The Rise of a Mass Democracy
The "Corrupt Bargain" of 1824
There were 4 main "Republican" candidates in the election of 1824: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William Crawford, and Henry Clay.
No candidate won the majority of the electoral votes, so, according to the Constitution, the House of Representatives had to choose the winner. Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House, was thus eliminated although he did have much say in who became president. Clay convinced the House to elect John Quincy Adams as president. Adams agreed to make Clay the Secretary of State for getting him into office. Much of the public felt that a "corrupt bargain" had taken place because Andrew Jackson had received the popular vote.
A Yankee Misfit in the White House
John Quincy Adams was a strong nationalist and he supported the building of national roads and canals. He also supported education.
Going "Whole Hog" for Jackson in 1828
Before the election of 1824, two parties had formed: National Republicans and Democratic-Republicans. Adams and Clay were the figures of the National Republicans and Jackson was with the Democratic-Republicans.
Andrew Jackson beat Adams to win the election of 1828. The majority of his support came from the South, while Adams's support came from the North.
"Old Hickory" as President
Jackson was the first president from the West and 2nd without a college education.
The Spoils System
When the Democrats rose to power in the White House, they replaced most of the people in offices with their own people (the common man). These people were illiterate and incompetent. This system of rewarding political supporters with jobs in the government was known as the "spoils system."
The Tricky "Tariff of Abominations"
In 1824, Congress increased the general tariff significantly.
The Tariff of 1828- called the "Black Tariff" or the "Tariff of Abominations"; also called the "Yankee Tariff". It was hated by Southerners because it was an extremely high tariff and they felt it discriminated against them. The South was having economic struggles and the tariff was a scapegoat.
In 1822, Denmark Vesey led a slave rebellion in Charleston, South Carolina.
The South Carolina Exposition, made by John C. Calhoun, was published in 1828. It was a pamphlet that denounced the Tariff of 1828 as unjust and unconstitutional.
"Nullies" in the South
In an attempt to meet the South's demands, Congress passed the Tariff of 1832, a slightly lower tariff compared to the Tariff of 1828. It fell short of the South's demands.
The state legislature of South Carolina called for the Columbia Convention. The delegates of the convention called for the tariff to be void within South Carolina. The convention threatened to take South Carolina out of the Union if the government attempted to collect the customs duties by force.
Henry Clay introduced the Tariff of 1833. It called for the gradual reduction of the Tariff of 1832 by about 10% over 8 years. By 1842, the rates would be back at the level of 1816.
The compromise Tariff of 1833 ended the dispute over the Tariff of 1832 between the South and the White House. The compromise was supported by South Carolina but not much by the other states of the South.
The Trail of Tears
Jackson's Democrats were committed to western expansion, but such expansion meant confrontation with the Indians who inhabited the land east of the Mississippi.
The Society for Propagating the Gospel Among Indians was founded in 1787 in order to Christianize Indians.
The five civilized tribes were the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles. President Jackson wanted to move the Indians so the white men could expand.
In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. It moved more than 100,000 Indians living east of the Mississippi to reservations west of the Mississippi. The five "civilized" tribes were hardest hit.
Black Hawk, who led Sauk and Fox braves from Illinois and Wisconsin, resisted the eviction.
The Seminoles in Florida retreated to the Everglades, fighting for several years until they retreated deeper into the Everglades.
The Bank War
President Andrew Jackson despised the Bank of the United States because he felt it was very monopolistic.
The Bank of the United States was a private institution, accountable not to the people, but to its elite circle of investors. The bank minted gold and silver coins. Nicholas Biddle, the president of the Bank of the United States, held an immense and possibly unconstitutional amount of power over the nation's financial affairs.
The Bank War erupted in 1832 when Daniel Webster and Henry Clay presented Congress with a bill to renew the Bank's charter. Clay pushed to renew the charter in 1832 to make it an issue for the election of that year. He felt that if Jackson signed off on it, then Jackson would alienate the people of the West who hated the Bank. If Jackson vetoed it, then he would alienate the wealthy class of the East who supported the Bank. Clay did not account for the fact that the wealthy class was now a minority. Jackson vetoed the bill calling the Bank unconstitutional.
The veto showed that Jackson felt that the Executive Branch had more power than the Judicial Branch in determining the Constitutionality of the Bank of the United States.
