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Andrew Jackson

The seventh President of the United States (1829-1837), who as a general in the War of 1812 defeated the British at New Orleans. As president he opposed the Bank of America, objected to the right of individual states to nullify disagreeable federal laws, and increased the presidential powers. His presidency was known as the "era of the common man."

Thomas Dorr

A lawyer and activist who, with his followers in 1840, formed a group of called the "People's Party," held a convention, drafted a new constitution for the state of Rhode Island, and submitted it to popular vote. It was approved, and so the Dorites began to set up a new govt. with him as governor. The existing legislature rejected the Dorites's constitutions legitimacy. So, in 1842, two govts. were claiming to be the real power in Rhode Island. The old state govt. began to claim him and his followers as rebels and began to imprison them. The Dorrites then made an inaffectual effort to capture the state arsenal, this was known as The Dorr Rebellion. It quickly failed, but its episode helped spur the old guard to draft a new constitution for the state of Rhode Island that greatly expanded the suffrage because in the 1830s, the constitution there banned more than half of the adult white males from voting.

Martin Van Buren

A man who led a dissident political faction in New York (known as the "Bucktails" or the "Albany Regency"). In the years after the War of 1812 ended this group began to challenge the established political elite led by the aristocratic governor, Clinton. They argued that only an institutionalized party, based on populace, could ensure genuine democracy.

De Witt Clinton

An aristocratic governor in New York. Also the leader of government officials who came up with the plan to link New York City with the Great Lakes region.

William L. Mercy

On of Jackson's allies from New York, he once explained "To the victors belong the spoils"; and patronage, the process of giving out jobs as political rewards, became known as the "spoils system." Jackson's embrace of the "spoils system" helped cement its place in political parties.

Jacksonian Democracy

A movement for democracy in American government that was led by Andrew Jackson during his presidency, this movement campaigned greater rights for the common man and was opposed to any signs of aristocracy in the nation. It was aided by the strong spirit of equality among the people of the newer settlements in the South and West. It was also aided by the extension of the vote in eastern states to men without property; in the early days of the United States, many places had allowed only male property owners to vote. It was also attributed to the spoils system, strict constructionism and laissez-faire economics. In his democracy he also added another cabinet to the White House, known as the Kitchen Cabinet.

John C. Calhoun

Vice president to Andrew Jackson who began to champion a controversial constitutional theory: nullification. He argued that since the federal govt. was a creation of the states, that the states were the final arbiters of the constitutionality of federal laws. If a state concluded that Congress had passed and unconstitutional law, then it could hold a special convention and declare the federal law null and void within the state. This was the Nullification Doctrine, and it contained the idea of using it to nulify the 1828 tariff, and it quickly attracted board support in South Carolina. But this did nothing to help his standing within the new administration, mostley because he has a powerful rivalry with Martin Van Buren.

Kitchen Cabinet

The president's unofficial circle of political allies.

Peggy Eaton

The attractive daughter of a Washington tavern keeper. She was married, but rumors went around that she and Senetor Eaton were having an affair. After her husband died she married Eaton soon after. A few weeks later Jackson named Eaton Secratary of War, which made her a cabinet wife. The rest of the administration wives, led by Mrs. Calhoun, refused to accept her into their social world. So Calhoun, under pressure from his wife, refused the position.

Robert Y Hayne

A young senetor from South Carolina who responded to someone suggesting that all land sales and surveys be temporarilly discontinued by charging that slowing down the growth of the west was a way for the east to restrain its political and economic power. He hoped his stance would attract support from westerners in Congress for South Carolina's drive to lower tariff. He argued that both the south and the west were victims of tyranny of the northeast. He hinted that the two regions might combine to defend themeselves.

Daniel Webster

A senetor from Massachusetts, who attacked Hayne, and through him Calhoun, for what he considered their challenge to the integrity of the Union. He challenged Hayne to a debate, not on public lands and the tariff, but on the issue of states' rights versus national power.

