 1798, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 45Google Scholar; Jefferson, to Barlow, joel, 05 3, 1802, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 319Google Scholar.
49. Jefferson, to Fay, Joseph, 03 22, 1801, in Cunningham, Jeffersonian Republicans in Power, 8Google Scholar; Jefferson, to Adams, Samuel, 03 29, 1801, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 251Google Scholar. Also see Jefferson, to Gerry, Elbridge, 03 29, 1801, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 253Google Scholar; Jefferson, to Lincoln, Levi, 07 11, 1801, Writings of Jefferson, 10: 264Google Scholar. The antiparty aspect of Jefferson's thought is accented in Ketcham, Ralph, Presidents Above Party: The First American Presidency, 1789–1829 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984), 100–113Google Scholar, but a more nuanced, reliable portrait of the ambiguity and ambivalence in Jefferson's thought about political parties is Richard Hofstadter's Idea of a Party System, chapter 3.
50. Similarly, Ceaser suggests that although Jefferson's election in 1800 “served the purpose of initiating a critical change in the character of the American political system, a function for elections which had not been contemplated by the Founders,” Jefferson, too, “did not conceive of elections as regularly offering significant choice or providing for critical transformations on rare occasions. … All indications suggest that he held to the general view of the Founders and thought of the election of 1800 as a unique exception to the general rule … a contest to end all further partisan contests” (Presidential Selection, 90–91).
51. This point is made in Ceaser, Presidential Selection, 102–103.
52. Ceaser, Presidential Selection, 102–103.
53. First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817, Inaugural Addresses, 33–34. Similarly, President Madison lays out “the principles which I bring with me into this arduous service” but does not suggest that the election signalled voters' approval of these principles. Instead Madison, sees his election as “a mark of confidence” in him (First Inaugural Address, 03 4, 1809, Inaugural Addresses, 27)Google Scholar.
54. Brown, Stuart Gerry, The American Presidency: Leadership, Partisanship, and Popularity (New York: Macmillan, 1966), 11–12Google Scholar. Also see Tulis, Rhetorical Presidency, 71–72.
55. On the difference between the antiparty nature of politics and parties in the first three decades of United States history and the partisan system and commitments that come later, see Silbey, Joel H., The American Political Nation, 1838–1893 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991), 14–16Google Scholar; and Formisano, Ronald P., “Federalists and Republicans: Parties, Yes – System, No,” in Kleppner, Paul, ed., The Evolution of American Electoral Systems (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981), 33–76Google Scholar.
56. Latner, Richard B., The Presidency of Andrew Jackson: White House Politics, 1829–1837 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979), 24–25Google Scholar. Cole, Donald B., The Presidency of Andrew Jackson (Lawrence: University of Press of Kansas, 1993), 19–20Google Scholar.
57. Cole. Presidency of Jackson, 19. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, 130.
58. “My real friends,” (Jackson wrote to George Campbell, “want no information from me on the subject of internal improvements and manufactures, but what my public acts has afforded.… Was I now to come forth, and reiterate my political opinions on these subjects, I would be charged with electioneering views for selfish purposes: I cannot do any act that may give rise to such imputations” (Jackson, to Campbell, George W., 02 14, 1928, in Bassett, John Spencer, ed., Correspondence of Andrew Jackson [Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution, 1928], 3: 390–91)Google Scholar. Contrast this with jackson's declaration in 1824 that as a candidate for the presidency “it is incumbent on me, when asked, frankly to declare my opinion upon any political or national question pending before and about which the country feels an interest” (Jackson, to Coleman, L. H., 04 26, 1824, Correspondence of Jackson, 3: 249)Google Scholar. The contrast between Jackson's unconventional course in 1824 and his decidedly more conventional strategy in 1828 can be attributed largely to his advisers, who constantly badgered Jackson to refrain from declaring his opinions or answering attacks (see John H. Eaton to Jackson, February 8, 1927, January 21, 1828, Martin Van Buren to Jackson, September 14. 1827, Hayne, Robert Y. to Jackson, , 06 5, 1827, Correspondence of Jackson, 3: 341–42Google Scholar, 389–90, 382, 358–59; and Polk, James K. to Jackson, Andrew, 09 8, 1828, Correspondence of James K. Polk, ed. Weaver, Herbert and Bergeron, Paul H. [Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1969], 1: 196–98)Google Scholar. Indeed Jackson actually drew up a statement of his positions for use in the 1828 campaign, but Eaton together with Hugh White counseled Jackson against publishing it (see McCormick, Richard P., The Presidential Came: The Origins of American Presidential Politics [New York: Oxford University Press, 1982], 144–45Google Scholar; Eaton, John H. to Jackson, , 02 8, 1827, in Correspondence of Jackson, 3: 341–42)Google Scholar. This was to become a familiar pattern in Jackson's first term, a pattern in which Jackson's precedent-breaking and, to use Stephen Skowronek's term, “order-shattering” impulses were restrained by advisers more closely attuned to conventional political wisdom and mores.
59. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 18. Remini, Robert V., “Election of 1828,” in Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr, ed., History of American Presidential Elections: 1789–1968 (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985), 2: 419Google Scholar.
60. Remini, Robert V., Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822–1832 (New York: Harper & Row, 1981), 118–24Google Scholar. Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 7. For the most famous such campaign attack on Jackson, see “The Coffin Handbill,” reprinted in Correspondence of Jackson, 3: 455–64; and Schiesinger, Presidential Elections, 2: 485–91.
61. Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 7–8.
62. Jackson, to Coffee, Brigadier-General John, 11 24, 1828, Correspondence to Jackson, 3: 447Google Scholar.
64. Jackson, , Memorandum, , [12 23, 1828], Correspondence of Jackson, 3: 454Google Scholar. On Jackson's “search for vindication,” see Curtis, James C., Andrew Jackson and the Search for Vindication (Boston: Little, Brown, 1976)Google Scholar.
65. First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1829, Inaugural Addresses, 63. Of internal improvements, Jackson said only that “so far as they can be promoted by the constitutional acts of the Federal Government, [they] are of high importance.” And of tariffs, the new president said little more than that “the great interests of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures should be equally favored, and that perhaps the only exception to this rule should consist in the peculiar encouragement of any products of either of them that may be found essential to our national independence.”
66. First Inaugural Address, Inaugural Addresses, 62–63.
67. First Inaugural Address, Inaugural Addresses, 63–64; emphasis in original.
68. First Inaugural Address, Inaugural Addresses, 62. At a later point in the message Jackson expressed his “hope for instruction and aid from the coordinate branches of Government” (p. 64).
69. “Rough Draft of the First Inaugural Address,” Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 12. This draft is in Jackson's own hand. On tariffs, Jackson said that their only object should be “encouraging the production of those articles which are essential in the emergencies of war, and to the independence of the nation.… Beyond this point, legislation effecting the natural relations of the labour of the states are irreconcilable to the objects of the Union and threatening to its peace and tranquility” (4: 12).
70. “Rough Draft of the First Inaugural Address,” Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 10–11.
71. Remini, Jackson and the Course of Freedom, 170–71. Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 10n. Hamilton, James A., Reminiscences of James A. Hamilton (New York: Charles Scribner, 1869), 104Google Scholar.
72. Draft of the First Annual Message, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 97. The final message does say, in the context of a discussion of relations with Britain: “such are my own views, and it is not to be doubted that such are also the prevailing sentiments of our constituents” (First Annual Message, December 8, 1829, in Thorpe, Francis Newton, ed., The Statesmanship of Andrew Jackson, as told in his Writings and Speeches [New York: Tandy-Thomas, 1909], 37)Google Scholar.
