National Party Platforms

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Campaign of 1840

Most students of politics agree that the Anti-Masonic Party held the first national convention in Philadelphia in 1830. At the gathering, a statement of eight resolutions declaring against free masonry, proposed by William Seward, was approved by the delegates. In September, 1831, the members of the party held another national convention in Baltimore at which William Wirt was nominated for president. Shortly thereafter, in December of 1831, the National Republican Party also held a convention in Baltimore and nominated candidates for president and vice-president. This convention did not, however, draw up a platform. In May of 1832, a gathering of "young men" of the party met in Washington, D.C. They went through various ceremonies, conducted a "solemn procession," and adopted a list of resolutions that have been called the platform of the National Republican Party. A contemporary account of this meeting is to be found in Niles’ National Register.

Aside from these documents, which are not exactly true platforms, no platforms, in the proper sense of the term, were adopted in 1832 or in 1836. In the latter year, the National Republicans made no national nominations. The remnants of the Anti-Masonic Party during this period were gradually absorbed by other parties.

Under the circumstances it is fair to assert that the serious business of platform making did not begin until 1840. And in that year the Democrats alone drew up and adopted a platform in their national nominating convention. It is presented in this volume as the first national party platform.

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Chicago: "Campaign of 1840," National Party Platforms in Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), P.1 Original Sources, accessed October 3, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L8A8PM6QPYVHXJQ.

MLA: . "Campaign of 1840." National Party Platforms, in Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), P.1, Original Sources. 3 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L8A8PM6QPYVHXJQ.

Harvard: , 'Campaign of 1840' in National Party Platforms. cited in , Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), P.1. Original Sources, retrieved 3 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L8A8PM6QPYVHXJQ.