Explain how Whigs and Democrats differed on questions of slavery and race

Whigs and Democrats

Explain how Whigs and Democrats differed on questions of slavery and race.

Please use standard essay format – introduction body and conclusion.


Whigs and Democrats


The questions of slavery and race dominated American society in the 19th century. At the time, the democrats were the dominant political party, but the second party system’s establishment led to the Whigs’ emergence. The Whigs opposed democratic policies, and both differed on the questions of slavery and race.


Although both the Democrats and the Whigs kept the issues of slavery and racism out of politics, Democrats were genuinely racist. During elections, the Democrats mobilized voters by instilling Black rule threats due to population increase (Murrin, Johnson & McPherson 2012). On the other hand, the Whigs were concerned by the aspect of viewing humans as property. Further, the Whigs seemed divided between the South, pro-slavery, and the Northern Whigs, who supported anti-slavery. Nonetheless, Southern Whigs approached the topic more cautiously by supporting its stability rather than expansion. For Democrats, they supported racism in the working-class aspirations. In turn, they championed the gag rule’s adoption, which led to avoiding discussing slavery issues in congress.  

The Northern Whigs presented the basis for policy consensus aimed at protecting slavery from abolition and opposing its expansion. The Whigs were opposing Democrats on matters of slavery and race, based on different perspectives. Democratic racism had adopted the approach of biological determinism. In turn, democrats argued that Whites and Blacks were different species. Whites were perceived as a dominant race citing different mental and physical capacities. Further, the story of Adam and Eve was perceived to apply to the White race only. On the other hand, Whigs supported the vision of Christian love and spiritual liberty other than racial differences. In particular, the Northern Whigs questioned the morality of slavery based on race, maintaining the equality of all races.


Whigs’ establishment was primarily for the opposition of some of the democrat policies. From the findings, differences in the question of slavery and race-centered arguments of the parties. Overall, the democrats were in full support of slavery and White supremacy, while opposition from Whigs was based on Northern and Southern perspectives.


Murrin, J., Johnson, P., & McPherson, J. (2012). Liberty, equality, power. Wadsworth.


NURS 6051 Module 3 Knowledge Check