73. Draft of the First Annual Message, in Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 97.
74. First Annual Message, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 35. Jackson's original draft read: “It affords me pleasure to congratulate you on your safe arrival at this city, to enter upon a discharge of these important duties which have been assigned by your country” (Draft of the First Annual Message, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 97).
75. Draft of the First Annual Message, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 101, 103. Jackson's criticism of the temptations of “local influence” comes in the context of recommending his “surplus revenue plan,” by which all surplus revenue from tariffs would be distributed among the states on the basis of representation (4: 103); his warnings against selfishness and corrupting influence are spoken in the context of proposing that congressmen be made ineligible for offices “within the gift of the President” (4: 101). The proposals remain the same in the final message but the language is much more circumspect; see the First Annual Message, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 44, 48-49.
76. First Annual Message, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 42–43.
77. Draft of the First Annual Message, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 99.
78. First Annual Message, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 49. 64.
79. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, 137.
80. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, 137.
81. Jackson, to Coffee, , 12 11, 1828, Correspondence of Jackson, 3: 452Google Scholar. In a similar vein, Jackson wrote to T.L. Miller, “You will recollect that in the recent political contest it was said and truly said, to be a struggle between the virtue of the American people and the corrupting influence of executive patronage” (Jackson, to Miller, T.L., 05 13, 1829, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 31–32)Google Scholar.
82. The meaning of Jackson's victory and shape of his administration was further mud-died by the fact that Jackson's major preoccupation during his first year and more seemed to be championing the virtue of the much-maligned Peggy Eaton, wife of Jackson's old friend, campaign manager, and choice as secretary of war, John Eaton.
83. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 52–53. Jackson's majority in the House was 136 to 77, and in the Senate, 26 to 22.
84. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 71–73; Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 90–98; Remini, Jackson and Course of Freedom, 259–263; Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, 139. The bill eventually passed by a vote of 102 to 97, indicating just how unreliable and misleading Jackson's 136 to 77 House majority was.
85. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 74–76. Remini, Jackson and Course of Freedom, 230–232. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, 138–39.
86. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 64.
87. Van Buren, Martin, The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren, ed. Fitzpatrick, John C. (New York; Da Capo Press, 1973), 321Google Scholar. Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 137n.
88. Jackson, to Buren, Van, 05 4, 1830, in Buren, Van, Autobiography, 321Google Scholar. The veto message itself began by stressing the president's “anxious wish to be correctly understood by my constituents in the discharge of all my duties” (05 27, 1830, Thorpe, , ed., Statesmanship of Jackson, 66), a theme reiterated again later in the message (p. 73). Also see Second Annual Message, December 6, 1830, Statesmanship of Jackson, 98Google Scholar.
89. See especially the second paragraph of the message (Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 66–67).
90. Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 73–74.
91. Notes for the Maysville Road Veto, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 139.
92. “The people,” Jackson wrote, “expected reform, retrenchment and economy in the administration of this Government. This was the cry from Maine to Louisiana, and instead of these the great object of Congress, it would seem, is to make mine one of the most extravagant administrations since the commencement of the Government” (to Buren, Van, 05 15, 1830, in Buren, Van, Autobiography, 322)Google Scholar.
93. Wallace, Michael, “Changing Concepts of Party in the United States: New York, 1815–28,” American Historical Review 74 (12 1968), 453–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Hofstadter, Idea of a Party System, chapter 6. Ceaser, Presidential Selection, chapter 3. Remini, Robert V., Martin Van Buren and the Making of the Democratic Party (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951)Google Scholar.
94. Van Buren, to Ritchie, Thomas, 01 13, 1827, quoted in Ketcham, , Presidents Above Party, 145Google Scholar.
95. By the time Van Buren, wrote his Autobiography and Inquiry into the Origin and Course of Political Parties in the United States (1867)Google Scholar, however, he had completely embraced what by then had become enshrined as Jacksonian dogma.
96. As president, Van Buren was much more solicitous of congressional feelings than Jackson had been. See Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, 128–34.
97. Second Annual Message, December 6, 1830, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 98.
98. To Lewis, William, a close adviser, Jackson, wrote, I am “informed by all [that] where [the veto] has lost me one, it has gained me five friends” (06 28, 1830, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 157)Google Scholar. “The great body of the people,” Jackson believed, “hail the act, as a preservative of the constitution and the union” (to Lewis, William B., 06 26, 1830, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 157)Google Scholar. And the president assured Van Buren, that “The veto has become …. very popular, I have no doubt but it will be sustained by a large majority of the people” (07 12, 1830, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 161)Google Scholar.
99. Second Annual Message, December 6, 1830, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 98.
100. Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 99.
101. Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 106, 118. Also see First Annual Message, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 43. On the centrality of majority rule in Jackson's political thought, see Ellis, Richard E., The Union at Risk: Jacksonian Democracy, States' Rights and the Nullification Crisis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987)Google Scholar.
102. Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 118; also see 105. The Maysville veto message had vaguely hinted at this line of attack in an undeveloped sentence that spoke of the need to “protect … against the deleterious influence of combinations to carry by concert measures which, considered by themselves, might meet but little countenance” (Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 79).
103. Jackson, had privately expressed his disdain for “flagicious logg-rolling [sic] legislation” a year earlier, in a letter to John Overton, 12 31, 1829, Jackson. Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 109Google Scholar.
104. The more confrontational and populist stance signaled in Jackson's second annual message worried many even within the administration. Privately Treasury Secretary Samuel Ingham, for instance, fumed about the impropriety of “strong measures, adopted solely on the grounds of Gen. Jackson's personal popularity.” Congress, he cautioned, “would think for themselves and not be scolded into measures.” Local feelings, Ingham continued, “will, and generally ought to prevail.” Administration efforts “to array the constituents of a member against [that member], because he did not pursue such a course as pleased … the Administration” were both counterproductive and improper. “It was always better,” Ingham counseled, “to conciliate rather than irritate. When members complained of this thing and that, and were told that the popularity of Gen. Jackson would sustain it; they naturally became more tenacious of their own power, and less inclined to yield to the wishes of the President.” But whatever the efficacy of appeals to Jackson's popularity, such appeals were wrong in principle for “no man's popularity ought to be a shield for wrong measures” (Notes [of a conversation with Ingham] Sent to Jackson by Gardiner, C. B., 03 22, 1831, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 249–50)Google Scholar.
105. At the close of the first session, Jackson, confided to General Coffee that “congress has acted very strangely and contrary in most things to what was expected” (06 14, 1830, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 146)Google Scholar. With the second session set to open, Jackson, was convinced that it would be a “stormy and intemperate session. It is too plain to be disguised that the opposition are determined not to be pleased with any thing that advances the public interest, and mean to throw every obstacle in our way which their malice can invent, and their ingenuity suggest” (to Randolph, John, 12 3, 1830, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 210Google Scholar; see also Jackson to Andrew J. Donelson, March 24, 1831, 4: 252).
106. See Jackson's complaint on this score in his letter to his nephew and private secretary, Donelson, Andrew J., dated 03 24, 1831, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 252Google Scholar.
107. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, esp. 132–33.
108. Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 64, 123–24. Jackson's decision to mention the Bank drew strong objections from many advisers. See, for example, Secretary Ingham to Jackson, November 26, 1829, and November 27, 1829; and Attorney General Berrien to Jackson, , 11 27, 1829, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 92–95Google Scholar. Also see Worden Pope to Jackson, June 19, 1831, August 6, 1831; and Hamilton, James A. to Jackson, , 12 9, 1833, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 298Google Scholar, 327; 5: 233.