"Old Hickory" Wallops Clay in 1833
A third party entered the election in the election of 1832: The Anti-Masonic party. The party opposed the Masonic Order, which was perceived by some as people of privilege and monopoly. Although Jackson was against monopolies, he was a Mason himself; therefore the Anti-Masons were an anti-Jackson party. It gained support from evangelical Protestant groups.
The Jacksonians were opposed to all government meddling in social and economic life.
Andrew Jackson was reelected in the election of 1832.
Burying Biddle's Bank
The Bank of the United States's charter expired in 1836. Jackson wanted to make sure that the Bank would be exterminated.
In 1833, 3 years before the Bank's charter ran out, Jackson decided to remove federal deposits from its vaults. Jackson proposed depositing no more funds in the bank and he gradually shrunk existing deposits by using the funds to pay for day-to-day expenditures of the government.
The death of the Bank of the United States left a financial vacuum in the American economy. Surplus federal funds were placed in several dozen state banks that were political supportive of Jackson.
Smaller, wildcat banks in the west had begun to issue their own currency. But this "wildcat" currency was extremely unreliable because its value was based upon the value of the bank it was issued from. In 1836, "wildcat" currency had become so unreliable that Jackson told the Treasury to issue a Specie Circular- a decree that required all public lands to be purchased with metallic money. This drastic step contributed greatly to the financial panic of 1837.
The Birth of the Whigs
The Whigs were conservatives who supported government programs, reforms, and public schools. They called for internal improvements like canals, railroads, and telegraph lines.
The Whigs claimed to be defenders of the common man and declared the Democrats the party of corruption.
The Election of 1836
Martin Van Buren was Andrew Jackson's choice as his successor in the election of 1836. General William Henry Harrison was one of the Whig's many presidential nominees. The Whigs did not win because they did not unite behind just one candidate.
Depression Doldrums and the Independent Treasury
The basic cause of the panic of 1837 was the rampant speculation prompted by a get-rich scheme. Gamblers in western lands were doing a "land-office business" on borrowed capital. The speculative craze spread to canals, roads, railroads, and slaves. Jacksonian finance also helped to cause the panic. In 1836, the failure of two British banks caused the British investors to call in foreign loans. These loans were the beginnings of the panic.
The panic of 1837 caused many banks to collapse, commodity prices to drop, sales of public to fall, and the loss of jobs.
Van Buren proposed the Divorce Bill. Not passed by Congress, it called for the dividing of the government and banking altogether.
The Independent Treasury Bill was passed in 1840. An independent treasury would be established and government funds would be locked in vaults.
Gone to Texas
Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1823. Mexico gave a huge chunk of land to Stephen Austin who would bring families into Texas.
The Texans had many differences with the Mexicans. Mexicans were against slavery, while the Texans supported it.
Santa Anna- president of Mexico who, in 1835, wiped out all local rights and started to raise army to suppress the upstart Texans.
The Lone Star Rebellion
Texas declared its independence in 1836. Sam Houston- commander in chief for Texas.
General Houston forced Santa Anna to sign a treaty in 1836 after Houston had captured Santa Anna in the Battle of San Jacinto.
The Texans wanted to become a state in the United States but the northerners did not want them to because of the issue of slavery. Admitting Texas would mean one more slave state.
Log Cabins and Hard Cider of 1840
William Henry Harrison defeated Van Buren to win the election of 1840 for the Whigs. The Whig's campaign included pictures of log cabins and cider.
Politics for the People
There were 2 major changes in politics after the Era of Good Feelings:
1. Politicians who were too clean, too well dressed, too grammatical, and too intellectual were not liked. Aristocracy was not liked by the American people. The common man was moving to the center of the national political stage.
The Two-Party System
There was a formation of a two-party system. The two parties consisted of the Democrats and the Whigs (the National Republican Party had died out). Jacksonian Democrats glorified the liberty of the individual. They supported states' rights and federal restraint in social and economic affairs. The Whigs supported the natural harmony of society and the value of community. They favored a renewed national bank, protective tariffs, internal improvements, public schools, and moral reforms, such as the prohibition of liquor and the abolition of slavery.
Forging the National Economy
The Westward Movement
The life as a pioneer was very grim. Pioneers were stricken with disease and loneliness.
Shaping the Western Landscape
Fur trapping was a large industry in the Rocky Mountain area. Each summer, fur trappers would trade beaver pelts for manufactured goods from the East.
George Caitlin- painter and student of Native American life who was among the first Americans to advocate the preservation of nature; proposed the idea of a national park.
The March of Millions
By the mid-1800s, the population was doubling every 25 years. By 1860, there were 33 states and the U.S. was the 4th most populous country in the western world.
