Volume 09: Andrew Jackson and Early 1800s literature

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Election of 1824

Popular vote: Jackson - 152,933 (42%), Adams - 115,626 (32%), Clay - 47,136 (13%), Crawford - 46,979 (13%). Electoral vote: Jackson - 99, Adams - 84, Crawford - 41, Clay - 37. House vote: Adams - 13, Jackson - 7, Crawford - 4, Clay - dropped. Jackson did not have a majority in the electoral vote, so the election went to the House of Representatives, where Adams won.

"Corrupt Bargain"

The charge make by Jacksonians in 1825 that Clay had supported John Quincy Adams in the House presidential vote in return for the office of Secretary of State. Clay knew he could not win, so he traded his votes for an office.

Panama Conference

Summoned by the Venezuelan revolutionary leader, Simon Bolivar, in 1826 to discuss commercial treaties, adopt a code of international law, and arrive at a common Latin American policy toward Spain. Two delegates were sent by the U.S., but were delayed so long that when they got there the meeting was over. They were uncomfortable about black and whites mixing at the meeting. Showed the good relations between U.S. and South America.

Tariff of Abominations

1828 - Also called Tariff of 1828, it raised the tariff on imported manufactured goods. The tariff protected the North but harmed the South; South said that the tariff was economically discriminatory and unconstitutional because it violated state's rights. It passed because New England favored high tariffs.

Vice-President Calhoun

Vice-President Calhoun anonymously published the essay South Carolina Exposition, which proposed that each state in the union counter the tyranny of the majority by asserting the right to nullify an unconstitutional act of Congress. It was written in reaction to the Tariff of 1828, which he said placed the Union in danger and stripped the South of its rights. South Carolina had threatened to secede if the tariff was not revoked; Calhoun suggested state nullification as a more peaceful solution.

Jacksonian Revolution of 1828

When Andrew Jackson was elected president from humble beginnings, people thought he could make the American Dream come true. Jackson appointed common people to government positions. Jefferson's emphasis on farmers' welfare gave way to Jackson's appeal to city workers, small businessmen, and farmers. Jackson was the first non-aristocrat to be elected president. Jackson's election was the revolution of the "Common Man".

Age of the Common Man

Jackson's presidency was the called the Age of the Common Man. He felt that government should be run by common people - a democracy based on self-sufficient middle class with ideas formed by liberal education and a free press. All white men could now vote, and the increased voting rights allowed Jackson to be elected.

Jacksonian Democracy

The Jacksonian era (1829-1841) included many reforms: free public schools, more women's rights, better working conditions in factories, and the rise of the Abolition movement. In the election, Jackson was portrayed as a common man and his opponent, J.Q. Adams, was attacked for his aristocratic principles. Electors in the electorial college were also chosen by popular vote. Common man, nationalism, National Nominating Conventions.

Extension of Voting Rights and the Spoils System

Franchise extended - more people were given the right to vote, even men who owned no land. Spoils system - "To the victor go the spoils" - the winner of the election may do whatever they want with the staff. Jackson made more staff changes than any previous president, firing many people and replacing them with his own.

National Republicans

After the 1824 election, part of the Democratic - Republican party joined John Q. Adams, Clay, and Daniel Webster to oppose Andrew Jackson. They favored nationalistic measures like recharter of the Bank of the United States, high tariffs, and internal improvements at national expense. They were supported mainly by Northwesterners and were not very successful. They were conservatives alarmed by Jackson's radicalness; they joined with the Whigs in the 1830's.

Caucus System and the National Nominating Conventions

In the National Nominating Convention, delegates voted on the results of a primary. In the Caucus System, candidates were elected by small, secretive party groups and the public had little say in the process.

"Kitchen Cabinet"

A small group of Jackson's friends and advisors who were especially influential in the first years of his presidency. Jackson conferred with them instead of his regular cabinet. Many people didn't like Jackson ignoring official procedures, and called it the "Kitchen Cabinet" or "Lower Cabinet".

Cherokee Indian removal and the "Trail of Tears"

A minority of the Cherokee tribe, despite the protest of the majority, had surrendered their Georgia land in the 1835 Treaty of New Echota. During the winter of 1838 - 1839, troops under General Winfield Scott evicted them from their homes in Georgia and moved them to Oklahoma Indian country. Many died on the trail; the journey became known as the "Trail of Tears".

