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Liberty PowerAntislavery Third Parties and the Transformation of American Politics$
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Corey M. Brooks

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226307282

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226307312.001.0001

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Building Third-Party Electoral Power, 1841–1846

Building Third-Party Electoral Power, 1841–1846

(p.76) (p.77) Chapter Three Building Third-Party Electoral Power, 1841–1846
Liberty Power

Corey M. Brooks

University of Chicago Press

This chapter highlights Liberty Party electoral strategies. Emphasizing Liberty condemnations of both the Whigs and Democrats as complicit in sustaining the Slave Power, this chapter explicates rhetorical strategies Liberty men deployed in campaigns across the North. This chapter also shows how Liberty Party activists like Joshua Leavitt exploited majority-rule elections in New England to wield disruptive balances of power and force numerous runoff elections that drew added attention to Liberty attacks on the proslavery orientations of both major parties. The chapter also examines the Liberty Party’s fierce opposition to Whig slaveholding standard bearer Henry Clay, including in the pivotal presidential election of 1844. In its concluding pages, the chapter explains how Liberty partisans understood the election of New Hampshire’s John P. Hale to the U.S. Senate as foreshadowing new opportunities to broaden the anti-Slave Power impulse in the face of rising proslavery expansionism.

Keywords:   Liberty Party, Slave Power, majority-rule elections, Joshua Leavitt, election of 1844, Henry Clay, John P. Hale

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