The new population and larger cities brought about disease and decreased living standards.
In the 1840s and 1850s, more European immigrants came to the Americas because Europe seemed to be running out of room.
The Emerald Isle Moves West
In the 1840s, the "Black Forties," many Irish came to America because of the massive rot that came upon the potato crops, inducing a famine. Most of the Irish were Roman-Catholic. They were politically powerful because they bonded together as one large voting body. The Irish did not possess many goods. They came to America and were hated by native workers of factories. The Irish hated the blacks with whom they rioted. They also hated the British.
The German Forty-Eighters
Between 1830 and 1860, many Germans came to America because of crop failures and other hardships.
Unlike the Irish, the Germans possessed a modest amount of material goods.
The Germans were more educated than the Americans and were opposed to slavery.
Flare-ups of Antiforeignism
The massive immigration of the Europeans to America inflamed the prejudices of American nativists. The Roman Catholics created an entirely separate Catholic educational system to avoid the American Protestant educational system.
Many people died in riots and attacks between the two religions.
The March of Mechanization
In 1750, steam was used as a major way to take the place of human labor. With it came the Industrial Revolution in England.
It took a while for America to embrace the machine because virgin soil in America was cheap and peasants preferred to grow crops as opposed to working in factories. Because of this, labor was scarce and hard to find until the immigrants came to America in the 1840s. There was also not a lot of money for investment in America and consumers were scarce. The large British factories also had a monopoly on the textile industry.
Whitney Ends the Fiber Famine
Samuel Slater- "Father of the Factory System" in America; escaped Britain with the memorized plans for the textile machinery; put into operation the first spinning cotton thread in 1791.
Eli Whitney- built the first cotton gin in 1793.
The cotton gin was much more effective at separating the cotton seed from the cotton fiber than using slaves. It affected not only America, but the rest of the world. Because of the cotton gin, the South's production of cotton greatly increased and the demand for cotton revived the demand for slavery.
New England was favored as the industrial center because it had poor soil for farming; it had a dense population for labor; shipping brought in capital; and seaports made the import of raw materials and the export of the finished products easy.
Marvels in Manufacturing
The War of 1812 prompted a boom of American factories and the use of American products as opposed to British imports.
The surplus in American manufacturing dropped following the Treaty of Ghent in 1815. The British manufacturers sold their products to Americans at very low prices. Congress passed the Tariff of 1816 in order to protect the American manufacturers.
In 1798, Eli Whitney came up with the idea of machines making each part of the musket so that every part of the musket would be the same. The principle of interchangeable parts caught on by 1850 and it became the basis for mass-production.
Elias Howe- invented the sewing machine in 1846.
The sewing machine gave a boost to northern industrialization. It became the foundation of the ready-made clothing industry.
Laws of "free incorporation"- first passed in New York in 1848; meant that businessmen could create corporations without applying for individual charters from the legislature.
Samuel F. B. Morse- invented the telegraph.
Workers and "Wage Slaves"
Impersonal relationships replaced the personal relationships that were once held between workers.
Factory workers were forbidden by law to form labor unions to raise wages. In the 1820s, many children were used as laborers in factories. With Jacksonian democracy came the rights of the laboring man to vote.
President Van Buren established the ten-hour work day in 1840.
Commonwealth vs. Hunt- Supreme Court ruling said that labor unions were not illegal conspiracies, provided that their methods were honorable and peaceful.
Women and the Economy
Farm women and girls had an important place in the pre-industrial economy, spinning yarn, weaving cloth, and making candles, soap, butter, and cheese.
Women were forbidden to form unions and they had few opportunities to share dissatisfactions over their harsh working conditions.
Catharine Beecher- urged women to enter the teaching profession.
The vast majority of working women were single.
During the Industrial Revolution, families were small, affectionate, and child-centered, which provided a special place for women.
Western Farmers Reap a Revolution in the Fields
The trans-Allegheny region became the nation's breadbasket.
Liquor and hogs became the early western farmer's staple market items.
John Deere- produced a steel plow in 1837 which broke through the thick soil of the West.
Highways and Steamboats
Lancaster Turnpike- hard-surfaced highway that ran from Philadelphia to Lancaster; drivers had to pay a toll to use it.
In 1811, the federal government began to construct the National Road, or Cumberland Road. It went from Cumberland, in western Maryland, to Illinois. Its construction was halted during the War of 1812, but the road was completed in 1852.
