party formed to support Andrew Jackson following the election of 1824; in the mid to late 1800s, this party championed states' rights and fought political domination by economic elites (opposing tariffs, federal funding for internal improvements, and other extensions of federal power); this party had its core support in the South until the 1930s during FDR's presidency, when it began to embrace a more aggressive and involved federal government. During the New Deal, Democrats began to lose the support of the white South—their traditional stronghold—and won support from farmers, urban workers, blacks, and women.
National Republican Party
party eventually known as the Whig Party; led by Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams in the late 1820s to challenge the Jackson's supporters. Like the Federalists, this party found its core support in the Northeast.
This group's name was used many times: 1) English aristocrats who opposed overcentralization of power and who therefore sought to gain more political power at the expense of the king, 2) American colonists who supported independence, 3) the party name adopted by the "National Republicans" who opposed Jackson's strong-armed leadership style and policies. This party promoted protective tariffs, federal funding for internal improvements, and other measures that strengthened the central government. Many became active social reformers at the peak of their popularity in the 1830s. They disappeared from national politics in the 1850s (following the controversial KS-NE Act).
policies to improve economic self-sufficiency that were crafted by Henry Clay and backed by the National Republicans (Whigs): 1) high protective tariffs, 2) a re-chartering of the Bank of the US (to stabilize & unify the nation's currency), 3) federally-funded transportation improvements, and 4) high land prices (to increase federal govt revenue).
Andrew Jackson's supporters claimed that this had occurred when Jackson lost the election of 1824; in that year, Jackson won the most popular and electoral votes, but not the requisite majority and so the election was decided by the House of Representatives, where Speaker of the House Henry Clay backed John Quincy Adams for president, (ensuring Adams's victory), and Adams rewarded Clay by making him secretary of state. Following this scandal, Jackson's enraged supporters formed the Democratic Party.
John Quincy Adams
son of a president and himself president from 1825 to 1829; earlier, as Monroe's secretary of state, he expanded the nation's borders and authored the Monroe Doctrine; because of the "corrupt bargain" that led to his election, his presidency was largely ineffective and Democrats in Congress opposed many of his policies.
Martin Van Buren
president and organizer of the Democrats; served as Secretary of State during Jackson's first term and as VP during his second. As Jackson's handpicked successor, he won the presidency in 1836, but b/c of the Panic of 1837, he lost his bid for reelection in 1840.
unpopular Whig president who inherited the office in 1841, when William Henry Harrison died after just one month in office; his most significant accomplishment: as a lame duck, he asked Congress to annex Texas through a joint resolution.
strong-willed Democrat who as president (1829-1837) (1) strengthened the presidency ("King Veto," spoils system), (2) limited the power of the federal govt (Bank War), (3) supported Indian removal; opponents called him a "military chieftan," because he was most famous for his leadership at the Battle of New Orleans and against Indians before he became president.
Jackson was the 1st presidents to extensively use this method of appointing officials, in which the previous president's appointees are replaced with loyal members of the winning party; Jackson claimed it was necessary to cycle bureaucrats out of government often to prevent power from becoming entrenched in government, but later political machines would form because of these precedents.
This Senator was most noteworthy as the author of several major compromises. He had a vast impact during the Era of Good Feelings and the Jackson Era, when he engineered the American System. He was Speaker of the House during Monroe's presidency and he later led the Whig Party until his death in 1852.
John C. Calhoun
S. Carolina statesmen who held most major posts in govt (except president): congressman, Monroe's Secretary of War, vice pres. (for both the Whig JQA and for the Democrat Jackson for one term); he was a war hawk before 1812, a nationalist throughout the Era of Good Feelings, but then as SC Senator, he became a leading defender of sectionalism, slavery, and states' rights during the nullification crisis (as the author of the SC Exposition & Protest and opponent of Jackson)
a leading statesmen in the first half of the nineteenth century; he started as a Federalist lawyer who won the Dartmouth College (1819) and McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) cases in the Supreme Court; he later became a powerful defender of northern interests, (supporting the 1828 tariff); his opposition to Jackson and to southern nullification made him a leader of the Whig Party.
waterway built by the government of NY (constructed 1817-1825), the first major civil engineering works project in US history; it stretched 363 miles, west to east from Albany to Buffalo, and its commercial success led many other states to fund similar projects
Tariff of Abominations
name given by Southern politicians to an 1828 tariff that threatened to hurt the South's economy while benefiting Northern and Western industrial interests; resistance to this law in S. Carolina led to a Nullification Crisis.
constitutional crisis caused by a disagreement between SC (led by V.P. John C. Calhoun) and the federal Government; after the Tariff of 1828 threatened to harm the Southern economy, Southerners denounced the tariff as unconstitutional, argued that federal laws must benefit all states equally, and SC's state government claimed to have the power to nullify a tariff within its own borders; by opposing a federal law, SC set off a debate over tariffs and states' rights from November 1832 until new compromise tariffs were passed in 1833.
bill that authorized President Jackson to use the military to collect customs duties (and thus stop state nullification in S. Carolina); this law was made unneccessary by the Compromise Tariff of 1833.
Andrew Jackson's 1832 action in response to the proposed charter renewal of the Second BUS. This was the beginning of Jackson's five-year "____ war."
1836 executive order was issued by Pres. Jackson in an attempt to stabilize the economy, which had been rapidly expanding since the early 1830s because of state banks' excessive lending practices and over-speculation. This policy required that all land payments be made in gold and silver rather than in paper money or credit, but the policy precipitated an economic depression known as the panic of 1837.
