American history I: final exam review



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Tecumseh’s War

  • As white settlers continued to push west, Native American resistance began to grow again, this time under the leadership of a Shawnee named Tecumseh

  • Tecumseh formed a new Indian Confederation aimed at trying to make the U.S. honor its agreements under the Treaty of Greenville and threatened to ally himself with the British in Canada

  • Battle of Tippecanoe (Nov. 7, 1811)

  • U.S. forces under the command of Indiana Territory governor William Henry Harrison attacked Tecumseh’s headquarters at Tippecanoe, Indiana, shattering the new Indian confederacy

  • Tecumseh fled to Canada and joined with the British

  • British support of Tecumseh, and Indian uprisings in general, was a contributing factor to the start of the War of 1812

  • Madison and Europe

  • Like presidents before him, Madison wanted to remain neutral and avoid war with European nations

  • Madison wanted to maintain the trade embargo against BOTH Britain and France, but Congress accepted an offer to renew trade with France

  • The reopening of trade between the U.S. and France hurt British merchants and industries and prompted the British to retaliate economically

  • The War Hawks

  • Key members of Congress such as John C. Calhoun (SC), and Henry Clay (KY) began to push for a declaration of war against Britain over the damage British economic policies were causing to the U.S. economy and over the suspected British support of Native American raids against American settlers in the Great Lakes region

  • These members of Congress came to be known as the “War Hawks”

  • War of 1812

  • In June of 1812, despite the pleas of Madison and other moderates, the War Hawks prevailed and the U.S. declared war on Britain

  • Why did the War Hawks want war?

    • Southern and western farmers had been hurt by British trade restrictions

    • Britain had been supporting Native Americans who were attacking American settlers

    • Many Americans wanted to seize Canada and push Britain out of North America

    • The British policy of impressing sailors angered Americans

  • The U.S. Invasion of Canada

  • American forces attempted to invade British Canada from three different points, but each attack failed disastrously

  • The U.S. and British fought to a stalemate in the Great Lakes region throughout the war

  • The British Attack Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland

  • August 1814: British troops landed in Washington DC, capturing and burning the city, including the White House and Capitol Building – but not capturing President Madison or Congressional leaders

  • British troops were less successful in attacking Baltimore, where they were turned back thanks to the city’s better fortifications, including Ft. McHenry

  • During the failed British attack on Ft. McHenry, US lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key, inspired by the ferocity of the city’s defense, composed The Star-Spangled Banner

  • After the poem was later set to music, it became the National Anthem of the United States

  • The Treaty of Ghent (December 24, 1814)

  • U.S. and British agreed to end the war, since neither side seemed to be in a position to win quickly and both sides were accruing large war debts

  • Agreed to return to pre-war boundaries, but little else was resolved

  • The Battle of New Orleans (January 1815)

  • News of the Treaty of Ghent ending the war traveled slowly, so fighting continued for weeks

  • In what became one of the largest American victories of the war, U.S. General Andrew Jackson defeated a much larger force of British troops who were trying to seize New Orleans, AFTER THE WAR WAS OVER!

  • Jackson used cotton bales to create defensive positions

  • After the battle, Jackson became a national hero and, later, the 7th President of the United States

  • The Hartford Convention

  • New England Federalists had opposed the war with Britain since the beginning

  • In December 1814, Federalists held a meeting in Hartford, Connecticut to consider having New England secede from the Union or to amend the Constitution to reduce the power of the federal government

  • After news that the war was over, Federalist pessimism about America’s ability to win the war appeared unpatriotic and ultimately destroyed the party

  • Consequences of the War of 1812

  • U.S. gained respect in Europe for not losing

  • It generated a new spirit of American nationalism and patriotism, leading to greater unity

  • It destroyed the Federalist Party, leaving the U.S. with only one political party

  • Second National Bank of the US

  • The expense of the War made it clear to Congress that bringing back the National Bank was a necessity

  • The Bank was not overly popular with small farmers because it was aimed at helping Eastern industrialists

  • Despite this, the need for federal regulation of currency prompted senators John Calhoun, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay to force through a bill creating a Second National Bank in 1816

  • The Tariff of 1816

  • British goods had been cut off during the War of 1812, but once the war was over the American market was flooded with cheap British goods

  • U.S. industry had begun to grow during the war, but now was at risk due to a return of foreign competition

  • A new tariff (tax on imported goods) was championed by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun to protect these new American industries

  • The fact that Calhoun and Clay, who represented the interests of southern and western farmers, would support a tax aimed at helping northern businesses, shows how the War built national unity

