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  • Daniel Webster was a leading American senator and statesman during the era of the Second Party System. He was the 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. During his 40 years in national politics, Webster served in the House of Representatives for 10 years, in the Senate for 19 years, and was appointed the United States Secretary of State under three presidents. One of the highest-regarded courtroom lawyers of the era, Webster shaped several key U.S. Supreme Court cases which 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 with Great Britain; it established the definitive eastern border between the United States and Canada.

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