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National Republican Party
Other nameAdams-Clay Republicans
Adams's Men
LeaderJohn Quincy Adams
Henry Clay
Founded1824; 200 years ago (1824)
Dissolved1834; 190 years ago (1834)
Split fromDemocratic-Republican Party
Preceded byDemocratic-Republican Party
Federalist Party
Merged intoWhig Party
Colors  Buff

The National Republican Party, also known as the Anti-Jacksonian Party or simply Republicans,[1] was a short-lived political party in the United States that evolved from a conservative-leaning faction of the Democratic-Republican Party that supported John Quincy Adams in the 1824 presidential election.

Known initially as "Adams-Clay Republicans" in the wake of the 1824 campaign, Adams's political allies in Congress and at the state-level were referred to as "Adams's Men" during his presidency (1825–1829). When Andrew Jackson became president, following his victory over Adams in the 1828 election, this group became the opposition, and organized themselves as "Anti-Jackson". The use of the term "National Republican" dates from 1830.[citation needed]

Henry Clay served as the party's nominee in the 1832 election, but he was defeated by Jackson. The party supported Clay's American System of nationally financed internal improvements and a protective tariff. After the 1832 election, opponents of Jackson coalesced into the Whig Party. National Republicans, Anti-Masons and others joined the new party.


Further information: Presidency of John Quincy Adams § Formation of political parties, and Second Party System

Before the election of John Quincy Adams to the presidency in 1825, the Democratic-Republican Party, which had been the only national American political party for over a decade, began to fracture, losing its infrastructure and identity. Its caucuses no longer met to select candidates because now they had separate interests. After the 1824 election, factions developed in support of Adams and in support of Andrew Jackson. Adams politicians, including most ex-Federalists (such as Daniel Webster and Adams himself), would gradually become members of the National Republican Party; and those politicians that supported Jackson would later help form the modern Democratic Party.

After Adams's defeat in the 1828 election, his supporters regrouped around Henry Clay. Now the "anti-Jackson" opposition, they soon organized as the National Republican Party. Led by Clay, the new party maintained its historic nationalistic outlook and desired to use national resources to build a strong economy. Its platform was Clay's American System of nationally financed internal improvements and a protective tariff, which would promote faster economic development. More important, by binding together the diverse interests of the different regions, the party intended to promote national unity and harmony.

The National Republicans saw the Union as a corporate, organic whole. Hence, the rank and file idealized Clay for his comprehensive perspective on the national interest. Conversely, they disdained those they identified as "party" politicians for pandering to local interests at the expense of the national interest.[2] The party met in national convention in late 1831 and nominated Clay for the presidency and John Sergeant for the vice presidency.

Formation of the Whig Party

Further information: Presidency of Andrew Jackson § Rise of the Whig Party

The Whig Party emerged in 1833–1834 after Clay's defeat as a coalition of National Republicans, along with Anti-Masons, disaffected Jacksonians and people whose last political activity had been with the Federalists a decade before. In the short term, the Whig Party formed with the help of other smaller parties in a coalition against President Jackson and his reforms.

National Republican presidents

John Quincy Adams was the only president to come from the National Republican Party.

# Name (lifespan) Portrait State Presidency
start date
end date
Time in office
6 John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) Massachusetts March 4, 1825 March 4, 1829 4 years, 0 days

Electoral history

Presidential tickets

Further information: List of United States National Republican and Whig Party presidential tickets

Election Ticket Popular vote Electoral vote
Presidential nominee Running mate Percentage Electoral votes Ranking
1828 John Quincy Adams Richard Rush 44.0
83 / 261
1832 Henry Clay John Sergeant 37.4
49 / 286

Congressional representation

See also: Party divisions of United States Congresses

Congress Years Senate[3] House of Representatives[4] President
Total Pro-Jackson Pro-Adams Others Vacancies Total Pro-Jackson Pro-Adams Others Vacancies
19th 1825–1827 48 26 22 213 104 109 John Quincy Adams[5]
20th 1827–1829 48 27 21 213 113 100
Congress Years Total Pro-Jackson Anti-Jackson Others Vacancies Total Pro-Jackson Anti-Jackson Others Vacancies President
21st 1829–1831 48 25 23 213 136 72 5 Andrew Jackson
22nd 1831–1833 48 24 22 2 213 126 66 21
23rd 1833–1835 48 20 26 2 240 143 63 34
24th 1835–1837 52 26 24 2 242 143 75 24

See also


  1. ^ "State Journal - Google News Archive Search". Vol. III, no. 6. E. Lawrence. Oct 12, 1837. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  2. ^ Brown, Thomas (1985). Politics and Statesmanship: Essays on the American Whig Party. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 20. ISBN 9780231056021. OCLC 906445960.
  3. ^ "Party Division". United States Senate.
  4. ^ "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives, 1789 to Present". United States House of Representatives.
  5. ^ Adams won election as a Democratic-Republican, but he sought re-election as a National Republican.

Further reading