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Anti-Masonic Party

The Anti-Masonic Party (also Antimasonic) was a 19th century minor political party in the United States. As its name suggests, it strongly opposed Freemasonry, but in fact was not a single-issue party, aspiring to become a major party.

It was formed in New York City in 1828 and was the first third party in American national politics. It conducted the first Presidential nominating convention in the U.S., in the 1832 elections, nominating William Wirt for President and Amos Ellmaker for Vice President. The highest elected office ever held by a member of the part was that of Pennsylvania governor, held from 1835 to 1838 by Joseph Ritner.

A reason why the party disappeared was that Andrew Jackson was a Freemason and his pride in the institution combined with his popularity and the prevalence of Freemasons amongst the Founding Fathers led to a distinct lack of support for the Anti-Masons. Following the 1836 elections, the Anti-Masonic party declined rapidly in popularity. Along with the National Republican Party, it was absorbed into the nascent Whig Party.

See also: List of political parties in the United States