"These Whigs are Singing Songs Again!" Whig Songs as Campaign Literature Prior to the 1844 Presidential Race

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Whig campaign strategists in the presidential election of 1840 developed new campaign tactics that included widespread use of campaign songs. They used these songs to sing the praises of their own candidate and policies while at the same time attacking the opposing party's candidate and policies. As early as 1842 these songwriters began writing songs in anticipation of the campaign in 1844. Prior to the nomination of candidates in May, 1844, the Whigs had published several songbooks including hundreds of song titles. In addition to supporting the candidacy of Henry Clay as the Whig candidate, the songs ridiculed several potential ... continued below

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iii, 142 leaves

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Page, James A. (James Allen), 1946- May 1998.

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  • Page, James A. (James Allen), 1946-

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Whig campaign strategists in the presidential election of 1840 developed new campaign tactics that included widespread use of campaign songs. They used these songs to sing the praises of their own candidate and policies while at the same time attacking the opposing party's candidate and policies.
As early as 1842 these songwriters began writing songs in anticipation of the campaign in 1844. Prior to the nomination of candidates in May, 1844, the Whigs had published several songbooks including hundreds of song titles. In addition to supporting the candidacy of Henry Clay as the Whig candidate, the songs ridiculed several potential Democratic candidates including Martin Van Buren, John C. Calhoun, James Buchanan, and others. Whigs also used imagery to support their candidate and attack the foe.
Despite extensive efforts to influence the election with campaign songs, no hard evidence exists that documents the effect of campaign songs, either positively or negatively.

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iii, 142 leaves

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  • May 1998

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  • March 24, 2014, 8:07 p.m.

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  • Sept. 18, 2014, 10:30 a.m.

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Page, James A. (James Allen), 1946-. "These Whigs are Singing Songs Again!" Whig Songs as Campaign Literature Prior to the 1844 Presidential Race, thesis, May 1998; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277889/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .