Skip to main content

Locofoco Party

LOCOFOCO PARTY

LOCOFOCO PARTY. In the decade before the panic of 1837, discontent among artisans in eastern cities found expression in the Working Men's movement. Disparities in wealth and a tendency toward centralized manufacturing threatened the artisan ideal of equality in a republic of independent producers. Particularly offensive to wage-earning journeymen were state-chartered banks, through which a wealthy elite manipulated a "paper system" of currency and credit. Antibank sentiments gained political support in the Democratic Party. The New York editor William Leggett argued that banks provided an "aristocracy" with exclusive privilege and transferred wealth "from the many to the few."

The bank issue and the Working Men's movement divided New York Democrats. Meeting in Tammany Hall in October 1835, conservatives pushed through the nomination of probank candidates and tried to end the meeting by turning out the gas lights. Forewarned, the anti-bank men illuminated the room with candles lit with new "locofoco," or scratch-ignited, matches. The Locofoco Party briefly agitated for antibank candidates in New York City. Like the Working Men's movement to which it appealed, the Locofoco Party did not survive the depression of the late 1830s. However, Whigs continued to use the term "locofoco" to describe Democrats across the country as enemies of economic stability.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Watson, Harry L. Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America. New York: Hill and Wang, 1990.

Wilentz, Sean. Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788–1850. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984.

Louis S.Gerteis

See alsoDemocratic Party .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Locofoco Party." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Locofoco Party." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/locofoco-party

"Locofoco Party." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved July 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/locofoco-party

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.