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The Log Cabin Theory - Essay Example

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The Log Cabin Theory

The supposed sympathy of General Harrison, and the reputed aversion of Van Buren for the poor man, for the humble citizen, is the true secret of the great and tremendous political revolution of 1840. (Robbins, p. 42) General Harrison, a determined, self-made leader who rose from humble rural beginnings, armed himself through education, hard work or both, with the necessary tools for political leadership. (Chalmers, p. 149)
The characteristics above are the types that are perceived to be uniquely suited to the rigours of political life in the United States. Someone who has been through the same struggles as the Whigs president is perceived to have the capacity to battle adversity and overcome obstacles threatening the achievement of their goals. The experiences of politicians with modest beginnings serve as their arms in battling all the challenges of the position in the government he will soon encounter. (Chalmers, p. 149)
After 1840, party connections, tactics, and sentiments were widely and openly accepted as grounds of political conduct. It had by then become difficult simply to think of political life and active political leadership, even retrospectively, without reference to the motive of advancing party interests. (Beshady, p. 252) The log cabin campaign had set the trend in the association of politicians with political parties that supports them through the process of election from political rallies and campaigns necessary for the success of the candidate.
Consequently, the rise of the "log-cabin" campaign brought a significant trend in the presidential election in the United States through presidential campaigns such that a presidential candidate with not enough campaigns may lost the track.


The Log-Cabin History

The "year of the great straddle" - this is how one scholar observes the 1840 presidential election. The Whigs, although united against the Jacksonians who were the opposition, found it difficult to set aside its avowed leader Henry Clay. He was too involved with Whig economics therefore he was perceived as a good Presidential candidate. Harry of the West was finally shunted aside through a complicated procedure of nomination and the Harrisburg convention came up with General William Henry Harrison as Presidential candidate. He was the most 'unobjectionable' candidate such that he does not have anything much to be talked about. He was even more unobjectionable due to his candidacy without platform. There were even indications that the Whig candidate does not know as to how the campaign will be conducted. It was only when an unknown newspaperman hired to be the editor of their campaign sheets did the party know their responsibility and their purpose - that is to oust the Democratic Party leader Henry Clay from power. (Ward, p. 269) Harrison's chance of not succeeding the presidential candidacy was far too obvious.
However, the party did not know what image to portray in their campaign until a commentary has been delivered, for which its origin is unknown until now. "Give him a barrel of hard cider and settle a pension of two thousand a year upon him, and our word for it, he will sit the remainder of his days content in a log cabin." (Ward, 269)
Instead of taking the issue in a negative perspective, the party had turned its motif as the central of the campaign. The log cabin, with its suggestion of the limitation, the ...Show more

Summary

The Whigs victory in the presidential election in 1840 could not deny the fact that the humility is yet the best instrument in obtaining triumph. Nobody could at the time have so much power to control over the minds of the masses in the Mississippi Valley to develop a tremendous affection towards General Harrison…
Author : nkertzmann
The Log Cabin Theory essay example
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