The Whig Party emerged during the second quarter of the nineteenth century, formed to oppose President Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party. The term “Whig” came into popular parlance in 1834 and continued until the party disbanded after the presidential election of 1856. The anti-Jackson group drew upon the political history of two revolutions for their name: the American Revolution and the opposition to the king in seventeenth-century England.
One of the most prominent members of the Whig Party was Henry Clay. Clay, who was greatly admired by Abraham Lincoln, ran unsuccessfully for the office of president, but served as Speaker of the House from 1823 to 1825 and was Secretary of State during the John Quincy Adams’ administration.