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July 23rd, 2014

Senate Report

Stephen Douglas

  The Democratic party in Vermont lost any abolitionist support it still had in 1854, when Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas (a native of Brandon) proposed the Nebraska Act, which allowed new states in the Nebraska territory to decide for themselves whether they wanted to allow slavery. Douglas was described as a “steam engine in breeches” and...

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The Election of 1840

by Sen. Bill Doyle   The campaign of 1840 was one of the most spectacular ever waged in Vermont. More people voted (56,117) than in any previous Vermont election. Not until 1868 would the vote be exceeded (57,978).   The 1840 Whig State Convention was held in Burlington on June 25. It was reported to be the largest ever held in New Englan...

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Anti-Slavery Sentiment

CAPTION: Quaker woman protects Reverend Samuel J. May at an anti-slavery meeting in Montpelier in 1835.     by Sen. Bill Doyle   The Whigs occupied the statehouse for almost twenty years beginning with Silas Jenison in 1835, with the Democrats winning only one election, in 1853. In addition to the Whigs, Democrats and Anti-Masons, a...

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Whigs and Anti-Masons

Whigs and Anti-Masons   by Sen. Bill Doyle       On the national level, the “Era of Good Feeling” came to a close with the election of 1824. Four men ran for president that year – John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson and William Crawford – and none gained a majority. The election was thrown into the House of...

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The Issue of Slavery

by Sen. Bill Doyle       The Federalists had been torn apart and eventually destroyed by the politics of the War of 1812. The Jeffersonians capitalized on the British bullying of the young republic and used the war as a political tool against the Federalists. This strategy proved effective, and because the Federalists had few positio...

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The War of 1812

  Our Nation Drifted Toward War as a Result of Jefferson’s Embargo on Trade with Great Britain by Sen. Bill Doyle The Jeffersonian and Federalist parties pumped the war issue for all its worth, with the Jeffersonians using an offensive posture to cow the Federalists. Vermont Supreme Court Justice Royall Tyler – ju-rist, playwright, poet and n...

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Why Battle of Bennington Matters

Why Battle of Bennington Matters   By Sen. Bill Doyle   On August 16th, Vermont will celebrate the Battle of Bennington. Edward Conant in his History of Vermont said the battle was “the first of a series that led to the surrender of Burgoyne’s army. It was the turning point of the Revolutionary War, as it led to the recognition of the ind...

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Jefferson’s Embargo

Although the Federalists remained powerful in Vermont, reaction to the Alien and Sedition Acts enabled the Jeffersonians to make gains in Vermont and the nation in the election of 1800. By 1807, the Jeffersonians had captured the governorship for the first time by electing Israel Smith, as well as a majority of the General Assembly, and had substan...

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The Roots of Party Politics in Vermont

by Sen. Bill Doyle In the mild spring of 1791, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison rode from Philadelphia to New York and then on to New England on what they called a “botanizing excursion.” From Bennington, Jefferson wrote home about speckled trout and black striped red squirrels, and observed silver fir, white pine, “spruce pine” juniper, “paper b...

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Vermont Joins the Union

by Sen. Bill Doyle While Vermont was busy with internal affairs, New York began to reexamine its Vermont policy. In 1787, Alexander Hamilton, a member of the New York Assembly, introduced a bill that called for the recognition of the independence of Vermont. At the time there was debate as to whether the capital of the new nation would be located i...

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