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Born:January 18, 1782New Hampshire...(Show more)Died:October 24, 1852 (aged 70)Massachusetts...(Show more)Title / Office:United claims Senate (1845-1850), joined StatesUnited claims Senate (1827-1841), united States...(Show more)Political Affiliation:Whig Party...(Show more)Awards and also Honors:Hall of call for great Americans (1900)...(Show more)

Daniel Webster, (born January 18, 1782, Salisbury, new Hampshire, U.S.—died October 24, 1852, Marshfield, Massachusetts), American orator and also politician who exercised prominently together a lawyer prior to the U.S. Can be fried Court and also served as a U.S. Congressman (1813–17, 1823–27), a U.S. Senator (1827–41, 1845–50), and U.S. Secretary the state (1841–43, 1850–52). That is finest known together an enthusiasm nationalist and also as an support of service interests during the period of the Jacksonian agrarianism.

Youth and early career

Born top top the brand-new Hampshire frontier in the city of Salisbury, Daniel was the ninth of 10 youngsters of Ebenezer Webster, a veteran that the American Revolution, farmer and tavern-keeper, and also leading townsman. Dark-complexioned “little black color Dan,” a quite frail boy, became the pet of his parents and older brothers and sisters, some of whom taught him to read at an early age. He often entertained the family and the tavern guests with readings and also recitations. As he grew older that attended classes at the various residences where the schoolmaster boarded in succession around the township. In ~ 14 that spent component of a year in ~ Phillips Exeter Academy, and also at 15 he gotten in Dartmouth College, whereby he excelled at public speaking. After ~ graduation he teach school and read law, going to Boston and studying in the office the a prominent lawyer. He began his own practice close to home but moved to Portsmouth in 1807, married elegant Fletcher, a clergyman’s daughter, and also soon came to be a influential member that the flourishing seaport’s distinguished bar.

Webster established his own interests v those that the Portsmouth shipowners and merchants, who had actually been succeeding through trade with great Britain and also France, in spite of the sometimes seizures that American pearl by both warring powers. The Portsmouth businessmen objected come the commonwealth government’s effort to retaliate by limiting and also even stopping abroad commerce, and, as their spokesman, Webster denounced the Jefferson administration’s embargo as unconstitutional; he likewise opposed the statements of battle against good Britain in 1812. That very same year he was elected to the national residence of Representatives together a member of the conservative pro-British Federalist Party, i m sorry favoured a strong, centralized government and encouragement that commerce. The was twice reelected (1814, 1816). In conference he withstood the passage of practically all battle measures, consisting of a conscription bill, which to be voted down. Against conscription that took severe states-rights position, even hinting at nullification that federal legislations when he claimed the state federal governments had a solemn duty come “interpose between their citizens and arbitrary power.”

Rising lawyer and also orator

In 1816 Webster moved with his wife and also two kids to the much more promising metropolis of Boston. Thereafter, he represented the city’s top businessmen in the legislation courts and, native 1823 come 1827, again in the national house of Representatives. He came to be one of the most highly paid lawyers in the whole country.


Arguing a series of important cases prior to the supreme Court, he affected a variety of Chief Justice man Marshall’s opinions and, with them, the advancement of constitution law. In Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) he kept that a state’s grant of a charter come do business was a contract the the state can not impair. In McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) he competed that a state might not taxation a federal firm (a branch that the financial institution of the unified States), for the strength to tax was a “power to destroy.” In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) he argued that a state could not encroach ~ above the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. In saying these and other cases—which had actually the effect of enlarging the government of the federal federal government while encouraging this firm enterprise—Webster appears to have actually forgotten his recent states-rights disagreements in opposition to the battle of 1812.

Defense of the Constitution

Webster nevertheless remained a strictly constructionist the the constitution on the tariff question, opposing the protective tariffs of 1816 and also 1824, which were harmful to the dominant commercial understanding of brand-new England. That reasoned that such a stimulus to manufacturers was both unconstitutional and inexpedient, for Congress had been offered the strength to raise duties just for raising revenue, and also the development of factory would produce a propertyless working class that would certainly threaten society. Motivated by political theorists, old and modern, he asserted that “power naturally and also necessarily complies with property,” adding that property need to remain diffused if widespread suffrage is to it is in safely maintained. These concepts Webster express on miscellaneous occasions, including, in 1820, the bicentennial celebration of the landing at Plymouth of the Mayflower delivering the first permanent settlers in north America, where he offered the an initial of several occasional addresses the were to bring him fame together America’s peerless orator.

In 1827, currently a senator indigenous Massachusetts, Webster began for Washington through his wife, yet she passed away on the way. Fairly shy and plain, she had actually usually continued to be at residence to watch after her 5 children, just three that whom survived her (and only one of whom was to survive Webster himself). After 2 years, at 47, the married Caroline Le Roy, 31, the pretty and vivacious daughter that a new York merchant. His second wife was less inclined than the first to restrain she husband’s propensities for high living and careless spending.

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With the rise of textile mills, Massachusetts had gained a huge and an effective manufacturing interest, and also Webster voted for the Tariff of 1828. Then and also thereafter, as a leading protectionist, he refuted his previous arguments versus the tariff. The now uncovered a constitution sanction because that it in the congressional strength to control commerce and also a social justification for it in the case that it would diffuse property by stimulating a basic prosperity. But South Carolinians blamed the tariff because that their financial difficulties, and in 1830 a southern Carolina senator, Robert Y. Hayne, gift the theory postulated by vice President john C. Calhoun the a state might nullify such an obnoxious and unconstitutional regulation and, as a critical resort, could secede indigenous the Union. In his second reply to Hayne, Webster eloquently protected the strength of the federal federal government as opposed to the alleged rights of the states. That concluded v the appeal: “Liberty and Union, now and also forever, one and inseparable!” The decided made him a hero the nationalists transparent the North. In 1832–33, once South Carolina, under the leadership of the nullification theory’s author, john C. Calhoun, now a councilor from south Carolina, undertook to put the theory into practice, Webster, though an enemy of president Andrew Jackson, supported him in resisting the attempt.