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Old 05-12-2012, 06:48 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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What happened to the (US) Federalist Party?

The Federalist Party was active in the early days of the US and several Federalists were elected President.

Where is the Federalist Party today? Did they merge with another party and lose their distinctiveness (but preserve a successor organization), did they shut down completely (e.g. "Gentlemen, the Party Committee has voted to disband. Clean out your desks and good luck in your future endeavors."), or do they exist somewhere under the Federalist name or another name? If they no longer exist and there is no successor organization, what year did they shut down?
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:01 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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Wikipedia has a pretty good article on its history that I read a few weeks back.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:04 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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1st, only Washington and Adams were Federalists. 2nd, their opposition to the War of 1812 pretty much sealed their fate, ESPECIALLY after New England Federalists kicked the tires on seccession.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:55 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etv78 View Post
1st, only Washington and Adams were Federalists. 2nd, their opposition to the War of 1812 pretty much sealed their fate, ESPECIALLY after New England Federalists kicked the tires on seccession.
And that Wikipedia article is basically telling me that the Federalists lost any semblance of relevancy pretty early, but it doesn't seem to mention their final fate in terms of what legally happened to the organization and it's name and property. In a sense, does a successor organization exist in such a sense as a candidate could theoretically run as a Federalist today (not that they'd win...), or was there a date when the "lights went out" and they went from being an irrelevant political party that few voted for to being a party without any semblance of real existence, completely and legally defunct?

Last edited by robert_columbia; 05-12-2012 at 08:59 PM..
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:00 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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The last time that the Federalists ran a candidate for President was in 1816. In 1820 Monroe ran effectively unopposed, and even the Federalist electors voted for him, but with a few votes for a Federalist Vice Presidential candidate.

After 1824, some former Federalists joined with the Democratic-Republicans, while some others eventually joined the Whigs. The Whigs were to a certain extent the predecessors of the modern Republican Party.

The Federalists have no official successor party, but there is a line of descent of sorts between them and the Republicans.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:04 PM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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The death of Alexander Hamilton at the hands of Aaron Burr in a duel probably didn't help. He was only 47 at the time. If Jefferson had died at the age of 47, it would have been in 1790. Although whether Hamilton could have organized a political party can be questioned: although brilliant, was quite devious and had spent much of his time in the Adams administration undermining him. Adams was not a real organizer either: He had a habit of rubbing people the wrong way as a blunt, honest, courageous nag.
If you read some of the political literature of the era, such as "The Federalist Papers", many of the Founding Fathers were quite hostile to political parties, or factions as they were known. They didn't think they were good for the country, tending to look after their own selfish interests.
As etv78 notes, the Northern-based Federalist party opposing the War of 1812 didn't help their case, although you can make a good argument they were right to oppose it. Jefferson's embargo during the Napoleonic wars hurt the shipping based North more. Much of the American military effort was a complete F***up, redeemed only at the end by Jackson's victory in New Orleans, after the Treaty of Ghent was signed (but word had not crossed the ocean). 35 years later when the Mexican War was declared, one Whig politician remembering what happened to the Federalists, sarcastically said he was in also favor of pestilence and famine to explain his pro war vote.
Washington never really declared which party he was in, although most of his policies agreed with the Federalists.
One reason why the Democratic-Republicans endured was a number of their leaders- Jefferson, Madison, Monroe were Virginians and identifying with your state was more prominent then.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:10 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim's Son View Post
...one Whig politician remembering what happened to the Federalists, sarcastically said he was in also favor of pestilence and famine to explain his pro war vote....
Lol, was he in favor of Death too?
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:31 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etv78 View Post
1st, only Washington and Adams were Federalists.
Only Adams was a Federalist President.(Washington is identified with the Federalists due to the debates over the ratification of the Cpnstitution, which he and they supported, but he made a sincere effort to remain above party.

Hamilton, George Clinton, and several others were leading Federalists.

[wuote] 2nd, their opposition to the War of 1812 pretty much sealed their fate, ESPECIALLY after New England Federalists kicked the tires on seccession.[/QUOTE]

This is very much on target.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:35 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
And that Wikipedia article is basically telling me that the Federalists lost any semblance of relevancy pretty early, but it doesn't seem to mention their final fate in terms of what legally happened to the organization and it's name and property.
I don't know that back then there would have been any separate legal entity known as "The Federalist Party." I understood that the parties back then were simply loose coalitions of like-minded politicians and supporters, nothing like what there is today.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:06 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
I don't know that back then there would have been any separate legal entity known as "The Federalist Party." I understood that the parties back then were simply loose coalitions of like-minded politicians and supporters, nothing like what there is today.
Exactly. There wasn't an official Federalist Party to disband. Being a federalist back then was the equivalent of being a conservative today - it's an ideology not an organization.
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