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Second Party System

2-party system w/ Democrats and Whigs replacing Federalists and Republicans; more effective at reaching farrest corners of the nation; welcomed conflict

Democratic Party

Guided by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren; previously Republicans; retained Jefferson's suspicion of strong federal govt. and preference for states' rights

Whig Party

Guided by Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams; previously Republicans; believed that natl. govt. should actively encourage economic development

Henry Clay

One of the leaders of the Whig Party; former War Hawk and Republican

The American System

The three-part plan developed by Henry Clay that stressed a strong banking system, protective tariffs, and a network of roads and canals; essential in developing a profitable home market; home market enabled America to become a self-sufficient, isolated country

John Quincy Adams

One of the leaders of the Whig Party; Secretary of State and later sixth president; controversial presidency b/c proposed fed. aid for internal improvements and sent delegates to newly indep. Latin Amer. nations, also alienated supporters

Andrew Jackson

Seventh President of the United States (1829-1837), who as a general in the War of 1812 defeated the British at New Orleans (1815); opposed the Bank of America, objected to the right of individual states to nullify disagreeable federal laws, and increased the presidential powers

Election of 1824

5 candidates, all Republicans = John Quincy Adams, John C. Calhoun, William Crawford, Henry Clay, & Andrew Jackson; Jackson = not taken seriously but gained popularity on frontier and in the south & some northern states; Calhoun withdrew and ran for VP; Jackson won more pop. & electoral votes than any other candidate but failed to gain majoirty required by Constitution; election thrown to House of Reps., who chose Adams

Congressional Caucus

A conference of party members in the legislature which was used to nominate candidates

"Corrupt bargain"

Henry Clay supported Adams, which secured him the presidency; Adams appointed Clay Secretary of State; Jackson's supporters said the bargain was corrupt

Martin Van Buren

New York senator; VP during AJ's 2nd term and president after him; new breed of politician = geniality and ability to sense where politics was going, made personal friends from pol. enemies; election of 1824 convinced him of the need for 2-party competition

Albany Regency

Powerful pol. machine created by Martin Van Buren; composed mainly of men like him from lower & middling ranks

Election of 1828

Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams; Adams men painted Jackson as a backwoodsman, which actually helped his image; Jackson won w/ twice the electoral vote of Adams, but the pop. vote was much closer; pop. vote close in middle states and NW, Adams had more in NE, and AJ had most in S & SW

Spoils system

Supported "rotation in office" aka the removal of officeholders of the rival party; AJ appointed his loyal friends to office and said jobs were so simple that as many plain people as possible should be given chance to work for govt.

Maysville Road Bill

Bill providing federal money for road in Kentucky b/w Maysville and Lexington; vetoed by AJ b/c of its "purely local character"

Indian Removal Act 1830

Signed into law by President Andrew Jackson, strongly supported by the South whom was eager to gain access to the lands inhabited by the "Five Civilized Tribes"; act was intended to be voluntary removal, significant pressure was put onto the tribes' chiefs to vacate and led to the inevitable removal of most Indians from the states; Trail of Tears

Tariff of Abominations, 1828

High protective tariff that was as favorable to western agric. & NE manufacturing as it was unfavorable to southerners, who had few industries to protect; AJ's supporters that southerners would blame Adams for tariff, but Jackson was target of fury

Nullification Crisis

Sectional crisis during the presidency of Andrew Jackson created by the Ordinance of Nullification; an attempt by the state of South Carolina to nullify a federal law - the tariff of 1828 - passed by the United States Congress; proponent = John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun

VP to AJ; went from ardent nationalist to states' rights sectionalist; hoped to become president after AJ but needed support of the south, which was increasingly antitariff; involved in Nullification Crisis

South Carolina Exposition and Protest

Anonymously written by John C. Calhoun; said tariff of 1828 was unconstitutional and that aggrieved states had right to nullify, or override, law within their boundaries; widely circulated

Peggy Eaton Affair

Peggy Eaton and her husband (whom she flirted with before her first husband's death) were snubbed by Calhoun's wife and his friends, so AJ befriended them; AJ was convinced Calhoun was trying to advance his own goals by making Jackson look bad

Jefferson Day Dinner, 1830

Jackson said toast: "Our Union: It must be preserved" and Calhoun responded, "The Union next to Liberty the most dear. May we always remember that it can only be preserved by distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union"; symbolic confrontation and set stage for clash b/w VP & P over nullification

Tariff of 1833

Olive branch of "olive branch and sword"; also known as the Compromise Tariff; provided for gradual but significant lowering of duties b/w 1833 and 1842