109. For Jackson's antipathy to the Bank, see Jackson to William B. Lewis, June 26, 1830, and June 28, 1830; to Moses Dawson, July 17, 1830; to Hugh L. White, April 29, 1831; to John Coffee, May 267, 1831; to Randolph, John, 12 22, 1831, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 156Google Scholar, 158, 161–62, 272, 285, 387; quotation at 4: 285. On Jackson's more longstanding distrust of banks, see Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 19–20; Ellis, Union at Risk, 33. Also see Jackson to James K. Polk, Correspondence of Jackson, 5: 235.
110. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 98–99. Ellis, Union at Risk, 35–36. See also Third Annual Message, 12 6, 1831, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 153. Jackson's primary concern in this message was the tariff, upon which he had consistently adopted a vague and equivocal stance (Ellis, Union at Risk, 45–46).
111. Ellis, Union at Risk, 36.
112. Gammon, Samuel R. Jr, the Presidential Campaign of 1832 (New York: Da Capo Press, 1969), 124Google Scholar. Also see Jackson, to Buren, Van, 12 6, 1831, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 379Google Scholar.
113. Clay to Brooke, Francis, 12 9, 1831, in Gammon, , Presidential Campaign of 1832, 124–25Google Scholar.
114. Gammon, , Presidential Campaign of 1832, 125–27Google Scholar. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 100. This was a complete reversal for Clay, , who little more than a year before had been warning Biddle that leading Democrats wanted “to make the destruction of the Bank the basis of the next Presidential Election” (06 14, 1830, in Gammon, Presidential Campaign of 1832, 114Google Scholar; also see Clay to Biddle, September 11, 1830, in ibid., 115), and advising the Bank's president not to apply for recharter until after the presidential election.
115. The vote was 28 to 20 in the Senate, and 107 to 85 in the House.
116. Remini, Jackson and Course of Freedom, 365. Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 117.
117. Veto Message – Bank of the United States, 06 10, 1832, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 175Google Scholar, 161, 173.
118. See especially Remini, Robert V., The Revolutionary Age of Andrew Jackson (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1987), 134–35Google Scholar; and Remini, Jackson and the Course of Freedom, 367 ff. Although the Bank veto message did not limit itself to constitutional reasons, this was hardly unprecedented (cf. the misleading account in Remini, Revolutionary Age, 134; and Remini, Robert V., Andrew Jackson and the Bank War [New York: Norton, 1967], 81Google Scholar). Indeed Washington's second veto did not even mention constitutional objections, nor did two of Madison's seven vetoes. In fact, Madison's veto of the Bank bill in 1815 conceded the Bank's constitutionality (Spitzer, Robert J., The Presidential Veto: Touchstone of the American Presidency [Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988], 28–30Google Scholar). Moreover, Jackson's veto message actually was crafted primarily on constitutional grounds (in the opening paragraph Jackson states he had “considered [the bill] with that solemn regard to the principles of the Constitution … and come to the conclusion that it ought not to become a law” [Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 154]). Webster's objection to Jackson's message was not that it departed from a settled practice of basing vetoes on constitutional grounds but rather that it paraded as constitutional objections what were in fact policy differences. If “the President sees fit to negative a bill, on the ground of its being inexpedient or impolitic,” Webster admitted, “he has a right to do so” (Veto of the Bank Bill, July 11, 1832, The Papers of Daniel Webster: Speeches and Formal Writings, 1800–1833, ed. Wiltse, Charles M. [Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1986) 1: 520Google Scholar). The danger, in Webster's view, lay in erasing the distinction between constitutional questions and “mere matters of opinion” (ibid., 1: 527). What most alarmed the opposition was less the grounds on which Jackson's veto was argued than the frequency with which Jackson was making use of the veto and the potential that had for transforming the balance of power between the executive and the legislature (see Register of Debates in Congress, 22d Congress, 1st session, July 12, 1832, p. 1265; 23d Congress, 1st session, December 18, 1833, p. 2214, January 29, 1834, p. 384).
119. See, for example, Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr, The Age of Jackson (Boston: Little, Brown, 1945)Google Scholar.
120. It is true, as many scholars have pointed out (Ellis, Union at Risk, 37, Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 106; Heale, M.J., The Presidential Quest: Candidates and Images in American Political Culture, 1787–1852 [London: Longman, 1982], 90Google Scholar), that the Bank veto message was directed to the people, but this was equally true of the Maysville veto message. Indeed even Jackson's annual messages to Congress, at least in Jackson's eyes, were directed toward the people at least as much as toward Congress. See, for example, Jackson to Hamilton, James, 12 19, 1829, in Reminiscences of Hamilton, 151Google Scholar; Jackson, to Lewis, , 06 28, 1830, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 158Google Scholar; also see the Columbus Sentinel, excerpted in Washington Globe January 2, 1832, and the Huntsville Democrat, excerpted in Washington Globe, January 7, 1832. Cf. Tulis, Rhetorical Presidency, esp. 133.
121. The first sentence of the last paragraph begins, “I have now done my duty to my country. If sustained by my fellow-citizens, I shall be grateful and happy; if not I shall find in the motives which impel me ample ground for contentment and peace” (Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 176).
122. Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 173.
123. In notes that Jackson prepared for the message he did emphasize that recharter was at present inexpedient because “three millions of people, under the present census are unrepresented in the present congress who ought to be heard.” It would be better, therefore, if the subject would be decided after the election when the people had had the chance to select representatives “who would truly represent their wishes on this important subject” (Jackson's Memorandum on the Bank in View of Veto, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 458; Jackson seems to have borrowed this line of argument from a recent correspondent, see Samuel Smith to Jackson, , 06 17, 1832, Correspondence of Jackson 4: 449Google Scholar). But even this was not an indictment of Congress per se but rather a criticism of the representativeness of the current Congress. The final message mentioned but did not place special emphasis upon the fact that a new Congress would furnish “an equal representation of the people, according to the last census” (Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 173).
124. It was the National Republicans and not Jackson's party who were the first major party to draw up a platform. In an address to the American people, the National Republicans vigorously defended the Bank as a “great and beneficial institution” and strongly criticized Jackson's opposition to the Bank. Moreover, the address claimed that Jackson's recently delivered third annual message (which was in reality circumspect and noncommittal on the Bank question) “intimates that he shall consider his re-election as an expression of the opinion of the people” in favor of abolishing the Bank. “If such be, in fact, the wishes of the people,” the platform continued, the people should vote for General Jackson. If, however, the people wish to retain this valuable institution, they must vote for Clay (“Address of the National Republican Convention,” December 1832, reprinted in Schlesinger, History of Presidential Elections, 2: 553–66, quotations at 2: 561–62). At their own nominating convention in May, 1832, the Democrats set up a committee to draft a similar address, but the committee decided to avoid taking a position on any issues, instead advising delegates to make “such explanations by address, report, or otherwise, to their respective constituents of the objects, proceedings and result of the meeting as they may deem expedient” (McCormick, Presidential Game, 141).
125. Veto of the Bank Bill, Speeches and Formal Writings of Webster, 1: 508.
126. Veto of the Bank Bill, Speeches and Formal Writings of Webster, 1:508.
127. On President Jackson's Veto of the Bank Bill, July 10, 1832, in Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Henry Clay, 5: 527. Also see Washington, National Intelligencer, 07 19, 1832, 3Google Scholar.
128. Washington, National Intelligencer, 09 6, 1832, 2Google Scholar. Lafayette (Indiana) Free Press. reprinted in the Washington National Intelligencer, August 9. 1832, 2.
131. “The result of the Presidential election,” announced the Baltimore Republican, “sustains, most fully and completely, the course of the President in relation to the exercise of the veto power.… The voice of the people has been pronounced against the renewal of the present charter” (reprinted in Washington Globe, November 21, 1832, 2). Similarly, the Cincinnati Republican insisted that the election result “proves that the principles of Gen. Jackson's Veto Message, rejecting the Bank monopoly, are sanctioned by a triumphant majority of the American people” (reprinted in Washington Globe, December 8, 1832, 2).
