What Were the Differences Between Whigs and Democrats?

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The Whig Party advocated for increased government involvement, especially from the federal government, while the Democrat Party supported less government input. The Whigs originally formed to protest President Andrew Jackson’s opposition to the Second Bank of the United States and his propensity for ignoring Supreme Court decisions.

The Whigs consisted of market economy supporters, northern Protestants and New Englanders. German and Irish Catholic immigrants, Southerners and market economy detractors comprised the Democrat Party. Voting patterns show Whigs supported banks, limited liability for businesses and prison reform. Democrats opposed tariffs, denounced morals legislation and supported individual liberty. The Whigs were active from the 1930s through the 1950s, and the group eventually morphed into the Republican Party. The Democrat Party maintained the same name.