Robert Fulton- installed a steam engine and created the first steamboat.
The steamboat played a vital role in the opening of the West and South. It played a vital role in binding the West and South.
"Clinton's Big Ditch" in New York
Governor DeWitt Clinton- governor of New York who lead the building of the Erie Canal that connected the Great Lakes with the Hudson River in 1825; the canal lowered shipping prices and decreased passenger transit time.
The Iron Horse
The most significant contribution to the development of such an economy was the railroad. The first one appeared in 1828.
Railroads were at first opposed because of safety flaws and they took away money from the Erie Canal investors.
Cables (Telegraphs), Clippers, and Pony Riders
In the 1840s and 1850s, Yankee navel yards began to produce new crafts called clipper ships. These ships sacrificed cargo room for speed and were able to transport small amounts of goods in short amounts of time. These ships faded away after steam boats were made better and able to carry more goods and, hence, become more profitable.
The Pony Express was established in 1860 to carry mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The mail service collapsed after 18 months due to lack of profit.
The Transport Web Binds the Union
The desire of the East to move west stimulated the "transportation revolution."
The South raised cotton for export to New England and Britain. The West grew grain and livestock to feed factory workers in the East and in Europe. The East made machines and textiles for the South and the West. All of these products were transported using the railroad; the railroad linked America.
The Ferment of Reform and Culture
Thomas Paine promoted the doctrines of Deism. Deists relied on science rather than the Bible and they denied the divinity of Christ. They did believe in a Supreme Being who had created a universe and endowed human beings with a capacity for moral behavior.
Unitarianism spun off of Deism. Unitarians believed that God existed in only one person. It appealed to mostly intellectuals.
The Second Great Awakening came in 1800. Women were a large part of it.
Peter Cartwright- a revivalist, traveling preacher who converted thousands to Christianity.
Charles Grandison Finney- one of the greatest revivalist preachers.
Many preachers preached in Western New York where the Puritans settled.
The Second Great Awakening widened the lines between the classes and regions. The more prosperous and conservative denominations in the East were little touched by revivalism, and Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Unitarians continued to rise mostly from the wealthier, better-educated levels of society.
The issue of slavery split the churches apart.
A Desert Zion in Utah
Joseph Smith- formed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in 1830 when he deciphered the Book of Mormon from some golden plates given to him by an angel; led the Mormons to Illinois.
After Joseph Smith was killed 1844, Brigham Young led the Mormons to Utah to avoid persecution.
Free Schools for a Free People
Tax-supported public education came about between 1825 -1850. Americans eventually saw they had to educate their children because the children were the future. The teachers of the schools were mostly men and did not know how to teach. There were not very many schools in the U.S. because of their high costs to communities.
Horace Mann- campaigned effectively for a better schooling system.
Higher Goals for Higher Learning
The first state-supported universities showed up in the South in 1795.
The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson.
Women's schools at the secondary level came in the 1820s because of Emma Willard.
An Age of Reform
States gradually abolished debtors' prisons due to public demand. Criminal codes in the states were being softened. The number of capital offenses was being reduced. The idea that prisons should reform as well as punish arose.
Dorothy Dix- traveled the country, visiting different asylums; released a report on insanity and asylums; her protests resulted in improved conditions for the mentally ill.
In 1828, the American Peace Society was formed. It was led by William Ladd.
Demon Rum - The "Old Deluder"
The problem of drinking was found in women, clergymen, and members of Congress. The American Temperance Society was formed in 1826. Its crusaders persuaded drinkers to stop drinking.
The problem of drinking tore down the family structure.
Neal S. Dow- thought that alcohol should be removed by legislation; "Father of Prohibition"; supported the Maine Law of 1851 which banned the manufacture and sale of liquor in Maine. (The country banned the sale of alcohol with the 18th amendment in 1918.)
Women in Revolt
In the early 19th century, the role of women was to stay at home and be subordinate to her husband. Women could not vote and when married, she could not retain her property. Women actually started to avoid marriage.
Gender differences were emphasized in the 19th century because the market economy was separating women and men into distinct economic roles.
Feminists met at Seneca Falls, New York in a Woman's Rights Convention in 1848 to rewrite the Declaration of Independence to include women.
Robert Owen- founded in 1825 a communal society in order to seek human betterment.
All utopias failed.
The Dawn of Scientific Achievement
Americans were more interested in practical gadgets than in pure science. Americans invented practical gadgets, but as far as basic science was concerned, Americans borrowed and adapted the findings of Europeans.