132. Cincinnati Advertiser, November 21, 1832, p. 3. Washington, Globe, 11 21, 1832, 2. New York Evening Post, reprinted in washington Globe, November 15, 1832, p. 2Google Scholar.
133. New York Evening Post, reprinted in Washington Globe, November 15, 1832, p. 2. Baltimore Republican, reprinted in Washington Globe, November 21, 1832, p. 2.
134. Washington, Globe, 12 6, 1832. 2Google Scholar. Cincinnati Advertiser, November 21, 1832, p. 3. Also see New York Evening Post, reprinted in Washington Globe, November 15, 1832, p. 2.
135. New York Evening Post, reprinted in Washington Globe, November 23, 1832, p. 2. The speech referred to by the Evening Post was given by Webster in Worcester, Massachusetts, on October 12, 1832,
136. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 159.
137. Fourth Annual Message, December 4, 1832, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 177–99. Also see Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 159, and Remini, Robert V., Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833–1845 (New York: Harper & Row, 1984), 10–11Google Scholar.
138. Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1833, Inaugural Addresses, 65. Jackson's original draft said essentially the same thing, with the only significant difference being that Jackson originally referred to his “administration” rather than his “public conduct” (Second Inaugural Address, March 1, 1833, Correspondence of Jackson, 5: 25).
139. Jackson's correspondence from October, 1832, through the opening months of 1833 are almost exclusively concerned with the nullification crisis. See Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 481–508; 5: 2–22.
140. Ellis, Union at Risk, 75.
141. Anti-Nullification Proclamation, December 10, 1832, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 232-60. Also see Jackson to Robert Hayne, February 8, 1831; to Joel R. Poinsett, November 7, 1832; “Note,” November, [1832?], Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 242, 486, 492.
142. See Jackson to Robert Hayne, February 8, 1831, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 241–42. Also see Ellis, Union at Risk, 47 and passim.
143. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 170, 176–77. Fearing that Congress would override his veto, Jackson pocket vetoed the distribution bill.
144. The words are from the Fourth Annual Message, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 199.
145. Second Inaugural Address, Inaugural Addresses, 66.
146. Jackson to Polk, December 16, 1832, Correspondence of Jackson, 4: 501.
147. To the Members of the Cabinet, March 19, 1833, Correspondence of Jackson, 5: 32–33.
148. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 188. Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 171–73. Moreover, many of the president's most trusted advisers counseled against removal, including William Lewis, James Hamilton, and Hugh White (Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 188; Hugh White to Jackson, April 11, 1833, Correspondence of Jackson, 5: 58). Advisers supporting removal were Amos Kendall, Francis Blair, and Reuben Whitney (Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 166, 170 – 74; Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 186–87).
149. Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 179. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 188. The Secretary of the Treasury (Louis McLane) to Jackson, May 20, 1833, Correspondence of Jackson, 5: 75–101.
150. The Secretary of the Treasury (Louis McLane) to Jackson, May 20, 1833, Correspondence of Jackson, 5: 85. Van Buren expressed the same objection to Kendall a few days after the president's inaugural. See Kendall, Amos, Autobiography of Amos Kendall, ed.Stickney, William(New York: Peter Smith, 1949, originally published in 1872), 376Google Scholar.
151. Fourth Annual Message, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 190.
152. Notes on Treasury Opinion [May 1833], Correspondence of Jackson, 5: 102.
154. The Attorney General (Roger B. Taney) to Jackson, [03, 1833], Correspondence of Jackson, 5: 41Google Scholar.
155. Although the change was agreed to by all parties at the outset of the year, the actual change of offices did not take place until almost six months later, at the beginning of June.
156. Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 190.
157. To Secretary Duane, , 06 26, 1833, Correspondence of Jackson, 5: 113–15, 122, 128Google Scholar.
159. Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 176–80.
161. The message was initially drafted by Blair and Jackson in the first half of August, while the two were vacationing together in Virginia. The document was subsequently edited and revised by Kendall and Taney (Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 177, 180; Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 192–94; Remini, Jackson and Growth of Democracy, 97). The Jackson-Blair draft can be found in Correspondence of Jackson, V: 192–203. Cole correctly notes that Taney “softened” the egalitarian rhetoric of the Jackson-Blair draft (Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 194; also see Blair to Van Buren, November 13, 1859, in Van Buren, Autobiography, 608). Less often appreciated, however, is that the final draft, as worked over by Kendall and Taney, made the mandate claim more prominent and explicit. Given the similarity between the letter to Duane, which was evidently prepared largely by Kendall, and the mandate argument as set out at the outset of the removal announcement, it seems likely that Kendall rather than Taney was mainly responsible for giving this theme greater prominence in the message.
162. See Washington Globe, September 23, 1833, p. 2.
163. Removal of the Public Deposits, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 262–64.
164. Removal of the Public Deposits, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 266, 268, 264.
165. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, 150.
166. Latner, Presidency of Jackson, 182. Remini, Jackson and Growth of Democracy, 109–10, 113.
167. New York Evening Post, New York Working Man's Advocate, Brooklyn Advocate, all excerpted in the Washington Globe, October 1, 1833, p. 2.
168. Trenton Emporium, in the Washington Globe, October 1, 1833, p. 2, emphasis added. New York Evening Post, in the Washington Globe, October 4, 1833, p. 2. Also see New York Standard, in the Washington Globe, October 4, 1833, p. 2; Knoxville Register, in the Washington Globe, November 2, 1833; and the Washington Globe, November 16, 1833, p. 2.
169. Washington Globe, December 17, 1833, p. 3.
170. The opposition's criticisms were aimed not only at Jackson's September paper but also at Taney's Treasury report, which was submitted to Congress at the outset of the session. Taney's report insisted that ” the manifestations of public opinion, instead of being favorable to a renewal, have been decidedly to the contrary. And I have always regarded the result of the last election of President of the United States as a declaration of a majority of the people that the charter ought not to be renewed. … [The Bank's] voluntary application to Congress for the renewal of its charter four years before it expired, and upon the eve of the election for President, was understood on all sides as bringing forward that question for incidental decision at the then approaching election. It was accordingly argued on both sides before the tribunal of the people, and their verdict pronounced against the bank, by the election of the candidate who was known to have been always inflexibly opposed to it” (Removal of Public Deposits, December 3, 1833, Appendix to Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, 60). At the same time, the new Congress received Jackson's veto message of a public lands bill that had been passed and pocket vetoed by Jackson the previous March. In the message, Jackson referred Congress back to his Maysville veto and to “the leading principle” therein, which stated that “Congress possesses no constitutional power to appropriate any part of the moneys of the United States for objects of a local character, within the States. That principle, I cannot be mistaken in supposing, has received the unequivocal sanction of the American people” (Veto Message-Public Lands, December 4, 1833, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 318–19).
171. Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, December 26, 1833, pp. 82–84.
172. Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, December 30, 1833, p. 84.
173. Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, December 30, 1833, p. 85; December 26, 1833, p. 66.
174. Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, December 26, 1833, p. 66.
175. Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, January 15, 1834, pp. 2419, 2421–22.
176. Appendix to Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, February 5, 1834, p. 151.
177. Remini, Jackson and the Course of Freedom, 391. Also see Remini, Jackson and the Bank War, 106; and Cole, Presidency of Jackson, 150, 152. The opposition might also have pointed out that Jackson's share of the popular vote actually declined somewhat from what he had received in 1828, which remains the only time in American history that a reelected president has experienced such a drop-off. Moreover, unlike in 1828, the Senate was now firmly under the control of the anti-Jackson forces.
178. Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, January 29, 1834, pp. 386–87.
179. Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, December 26, 1833, 65.
180. Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, January 27, 1834, p. 345. Forsyth was a Democratic senator from Georgia, and would shortly be appointed Jackson's secretary of state.
181. Register of Debates, 23d Congress, 1st session, December 30, 1833, p. 82. In the version of Clay's speech reprinted in the Washington Globe Clay says, “For myself, Sir, I have adopted this rule, when the election is over and it is lost, I give it up, and think no more about it” (Washington Globe, January 1, 1834, p. 2).
182. See Silbey, American Political Nation; and McCormick, Richard P., The Second American Party System: Party Formation in the Jacksonian Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966)Google Scholar.
183. The antipartyism of the Whigs was pervasive in the 1830s and receded substantially after 1840 (see McCormick, Presidential Game, 186; Silbey, American Political Nation, 42–43), but hardly vanished after that point, at least among presidential candidates. See, for example, Speech by General William Henry Harrison, September 10, 1840, in Schlesinger, History of Presidential Elections, 2: 738; and William Henry Harrison, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1841, Inaugural Addresses, 96–97. Also see Zachary Taylor's first “Allison Letter, ” April 22, 1848, and second “Allison Letter, ” September 4, 1848, in Schlesinger, History of Presidential Elections, 3: 913, 917; and Taylor's letter to his son, quoted in Bauer, K. Jack, Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest (Baton Rouge: Louisiana States University Press, 1985), 232Google Scholar. More generally, see Heale, Presidential Quest and Howe, Daniel Walker, The Political Culture of the American Whigs (University of Chicago Press, 1979)Google Scholar.
184. Van Buren to Andrew Stevenson et al., May 29, 1835, Washington Globe, June 12, 1835, in Brown, Thomas, “From Old Hickory to Sly Fox: The Routinization of Charisma in the Early Democratic Party, ” Journal of the Early Republic 11 (Fall 1991), 362CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
185. In fact, the party statement of the Democratic Republicans issued in the summer of 1835, after Van Buren's nomination, mentions Van Buren's name only once (Cole, Donald B., Martin Van Buren and the American Political System [Princeton University Press, 1984], 267)Google Scholar. The statement is reprinted in Schlesinger, History of Presidential Elections, 2: 616–38.
186. Holland, William M., The Life and Political Opinions of Martin Van Buren, Vice President of the United States (1835)Google Scholar, quoted in Heale, Presidential Quest, 185.
187. Cole, Van Buren and the American Political System, 75.
188. See Van Buren to Ritchie, January 13, 1827, in Ceaser, Presidential Selection, 138.
189. Wilson, Major L., The Presidency of Martin Van Buren (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1984), 39Google Scholar. Cole, Van Buren and the American Political System, 290.
191. Special Session Message, September 4, 1837, in Richardson, James D., A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents (Washington, DC: Bureau of National Literature and Arts, 1904), 3: 328Google Scholar. This interpretation of the 1832 and 1836 elections was common-place among Democrats. See, for example, the public address, signed by twenty-nine Illinois Democrats, including Stephen Douglas, asserting that “the public judgment has been most decisively pronounced [against the reestablishment of the U.S. Bank] in the last two presidential elections” (To the Democratic Republicans of Illinois, November 1837, in Johannsen, Robert W., ed., The Letters of Stephen A. Douglas [Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1961], 47)Google Scholar.
192. Speech on the Sub-Treasury Bill, September 25, 1837, in Colion, Calvin, ed., The Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Henry Clay (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1857), 6: 69Google Scholar. Also see Clay to Gulian C. Verplanck, December 8, 1837, in Seager, Robert, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988), 9: 99Google Scholar. At the close of Van Buren's term, Clay remarked: “It is a principle of those who are now in power, that an election or a re-election of the president implies the sanction of the people to all the measures which he had proposed, and all the opinions which he had expressed on public affairs, prior to that event.…Let Mr. Van Buren be re-elected in November next, and it will be claimed that the people have thereby approved of this plan of the Secretary of War [to reorganize the state militia]” (State of the Country Under MrVan Buren, , 06 27, 1840, in Colton, Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Clay, 6: 204)Google Scholar.
193. “Mr. Van Buren's Title to Re-election, ” United States Magazine and Democratic Review (04–May 1840), 286–88, emphasis added. Also see the December 19, 1837, speech delivered in the House of Representatives by Congressman Caleb Cushing of Massachusetts, reprinted under the title “Executive Usurpation” in United States Magazine and Democratic Review (February 1838), esp. 282.
194. Washington, National Intelligencer, 10 20, 1836, p. 2Google Scholar; and November 17, 1836, p. 2. Webster, , “Reception at New York, ” 03 15, 1837, Speeches and Formal Writings of Webster, 2: 134Google Scholar. Special thanks to Alan Berolzheimer for tracking down the Webster cite.
195. It was, he continued, “another and the most gratifying evidence that the People, when aroused, are competent to maintain any just principle, and correct any abuse, however sanctioned by precedent or sustained by wealth” (Letter from President Buren, Martin Van to the Democratic Citizens Committee, 07 4, 1840, in Schlesinger, History of Presidential Elections, 2: 736)Google Scholar.
196. “The Presidential Contest, ” United States Magazine and Democratic Review (September 1840), 197.
197. Andrew Johnson, Speech in Defense of the “Immortal Thirteen, ” October 27–28, 1841, in Graf, Leroy P. and Haskins, Ralph W., eds., The Papers of Andrew Johnson (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1967), 1: 55Google Scholar. Also see New York Evening Post, as excerpted in Niles National Register, November 28, 1840, pp. 203–204. Democrats leveled the same charges against the Whigs and their presidential candidate, Zachary Taylor, in 1848. See, for instance, Andrew Johnson, Speech on Veto Power and Responsibility for War with Mexico, August 2, 1848, Papers of Johnson, 1: 458.
198. That a new norm was developing that presidents should give their opinions on the issues of the day is evident from Harrison's preface that he was “fully aware, my fellow citizens, that you expect from me some opinion upon the various questions which now agitate our country, from centre to circumference, with such fierce contention” (Speech by General Harrison, William Henry, 09 10, 1840, in Schlesinger, History of Presidential Elections, 2: 738)Google Scholar.
199. For a valuable corrective to the mistaken view that the Whigs avoided issues altogether, see Howe, Political Culture of the Whigs, 7–8.
200. Harrison, William Henry, Inaugural Address, 03 4, 1841, Inaugural Addresses, 85, 79–80Google Scholar.
201. Speech by General Harrison, William Henry, 09 10, 1840, in Schlesinger, , History of Presidential Elections, 2: 742Google Scholar, emphasis added.
202. Washington Globe, March 4, 1841, quoted in Ashworth, John, “Agrarians” and “Aristocrats”: Party Political Ideology in the United States, 1837–1846 (Cambridge University Press, 1987), 35Google Scholar.
203. Levi Woodbury, A Speech Delivered in Hall, Faneuil, 10 19, 1841, Writings of Levi Woodbury (Boston: Little, Brown, 1852), 1: 571Google Scholar. Also cited in Ford, Henry Jones, The Rise and Growth of American Politics (New York: Da Capo Press, 1967Google Scholar; originally published in 1898), 187; and (incorrectly) in Binkley, President and Congress, 120. Also see Johnson, Andrew, Speech on Election of Senators, the Veto Power, and Other Matters, 10 , 1842, Papers of Johnson, 1: 94Google Scholar.
204. Fourth Annual Message, December 5, 1848, in Richardson, Messages and Papers, 4: 663–65. Also see Sellers, Charles, James K. Polk: Continental, 1843–1846 (Princeton University Press, 1966), 324–25Google Scholar.
