|Period 4 The Early Republic 1800-1848
The Jacksonian Era, or the Age of Jackson
The Jacksonian Era is a term that refers to the period in American History when Andrew Jackson and his allies directed American politics. By the Presidential Election of 1828, the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican Party had become divided into factions. Andrew Jackson’s faction was called Democrats and would evolve into the modern Democratic Party.
If his election in 1828 launched the Age of Jackson, and terminated the so-called Era of Good Feelings, then his death in 1845 and the Mexican War that immediately followed it (1846–1848) might be considered the era’s close.
Much of Andrew Jackson’s support was from the southern states and the frontier western states. Jackson’s home state was Tennessee where he helped write the state’s constitution in 1796 and he became the first man to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee.
Andrew Jackson, who served as a major general in the War of 1812, commanded U.S. forces in a five-month campaign against the Creek Indians, allies of the British. After that campaign ended in a decisive American victory in the Battle of Tohopeka (or Horseshoe Bend) in Alabama in mid-1814, Jackson led American forces to victory over the British in the Battle of New Orleans (January 1815). The win, which occurred after the War of 1812 officially ended but before news of the Treaty of Ghent had reached Washington, elevated Jackson to the status of national war hero. In 1817, acting as commander of the army’s southern district, Jackson ordered an invasion of Florida. After his forces captured Spanish posts at St. Mark’s and Pensacola, he claimed the surrounding land for the United States.
The Presidential Election of 1828
In 1828 Andrew Jackson, the Democratic Party nominee easily defeated incumbent John Quincy Adams, the National Republican nominee 173-81 Electoral Votes. The election marked the permanent establishment of a two-party electoral system.
The 1828 election was portrayed by Jackson's Democrats as proof of the "common people's right" to pick a President. No longer were Virginia Presidents and northern money-men calling the shots. Class systems were breaking down. To that end, some states had recently abolished property requirements for voting. These poorer folk supported General Jackson.
Indian Removal Act (1830)
The Indian Removal Act authorized the president to remove the southern Indian tribes from their traditional homelands to federal territory west of the Mississippi River.
The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly moved west by the United States government. Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on this forced march, which became known as the "Trail of Tears."
Nullification Crisis (1832)
The Nullification Crisis was a regional tax rebellion. The Jackson Administration authorized an increased tariff on imported manufactured goods. Northern states supported high tariffs because a tax on imports favored American-made factory goods; however southern states called the increase a “Tariff of Abominations”.
Jackson met head-on the challenge of John C. Calhoun, leader of forces trying to rid themselves of a high protective tariff.
When South Carolina undertook to nullify the tariff, Jackson ordered armed forces to Charleston and privately threatened to hang Calhoun. Violence seemed imminent until Clay negotiated a compromise: tariffs were lowered and South Carolina dropped nullification.
2nd Bank of the United States
The 2nd Bank of the United States was a private institution that handled all the fiscal transactions for the U.S. Government. Andrew Jackson viewed the National Bank as a corrupt monopoly. He did not trust paper currency, believing only in the value of gold and silver coinage. Prior to the 1832 election Jackson made plans to end the bank by removing the government’s deposits.
Jackson turned the Bank into a moral-philosophical issue, depicting it as an institution which endangered the foundations of American liberty and democracy by encouraging an imbalance of power between the rich and the poor and threatened the Union by creating artificial distinctions. This belief was very much in line with Jackson s common man political image, and appealed to enough Americans to facilitate his reelection to the Presidency by a comfortable majority.