Daniel Webster Quotes
Daniel Webster, served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. He and James G. Blaine were the only two people to serve as Secretary of State under three presidents. Webster also sought the Whig Party nomination for President three times: in 1836, 1840 and 1852.
Born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, Webster was one of the most highly regarded courtroom lawyers of the era and shaped several key U.S. Supreme Court cases that established important constitutional precedents that bolstered the authority of the federal government. As a diplomat he is best known for negotiating the Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842 with Great Britain; it established the border between the United States and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. Webster entered politics during the era of the Second Party System, which was the political system in the United States from about 1828 to 1854, characterized by rapidly increasing voter interest and personal loyalty to parties. Webster was an outstanding spokesman for American nationalism with powerful oratory that made him a key Whig leader. He spoke for conservatives and led the opposition to Democrat Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party. He was a spokesman for modernization, banking, and industry, but not for the common people who composed the base of his opponents in Jacksonian democracy. "He was a thoroughgoing elitist, and he reveled in it," says biographer Robert Remini.
Chiefly recognized for his Senate tenure, Webster was a key figure in the institution's "Golden days". Webster was the Northern member of the "Great Triumvirate", with his colleagues Henry Clay from the West and John C. Calhoun from the South. His "Reply to Hayne" in 1830 has been regarded as one of the greatest speeches in the Senate's history. As with his fellow Whig Henry Clay, Webster wanted to see the Union preserved and civil war averted. They both worked for compromises to stave off the sectionalism that threatened war between the North and the South. Webster's support for the Compromise of 1850, devised in part by Clay, proved crucial to its passage. In 1957, a Senate committee selected Webster as one of the five greatest U.S. Senators with Clay, Calhoun, Robert La Follette, and Robert A. Taft.