The radical movement which was destined to break down the power of the landed aristocracy, level the old barriers of exclusiveness, and open the way for government of a more popular character, took the form of Jacksonian Democracy. Congressmen had nominated candidates for the Presidency; had already directly chosen two Presidents; their law-making power had seldom met with executive check; they had occupied the foremost place in the direction of the affairs of the nation. Fear of the executive was soon aroused, and the most painful anticipations of presidential tyranny were expressed. The Whig party was organized in opposition to what its leaders considered the abuse of the executive prerogative. In fact, the movement began there, and not in the national government. It is evident that one pronounced feature of the democratic movement in the first half of the century was the elevation of the executive and the degradation of the legislative power.