Worchester v. Georgia and Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

Worchester v. Georgia: 1832 - The Supreme Court decided Georgia had no jurisdiction over Cherokee reservations. Georgia refused to enforce decision and President Jackson didn't support the Court. Cherokee Nation v. Georgia: 1831 - The Supreme Court ruled that Indians weren't independent nations but dependent domestic nations which could be regulated by the federal government. From then until 1871, treaties were formalities with the terms dictated by the federal government.

Whig Parties

Whigs were conservatives and popular with pro-Bank people and plantation owners. They mainly came from the National Republican Party, which was once largely Federalists. They took their name from the British political party that had opposed King George during the American Revolution. Among the Whigs were Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and, for a while, Calhoun. Their policies included support of industry, protective tariffs, and Clay's American System. They were generally upper class in origin.

Maysville Road Veto

1830 - The Maysville Road Bill proposed building a road in Kentucky (Clay's state) at federal expense. Jackson vetoed it because he didn't like Clay, and Martin Van Buren pointed out that New York and Pennsylvania paid for their transportation improvements with state money. Applied strict interpretation of the Constitution by saying that the federal government could not pay for internal improvements.

Election of 1832

Andrew Jackson (Democrat) ran for re-election with V.P. Martin Van Buren. The main issue was his veto of the recharter of the U.S. Bank, which he said was a monopoly. Henry Clay (Whig), who was pro-Bank, ran against him The Anti-Masonic Party nominated William Wirt. This was the first election with a national nominating convention. Jackson won - 219 to Clay's 49 and Wirt's 1. The Masons were a semi-secret society devoted to libertarian principles to which most educated or upper-class men of the Revolutionary War era belonged. The Anti-Masons sprang up as a reaction to the perceived elitism of the Masons, and the new party took votes from the Whigs, helping Jackson to win the election.

Henry Clay and the Bank Recharter Bill

The Bank of the United States was chartered by Congress in 1791; it held government funds and was also commercial. It wasn't rechartered in 1811, but a second bank was established in 1816 (1/5 government owned). Jackson opposed it, saying it drove other banks out of business and favored the rich, but Clay favored it. Nicholas Biddle became the bank's president. He made the bank's loan policy stricter and testified that, although the bank had enormous power, it didn't destroy small banks. The bank went out of business in 1836 amid controversy over whether the National Bank was constitutional and should be rechartered.

Veto of the Second Bank of the United States

1832 - Jackson, in his veto message of the recharter of the Second Bank of the U.S., said that the bank was a monopoly that catered to the rich, and that it was owned by the wealthy and by foreigners.

Movement of Federal Funds to State Banks

Angry because Biddle used bank funds to support anti-Jacksonian candidates, Jackson removed federal deposits from the bank in 1833, firing the secretaries of treasury who wouldn't comply, and was charged with abuse of power.

Roger B. Taney

Roger B. Taney was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and helped Jackson crush the Bank of the U.S.

Pet Banks

Pet banks were state banks into which Jackson deposited federal funds in 1833, after he vetoed the recharter of the Second Bank of the U.S., so called because people thought they were chosen on political grounds.

Loco-Focos

Loco Focos (1835) were Democrats who wanted reform and opposed tariffs, banks, monopolies, and other places of special privilege.

Chestnut Street to Wall

Name change of the street in New York in 1800s.

Webster-Hayne debate over the Foote Resolution

The Webster-Hayne debate in 1830 was over an 1830 bill by Samuel A. Foote to limit the sale of public lands in the west to new settlers. Daniel Webster, in a dramatic speech, showed the danger of the states' rights doctrine, which permitted each state to decide for itself which laws were unconstitutional, claiming it would lead to civil war. States' rights (South) vs. nationalism (North).

Peggy Eaton Affair

Social scandal (1829-1831) - John Eaton, Secretary of War, stayed with the Timberlakes when in Washington, and there were rumors of his affair with Peggy Timberlake even before her husband died in 1828. Many cabinet members snubbed the socially unacceptable Mrs. Eaton. Jackson sided with the Eatons, and the affair helped to dissolve the cabinet - especially those members associated with John C. Calhoun (V.P.), who was against the Eatons and had other problems with Jackson.

Calhoun's Resignation

1832 - Calhoun, from South Carolina, wrote the doctrine of nullification, expressing his views in support of states' rights. His views were so disputed and so different from Jackson's that Calhoun resigned and was appointed senator in South Carolina to present their case to Congress.

