The Whig party believed in strong national banks, economic protection, tariffs and a strong federal government rather than state governments. The party was created in the United States in 1834 to oppose the Democratic party led by Andrew Jackson. The Whigs began to dissolve in 1854 and several members went on to form the Republican party.
The leader of the Whigs was Henry Clay and its name derives from the British anti-monarchy political party. Two Whig candidates were elected to the Presidency: William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor. Millard Fillmore, who became President after Taylor's death, was the last Whig to hold presidential office.
The Whigs wanted to modernize the United States and did so through the building of schools, universities and other institutions. They were for a strong federal government that supported business and economic prosperity.