206. Speech on the Admission of Oregon, , 01 31, 1846, Papers of Johnson, 1: 289. Also see Speech on the Admission of Texas and other Matters, January 21, 1845, Papers of Johnson, 1: 190. Also see Niles” National Register, January 25, 1845, p. 328; andGoogle ScholarBergeron, Paul H., The Presidency of James K. Polk (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987), 20Google Scholar, 53.
207. There were a few exceptions, particularly among the handful of southern Whigs who backed President Tyler. South Carolina Senator William C. Preston, for instance, who had voted for Jackson's censure in 1834, appropriated Jacksonian language in defending Tyler and the presidential veto power. “There was only one department of the Government, ” Preston argued, “that was truly Democratic, and that was the Executive. So far from the President being in a position to contravene the popular will, he was the only officer that came in on the broad basis of the whole Union, and was therefore the proper exponent of the popular will. The Senate was the only aristocratic body, and stood between the popular will and the Executive” (Congressional Globe, 27th Congress, 2d session, January 24, 1842, p. 167). Cf. Binkley, Wilfred E., President and Congress (New York: Vintage, 1962), 120Google Scholar, in which this quote is misleadingly adduced as a prime example of the Jacksonian response to Clay's arguments against the veto power.
208. Webster's, Speech at Faneuil Hall, printed in Niles' National Register, 05 25, 1844, p. 204Google Scholar.
209. Webster, Speech at Trenton, NJ, 1844, quoted in Howe, Political Culture of Whigs, 89.
210. Clay, , “On the Abolition of the Veto Power,” 01 24, 1842, in Colton, , Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Clay, 6: 318Google Scholar.
211. General Taylor's, Zachary First “Allison Letter,” 04 22, 1848, in Schlesinger, , History of Presidential Elections, 3: 914; also see GeneralGoogle ScholarTaylor's, Zachary Second “Allison Letter,” 09 4, 1848, in Schlesinger, , History of Presidential Elections, 3: 915–17Google Scholar.
212. Taylor, Zachary, Inaugural Address, 03 5, 1849, Inaugural Addresses, 112Google Scholar. Also see Richardson, Messages and Papers, 5: 79.
213. Speech in U.S. House of Representatives on the Presidential Question, July 27, 1848, in Basler, Roy, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University, 1953), 1: 504–505, 507Google Scholar.
216. Lincoln added the typical Whig proviso, “save only so much as may guard against infractions of the constitution, undue haste, and want of consideration.”
217. By 1840, the United States Magazine and Democratic Review could justly report that “the presidential question absorbs everything” (April-May 1840, p. 287).
218. Message to Congress in Special Session, July 4, 1861, Collected Works of Lincoln, 4: 429, emphasis added.
219. See, for example, Sumner, Charles, “Letters of Marque and Reprisal,” Speeches in the Senate, 02 14, and 17, 1863, Charles Sumner: His Complete Works (New York: Negro University Press, 1969), 9: 296–98Google Scholar.
220. The best known statement of this view is Lincoln's letter to Hodges, Albert G., 04 4, 1864, Collected Works of Lincoln, 7: 281. Also see the Message to Congress in Special Session, cited above. Also see Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, 185Google Scholar.
221. See Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr, The Imperial Presidency (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973), 58–63Google Scholar; and Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, 186.
222. See, for example, comments by Orville Browning (representative from Illinois) and Dixon, James (representative from Connecticut) in Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2d session, 06 25, 1862Google Scholar, esp. p. 2922, and June 27, 1862, p. 2973.
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224. Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2d session, June 16, 1862, p. 2734. I had rather give a policy to the President of the United States, ” Wilson continued, “than to take a policy from the President of the United States.”
225. Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2d session, June 28, 1862, p. 2972. This and the above two quotations are also cited in Binkley, President and Congress, 142–43, but Binkley fails to note that Trumbull was a former Democrat not a Whig.
226. Lincoln, , Proclamation Concerning Reconstruction, 07 8, 1864, Collected Works of Lincoln, 7: 433Google Scholar.
227. Trefousse, Hans L., The Radical Republicans: Lincoln's Vanguard for Racial Justice (New York: Knopf, 1969), 293Google Scholar.
228. The Wade-Davis Manifesto, August 5, 1864, reprinted in Schlesinger, History of Presidential Elections, 3: 1195–96. The manifesto originally appeared in the New York Tribune, August 5, 1864.
229. Trefousse, Radical Republicans, 294, 296.
230. Sumner, , “The Proclamation of Emancipation,” Speech at Faneuil Hall, 10 6, 1862, Sumner: His Complete Works, 9: 236. Before Lincoln had even been electedGoogle Scholar, Seward, William Henry, another former Whig and soon to become Lincoln's secretary of state, spoke of “the great republican party under its great and glorious leader, Abraham Lincoln” (”Political Equality: The National Idea, ” 09 18, 1860, inGoogle ScholarRecent Speeches and Writings of William H. Seward, 1854–1861, ed. Baker, George E. [New York: Redfield, 1861], 346)Google Scholar.
231. Randall, J. G. and Current, Richard N., Lincoln the President: Last Full Measure (New York: Dodd, Mead &Company, 1955), 307Google Scholar. Cox, Lawanda, Lincoln and Black Freedom: A Study in Presidential Leadership (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1981), 18Google Scholar.
232. Lincoln, , Proclamation Concerning Reconstruction, 07 8, 1864, Collected Works of Lincoln, 7: 433Google Scholar. Lincoln said he was “sincerely hoping and expecting that a constitutional amendment, abolishing slavery throughout the nation, may be adopted.” Also see “To Whom it May Concern, ” July 18, 1864, Collected Works of Lincoln, 7: 451.
233. See, for example, Lincoln to Henry W. Hoffman, October 10, 1864; and Response to a Serenade, , 10 19, 1864, Collected Works of Lincoln, 8: 41, 52Google Scholar.
234. New York Times, November 8, 1864, p. 4.
235. Sumner, , “Jubilee of Liberty,” Letter to the Young Men's Republican Union of New York, 11 10, 1864, in Sumner: His Complete Works, 12: 5–6Google Scholar. Reprinted in the New York Tribune, November 10, 1864. In a speech on November 8, 1864, a jubilant Sumner declared, “The voice of the people at the ballot-box has echoed back that great letter of the President, ‘To whom it may concern,’ declaring the integrity of the Union and the abandonment of Slavery the two essential conditions of peace” (”Congratulations on the Presidential Election,” Speech at a Public Meeting at Faneuil Hall, Boston, November 8, 1864, Sumner: His Complete Works, 12: 4).
236. New York Tribune, November 10, 1864, p. 4.
237. New York Tribune, November 14, 1864, p. 4. Similar in spirit was the reaction of the Chicago Tribune. In electing Lincoln, , the Chicago Tribune argued, the people had “rendered [their verdict] with a clear voice and a firm nerve, so that it cannot be misunderstood” (11 10, 1864, p. 2)Google Scholar. The people had said, “We sustain the Union – we sustain the President – we sustain the war – we rejoice in and sustain whatever vigor has been manifested in crushing rebellion at the South and in crushing out treason at the North.” The people had approved the suspension of habeas corpus, the use of negro troops, the Emancipation Proclamation, “and whatever else the President has done… to subdue the rebellion and restore the Union” (November 9, 1864, p. 1).