Panic of 1837
economic crisis that followed a boom caused by state banks' loose lending practices & over-speculation after the dismantling of the 2nd BUS; another cause was Jackson's Specie Circular, which had led to a contraction of the nation's credit, widespread debt, and unemployment. Martin Van Buren spent most of his presidency attempting to stabilize the economy and ameliorate this depression.
Independent Treasury Bill
1840 law that established an institution to hold public funds (tax money) and prevent excessive lending by state banks, thus guarding against inflation; this bill was a response and solution to the Panic of 1837.
regulation in Congress passed by Southerners in 1836 that tabled all abolitionist petitions, thereby preventing any antislavery discussion; this policy was repealed in 1845, under increased pressure from Northern abolitionists and from those opposed to any limits on the people's right to petition.
Indian Removal Act
1830 law that gave Jackson funds and authority to move Native Americans to assigned lands in the West; the law targeted primarily the Cherokee tribe in Georgia as part of Jackson's plan to claim Native American lands inside the boundaries of the states.
(1) a concept at the heart of the "era of the common man" that advocated more liberal voting requirements (suffrage rights for even landless white men) and social reform movements; (2) a celebration of egalitarian political conditions in the US (compared to those in other nations), though one with a misleading name, since it is named after a president who supported some democratic reform, but was anti-democratic in some ways (the spoils system) and was an opponent of most social reform.
nickname for Jackson's presidential advisors, so named because they were his close political allies (not policy experts); rather than shaping the president's agenda, Jackson's advisors assumed a passive, politically supportive role.
spiritual/philosophic movement arose in the 1830s as a challenge to rationalism and a challenge to much organized religion; leaders like Emerson and Thoreau sought an inner, emotional understanding of God rather than a rational, institutionalized one, and they believed that truth could be found through intuition and conscience (not logic/reason); they were critical of slavery in the South and growing materialism in the North.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
leader of the transcendentalist movement and an advocate of American literary nationalism in the 1830s and 1840s; his most influential essays were "Nature" and "Self Reliance."
Henry David Thoreau
transcendentalist author of "Civil Disobedience" (1849) and Walden (1854) who advocated a connection with nature and a life lived according to one's conscience, removed from materialism and repressive social codes.
James Fenimore Cooper
influential American writer of the American Romantic movement; his frontier-set novels, The Pioneers (1823), The Last of the Mohicans (1826), and others, focused on American themes such as independence, self-reliance, and a relationship with nature.
fiction writer of the American Romantic movement; his Scarlet Letter (1850) explored the moral dilemmas of adultery in a Puritan community and focused on themes of individual morality and self-reliance.
Edgar Allen Poe
fiction writer of the American Romantic movement who gained popularity in the 1840s as a writer of horrific, gothic tales such as "The Raven" (1844) and "The Cask of Amontillado" (1846).
a disciple of the transcendentalist Emerson, this writer is most famous for Leaves of Grass (1855), a poetry collection that celebrated America's diversity and democracy.
Trail of Tears
forced migration that led to the deaths of approx. 4,000 Cherokee; Federal troops forced the Cherokee from their ancestral homes to Indian Territory (despite the Supreme Court decision in Worcester v. Georgia which determined that the government had no right to do so).
religion of the Latter-Day Saints, founded by Joseph Smith in 1831; Smith's followers moved steadily westward during the early 1830s to escape religious persecution, and after Smith's murder in 1844, the new leader Brigham Young led the Mormons to Utah, where they are still centered today.
small, experimental communities sprang up beginning in the late 1820s, perhaps a response to a freedom that was not available in many other parts of the world and often a response to new religious and social ideals; reformers in these communities attempted to build perfect societies and present models for other communities to emulate--but most collapsed by the late 1840s.
leader of an 1831 slave uprising in Virginia, the most violent such rebellion in US history; result: VA's legislature briefly considered abolition, but instead state lawmakers further restricted slaves and free blacks, mob violence against blacks ensued, and national-level lawmakers further advocated the "gag rule," outlawing any discussion of slavery in the House
Seneca Falls Convention
1848 meeting in NY organized primarily by Mott & Stanton, marking the beginning of the women's rights movement; the meeting produced a "Declaration of Sentiments" modeled on the Decl. of Independence, declaring that "all men and women were created equal" and was followed by many years of activism that resulted in improved divorce and property ownership laws for women
Second Great Awakening
religious movement emerged in the early 1800s, partly a backlash against America's growing secularism and rationalism; this wave of revivalism spread throughout the nation and gave rise to a number of new denominations (especially Methodism); ministers in this movement tended to de-emphasize Calvinism and often stressed individual empowerment, equality under God, and social reform.
frontier religious revivals during the 2nd Great Awakening; hundreds or thousands of people—often members of various denominations—met at these meetings to hear speeches on repentance and to sing hymns.
Massachusetts schoolteacher who became a reformer after studying the conditions of the insane in poorhouses and prisons; her asylum reform effort helped garner support for institutions where the mentally ill could receive better treatment.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
This prominent advocate of women's rights organized the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention with Lucretia Mott.
An outspoken proponent of women's rights, she organized the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 with Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
This prominent public school reformer was appointed secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education in 1837. He reformed the school system by increasing state spending on schools, lengthening the school year, dividing students into grades, and introducing standardized textbooks, among other changes. He set the standard for public school reform throughout the nation.