The Jacksonian Era aka Jacksonian Democracy, The Rise of the Common Man

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The Jacksonian Era


Jacksonian Democracy,

The Rise of the Common Man,

The Revolution of 1828

The Rise of Contrary Politics

  • Background: The Era of Good Feelings

  • The Election of 1824: “Favorite Sons”

  • No Majority, the House decides again

  • The Corrupt Bargain

Revival of the Two Party System

  • National Republicans, later called Whigs

  • Led by Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster

  • Strong in New England

  • Support from bankers, merchants, manufacturers, large landowners

  • Stood for strong federal government, national bank, protective tariff

  • Favored business interests

  • Democrats

  • Led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren

  • Support from small farmers, city workers, newly emerging business leaders

  • Opposed strong central government, urged greater democracy, claimed to represent the common people

  • Presidential Elections

Election of 1824

Jacksonian Ascendency

  • Election of 1828

  • Jackson versus Clay

  • Jackson landslide:

  • Electoral votes 178 vs. 83

  • Popular vote: 56% to 44%

  • Revolution of 1828? Jacksonian Democracy?

  • Jackson benefited from changes in society

  • Political Changes:

  • Democracy in the States:

  • End of Property & Religious Qualifications for voting

  • Universal Adult White Male Suffrage

  • Nominating Conventions

  • Popular election of electors

  • Democratic view of the Presidency

  • Spoils System, Rotation in Office

  • The Change to Democracy

Jackson the Man

  • Born in poverty on the frontier

  • Became lawyer and judge

  • Frontier Indian fighter

  • Military leader

  • Plantation owner and slave holder

  • A description from Duel of Eagles by Jeff Long:

Economic Aspects of the Jacksonian Era

  • Cheap Land

  • $1.25 per acre

  • Squatters

  • Preemption laws

Increasing industrialization and beginnings of trade unions

  • National Trades Union

  • Courts upheld trade unions and strikes legal

  • Workers began to engage in politics

Sectional Background to the Jacksonian Era

  • Definition of Sectionalism

  • Economic Basis of Sectionalism

  • Industrial Northeast

  • Plantation South

  • Small Farm West

  • Sectional Issues

  • Protective Tariff

  • Second B.U.S.

  • Internal Improvements

  • Liberal Land Policy

  • Territorial Expansion

  • Expansion of Slavery

Significant Issues of the Jackson Presidency

  • The War With the Bank

  • Peggy Eaton Affair - Eaton Malaria and the War With Calhoun

  • Indian Removal

  • Tariff Issue

The War With the Bank

  • Organization

  • 4/5 stock held by private investors

  • 1/5 held by federal government

  • Under Nicolas Biddle, 29 branches

  • Services

  • Official depository of federal funds, sold bonds

  • Held private deposits, made loans

  • Issued paper banknotes

  • Restrained state banks from over issuing banknotes

  • Northeast favored

  • Stable money supply

  • West and South Opposed

  • Opposed paper money

  • Benefited wealthy

  • Unconstitutional

  • Played politics

  • Jackson vetoed recharter

  • Withdrew federal funds

  • Wildcat Banks” made unwise loans, over issued paper money

  • Issued “Specie Circular,” created Panic of 1837

The Peggy Eaton Affair

  • Margaret O’Neale background

  • Her relationship with Jackson

  • Background to her marriage to John Eaton

  • Floride Calhoun and social ostracism

  • Eaton Malaria”

  • The Calhoun-Jackson split

Indian Removal

  • The Cherokees in Georgia - background

  • Worster v. Georgia, 1832

  • The act of the State of Georgia under which the plaintiff in error was prosecuted is consequently void, and the judgment a nullity. . . . The Acts of Georgia are repugnant to the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States.

  • The Cherokee Nation, then, is a distinct community, occupying its own territory, with boundaries accurately described, in which the laws of Georgia can have no force, and which the citizens of Georgia have no right to enter but with the assent of the Cherokees themselves or in conformity with treaties and with the acts of Congress. The whole intercourse between the United States and this nation is, by our Constitution and laws, vested in the government of the United States.

Indian Removal

  • Jackson’s Reaction: John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

  • Jackson urged Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act of 1832.

  • Congressman David (Davy Crockett) opposed the measure and resigned from Congress

  • Remove the Five Civilized Tribes* to the West:

  • Cherokee, Creek, Chocktaw, Chickasaw, Seminole and others

  • According to Cherokee sources, 4000 died on the march.

The Tariff Issue

  • The South and the Tariff 1816 and 1824

  • All sections supported 1816

  • South unsuccessfully opposed 1824

  • Tariff of Abominations 1828

  • West and Northeast combined to pass extremely high tariff

  • South called it hateful

  • South Carolina Exposition and Protest 1828

  • Written by John C. Calhoun

  • Asserted nullification

  • Asserted right to secede

  • Webster-Hayne Debate 1830:

The Tariff Crisis

  • The Attitude of the Northeast and West:

  • Our Federal Union! It must be preserved!”-Jackson

  • The Attitude of the South:

  • The Union, next to our liberty most dear!”-Calhoun

  • Nullification by South Carolina 1832

  • Calhoun resigned as V.P.

  • Threatened Secession

  • Force Bill

  • Compromise Tariff 1833

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