  • The Presidency of James Monroe (Democratic Republican, 1817 – 1825)

  • The Era of Good Feelings”

  • Term created by a newspaper editor to describe Monroe’s presidency

  • In the years following the War of 1812, nationalism (intense pride in one’s country) surged and Americans, for the first time, truly thought of themselves as Americans first, ahead of their loyalty to their state or geographic region

  • The collapse of the Federalist Party left only the Democratic-Republican Party to dominate politics, so there was little political disagreement

  • The Panic of 1819

  • The newly created Second Bank of the U.S. was too generous in offering credit, leading to it overextending itself by issuing more loans than it had money

  • When the European economy recovered following the Napoleonic Wars, demand for American farm goods collapsed; at the same time, the Bank began recalling its loans in an attempt to stabilize its ability to fund the U.S. government’s needs – these two circumstances combined led to massive foreclosures on American farms, creating America’s first economic depression




    • McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

    • The state of Maryland, angry that Congress had revived the Bank of the U.S., passed a bill taxing any currency issued by the Bank’s Baltimore branch; the Bank’s branch manager (McCulloch) refused to pay the tax

    • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that: 1) the “necessary and proper” clause in Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the “implied power” to create a Bank; 2) the federal government stands above the states and 3) the states cannot interfere with the operation of federal agencies

    • Dartmouth College v Woodward (1819)

    • Dartmouth College, operating under a charter granted by King George III in the 1760s, was forcibly transformed by the state of New Hampshire from a private to a public college

    • Dartmouth’s trustees sued, arguing their charter, even though it predated the Revolution, was a valid contract and could not be voided by the state

    • The U.S. Supreme Court agreed, denying states the right to interfere with private contracts

    • Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

    • Aaron Ogden was operating steamboats between New York and New Jersey under an exclusive license from the state of New York

    • Thomas Gibbons began operating a competing line of steamboats under the argument that the Constitution grants all regulation of interstate commerce to Congress, not the states

    • The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Gibbons: Article I, Section 8 grants Congress alone has the right to regulate interstate and foreign commerce

    • The Missouri Compromise (1820)

    • 1819: Missouri (which allowed slavery) applied for statehood

    • This threatened the balance in Congress by giving pro-slavery states more votes in the Senate

    • U.S. finally agreed to admit Missouri as a slave state but only once Maine was admitted as a free state to keep balance

    • Congress also drew a line through the Louisiana Territory: north of the line, no slavery; south of the line would allow slavery

    • The Compromise was largely the work of Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky, who came to be called the Great Compromiser

    • The Treaty of 1818 (Also known as the Convention of 1818)

    • Treaty between the U.S. and Britain, which permanently set the boundary between the U.S. and Canada at the 49th parallel from Minnesota to the Rocky Mountains

    • The Treaty also allowed both the British and Americans to “share” the Oregon Territory for the next ten years and granted American fishing boats the right to fish the Grand Banks

    • The First Seminole War

    • Spanish Florida was a problem for the U.S.’s southern states – it harbored runaway slaves and was a base for attacks by Seminole Indians into U.S. territory

    • In 1818, General Andrew Jackson was ordered into Florida to deal with the Seminole threat, but was also ordered not to engage the Spanish; however, after destroying the Seminole’s stronghold at Tallahassee, Jackson then seized the Spanish capital at Pensacola as well

    • Adams-Onís Treaty

    • Spain was infuriated by Jackson’s actions

    • The U.S. put the blame on Spain for not being able to control the Seminoles

    • Spain finally agreed to sell Florida to the U.S. for $5 million in return for the U.S. agreeing to a formal border between the U.S. and Spanish Texas

    • Mexican Independence

    • The Napoleonic Wars in Europe had left Mexico semi-independent for most of the first 15 years of the 19th century

    • When Spain tried to re-establish direct control after the fall of Napoleon, Mexico rebelled, winning its full independence from Spain in 1821

    • The U.S. was concerned that Spain would try to retake these newly independent nations in Latin America; they also worried about Russian expansion into Alaska and what that might mean for Russian claims against the Oregon Territory

    • The Monroe Doctrine

    • In 1823, President Monroe issued a formal statement of U.S. policy regarding the Americas

      • 1) The U.S. would not tolerate European countries interference in the affairs of countries in the Americas

      • 2) No new European colonization would be allowed in Americas

      • 3) The U.S. would not interfere in the affairs of countries in the Americas or of in Europe

    • The Presidency of John Quincy Adams (National Republican, 1825 – 1829)

    • The Election of 1824

    • The election saw 4 Democratic-Republican candidates for president:

