Whigs/2nd American Party System
(1828 to 1854)The system was characterized by rapidly rising levels of voter interest beginning in 1828, as demonstrated by election day turnout, rallies, partisan newspapers, and a high degree of personal loyalty to party. The major parties were the Democratic Party, led by Andrew Jackson, and the Whig Party, assembled by Henry Clay from the National Republicans and other opponents of Jackson. Minor parties included the Anti-Masonic Party, the abolitionist Liberty Party in 1840; and the anti-slavery Free Soil Party in 1848 and 1852. The Second Party System reflected and shaped the political, social, economic and cultural currents of the Jacksonian Era, until succeeded by the Third Party System.