The Force Bill

Sword of "olive branch and sword"; authorized president to use arms to collect customs duties in South Carolina

The Great Compromiser

nickname for Henry Clay based on his role in Congress finding ways to keep north & south from breaking apart

The Election of 1832

Andrew Jackson w/ Martin Van Buren as running mate vs. Henry Clay touting his American system; Jackson won

Nicholas Biddle

President of the Bank of the United States; aristocratic; viewed himself as public servant duty-bound to keep bank above politics; secured congressional passage of a bill to recharter the bank, and it was vetoed by Jackson, who also denounced bank as a private and privileged monopoly

The Bank War

AJ tried to completely kill the bank; removed federal depots from Bank of the US and placed them in state banks, which became a controversial issue; removal policy enabled state banks to increase their lending capacity and seemed like a formula for producing exact kind of econ. Jackson hated;

"Pet Banks"

23 state-bank depositories for federal revenue; multiplied beyond J's expectations; critics called them "pet banks" b/c they were selected for their loyalty to the Democratic party


Faction of the Democratic Party in NY who supported hard money (specie); grew out of workingmen's parties; radical

Election of 1836

Democrats ran Martin Van Buren; Whigs = William Henry Harrison, Daniel Webster, and W.P. Mangum; Democrat = Hugh Lawson White; Democrats accused Whigs of plot to so divide vote that no candidate would receive required majority but they didn't really; Van Buren won majority of the electoral votes

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; required that the purchase of public lands be paid for in specie; stopped the land speculation and the sale of public lands went down sharply; panic of 1837 followed.

Panic of 1837

Jackson's policy = number of banks doubled and value of bank notes tripled, so commodity & land prices soared; states made new commitments to build canals but in May 1837 prices tumbled and bank after bank suspended specie payments; econ. crashed again in '39; depression was far more severe than that of 1819; many workers turned to William Miller, believed world would end soon

Independent Treasury Bill

Instead of depositing money in banks, which would use fed. funds as basis for speculative loans, govt. would hold revenues and keep them from grasp of corporations; Van Buren's supporters said it was the 2nd Decl. of Ind.; failed to address banking issue on state level

Election of 1840

Van Buren gained re-nomination of Democrats and Whigs chose William Henry Harrison & John Tyler as VP; Harrison won b/c of his frontierman/hero image; Van Buren's econ. collapse and sluggish campaign ruined him

Log Cabin and Hard Cider Campaign

"Hurrah" campaign used by the Whigs to promote Harrison & Tyler; used log cabins for everything to show Harrison was a frontiersman and war hero

"Tippencanoe and Tyler too"

Slogan of the "hurrah" campaign used by the Whigs for Harrison/Tyler's pres. campaign

Second Great Awakening

Began in CT during 1790s and set ablaze one section of nation after another during following 1/2 century; in north dominated by Congretionalists but when it came to frontier states, typified by camp meetings (gigantic revivals where members gathered together in open-air camps to hear revivalists)

Burned-Over District

Hottest revival fires of Second Great Awakening were in western NY = Burned-Over District; area teemed w/ descendants of Puritans who wanted rel. experience and people drawn by hope of wealth after completion of Erie Canal

Charles G. Finney

Harnessed anxieties of w. New Yorkers to religion; Presbyterian minister and conducted revivals in towns like Rome & Utica; greatest "harvest" was Rochester; "father of modern revivalism"; introduced devices for speeding conversions; revivals = human creations and sin voluntary

Unitarians/ William Ellery Channing

Basic doctrine = Jesus Christ less than fully divine; gained acceptance among religious liberals and in early 1800s = formal denomination esp. in NE; attracted wealthy and educated; criticized revivals as uncouth emotional exhibitions and said moral goodness should be cultivated by character building; humans could be changed for better and humans were not innately wicked

Mormons/ Joseph Smith

1820s/30s; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Smith claimed that an angel led him to a buried book of revelation and to special stones for use in translating it, book = The Book of Mormon, which tells the story of Lehi, a prophet who came to the US and created a civ. that looked to Jesus as savior; appeal = positioning of America @ center of Christian history; followers moved west from NY to Ohio and Missouri; polygymy; appealed to poor and downtrodden

Shakers/ Mother Ann Lee

Name came from a convulsive religious dance that was part of their ceremony; Lee = illiterate daughter of an English blacksmith; tightly knit community in New Lebanon, NY; artisans who made furniture and invented circular saw; fundamentally hostile to materialism; followers had to abstain from sex; lived apart from society

The Age of Reform

1820s and 30s unprecedented numbers of men & women joined org. that aimed to improve society; issues like abolition, women's rights, temperance, better treatment of criminals and insane, public educ.