    • New England supported John Quincy Adams

    • The South supported William Crawford

    • The West supported Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay

    • Election was so close, no one had a majority, so it fell to the House of Representatives to decide the winner

    • Controversial Results

    • Henry Clay (who was Speaker of the House and hated Jackson) didn’t have enough votes to win the election for himself, so he threw his support to John Quincy Adams

    • As a result, Adams became president over Andrew Jackson, despite only winning 30% of the popular vote

    • The Corrupt Bargain”

    • After becoming President, Adams rewarded Clay’s support by naming Clay Secretary of State

    • Andrew Jackson, furious over losing the election, claimed that Adams and Clay had struck a “corrupt bargain” – that Adams had bought Clay’s support during the election by promising him the Cabinet position

    • The Democratic-Republican Party Shatters

    • The issue of the “corrupt bargain” completely divided the Democratic-Republicans, leading it to break into two separate political parties

    • Andrew Jackson’s supporters became the Democratic Party (the same Democratic Party that still exists today)

    • John Quincy Adams’ supporters became the National Republican Party (NOT the Republican Party that exists today)

    • This marked the end of political unity and a return to a two-party system

    • The American System”

    • Program endorsed by Henry Clay to achieve Adams’ domestic agenda:

    • Enact a high tariff to protect American industries and generate revenue for the federal government

    • Maintain high public land prices to generate federal revenue

    • Preserve the Bank of the United States to stabilize the currency and rein in risky state and local banks

    • Develop a system of internal improvements (such as roads and canals) which would knit the nation together and be financed by the tariff and land sales

    • The South Hated the “American System”

    • Southerners tended to be strict-constructionists, supporting states’ rights over a strong central government

    • They saw no Constitutional support for a National Bank or for federally funded transportation improvements

    • Tariffs hurt farmers, especially cotton farmers

    • Southerners liked the idea of “nullification” – states don’t have to enforce laws they interpret as unconstitutional or harmful

    • Tariff of Abominations”

    • Officially the Tariff of 1828, nicknamed the Tariff of Abominations by its opponents

    • Highest tariff in U.S. history, designed to protect U.S. industries from cheaper English imports

    • Badly hurt South by raising the price of manufactured goods and by leaving the British to have less money with which to buy Southern cotton

    • The Erie Canal (completed in 1825)

    • Connected Lake Erie to New York’s Hudson River

    • Cheap way to travel for families heading west, cheap and fast way to move farm goods back east

    • Connected New York City to the Great Lakes, making New York the top commercial port in the U.S.

    • The National Road (also known as the Cumberland Road)

    • Built 1811 – 1839, paved with macadam in the 1830s

    • U.S. government never finished the road due to financial crises in the late 1830s and the rise of railroads

    • Toll roads & turnpikes

    • Privately owned and operated roads made more sense in the north

    • By 1821, 4000 miles of toll roads had been built (almost all in the North or Ohio)

    • Mainly built between Northern cities or to connect the West to Northern cities

    • Stephen F. Austin (1793 – 1836) “The Father of Texas”

    • American who arrived in the Mexican state of Tejas in 1825 leading a large group of American settlers

    • Austin came at the invitation of the Mexican government, who wanted to populate the region

    • Americans who settled in Tejas had to agree to become Mexican citizens and to abide by Mexican law, but most still thought of themselves as Americans

    • As more and more American settlers flooded into Tejas and demanded rights similar to what they had held in the United States, the Mexican government took steps to slow down the rate of immigration

    • The settlers, living in what they now referred to as “Texas” began to develop an independent identity that was neither Mexican nor American, but rather what they called “Texican”

    • The Election of 1828

    • Rematch of Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams

    • Jackson had resigned from the Senate and dedicated the last four years to winning this election

    • Jackson was billed as the “common man” while Adams was portrayed as an over-educated aristocratic elitist

    • Jackson won both the popular and electoral vote, taking the entire Southern and Western vote

    • The Presidency of Andrew Jackson (Democrat, 1829 - 1837)

    • Nicknamed “Old Hickory,” a tribute to his toughness and his background as a frontiersman

    • Hero of the Creek War, War of 1812 and Seminole War

    • First president to survive an assassination attempt

    • Jackson’s Background

    • Jackson had been born to poor Irish immigrants somewhere in the mountains of either North or South Carolina

    • Had served as a messenger during the Revolution as a boy and was orphaned at age 14

    • Jackson was a self-made man, putting himself through school and became a lawyer, practicing in both North Carolina and Tennessee

    • Jackson later made himself wealthy through land speculation (buying up cheap land along the frontier and then selling it later for large profits after more people had moved into the region)