Southern Opposition to Protective Tariffs (Tariff of Abominations)

The North wanted tariffs that protected new industries, but the agricultural Southern states depended on cheap imports of manufactured goods and only wanted tariffs for revenue. The South strongly opposed protective tariffs like the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832, and protested by asserting that enforcement of the tariffs could be prohibited by individual states, and by refusing to collect tariff duties.

Nullification crisis and the South Carolina Exposition

When faced with the protective Tariff of 1828, John Calhoun presented a theory in the South Carolina Exposition and Protest (1828) that federal tariffs could be declared null and void by individual states and that they could refuse to enforce them. South Carolina called a convention in 1832, after the revised Tariff of 1828 became the Tariff of 1832, and passed an ordinance forbidding collection of tariff duties in the state. This was protested by Jackson.

Jackson's Jefferson Day Dinner

April 13, 1830 - At the Jefferson anniversary dinner, President Jackson toasted, "Our federal union! It must and shall be preserved!" making it clear to the nullifiers that he would resist the states' rights supporters' claim to nullify the tariff law. V.P. Calhoun's response to the toast was, "The union, next to our liberty, most dear. May we always remember that it can only be preserved by distributing evenly the benefits and burdens of the Union." Calhoun had wanted Jackson to side with him (for states' rights) in public, but he didn't succeed.

Compromise Tariff of 1833

Henry Clay devised the Compromise Tariff of 1833 which gradually reduced the rates levied under the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832. It caused South Carolina to withdraw the ordinance nullifying the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832. Both protectionists and anti-protectionists accepted the compromise.

Force Bill

1833 - The Force Bill authorized President Jackson to use the army and navy to collect duties on the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832. South Carolina's ordinance of nullification had declared these tariffs null and void, and South Carolina would not collect duties on them. The Force Act was never invoked because it was passed by Congress the same day as the Compromise Tariff of 1833, so it became unnecessary. South Carolina also nullified the Force Act.

Calhoun Breaks with Jackson

1832 - Calhoun resigned as vice-president when his views on states' rights were disputed by Jackson. Calhoun wanted each section of the country to share federal power equally, and he wanted independence for the South if they were to be controlled by the majority.

Martin Van Buren and the Albany Regency

Martin Van Buren, a Democratic-Republican Senator from New York, rallied the factory workers of the North in support of Jackson. He became Jackson's V.P. after Calhoun resigned. New York politics at that time was controlled by a clique of wealthy land-owners known as the Albany Regency, of which Van Buren became the leader.

Specie Circular

1863 - The Specie Circular, issued by President Jackson July 11, 1836, was meant to stop land speculation caused by states printing paper money without proper specie (gold or silver) backing it. The Circular required that the purchase of public lands be paid for in specie. It stopped the land speculation and the sale of public lands went down sharply. The panic of 1837 followed.

Charles River Bridge Decision

1837 - The Charles River Bridge Decision, delivered by Roger B. Taney, modified C.J. Marshall's ruling in the Darmouth College Case of 1819, which said that a state could not make laws infringing on the charters of private organizations. Taney ruled that a charter granted by a state to a company cannot work to the disadvantage of the public. The Charles River Bridge Company protested when the Warren Bridge Company was authorized in 1828 to build a free bridge where it had been chartered to operate a toll bridge in 1785. The court ruled that the Charles River Company was not granted a monopoly right in their charter, and the Warren Company could build its bridge. Began the legal concept that private companies cannot injure the public welfare.

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. A panic ensued (1837). Bank of the U.S. failed, cotton prices fell, businesses went bankrupt, and there was widespread unemployment and distress.

Dorr's Rebellion

In 1841, Rhode Island was governed by a 1663 charter which said that only property holders and their eldest sons could vote (1/2 the adult male population). Thomas Dorr led a group of rebels who wrote a new constitution and elected him governor in 1842. The state militia was called in to stop the rebellion. Dorr was sentenced to life imprisonment, but the sentence was withdrawn. Dorr's Rebellion caused conservatives to realize the need for reform. A new constitution in 1843 gave almost all men the right to vote.

Independent Treasury Plan

Idea that federal government should have its own treasury; never put into practice.