Webster-Hayne Debate

An argument between Daniel Webster and Robert Hayne, about the issue states' rights versus national power. Webster said that Hayne was a challenge to the integrity of the Union. Hayne responded with a defense of the theory of nullification. Webster then spent two full afternoons delievering what became known as his "Second Reply to Hayne." He concluded with the ringing appeal: "Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable."

Jefferson Birthday Dinner

Hayne and Webster both wanted to hear what President Jackson thought of the argument and at Jefferson's annual Democratic Party banquet they finally got their answer. As the President gave his toast he said "Our Federal Union- It must be preserved." All while looking directly at Calhoun. Then Calhoun responded saying "The Union, next to our liberty most dear".

Nullification Crisis

In 1832, this broke out when South Carolinians responded angrily to a congressional tariff bill that offered them no relief form the 1828 "tariff of abominations." The legislature summoned an immediate state convention, which voted to nullify the tariff's of 1828 and 1832 and to forbid the collection of duties within a state.

Force Bill

When Congress convened early in 1833, Jackson proposed this, which authorized the president to use the military to see that acts of Congress were obeyed. Violence seemed a real possibility.

The Black Hawk War

A war in Illinois between and alliance of Sauk and Fox Indians under Black Hawk against white settlers in 1831-1832 in an effort to overturn what Black Hawk considered and illegal treaty ceding tribal lands in that state to the United States. This war was notable for the viciousness of the white military efforts.

"Five Civilized Tribes"

The Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw who all lived in western Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

When the Cherokee tried to stop Georgia from taking their lands through an appeal in the Surpreme Court. The courts ruling, much like the one in Worcestorv. Georgia, supported the tribe's contention that the state had no authority to negotiate with tribal representatives. Jackson, however, repudiated the decisions, reportedly responding to the news of the rulings wiht the contemptuous statement "John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it."

Winfield Scott

A general who had control over an army of 7,000 sent by Jackson to round them up and drive the Cherokee westward.

Trail of Tears

When about 1,000 Cherokee Indians fled to North Carolina, the federal govt. provided them with a small reservation in the Smokey Mountains that survives today. But most of the rest made a long, forced trek to "indian territory," later known as Oklahoma, beginning in the winter of 1838. Thousands, perhaps a quater or more of the emigres, perished before reaching their unwanted destination. In the harsh new reservations, the survivors remembered the journey as this.

Osceola

When the Seminoles agreed to a settlement by which they ceded their lands to the United States and agreed to move to Indian Territory within three years, most of them did, but a substantial minority, under the leadership of this man, balked and staged an uprising begining in 1835 to defend their lands.

Maysville Road

This was a bill that proposed building a road in Kentucky with federal funding. Jackson vetoed this because he considered it unconstitutional, as it was only in Kentucky and not a part of interstate commerce. He also was against the bill because it was considered extravagant expenditures.

Nicholas Biddle

Ran the bank from 1832 on, he had done much to put the institution on a sound and prosperous basis. Nevertheless, many Americans, among them Andrew Jackson, were determined to destroy it.

The Bank War

Pres. Andrew Jackson had made clear his constitutional objections to and personal antagonism toward the bank. He believed it concentrated too much economic power in the hands of a small moneyed elite beyond the public's control, he was more for the common man. The banks president, Nicholas Biddle, with the support of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, applied for a new charter in 1832, four years before the old charter was due to expire, thus ensuring that the bank would be an issue in the 1832 presidential election. Jackson vetoed the recharter bill and won the ensuing election, interpreting his victory as a mandate to destroy the bank. He forbade the deposit in the bank of government funds; Biddle retaliated by calling in loans, which precipitated a credit crisis. Denied renewal of its federal charter, the bank secured a Pennsylvania charter.

Soft-money faction

Consisted largely of state bankers and their allies. They objected to the Bank of the United States because it restrained the state banks from issuing notes freely. Believers in rapid economic growth and speculation.

Hard-money faction

Supporters of this believed that coin was the only safe currency, and they condemned all banks that issued bank notes, including the Bank of the United States. Embraced ideas of public virtue and looked with suspicion on expansion and speculation. Jackson supported this position.

