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  • Author: Jozef Pecina x
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Literature as a Political Tool: Whig Efforts to Prevent the Election of Martin Van Buren

Abstract

Starting with Andrew Jackson, presidential candidates in the United States used campaign biographies as useful political tools, and since 1824 no presidential election year has passed without a campaign biography. Martin Van Buren, President Jackson’s successor in the White House, became a target of a vicious campaign intended to prevent his election. His Whig opponents used a number of literary genres to slander him, including a mock campaign biography and a novel. The article focuses on the portrayal of Martin Van Buren in The Life of Martin Van Buren, allegedly written by Davy Crockett in 1835, and a novel named The Partisan Leader; A Tale of the Future, written by Nathaniel Beverley Tucker in 1836. Though being of different genres, these curious and obscure works have certain things in common - they were written under pseudonyms, their main goal was to prevent the election of Martin Van Buren and both of them failed in their goal.

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