Election of 1840

William Henry Harrison and V.P. John Tyler - Whig - 234 votes. Martin Van Buren - Democrat - 60 votes. James G. Birney - Liberty Party - 0 votes. Panic of 1837 and a coming depression kept Van Buren from being reelected. Whigs rejected Clay, nominated military hero Harrison with the slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler too". They depicted Van Buren as living in luxury and Harrison as a "log cabin and hard cider" guy, which wasn't entirely true.

Rise of the Second Party System

Since the 1840's, two major political parties have managed to eliminated all competition. Democrats and Republicans have controlled nearly all government systems since the 1840's.

Pre-emption Act

1841 - This was to help settlers who occupied land and improved it before surveys were done. Without it, settlers could be outbid for the land. Some speculators used "floaters" to pre-empt land for them.

Tariff of 1842

A protective tariff signed by President John Tyler, it raised the general level of duties to about where they had been before the Compromise Tariff of 1833. Also banned pornography by increasing its cost.

Transcendentalism

A philosophy pioneered by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 1830's and 1840's, in which each person has direct communication with God and Nature, and there is no need for organized churches. It incorporated the ideas that mind goes beyond matter, intuition is valuable, that each soul is part of the Great Spirit, and each person is part of a reality where only the invisible is truly real. Promoted individualism, self-reliance, and freedom from social constraints, and emphasized emotions.

Transcendentalists

Believed in Transcendentalism, they included Emerson (who pioneered the movement) and Thoreau. Many of them formed cooperative communities such as Brook Farm and Fruitlands, in which they lived and farmed together with the philosophy as their guide. "They sympathize with each other in the hope that the future will not always be as the past." It was more literary than practical - Brook Farm lasted only from 1841 to 1847.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Essayist, poet. A leading transcendentalist, emphasizing freedom and self-reliance in essays which still make him a force today. He had an international reputation as a first-rate poet. He spoke and wrote many works on the behalf of the Abolitionists.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1817-1862), "On Civil Disobedience"

A transcendentalist and friend of Emerson. He lived alone on Walden Pond with only $8 a year from 1845-1847 and wrote about it in Walden. In his essay, "On Civil Disobedience," he inspired social and political reformers because he had refused to pay a poll tax in protest of slavery and the Mexican-American War, and had spent a night in jail. He was an extreme individualist and advised people to protest by not obeying laws (passive resistance).

Orestes Brownson (1803-1876)

Presbyterian layman, Universalist minister, Unitarian preacher and founder of his own church in Boston. Spent his life searching for his place and supporting various causes. As an editor, he attacked organized Christianity and won a large intellectual New England following. Then turned Roman Catholic and became a strong defender of Catholicism in Brownson's Quarterly Review, from 1844 until his death.

Margaret Fuller (1810-1815): The Dial

Social reformer, leader in women's movement and a transcendentalist. Edited The Dial (1840-1842), which was the puplication of the transcendentalists. It appealed to people who wanted "perfect freedom", "progress in philosophy and theology . . . and hope that the future will not always be as the past."

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851): The Spy, The Pioneers

American novelist. The Spy (1821) was about the American Revolution. The Pioneers (1823) tells of an old scout returning to his boyhood home and is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of novels about the American frontier, for which Cooper was famous. (Leatherstocking is the scout.) Cooper later stayed in Europe for seven years, and when he returned he was disgusted by American society because it didn't live up to his books. Cooper emphasized the independence of individuals and importance of a stable social order.

James Fenimore Cooper: Last of the Mohicans

1826 - It is about a scout named Hawkeye during the French and Indian War, while he was in his prime. It is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, about a frontiersman and a noble Indian, and the clash between growing civilization and untamed wilderness.

Herman Melville (1819-1891): Moby Dick

Wrote Moby Dick (1851) about a Captain Ahab who seeks revenge on the white whale that crippled him but ends up losing his life, his ship, and his crew. Wasn't popular at the time but now highly regarded. Melville rejected the optimism of the transcendentalists and felt that man faced a tragic destiny. His views were not popular at the time, but were accepted by later generations.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864): The Scarlet Letter

Originally a transcendentalist; later rejected them and became a leading anti-trascendentalist. He was a descendant of Puritan settlers. The Scarlet Letter shows the hypocrisy and insensitivity of New England puritans by showing their cruelty to a woman who has committed adultery and is forced to wear a scarlet "A".

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