Rodger B. Taney

The attorney general and a close friend and loyal ally of the president. When Marshall died, he became the new Surpreme Court chief justice.

Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge

In this 1837 Supreme Court Case, Chief Justice Roger Taney that a state had a right to place the public's convenience over that of a private or particular company, over the presumed right of monopoly granted in a corporate charter. Thus a company that had a prior long-term contract for a toll bridge over the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge, so in esence a monopoly on bridge traffic, could not prevent a second company from receiving another state contract to construct a competitive toll-free bridge. It advanced the interests of those who favored economic development.

Kind Andrew I

A derogatory name for president Jackson given to him by a new political party who denounced themesleves as Whigs, after the party in England that traditionally worked to limit the power of the king. They called him this because they were opposed to his use of power.

Whigs

A new political party that formed in the United States because of the growing opposition to President Jackson. They denounced themesleves as Whigs, after the party in England that traditionally worked to limit the power of the king.

Democrats

Political Party who supported Jackson and believed that the federal govt. should be limited in power, except to the degree that it worked yo eliminate social and economic arrangments that entretched privilege and stifled opportunity. Also that states' rights should be protected to the extent that state govt. interfered with social and economic mobility. They celebrated honest workers, simple farmers, and forthright businessmen and compared them to the corrupt forces of established wealth. They supported territorial expansion to widen opportunities for Americans. Radicals of the party were known as Locofocus.

Anti-Masonry

Emerged in the 1820s, it was a movement by the Whigs, and it formed in response to widespread resentment against the secret and exclusive, supposedly undemocratic, Society of Freemasons. So in this movement the Whigs launched spirited attacks on Jackson and Van Buren, both Freemasons, implying that the democratics were connected with the antidemocratic conspiracy.

Henry Clay as candidate

running as a Whig candidate, Clay won the support from many who favored his American System, but his image as a devious political operator and his identification with the West was a liability. He ran for president three times and never won.

Daniel Webster as candidate

This man was also running as a Whig candidate, he had won a broad support among those who appreciated his passionate speeches in defense of the Constitution and the Union, but his close connection with the national bank, and the protective tariff, prevented him from achieving national popularity.

Panic of 1837

When Jackson was president, many state banks received government money that had been withdrawn from the Bank of the U.S. These banks issued paper money and financed wild speculation, especially in federal lands. Jackson issued the Specie Circular to force the payment for federal lands with gold or silver. Many state banks collapsed as a result. The Bank of the U.S. failed, cotton prices fell, businesses went bankrupt, and there was widespread unemployment and distress. This depression lasted five years and it was a politcal catastrophe for Van Buren and the Democrats.

Specie Circular

Executive order that required payment in gold/silver in order to buy land since paper money was inflating. It produced a finacial panic that began in the first months of Van Buren's presidency. It caused banks and business to fail and unemployment grew.

Independent Treasury System

Also known as "Subtreasury," was a system in which govt. funds would be placed in an independent treasury in Washington and in subtreasuries. This way no private banks would have the govt's money or name to use as a basis for speculation. Van Buren called a special session of Congress in 1837 to consider this proposal, which failed in the House. In 1840, the administration finally succeeded in driving the measure through both houses of Congress.

William Henry Harrison

Who the Whigs chose as their candidate for president in 1839. He was a renowned solider and a popular national figure. This campaign was known as the Log Cabin Campaign because the Whigs use of a log cabin as their symbol, and to show the laborers and farmers that the candidate was a man of the people.

Penny Press

Was first used in the 1840 campaign, it carried news of the candidates to large audiences. Newspapers of this were deliberatley livelier and even more sensationalistic than the newspapers of the past, which had been almost entirely directed at the upper classes. The New York Sun, the first of the new breed, began piblishing in 1833 and was from the beginning self-consciously egalitarian. It soon had the largest circulation in New York.

John Tyler

The vice president of Van Buren, who ended up taking office after Van Buren died of a pneumonia one month after taking office.

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