Nomination BackgroundEditThe first Whig Prime Minister, Hunter DeRensis, was leaving the office that year after serving for two terms, the legal limit. A very successful administration, he had passed into law most of the Whig platform, led the country to growing economic prosperity, and steered the contry successfully in foreign policy; including the Peninsular War, where an alliance of monarchies banded together to restore the Portuguese monarchy against Socialist revolutionaries. Many thought that the Whigs stood a fair chance of sending another one of their own to Philadelphia, until Oliver Hazard Perry, former Lord Secretary of the Navy and current Viceroy under the Duke, recieved the Crown Nomination. Andrew had insisted on appointing Perry to the position of Viceroy in 1828, a position he'd kept since; over the last four years, the Duke and Perry had become complete political enemies, with the Duke alienating Perry throughout the administration. "That man could never figure out that I was the Prime Minister, and that he wasn't in charge," DeRensis would write in his memoirs. Perry's nomination by the Crowns led to consternation within the Whig ranks.
Several candidates appeared in the spotlight, coveting the nomination (although anyone could run as an independent without party support, such an action would lead to their political abandonment by the Whig leadership). The top nominees were considered to be:
- Lord Secretary of the King's Law Joseph Story (53) of Massachusetts
- Congressman Theodore Frelinghuysen (45) o New Jersey
- Philadelphia Lord Mayor George M. Dallas (39) of Pennsylvania
- Congressman Willie P. Mangum (39) of North Carolina
- Lord Secretary of the Navy Marcus A. Dickens (61) of Massachusetts
- Lord Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (70) of Pennsylvania
Frelinghuysen had quickly become the leader of the "Morality Whigs"; those Whigs who openly condemned slavery and the poor treatment of the natives. Frelinghuysen had been elected in the 1826 Whig congressional sweep, and had become a vocal opponent of things he considered unchristian or morally wrong in the eyes of God. Most knew he was a long shot as a candidate, knowing he'd fail to gain support among the west and south. And on top of that, he had become a personal enemy of the King himself, and many questioned whether or not he could keep his own congressional seat that year.
Dallas was a native of Pennsylvania, and was mostly unheard of in the rest of the country. Having been elected the Lord Mayor of Philadelphia in 1828, he had been serving in that position since. In that time, he had quickly become a political insider, Philadelphia being the capital of the country as well as the state. A political moderate, Dallas believed in a protective tariff and internal improvements, and little else of the Whig platform. And while Mayor, he had become personal friends with the King. Despite the lack of knowledge of the rest of the country of his existence, many said he had a good chance at the nomination because of his political moderation and his friendship with the King.
Mangum was a rarity in political circles; a southern Whig. A born and breed native of North Carolina, Mangum was another Whig congressman to come into office in the 1826 Whig sweep. Due to a lack of competition, he had become the voice of the Whigs in the south. The southern states had never been supportive of the Whig platform, especially because Crown Party Prime Ministers William Henry Harrison and Henry Clay were both native Virginians and southerners. Politically, Mangum was a standard Whig, with nothing special about him except his region. While many said his nomination would win Whig support in the south, others said the south was a lost cause, and they shouldn't throw away northern support for something that wouldn't happen. Because of this, Mangum was considered a longshot.
Other minor candidates included Lord Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, and war hero and Lord Secretary of the Navy Marcus A. Dickens. Gallatin was never seriously considered since he was far too old (71), and had little national support, and had little to no interest in anything except retirement. Dickens, while his war record made him attractive (especially to balance out Perry's) and his personal friendship with Prime Minister DeRensis made his selection possible, his age (61) and the fact that he also searched for a retirement from politics sealed his fate.
Nominating ConventionEditWhen party bigwigs convened in Philadelphia to decide the nominee, their choices were numerous, yet some would say obvious. Gallatin and Frelinghuysen were thrown out immediately, while an abortive attempt by Mangum's supporters failed to gain momentum. Dickens gained some support among a "Draft Dickens Movement" to force him to accept the nomination, but this star failed to rise. Most support was split evenly between Story and Dallas. While Dallas had a good chance of being chosen by the King, the final nomination came down to the fact that the Crown Party was going to nominate Oliver Perry. Most Whigs feared Perry's undying loyalty to the King and lack of concern for the people, and his hatred of the Whigs. Due to this fact, Joseph Story was nominated after some time, because of his dedication to the constitution and law, and his ability to win support among the more educated strata of society. Mangum was chosen as the nominee for Viceroy shortly after words, with the hope that Mangum could help carry favor in the traditionally Crown dominated south.
Perry made several public appearences and gave speeches, unusual for a Crown nominee, considering most worked with front porch campaigns. In these speeches he criticized the DeRensis Administration for not pressing expansionism enough, disobeying the beliefs of the King, and tolerating the speech of "rabble and other republican degenerates." While these speeches recieved good responses, most people were focusing on the current economic prosperity at the time. Joseph Story ran a front porch campaign, although Prime Minister DeRensis himself made a few speeches in the capital and New York City favoring his candidate.Many onlookers saw Story gaining an easy victory; that was until right in the middle of the process, when Perry brought up allegations that Story was corrupt, and had connections to the Toppers, the largest criminal organization in Massachusetts. These allegations were given "evidence" uncovered by Perry's "private detectives." The Duke defended Story's honor, and called the attacks on him "lies, perpetrated by the worst miscreant to walk on American soil in recent memory." While still Prime Minister, he called for an investigation into the allegations, and into the believability of Perry's "private detectives." Although the proof was questionable on Story, the proof against Viceroy nominee Willie P. Mangum was not. It was revealed with undeniable evidence that Mangum had been involved in the planning of the death of a former North Carolina Governor. Mangum would later be tried and convicted, and was sentenced to twenty years in prison; he would die in prison in 1846 at the age of 54.
With the sudden revelations about Mangum, and the accusations swirling around Story, King Andrew chose Perry to be the new Prime Minister, claiming that Story and the Whigs had brought "shame upon the Union." The people, feeding on these allegations, returned a Crown majority to Congress. This marked the beginning of the Perry Revolution and the Whig Reformation.