Who were the leaders and constituents of the Whig and Democratic parties?

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The Democratic Party was born in 1828 as the result of internal divisions in the Democratic-Republican Party. This division occurred because of disagreement over who would succeed President James Monroe. Early on, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren were recognized as the leaders of this party. They strongly supported and advocated for Thomas Jefferson's vision of a decentralized agrarian society. The party was suspicious and sometimes outright hostile towards the power of the Federal government. Given the populist message of the party, their constituents tended to be farmers, frontiersmen, artisans, and the so-called "common man."

The Whig Party was born in response to Jackson's rise. It started as an amalgamation of the National Republican Party, the Anti-Masonic Party, and former Democratic-Republicans who disagreed with Jackson and Van Buren. Henry Clay emerged as an early leader of the nascent Whig Party. Daniel Webster, Truman Smith, John Crittenden, and William Seward were other...

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