    • Between serving in his various military capacities, Jackson was elected to the House of Representatives and later the Senate (from the state of Tennessee) and served on the Tennessee Supreme Court

    • Jacksonian Democracy

    • Under Jackson, suffrage (the right to vote) was extended to all adult white males

    • Jackson was the first president to come from a background of poverty (although he had made himself quite wealthy and owned several plantations and businesses), so he was the hero of the common man

    • Jackson was, however, like most in his day, a racist – he owned hundreds of slaves and almost single-handedly wiped out Native American cultures east of the Mississippi

    • The Spoils System”

    • Under pressure from the many supporters who had helped him get elected, Jackson fired large numbers of bureaucratic-level government officials and replaced them with his own followers

    • This was came to be referred to as the “spoils system,” based on the quote attributed to Jackson: “to the victors belong the spoils”

    • This still happens today – politicians reward their supporters with important government jobs, although not to the extent of the Jackson administration

    • Indian Removal Act (1830)

    • Believing it was in the best interests of both whites and Native Americans, Jackson pressured the Indian tribes of the east to relocate to the Great Plains, west of the Mississippi River

    • Several tribes cooperated and sold their lands to the U.S., but many of the larger tribes resisted, prompting Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act and force them off their land

    • Most tribes relented and moved west, but the Cherokee tribe in Georgia refused

    • Worcester v. Georgia (1832)

    • Instead, the Cherokee sued government on the grounds that they had negotiated treaties with the U.S. as an independent nation and, therefore, U.S. laws did not apply to them anymore than they did to Canada or Mexico

    • The Supreme Court ruled that the Cherokee were a separate nation and that treaties with them must be honored

    • Jackson, however, refused to enforce the court’s decision: “(Chief Justice) Marshall has made his decision, now let us see him enforce it.”

    • The Trail of Tears

    • Jackson exercised his power as commander-in-chief to have the U.S. Army forcibly remove the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, and Choctaw nations from their homes in the east to the newly created Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma)

    • 46,000 Native Americans moved, but thousands died along the way, especially among the Cherokee

    • Some remnants of the Cherokee, however, remained hidden in the remote Smoky Mountains of NC & Tennessee

    • Nat Turner’s Rebellion (August 21, 1831)

    • Nat Turner was a Virginia slave who had religious “visions”

    • Nicknamed “The Prophet” by other slaves, Turner was a practicing (but not ordained) Baptist minister with a significant following

    • In 1831, he believed that God had called on him to lead a slave rebellion

    • Turner’s brief but disorganized slave uprising resulted in the deaths of 56 whites

    • The uprising was quickly suppressed by the local militia, and dozens of slaves (including Turner) were executed for their roles in the rebellion

    • Turner’s Rebellion led to bans throughout the South on educating slaves, allowing slaves to freely assemble without white supervision, and on allowing black ministers to lead worship services

    • South Carolina Nullification Crisis

    • Still bitter over the Tariff of Abominations, in 1832 South Carolina declared federal tariffs unconstitutional and nullified them (refused to enforce them)

    • Vice-President John C. Calhoun resigned in favor of serving his home state of South Carolina as a Senator in order to fight the tariffs

    • Jackson considered South Carolina’s actions (and Calhoun’s) treasonous and threatened to use the military against South Carolina (and to hang Calhoun) to make them comply with the tariff

    • South Carolina threatened to secede (leave the U.S.) unless the tariffs were repealed

    • Henry Clay managed to delay passage of the Force Bill, which would have given Jackson permission to take military action against South Carolina, until he could force through a bill reducing tariffs over the next 10 years (Clay’s actions are known as the Compromise of 1833)

    • Once this compromise tariff was passed, South Carolina repealed its nullification and the crisis ended

    • Jackson and the “Bank War”

    • Jackson, who had managed to completely pay off the federal debt, saw no reason to continue the Bank of the U.S., but Congress extended the Bank’s charter for another 10 years in 1832

    • Jackson vetoed the bill extending the charter and exercised his power as president to withdraw all of the federal government’s money from the Bank; with no money and no charter, the Second Bank of the United States closed

    • Jackson then split the government’s deposits among state and private banks, referred to as Jackson’s “pet banks”

    • The Whig Party

    • Angered that Jackson had defied the Supreme Court over the Indian Removal Act and Congress over the Bank of the United States, in 1834 the National Republican Party symbolically changed its name to the Whig Party

    • “Whigs” in England were people who opposed the power of the king; American Whigs felt that Andrew Jackson was ignoring the Constitution and acting like a king – they even began to refer to him as “King Andrew I”
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