American Temperance Society

Total abstinence from alcoholic beverages or moderation in their use; created by evangelical Protestants and was the 1st natl. temperance org.; by 1834 about 5,000 state & local temperance societies were loosely affiliated w/ Amer. Temp.; societies headed by men but w/ many female members

Lyman Beecher

Connecticut revivalist who demanded total abstinence from alcoholic beverages

Public School Reform

Worked to encourage orderliness and thrift in the common people; target - rural America's district schools which only taught reading and counting; reformers said these schools had to equip children for emerging competitive and industrial econ.

Horace Mann

Most articulate and influential public school reformer; became 1st secretary of his state's board of education; goals = shifting financial support for schools from parents to state, grading the schools (classifying by age and attainment), extending school term from 2/3 months to as many as 10, introducing standardized textbooks, and compelling attendance; advocated highly structured institutions that would occupy most of child's time and energy


Antislavery movement; American Colonization Society, which was the main antislavery org., proposed plan for gradual emancipation; underestimated growing dependence of S' econ. on slavery

William Lloyd Garrison

Hired by Quaker Benjamin Lundy to be an assistant editor of the Genius of Universal Emancipation; 1831 launched own paper, the Liberator, in which he est. himself as most famous & controversial white abolitionist; battle cry = "immediate emancipation" as in people had to realize slavery was sinful

The Liberator

Newspaper founded by Garrison; abolitionist paper that had the most support from black abolitionists

Frederick Douglass

Escaped slave who was an amazing orator; wrote book about his experiences and helped the abolition movement immensely

Sojourner Truth

Former slave who became an abolitionist and women's rights activist

American Anti-Slavery Society

Founded in 1833; scene of several battles b/w Garrison and prominent NY and midwestern abolitionists like Lewis & Arthur Tappan, Theodore Dwight Weld, and Jason G. Birney; abolitionists divided over whether they should enter politics as a distinct party

James Birney/Liberty Party

Prominent aboltionist who ran for president in 1840 on ticket of newly formed Liberty Party

Angelina and Sarah Grimke

Daughters of a South Carolina slaveholder who embarked on an antislavery lecture tour of New England; controversial b/c they drew mixed audiences of men & women at a time when it was indelicate for women to speak before male audiences; each wrote classic of American feminism

"Gag Rule"

1835 law passed by Southern congress which made it illegal to talk of abolition or anti-slavery arguments in Congress

Women's Rights Movement

The organized effort to improve political, legal, and economic status of women in American society; it was largely inspired by women's frustration with their limited participation rights in the abolitionist movement

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Leader of women's rights movement; advocated suffrage for women at the first Women's Right's Convention in Seneca, New York 1848; Stanton read a "Declaration of Sentiments" which declared "all men and women are created equal"

Lucretia Mott

Co-organizer of the Seneca Falls convention; women's rights movement; Philadelphia Quaker

Seneca Falls Convention

Women's rights convention at Seneca Falls, NY in 1848; proclaimed a Declaration of Sentiments that said "all men and women are created equal"; convention passed 12 resolutions

Declaration of Sentiments

Proclaimed at the Seneca Falls Convention; said that "all men and women are created equal"

Penitentiary reform

Hoped to cure crime by using prisons marked by unprecedented degree of order & discipline; reformers thought that penitentiaries would bring about sincere reformation of offenders

Dorothea Dix

Idealistic Unitarian schoolteacher; discovered insane people kept in an unheated room, which led her to investigate jails and almshouses across Mass.; w/ support of Horace Mann & Samuel G. Howe, encouraged legis. to build insane asylums


Followers of a belief which stressed self-reliance, self- culture, self-discipline, and that knowledge transcends instead of coming by reason. They promoted the belief of individualism and caused an array of humanitarian reforms.

Utopian communities

The belief that individuals could live perfectly; flourished during reform years; founded by intellectuals as alternatives to prevailing competitive econ. and as models whose success would inspire others

Brook Farm

Near Boston; creation of a group of religious philosophers called transcendentalists (started as Unitarians then sought to revitalize Christ. by proclaiming infinite spiritual capacities of ordinary men & women); both a retreat and a model; philosophers spent evenings in lofty musings after a day in the cabbage patch; attracted Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthrone


Most controversial of antebellum utopian communities; est. in 1848 in NY by John Humphrey Noyes; challenged conventional notions of rel., property, gender, roles, sex, dress, & motherhood; practiced communism and applied it to marriage (all women married to all men and vice versa); achieved considerable econ. prosperity and attracted people long after less radical communities failed

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