238. New York Tribune, November 12, 1864, p. 8.
239. Chicago Tribune, November 11, 1864, p. 4.
240. Douglass, Frederick, “The Final Test of Self government,” An Address delivered in Rochester, New York, 11 13, 1864, in Blassingame, John W. and McKivigan, John R., eds., The Frederick Douglass Papers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979), 4: 36Google Scholar. Similar in spirit was a sermon by the Reverend Sloane, W. J.: “This great expression of public opinion was a ratification of every noble act of the President since he came to power.… God grant that the Republican party may, … obedient to the voice of the People, make an end both of Rebellion and of the atrocious wickedness that has inspired it” (New York Tribune, 11 25, 1864, p. 6)Google Scholar. The London Times of the same day reported that “everything [Lincoln has done] has been – to use the American expression – endorsed by the popular vote” (London Times, November 25, 1864, p. 6).
241. Edward|Everett, “President Lincoln,” Remarks at the dinner to Captain Winslow, November 15, 1864, Everett, Edward, Orations and Speeches on Various Occasions (Boston: Little, Brown, 1868), 4: 746Google Scholar. Moreover, Everett paid tribute to Lincoln as “the personal representative of the people in the family of nations” (4: 741).
242. Sermon by Reverend Ellis, George E., Boston, 11 13, 1864, in Schlesinger, , ed., History of Presidential Elections, 3: 1206–1208Google Scholar.
243. Annual Message to Congress, December 6, 1864, Collected Works of Lincoln, 8: 149.
244. See Cox, Lawanda and Cox, John H., Politics, Principle, and Prejudice, 1865–1866 (New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963), esp. 1–6Google Scholar.
245. Randall and Current, Last Full Measure, 309–10. Cox and Cox, Politics, Principle, and Prejudice, chapter 1.
246. Congressman Spalding, Rufus P. (Ohio), Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, 12 9, 1864, p. 70Google Scholar.
247. Congressman Davis, Thomas T. (New York), Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, 01 7, 1865, p. 155Google Scholar.
248. Randall and Current, Last Full Measure, 313.
249. Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, January 31, 1865, p. 525. Representative Yeaman, George, a Kentucky Democrat who was persuaded by the administration to switch, warned his Democratic colleagues against “factious, heedless and exaggerated opposition to the Administration and the verdict of the people” (Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, 01 9, 1865, p. 168Google Scholar). Ohio Democrat Cox, Samuel S., an influential backer of the proposed amendment despite the fact that at the last minute he voted against it (Cox and Cox, Politics, Principle, and Prejudice, 17–18, 23), reminded his fellow Democrats that “The party of the Administration made this amendment of the Constitution a part of their creed”(Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, 01 12, 1864, p. 238)Google Scholar.
250. Senator Powell, Lazarus Whitehead (Kentucky), Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, 01 9, 1865, p. 166Google Scholar.
251. Congressman Rogers, Andrew J. (New Jersey), Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, 01 7, 1865, p. 153Google Scholar.
252. The overwhelming majority of Democrats who switched to support the Thirteenth Amendment were lame ducks. Only a couple of Democrats who had recently been reelected voted with Lincoln.
253. Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, January 26, 1864, p. 440. Congress, Cox continued, “represents States in the Senate and the people of the States in the House.” As Democrats found their party's own innovation of the mandate being used against them, there were occasionally expressions of protest but to little avail. After the House approved the Thirteenth Amendment, Cox's fellow Ohio congressman, Long, Alex, complained that “there are many who tell us that the policy of war and subjugation has been settled by the result of the presidential election. They insist that it is now a finality, and that it is the imperative duty of all good citizens to carry the point of acquiescence in the popular verdict into future support and approval of the Administration. I do not so regard it.… It is not to be supposed that the apparent majority of the people, by their votes in favor of Mr. Lincoln, intended absolutely to instruct him to pursue his policy without regard to change of circumstances. To suppose so would be to argue a want of discretion [in Congress]” (Appendix to the Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, February 7, 1865, p. 55; also see Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, February 2, 1865, p. 34)Google Scholar.
254. Morrill, Lot (Rep. Maine), Congressional Globe, 01 25, 1865, p. 421Google Scholar. New Hampshire Senator John P. Hale was another who carried into the Republican party his Democratic views of presidential power and electoral mandates. Lincoln's, reelection, he said, was a vindication “of the [antislavery] sentiments which received the commendation of a majority of the American people in the election of Mr. Lincoln” (Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, 02 17, 1865, p. 855)Google Scholar.
255. Congressional Globe, 38th Congress, 2d session, January 9, 1865, p. 165.
256. This sentiment was seen most conspicuously in Stevens, Thaddeus, who insisted that “Congress is the sovereign power, because the people speak through them; and Andrew Johnson must learn that he is your servant and that as Congress shall order he must obey. There is no escape from it. God forbid that he should have one title of power except what he derives through Congress and the Constitution” (Speech at Lancaster in 09 1866, in Binkley, President and Congress, 166)Google Scholar.
257. Speech on occasion of a serenade, April 18, 1866, quoted in Binkley, President and Congress, 166.
258. Half of Lincoln's cabinet was made up of former Democrats, and by the late 1860s, according to Wilfred Binkley's count, nineteen of the thirty-four outstanding Republican congressional leaders were former Democrats (Binkley, President and Congress, 178). Also see Foner, Eric, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men; The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970Google Scholar), chapter 5.
259. Canton Repository, November 5, 1896, p. 4.
260. New York Times, November 4, 1896, p. 4. The Washington Post, whose political sympathies were similar to the Times, agreed that “the verdict of the people at the polls shows conclusively that the country is not ready to try the experiment of free and unlimited silver coinage (November 4, 1896, p. 1).
261. New York Times, November 5, 1896, p. 4.
262. New York Times, November 27, 1896, p. 4.
263. Canton Repository, October 4, 1896, p. 3.
264. Inaugural Address, March 4, 1897, Messages and Papers, 10: 12.
265. Inaugural Address, Messages and Papers, 10: 13–14.
266. McKinley, to be sure, still spoke in a recognizably Republican way. Although he grounded the powers of the president in the people, there was in his message none of the Congress-bashing that was so characteristic of Democratic presidents of the nineteenth century. “I do not sympathize,” McKinley said, “with the sentiment that Congress in session is dangerous to our general business interests.” Congressmen, after all, “are the agents of the people” (Inaugural Address, Messages and Papers, 10: 17). Of course, such sentiments were made easier by the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate.
267. Message, To the Congress of the United States, March 15, 1897, Messages and Papers, 10: 21.
268. Inaugural Address, Messages and Papers, 10: 18.
269. Message, To the Congress of the United States, July 24, 1897, in Messages and Papers, 10: 25.
270. Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1901, Inaugural Addresses, 203–204.
271. “The surest sign that a society has entered into the secure possession of a new concept,” as Skinner, Quentin points out, “is that a new vocabulary will be developed, in terms of which the concept can be publicly articulated and discussed” (The Foundations of Modern Political Thought [Cambridge University Press, 1978], 11: 352)Google Scholar.
272. Gould, Lewis L., The Presidency of William McKinley (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1980), 25Google Scholar. In a Utopian novel published in the same year by Bellamy, Edward, a character explains the meaning of a curious ornament atop the Statehouse: “It represents the modern ideal of a proper system of government. The mill stands for the machinery of administration, the wind that drives it symbolizes the public will, and the rudder that always keeps the vane of the mill before the wind, however suddenly or completely the wind may change, stands for the method by which the administration is kept at all times responsive and obedient to every mandate of the people, though it be but a breath” (Equality [New York: Appleton-Century, 1938Google Scholar, originally published in 1897], 273).
273. Ford, Rise and Growth of American Politics, 195–96. “Presidential authority,” Ford writes at another point, “is founded on the direct mandate of the people” (p. 187). By the early 1890s, a related modern presidential term, “landslide,” had come into common usage. See, for example, Washington Post, November 3, 1896, p. 6, and November 20, 1986, p. 6. Also Lewis Gould reports that the concept of the presidential “honeymoon,” although not the word, had taken hold by 1896 (Gould, McKinley, 37).
274. These findings also depart in important ways from Binkley's account in President and Congress, which emphasizes the continuities between Whig and Republican views of the presidency. In our view, Binkley misses the ways in which the Republican conception of the basis of presidential power was substantially, if not radically, different from the Whig view. Still, Binkley is right (and indeed this is the book's enduring contribution) to highlight “the remarkable extent to which our major political parties have aligned themselves on opposite sides of the controversy regarding presidential leadership” (p. ix). The Republican view, though distinctly different from the Whig understanding of presidential power, nevertheless remained different from the Democratic view. For although both Democrats and Republicans accepted the mandate (as well as the legitimacy of the veto power), Republican presidents, at least through McKinley, did not typically denigrate Congress in the way that Democratic presidents did.
275. An exemplary analysis in this vein is Tulis, Rhetorical Presidency. Tulis identifies an “old way” that runs from the founders to McKinley (Andrew Johnson excepted), a middle way pioneered by Theodore Roosevelt, and a new way blazed by Woodrow Wilson. Tulis's designation of the “old way” of the nineteenth century is particularly problematic because it obscures the fierce partisan contestation over the ways of being president that characterized so much of nineteenth century politics. In his brash claim to be a tribune of the people, Andrew Johnson was arguably not an exception to the rule so much as an extraordinary Jacksonian. See the chapter on Johnson, as “The Last Jacksonian” in Stampp, Kenneth, The Era of Reconstruction, 1865–1877 (New York: Random House, 1965)Google Scholar.
276. This point is implicit in Lewis Gould's account of the McKinley presidency, in which he suggests that the story of the emergence of the modern presidency should in many ways begin with McKinley (Gould, McKinley, esp. vii, and chapter 10). Our emphasis is somewhat different. We argue that the modern conception of the electoral mandate did not begin to take its modern shape during McKinley's term, but rather that by the time of McKinley's presidency, the foundations of the theory of the presidential mandate were already firmly established.
277. The accounts of commentators writing at the close of the nineteenth century should be enough to call into question the assumption that prior to Roosevelt and Wilson the presidency lacked a direct popular basis to its authority, and was, with rare if notable exceptions, marginal to the policy-making process. In 1893, for instance, Bryce, Lord published The American Commonwealth, in which he observed that “the nation… looks to the man of its choice to keep Congress in order” (The American Commonwealth [New York: Macmillan, 1924], 1: 59Google Scholar). And in the Rise and Growth of American Politics, published in 1898, Henry Jones Ford noted the “remarkable transformation” that had occurred “in the constitution of the presidency” since Jackson's time. “Instead of an embodiment of prerogative, it has become a representative institution” (p. 186). Congress, Ford continued, “represents locality; the President represents the nation” (p. 187). Moreover, Ford noted that “unless it is able to control the presidential office no party can accomplish its purposes” (p. 188). Indeed “the agency of the presidential office has been such a master force in shaping public policy that to give a detailed account of it would be equivalent to writing the political history of the United States. From Jackson's time to the present day it may be said that political issues have been decided by executive policy” (p. 279).
278. The irony is pointed out in Ceaser, Presidential Selection, 74–75.
279. Polk, James, Register of Debates, 03 13, 1826Google Scholar, quoted in Welter, Rush, The Mind of America, 1820–1860 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975), 171Google Scholar. Also see Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, 115.
280. United States Magazine and Democratic Review, April-May 1840, p. 286. These features, the Democratic Review explained, “have the effect of raising the individual, however democratic in character and simple in habits, to such an inordinate elevation of social rank and position above the broad level mass of his citizen-peers.”
281. The proposal for annual terms, with unrestricted re-eligibility can be found in the United States Magazine and Democratic Review (April-May 1840), 286. Polk in 1844 and Cass in 1848 both pledged to serve only a single term if elected, and Jackson had supported limiting presidents to a single term as early as 1828.
282. United States Magazine and Democratic Review, April-May 1840, 286.
283. Caleb Gushing, December 19, 1837, Speech delivered in the House of Representative, reprinted under the title “Executive Usurpation” in United States Magazine and Democratic Review (February 1838), 282. This populist paradox in which the individuals who are most suspicious of political power and political officials are also the same individuals clamoring for strong, even imperious, political leadership is hardly confined to the distant past. Witness Ross (”Ross for Boss”) Perot.
284. McCormick, Presidential Game, 115. Silbey, American Political Nation, 14, 29, 145. Of course, the number of eligible voters increased also as a result of the gradual elimination of property restrictions on voting by adult white males.
285. McCormick, Presidential Game, 109; Silbey, American Political Nation, 29.
286. Farr, James, “Understanding Conceptual Change Politically,” in Farr, James, Ball, Terence, and Hanson, Russell L., eds., Political Innovation and Conceptual Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 31Google Scholar, 38, emphasis in original.
288. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, 132.
289. See Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, chapter 3.
290. Binkley, President and Congress, 103. “Clay could not see,” Binkley continued, “that in exercising the veto power President Jackson was endearing himself to the people by expressing quite precisely their sentiments.” Webster's position was one of “almost pathetic absurdity” and characterized by a “blindness to reality” (p. 103). And so on. In a preface to the second edition, published in 1947, Binkley reiterated the claim that “No sooner had… Jackson [been] elected President than the masses turned to the President as a tribune of the people” (p. ix). Throughout, Binkley's account is distorted by an often uncritical sympathy for the “vigorous [executive] leadership” on the model of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt (p. x), and a dismissiveness of those Whigs and Republicans who ex-pressed opposition to strong, popularly based presidential power.
291. Dahl, “Myth of the Presidential Mandate.”
292. Dahl asks this same question toward the end of his “Myth of the Presidential Mandate.” His answer: “it confers the legitimate authority, right, and opportunity on a president to try to gain the adoption by constitutional means of the policies the president supports” (pp. 365–66).
293. See Morgan, Inventing the People.
294. See Ceaser, Presidential Selection, 74–75.
295. For a start, see Milkis, Sidney, The President and the Parties: The Transformation of the American Party System Since the New Deal (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993)Google Scholar.
297. Chilton, Congressman, Register of Debates, 23d congress, 1st session, 12 18, 1833, p. 2211Google Scholar.
299. Jackson, , “Protest on the Expunging Resolution,” 04 15, 1834Google Scholar, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 328.
300. Farewell Address, March 4, 1837, in Thorpe, Statesmanship of Jackson, 508.
301. See Morgan, Inventing the People, 211–121. Also see Emden, Cecil S., The People and the Constitution (Clarendon Press, 1933)Google Scholar, esp. chapter 2.
302. Morgan, Inventing the People, 213. Also see Wood, Gordon S., The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969), chapter 5, esp. 189–96Google Scholar.
303. This according to the Dictionnaire Robert.
304. Morse, Jedidiah, The American Universal Geography (1796), 2: 75Google Scholar, cited in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). The OED also quotes from a book written in 1880: “It would almost seem as if the present school of fiction is, to borrow a phrase from French politics, exhausting its mandate.” And from 1901, “Strictly speaking… there is no such thing in England as a mandate. Lord Salisbury was the first to introduce into English politics that essentially Jacobinical phrase.”
305. See, for example, North American Review (October 1849), 452–53. Also see Ellis and Wildavsky, Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership, 113–14; and Ashworth, Agrarians and Aristocrats, 57–58.
306. For this transformation see Bendix, Reinhard, Kings or People: Power and the Mandate to Rule (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978)Google Scholar.